Building & Nature Trail
Temple’s Sugar Camp, like the majestic barns of early settlers, is crafted in the “Timber Frame” or “Post and Beam” style. The building is considered to be one of the finest examples of Timber frame architecture in the country. Giant pine beams are held in place by hand whittled dowels. There are cozy lofts at each end of the dining room and between them a dramatic vaulted ceiling. The effect is breath taking. The maple hardwood floors provide the perfect spot to dance the night away.
History of the Building
The post & beam timber frame building was open to the public in 2007. Many of the larger timbers are locked together by hand-whittled hardwood dowels; no nails are used. Although it has been long replaced by more modern techniques, the art of timber frame is being revived, largely because of the spectacular interiors and sense of permanence that it creates. In Lanark County we are particularly fortunate to have the combination of forests, sawmills and skilled craftsmen that allows us to continue this tradition.
In the construction of the building, we stockpiled some of the better quality logs from the clean-up after the ice storm of 1998 and sawed them into lumber to use for our flooring. It sat in our barn for seven years, until, by some good fortune, we had just the right amount to cover the floors of the restaurant. The floor in the loft above the fireplace is white ash, the floor in the front loft above the foyer is beech, and the main dining room floor is maple which is dotted with old tap holes, some dating back to the early 1800’s.
The large central fireplace is named after Count Charles Rumfort who developed this classic looking design in the 1700s. It is an open fireplace created for both heating one’s house and for cooking. A variety of pots could be hung along a rail, suspended over the open fire. Thomas Jefferson was an early proponent of the Rumfort fireplace. It remains one of the most efficient fireplaces ever designed but, for us, one of the greatest pleasures is the sound of the crackling fire that fills the building. The handcrafted stone fireplace and black cherry mantle provides a stunning backdrop for an intimate indoor ceremony.
Our forest glade surrounded by perennial gardens is an ideal setting for an outdoor ceremony. The grand arbour creates a perfect backdrop for an intimate ceremony. The gardens were recently redesigned with a combination of butterfly-attracting perennials and annuals in order to provide interest and colour at all times from May through to October. We use fresh cut flowers from our gardens for décor, and seasonal vegetables from our veggie patch in the menus.
Take a walk on our Sugar Bush Trail and enjoy the pleasures of walking through a young forest and learn something of the plants and animals that have become part of it.
Our sugar bush covers 70 acres and contains approximately 5,000 taps. The property was clear-cut for firewood in the 1940s. The regeneration which followed would have included a variety of species such as ash, elm, basswood, hickory, birch, butternut, cherry and, of course, maple.