This, That and The Ebor


There’s this: a crop of summer-blooming Amaryllis, a huge flower that normally blooms in winter — unless you’re like me and forgot the bulbs in the cold room until recently….Blog Photo Red Amaryllis2

Blog Photo Amaryllis Red and White

Then there’s this darling photo of Mr. D. and Mr. JC. 

Blog Photos JC and Dawson

Then – for a change of pace – these two vintage cars….

Blog Photo Ebor House doors open 16 jpgEH

In front of my favorite 17-room mansion, Ebor House…

You may remember that time I got lost and ended up sipping tea in a stranger’s kitchen in his beautiful old mansion…. 

Ebor House was built in 1868 by the Farncombs, a remarkable English-Canadian family which counted two Lord Mayors of London, England, as close relatives.

Blog Photo Doors Open Ebor House

Well, there I was at Ebor House again last Saturday, and this time, for a very different reason.

Ebor House was a highlight of Doors Open Clarington.  The architectural conservancy event features many beautiful heritage buildings in Clarington. And I was the author guest, invited to speak about my books, share my knowledge of Ebor House and also the Farncombs’ history.

Blog Photo Farncomb Legresley

While I was in one room, “Farnie”, great-grandson of the Farncombs, was in another room, charming visitors with tales of growing up at Ebor House. He inspired me to keep going: his energy was so radiant! 

Well over a thousand visitors — including a few cyclists- visited Ebor House. 

Blog Photo Doors Open Cynthia

It was a lovely day.

The volunteers (including Leo Blindenbach, who was in charge of the Ebor House site) were organized and gracious — as were the owners, Andrea and Nav.

Thanks to MaryAnn Isbister, whose excellent work turned my 6-part blog series on Ebor House into a full colour booklet for the event. Organizers Bernice Norton, Marilyn Morawetz, Leo and the rest of the team should be very proud! 

Bravo, all of you!







Filed under A Good Home, Amaryllis in Bloom, An Honest House, Architectural Conservancy, Architecture, Architecture and Design, Authors, Bond Head Harbour, Country Homes, Family Stories, Heritage Homes, Historic Bond Head, historic neighborhoods, Homes

56 responses to “This, That and The Ebor

  1. Beautiful pics. I needed to see something beautiful today. TY

  2. That’s a fascinating read, as are the links back to your previous posts. York was most requently known as Eboracum, with Ebor/ebora being the root for other names. One theory is that it derives from ‘place of the yew trees’. I found the York/Leeds angles most interesting. You look radiant in that photo – your outfit looks the same colour as the first amaryllis. Beautiful flowers and adorable dogs.

    • It’s one of the most fascinating stories I’ve researched in recent years. The York connection was a strong one, indeed, and despite having studied Latin, I didn’t know that Ebor means York till when I started the research.
      And so much for being observant: I didn’t realize that my clothes were the same colour as that amaryllis! Thanks for the compliment.

      • It’s not so much doing the Latin, but rather Roman history which was a large part of my first degree. Plus, as I come from Yorkshire and have worked on a dig in York, I have a bit of a head start on York history.
        Here, if you find time, is a short summary of the etymology of the name York, which shows how Roman Eboracum went to Viking Jorvik, via Anglo Saxon something else. So you can see that York is directly derived from Yorvik.
        End of history lecture 😉

      • How intriguing. I didn’t know all this. Thank you!

  3. Congratulations, and well written

  4. Amarylis in the spring – how much fun and congratulations on being the featured writer. If you get a chance, please post at the Salon today.

  5. The Architectural Conservancy is a perfect place for you and your books, both being about the value and history and beauty of homes! Great photos! Let me know when Ebor House is on the Open Doors Clarington again.

    • You know: I didn’t think of it, but that’s exactly what Bernice Norton and her team thought and I’m glad they did. I’ll let you know when it’s on the tour again.

  6. Beautiful photos and Farnie is a cutie!

    • I met Farnie’s children and grandchildren and I think they would all have a big smile to hear him described as a ‘cutie’. Especially since I have to second that emotion!

  7. Laurie Graves

    Love those dogs! And, yes, congrats on being the featured writer.

  8. Sounds like a marvelous day! And you’ve hit on so many of my favourite things – bright flowers, sweet dogs, old cars and great architecture. And I can’t get over Farnie’s brilliant smile. Thank you for such happy things to start the day.

  9. Thanks for sharing your beautiful views of the world Cynthia. “Farnie” and Ebor house sound like delights!

  10. Beautiful flowers, adorable dogs, a beautiful mansion, and fascinating people! Wonderful! 🙂

  11. What another wonderful post, Cynthia! Thank you for sharing another one of your awesome experiences with us. I so love reading about them! 🙂 ❤

  12. leeMck

    Who knew that getting lost could turn into such a wonderful adventure and an opportunity to write about the history of this family and their amazing home and property. Congratulations on this fantastic piece of work and thank you for graciously sharing it with us. Cheers!

    • Isn’t it all incredible, Lee? I had been fretting that, because of the pain and injuries, I had lost my ability to be touched by the ‘magic’ of the divine –whereas my pre-accident life seemed full of inexplicable and magical moments. But then when I happened upon and into Ebor House, it felt like a slice of the divine and I realized it was still there – I had stopped seeing it for a while. One of the new owners, by the way, is also an author, among other similarities. Life is strange and wondrous.

  13. Kev

    The photos are incredible! ☺

  14. Cynthia, what a wonderful turnout for a lovely writer in red. And a perfect setting too. 🙂
    Blessings & Congratulations ~ Wendy

    • It really was a perfect setting, Wendy, and the house was magnificent before but now it feels both magnificent AND like a family home. Full of light and warmth and so grandly and well-built it reminded me of our farmhouse.

  15. I remember your posts about that house. It’s a beautiful place!
    I hope you sold lots of books!

    • Yes, my books did well, but the day really belonged to Doors Open and Ebor House. Most of my time was spent pushing the booklet (print version of my blog series) whose sale was used as a fundraiser for Doors Open Clarington.

  16. And bravo Cynthia! You must have been exhausted at the end of the day! I remember your interesting posts about Ebor House – a fascinating read and what a fabulous idea to turn them into a booklet!

  17. Writing seems to open many doors for you…even ones you may have thought closed. That is so wonderful. The amaryllis is gorgeous. Being in Maine, I always only have them to brighten a windowsill in the dead of winter. Another blogger has told me that what we, in the northern hemisphere, call amaryllis is not a true amaryllis but a hippeastrum..Have you or Hamlin ever heard anything about that?

  18. I remember those blog posts, nice to revisit the house and story. Lovely photos. I have some heirloom (from my husband’s father) Amaryllis outside in my tropical garden, still waiting for the flowers – got some pretty foliage.

  19. So much to like here! Cute dogs, fab flowers, neat old cars, a very sweet old fellow, and a nice honor for you!

  20. What a wonderful adventure that unfolded out of getting lost!

    I love Amaryllis. So bright and colorful!

    • It really was such a wonderful adventure, Lavinia, and on Saturday, there was a moment when I reflected on that and wondered if I really got lost or just ended up where I was supposed to be. The whole thing kinda went beyond serendipity.

  21. I remember the story of this house. How nice that they used your blog story like this.

    I can never get hippeastrums to bloom again, so your secret is to keep them cold?

    • I like their nice strapping leaves in the garden in the summer, so I put them outside in May.
      I stop watering them at end of summer, let the leaves dry off, then remove the bulbs from the soil.
      I put them in a brown paper bag in the cellar/cold room for the winter, then removed them this year in May, potted them up and let them return to life and blooms. You should see the new flower buds forming at the base. If not, I cover the whole thing – potted bulbs with soil — for a week or two. When it has flower buds I remove the cover and put the pot back into the light.
      It’s a series of simple steps. I completely forgot these ones in the cold room, but they still bloomed five months after Christmas in May-June.

  22. Fabulous flowers Cynthia and that looks as though it was a unique and enjoyable author event 🙂

  23. A wonderful honor for you Cynthia and how special to revisit the house – what a great event. The blooms are fabulous too – such fantastic flowers!

  24. Hi Cynthia visiting for the first time your blog. Pretty pic and interesting stories. Coming from Senior Salon!!

  25. I felt like I knew that home inside and out from what you shared about it in the past. I bet Farnie had some wonderful stories to share as well.

  26. Pingback: Serendipity: A Post-Script to The Grange Series | Cynthia Reyes - Author

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