The John Draffin House blends 19th century Italianate architecture with modern amenities and function.
Since its construction began in 1835, the house has been in a constant state of change and growth. In the middle of the residence is the original home, a single-story farmhouse. In 1860, the prospering Irish merchant John Draffin added a magnificent two-story stone residence to the front of the original farmhouse, which then became a back kitchen. Elaborate Italianate details on the main house include building corners quoined with large ashlars, wide bracketed cornices, and decorative round-headed doors on the upper story. These doors open onto a small balcony above the grand front porch. A fire in the back kitchen in 1895 demanded major renovations and a second floor was added to it. Between 1895 and 1945 the manor was the parsonage for St. Mary’s Church. A third wave of extensive renovations was completed 10 years ago by the previous owners Mr. and Mrs. Heaslip. The transformation of the attic and the addition of a sunroom and of a Carriage House at the back of the residence, both respecting the style set by the original buildings, were amongst the most important improvements.
Having been used as a private residence until then, we opened John Draffin House’s doors to the public for the first time in its history in August 2017. Our goal is to offer a unique, quiet, and private space to people who are looking to reconnect with themselves in a ‘home’ away from home.
ABOUT ISABELLE & CHARLES
This is a love and a labour-of-love story—that is, a business opportunity realized through a shared dream to live and work in the peacefulness of the countryside.
But most of all, it’s a story about two people who:
- Stumbled upon a treasure,
- Discovered a unique way to improve others’ wellbeing, and
- Found lifelong happiness—on their own terms.
When Isabelle and Charles met in 2016, it was “like” at first sight. The couple went out for dinner dates occasionally, and they became good friends.
At the time, Isabelle was looking for a place in the country.
Specifically, a calm, peaceful home and business space where she could host workshops related to health, wellness and healing.
That’s when she came across a listing for the John Draffin Manor.
In pictures, the manor resembled a castle that Isabelle had dreamed about as a child. But the building and property were much too large for just Isabelle. Not to mention, completely out of her price range. And how would she maintain the place all on her own?
Despite all the what-ifs, Isabelle realized the various ways she could use the place: as a home, a healing centre for people to recover and reenergize, a place for group and business retreats, even a venue for family reunions and weddings.
And so, in early 2017, after a series of fortunate events, Isabelle bought the manor.
She invited Charles out on a motorcycle date through the countryside to view the property she had just bought.
After taking a tour, learning the history of the house, and hearing about Isabelle’s intentions for the manor, Charles was in love.
In love with the manor and Isabelle’s ideas for it, that is. (But don’t worry: romance came very soon thereafter.)
It didn’t take long before Isabelle and Charles became co-owners of Daffodil Acres, living and working together in the manor.
Now, they are building new dreams—for the property, themselves and for all who come to visit it.
Technically, Isabelle found the manor. But she and Charles believe that the manor actually found them.
Because if you think about it, the manor came into their lives at just the right time—for both of them.
This is just the beginning of the Daffodil Acres story.
Now, Isabelle and Charles invite you to add to the manor’s narrative—by visiting and discovering all that this spectacular place has to offer!
Every spring, more than 10,000 yellow and cream daffodils open in a cheerful spectacle and surround the property with a field of dream. The daffodils are a gift from the Bedores who owned the property in the second half of the 1900s. As one of the first flowers to bloom through the snow, daffodils are a symbol of resilience, rebirth, and new beginnings. There is nothing brighter than a daffodil to guide us through life’s storms, hence our name Daffodil Acres.