At about the turn of the century, this home was purchased from a former doctor. It was bought by Mrs. M. P. Lent (Marguerite Cornwall’s grandmother) from Alexander J. Stevenson M.D. and has been in the Cornwall family ever since. In this picture, at the right is seen the part of the home that once served as Dr. Stevenson’s office and waiting room. The doctor had a brother O.J. Stevenson, who was a good friend of Mrs. Cornwall and often visited at her home in Morpeth. O.J. Stevenson, in addition to being an English professor, was a writer, publishing many text books for use in the schools of Ontario. Marguerite has in her possession several of his books, given to her mother by the authour himself. In the front of one it reads, “Mrs. Cornwall, with memories of the old days in the village, and the old house. O.J. and M.B. Stevenson, July 5, 1946.” From his book of poems the following poem (in part) is taken. It was written as a tribute to his brother Dr. A.J. Stevenson.
A Country Doctor
Alexander J. Stevenson, M.D. – “The Beloved Physician”
He was so gentle,
His hands so delicate, his fingers skilled,
As ’twere to touch men’s tortured limbs
And aching brow and bring them ease.
Sad when frail women suffered and strong men,
And sadder still when children cried in pain.
Gentle and lovable and well-beloved.
Nothing for Mammon, all for others’ needs,
Nothing for self,
No thought of age, nor care for days to come;
When poor men paid their debt, little or great,
He still returned it with the other hand.
Midnight was ne’er so black or north wind e’er so keen,
Or his own feet so wearied not to head their call.
People he loved. The homely fisher folk
In sheltered cottages beside the dunes,
Showed him their gardens and their mended nets
And told him tales of winter storms
And shipwrecks in old days along the shore.
Farmers ploughing long furrows through the stubble fields
Paused by the roadside fence to greet him as he passed.
To one and all he brought good cheer, some hint of mirth
Or touch of humour still; some droll phrase treasured up
To make the passing moment glad.
Lover of all things lovely, wheresoe’er; and friend
To all wild creatures in the fields and woods.
The Bob-White’s whistle from the zig-zag fence,
The honking of the wild geese overhead,
Carp in the stagnant pool where water-lilies grew,
Fish leaping in the reedy marsh in spawning time;
The gray wet mist that filled the long ravines
And shrouded all the cliffs at dawn;
The tall Twin Pines guarding the woodland trail,
The path of light at midnight on the lake; or sunlit waves
That turned from blue to gray, – he found delight in all.