The Naismith House.

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 by Edith Cody-Rice

As many Mississippi Mills residents know, the Naismith House is up for sale. Not only is this the childhood home of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, it is a beautiful classic Georgian residence. 

House front The Georgian Classical Naismith House has a provincial and local heritage designation

 

Reports I have read repeatedly mention that James Naismith was actually born in a different house on the property, giving the impression that the current structure has nothing to do with this iconic figure. Indeed, James Naismith was born in a wood frame house which had been the home of the Young family, Scottish immigrants and the the maternal grandparents of James Naismith. They occupied this house until the stone house was completed in 1855. James' mother and father, Margaret Young and John Naismith established a home on Calumet Island in the Ottawa River after their marriage, but in 1870 both parents died of typhoid fever, orphaning their three children, Annie, Robert and James, who came to live with their grandmother and uncle at the stone house, now known as the Naismith House.

Fortunately for the house, owners took an interest in restoring and preserving its gracious lines. Marianne and Greg Smith, who bought the house in 1988, undertook a laborious five year porch restoration relying on an old photograph from 1890 for guidance. The house had another piece of luck when it was purchased in 2002 by expert antique dealer Elizabeth de Snaijer and her partner Rick Edwards. Elizabeth ran a high end country style antique store in the Victoria Woolen Mill for several years and has a purity of taste instantly recognizable. Her meticulous attention and excellent  taste is evident throughout the restoration and additions to the Naismith House. They waited years to find a period bannister for the staircase, installing it just recently.

With the installation of the statue of James Naismith on Mill Street this summer, the home should be a magnet for visitors. Almonte is fortunate that Naismith's childhood home is so classically beautiful and that owners have restored its glory.

House from sideThe Naismith House on its large grounds
Entry The front entry to the Naismith House

 Back Yard This relaxing room was added by Elizabeth de Snaijer and Rick Edwards on old foundations they discovered.

Garden2 The beautiful gardens of the house are personally maintained by the the owners.

Almonte House Tour (3) The living room of the Naismith House – note the deep set windows which at one time held shutters. Two rooms were opened up to create this one airy suite.
 
Almonte House Tour 2011 (21) 
Rick Edwards enjoys a coffee in the former summer kitchen now converted into the all season kitchen. Note the tribute basketball to James Naismith on top of the cupboards to the right of the photo.

Almonte House Tour 2011 (33) 

This antique hutch highlights the impeccable eye of the owners for quality.
Almonte House tour 2011 (34)

 This relaxing room features  a drysink bar.
Almonte House Tour 2011 (31) 
Owner Elizabeth de Snaijer in her living room.

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