The Kirk Christmas Time Capsule House

This is the story of Eileen Kirk.

Eileen’s house was an amazing time capsule in Gravenhurst, Ontario. It wasn’t a house where time had stopped ticking during the 1970’s or 80’s but rather the 1990’s. Regardless, this house was perfectly preserved when we photographed it in the summer of 2015.

In term of abandoned houses, the Kirk house was immaculate. The kitchen was fully stocked with dishes and appliances. Books and CD’s were organized on shelves, a telephone sat charging in its cradle. Several family portraits hung on the walls. In the living room, the couch pillows were in place where the owner would have left them. On a chair in the living room I found a satchel and tambourine. Nothing was out of place, nothing to suggest that the house’s contents had been picked over. This was truly a gem find!

Down the laundry room, Eileen’s clothes were still hung out to dry on a makeshift clothesline.

Eileen had prepared her house for Christmas. The fireplace mantle was decked out with Christmas ornaments and a Christmas tree was set up. Christmas lights had been put up in the windows and decorations hung on the wall.

I found an album which was put together to commemorate the life of Eileen:

In 1910 on a bright sunny morn,
A little baby girl, Laura Eileen, was born.
The first little girl to Emma and George
Who were already parents of three little boys.
She had a sweet face, and brown curly hair…
and was a great blessing to all the folks there
But sadness soon came as George passed away
leaving Emma to raise four, and one on the way.

There was George Jr. and Shelly, Jim and Eileen
Then baby Elizabeth came on the scene.

Emma did her best to raise her little brood
And it wasn’t easy keeping them in clothing and food.

But raise them she did, make them tow the line
And they all grew up, and turned out just fine.

On a visit to Bracebridge
Eileen met a man
And soon it was obvious
marriage was in the plan.
Wimund Kirk was his name
and they were much in love
‘Twas a marriage made
in Heaven above
(– Married April 16, 1958 –)

But when they went North
(Monteith) for Wimund to teach,
The family felt they were
too far out of reach.

Back to Hamilton for a spell
Wimund came with his wife,
Then eventually to Bracebridge
for the rest of their lives.

Beth had three daughters
Noreen, Lois and Jean
They were close to the
Kirks, who had no kids
of their own.

Eileen made them dresses
and fussed with their hair
And holidays didn’t start
til the Kirks were there!

After Eileen and Wimund
to Bracebridge had gone,
They soon were blessed with
their own little son.

‘Steven’ he was called, after
Eileen’s maiden name

And the Kirk’s soon found
life just wasn’t the same.
He was cute and active
and kept things alive

Little did they know
Baby Kathy would soon

Another event happened which
changed all our lives.
When Beth’s daughter Lois
tragically died.

It wasn’t long till the Kirks
family would grow.
As Beth to the ministry
decided to go.

So Noreen, Joan and
Grandma also moved in
And a busy life for the Kirks
would begin!

Noreen and Joan in a few
years were married
Which made Eileen’s life
a little less hurried.

Joan married Raymie
and became a Lee
Noreen married Bob
and became a Kennedy.

When their kids came
Aunt Eileen was always there
To give them a hand
and show that she

She’d sew the children clothes
and sweaters she’d knit
She’d cook and bake
and baby-sit.

Noreen and Joan don’t
know what they’d have done
If Aunt Eileen hadn’t opened
Her heart and her home.

Kathy and Steven too
grew up before too long,
and in a few years
they’d left Bracebridge
and gone!

Aunt Eileen’s life has had
its ups and downs
But she rarely gives a complaint
or a frown

And now she is ninety
She’a lived a good life
As an aunt, a mother, a grandma, a wife.

So take it easy Aunt Eileen
and give yourself a rest
We wish you a happy 90th
– A birthday that’s the best

Eileen married John Wimund Kirk on April 16, 1958. John worked as a school principal at Macaulay Public School in Bracebridge. The couple had a son, Steven George Kirk, who was born on March 31, 1947. He passed away in 2022. They later had a daughter named Kathy.

Unfortunately with all things nice and beautiful to the eye of the explorer, someone else saw potential for vandalism and spray painting. Today the house has been ransacked and someone has spray painted the walls.

Eileen, passed away in 2001 at the age of 90. To me this suggests that the house had been untouched for almost 20 years. Her husband John Wimund passed away in 1992.

Some visitors have informed me that the movie poster is from 2003. I’ve also learned that the daughter Kathy, took over the home after her parent’s passed away. The timeline for being vacant is in the range of 2003.

These photos were taken with an 18-55mm lens and the quality is not the greatest. I regret not documenting this house more thoroughly.

January 2, 2023
We visited here today and found that all of the belongings have been removed. The interior is bare. On our way out, an employee of the business next door stopped us. He explained that the company owned the property and is planning to demolish the house. There’s a video at the bottom of the page showing what the house looks like now.

This concludes the story.

January 2, 2023

5 thoughts on “The Kirk Christmas Time Capsule House

  1. Just watching a YouTube by “static spaces” who is exploring it in Dec 2021. It looks like there’s calendars from 2011 or so, that might help with the dating. Unfortunately it’s been destroyed and picked through by vandals, not anything like the beautiful photos anymore. Very sad to see, but I suppose that’s what people do. Thanks for sharing the story

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