Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Doors Open Hamilton 2012

This past weekend was Doors Open Hamilton 2012.  "The Doors Open program seeks to celebrate, educate and inform citizens and visitors of the importance of the architectural, cultural and historical sites in Hamilton by allowing visitors free access to properties that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Many locations organize guided tours, displays and activities to enrich the visitor experience." (Taken from Doors Open website).

This year featured over 50 sites throughout all of Hamilton and there were over 25,000 reported visits for all the sites across both days.  It's an amazing event in Hamilton and you get to see some amazing buildings you pass everyday, but up close and personal.
On Sunday, Rich and I made a beeline straight for Auchmar House.  We spend a lot of time over there, and I've posted about it before.  I was so excited to see inside, and Auchmar didn't let me down.  

From the minute we stepped inside, I couldn't look around fast enough. The inside of this house is even more beautiful than the outside.  I can only begin to imagine what Auchmar would have been like in its heyday. 

We saw the library, with it's amazing shuttered bay windows and the beautiful fireplace. There are over 20 fireplaces in Auchmar!

Some amazing details from the original design, such as the bathroom tiles (note: that blood-like stain was not on the tiles when I took this photo. Hmm. Spooky.), some original wallpaper (the palm pattern at the top of the photo) and the beautiful window panes.

Check out these closets! I just imagined hanging beautiful dresses in the white one.

I love checking out the Dovecote when we walk around the grounds. I've never seen this picture of what is was like originally, and this picture is pretty darn awesome. 

Being inside Auchmar was truly a treat, I couldn't have been more excited. We checked out the Mountain Trail School House Museum, and the Go Station Museum as well, and they were both a great look into the history of Hamilton.  I'll do another post later this week about them.  
Thank you SO SO SO MUCH to all the volunteers who made this amazing Hamilton event happen. Seeing inside Auchmar is something I've waited to do for so long, and it really meant so much to me. Not to get all gushy, sorry, but it couldn't have happen without all those fabulous people.

Did you check out any other great sites on Door Open? I'd love suggestions of other places to see next year.  I'm thinking about volunteering at Auchmar next year too.  

Hamilton Heritage Foundation is an organization formed in 1977 that looks to preserve our local heritage and historical buildings.  They have formed a Community Restoration Project for Auchmar in which they will match, dollar for dollar, the contributions of the community up to $25,000 for the preservation of Auchmar House.  Imagine what they could do with $50,000! Please help preserve Auchmar (or any Hamilton building you love) and donate if you can.


  1. I've never been to Auchmar House, thank you for posting the pictures. I do remember visiting the Mountain Trail School House Museum when I was in grade school (a very long time ago) and I thought it was pretty cool.

    1. Definitely check out Auchmar if you have the chance. And it's a nice place to go for a walk even when you can't get inside.

  2. Hi, completely creepy to be commenting on your blog since you do not know me.... anyway. I came across it by googling images of Auchmar Estate. I myself have had the pleasure of seeing the manor and property. I used to live in Hamilton and volunteered with Doors Open when I was there. I definitely recommend volunteering at Auchmar. It's a blast being there. Plus, while I was a volunteer, we got to see some parts of the manor that are not open to the public -- bonus!