Raymond and I both love exploring back roads wherever we happen to be. France is particularly nice on that front, but there’s nothing at all shabby about good old Hastings County when it comes to interesting things one can find on the back roads. To name just a very few: cool vintage stores, places with odd names (Lost Channel, anyone?), split-rail fences from pioneer times, and the world’s best doughnuts.
Then there’s the occasional place that kind of knocks your socks off. And that’s what the tiny hamlet called Halloway Heights – or maybe it’s just Halloway, I’m not sure; both names appear on road signs – did to me.
I discovered it one early-spring day this year, when I opted for a detour from a detour (if you follow me) from my usual route home to Queensborough from work in Belleville. A back-road detour that I’ve tried before, not far north of Belleville, is Baptist Church Road, where I once discovered historic Sidney Baptist Church and its amazingly tall spire. (I wrote about that here.) Well, on the day in question I followed an impulse and veered east off Baptist Church Road to rejoin northbound Highway 62 via Halloway Road. And what did I find on Halloway Road but a cluster of lovely historic buildings, not to mention a garden that was quite breathtaking! (Also a large quantity of blackflies when I got out of the car to take some photos.)
The most impressive of the buildings, a large, beautifully restored red brick home, has an old sign outside it that says “The Village Store.” From which I can only conjecture that the building was once a commercial one, rather than residential. As far as I can tell there’s no store anymore in Halloway Heights (and more’s the pity, because as we all know, places of commerce enhance small hamlets), but it’s cool that the old sign is still there.
The property where the onetime store stands is also the site of an amazing garden that I slow down and admire every time I go through. (I take that route fairly often now that I’ve discovered it.) Here’s a photo from that same early-spring day, when the tulips were at their best:
Meanwhile, across the road is this remarkable old house (there’s a date in the stonework: 1855):
Quite the place, n’est-ce pas? (Just in the past few days a real-estate sign has gone up in front of that house.)
There are other heritage buildings, and a collection of attractive newer ones, in Halloway Heights as well. I must make it my mission to learn a bit more about the history of this tiny charming place. (If any readers have any knowledge to share, please do.) What a sweet little treasure. And just off the beaten path!