The Gatehouse at Auchmar

Doug Embleton.

“On Sunday afternoons, my brother, who at that time, was maybe seventeen, and his girlfriend, a mountain girl, they would come for dinner at the Gatehouse. Then maybe next week, they would go out to the farm…. She was always kidding around with me.”

(The boys, Harry Jr. and Doug were making a noise upstairs).

“Anyway, my dad happened to be on the same floor, in another room. And he wanted to go get a friendly Sunday afternoon sleep. He had to go back and feed the horses. He was looking after the horses at Auchmar…..”

Recalling Life at Auchmar:

“Well, very definitely they had servants here. That’s for sure. They had a cook and I remember that. They had a housekeeper and I think they had people come in when the kids were babies, and all that kind of stuff.

Just along those lines, they had a parrot. His perch was right in the next big room here. You know the big room down here. And his name was Philip and someone had trained him, to answer, when somebody rang the doorbell.

He would say, “Ella. Somebody at the front door, Ella.” Ella was the housekeeper. I do remember that.”

Doug Embleton, who is now in his mid nineties, grew up at Auchmar. His family lived in the Gatehouse. His father, Harry, was the stable master and looked after the Young family horses,

Doug shared his memories about Auchmar in 2017 and 2019.

Time passes.

The Gatehouse which welcomed dignitaries during Isaac Buchanan’s years, and served as a welcome home landmark for Elsie from trips to the city and became the northern boundary of the estate when the Young family owned Auchmar, sits by itself today.

At 71 Claremont Drive, the Gatehouse, unattended for many decades, is but a shadow of its former self. The architectural details are in disarray, the foliage overgrown, and the laughter and life are fading over the hill of recent memory.

Photographs are courtesy of Robin McKee, the Vasseur Family Collection, and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (Photo Credit: Bill King), Terry Geissler, Jim Charlton and