Curling stone in Charlotte Street wall
The stone wall embracing the Randwood estate is one of those many symbolic elements that gives NOTL its historic gravitas. Which is why it’s a bit of a surprise to find a curling stone at the base of a segment of the structure on Charlotte St.
In NOTL, many historical roads lead to the Bradley family.
Hope Bradley (born Hope Elliott), the family’s 91-year-old matriarch, says, “My father [Jim Elliott] and grandfather [John Elliott] built that wall. They started when my father was 17 — he was born in 1900. My grandson Stephane pointed out the curling stone when he was young.” She says she hadn’t seen it before then (and that was a couple of decades ago), and doesn’t know the story behind the anomalous stone, but assumes it was just discovered on a nearby farm and used like any other stone.
Hope goes on to explain that her parents met while that wall was being built. “My mother was a governess for the Nelles family, who had the hotel at the entry to town [now known as the Riverbend Inn, but then the Nelles’ home]. She and her sister would walk by while my dad and grandfather were building the wall, and they would chat.” Without the wall, there would be no Hope.