The Secret Gate

Joanne  Bradley

Deux-Montagnes, Quebec, Canada

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“Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”
~J. R. R. Tolkien

I have often passed this property and admired it from the roadside. It is at quite a distance from the road since the property is quite large, probably a few acres, but it was obvious even from my perspective that it afforded an incredible view over the lake. Recently the old house was torn down. It was inevitable that I would explore! The house was standing very close to the edge of the property and right in front of the gates despite huge tracks of land behind it that led to the road. I am sure that the lake could be seen from any window in that house. And I am certain it was built to take advantage of the incredible sunsets that Mother Nature would provide. The very front of the property facing the street is protected with a large stone fence that has a row of old ironwork lights spaced every few feet down its length. There are two ways to approach this lot, one being a long walk down a private road along one side of it. Tall old trees stand like soldiers at attention and lead you past where the house once stood down to the water’s edge. The house was built on a promontory elevated above what was a beach and boat launch in better days, now sadly overgrown. The second access is from the other side of the property, actually on another street and this is a real driveway, slicing the property in half and coming to the exact spot where the house used to be. To my delight I found this secret gate that leads down to the overgrown beach. You cannot see the steps in this shot. And I was not brave enough to try them. The cement staircase is as wide as the gate but each individual step is very narrow and crumbling from exposure over time to the elements. The gate is attached to an old chain link fence which completely protects that side of the property since it is quite steep down to the shoreline. The open gates are as found. The property although neglected and abandoned shows signs of the grandeur that once existed. I spent an hour or two there, just looking, taking in the scenery and visualizing how exciting it would be to build a grand home on the very spot!

Taken on Sunday morning November 8th/08 in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec CANADA. No tripod!

Artwork Comments

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