Saturday, January 4, 2014

Woodholme: Col. Tom's London castle

This castle-like home in north-west London, Ontario, is Woodholme. The residence of the late Col. Tom Lawson and his now deceased wife Miggsie. Woodholme has quite the history and it may even have a future. Time will tell.

Built in the late 1800s, Woodholme is showing its age. It's a cool home to look at and I'm sure it would be a cool home to live in. Very cool. Downright drafty and cold, in fact. While working as a newspaper photographer I had occasion to visit the place. If it had not been for the engaging, eccentric design, I would not have been impressed. I kept my coat on all the time I was there.

My wife attended the 50th wedding anniversary party held at Woodholme for Col. Thom and Miggsie. She had a lot of the same feelings about the place that I did. The best thing about the old concrete castle was Col. Tom and his wife -- especially his wife. Miggsie was at home in Woodholme.

When my wife and I were married, we got a card from Miggsie. My wife worked in the charity world and thus worked a little with Miggsie. Miggsie did not forget friends nor acquaintances. My wife was acquainted with Miggsie but she was certainly not a friend. Still, Miggsie sent a card with a short, handwritten note.

In 1983 the Lawsons put Prince Phillip up in their London, Ontario, castle. The prince came to town for the Royal Canadian Regiment 100th anniversary celebration.

Today the grounds have been subdivided for upscale housing and a residence for seniors. A ravine to the north and the land around it was donated to the city by the Lawsons some years ago. That area is now known as Lawson Park.

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