Stories of a Storied House

Nick Wolochatiuk - Dances With Words
Stories of a Storied House
(Photo : Seaway News)

It started as a simple log cabin on a one-acre lot in Glengarry. During the next 130 or so years it had many owners, underwent many changes, and grew sideways and upwards.

It was posted for sale one day in 2001. The very next day, someone asked me to check it out and give them my opinion on it. Five minutes after going inside I said, “I’ll take it.” I did not even want to enter into the traditional offer, counter-offer, counter offer to the counter-offer routine.

It was the warmth of the wood stove in the cozy room adjacent to the kitchen that clinched it. There was even a cubbyhole of split-to-size firewood next to it.

I didn’t hire a professional inspector to go over the condition of the building’s electrical, plumbing, basement or roof. I made every possible mistake a potential home buyer could make. It was as if a voice was crying out from within the walls, “We’re made for each other. Take me!”

Pauline, my new next-door neighbour, presented me with aerial photographs that been taken of the house in 1950 and 1960. Through them, and her stories, I learned of how it had evolved over the years.

I named my 1976-2001 first home in Glengarry ‘Nut Hill’. I called this one ‘TLC’, another double-entendre name.

The 1950 photo shows TLC as a one-storey, exposed log structure, with a towering elm tree and a school bus in front of it, a barn and a modest shed nearby. A line of clothes is hung out to dry. A wire fence separates the front yard from the gravel county road.

The 1960 photo shows the barn and the shed both having a large extension. An ornate shelter has been built over the well.  Things are going well. Two school buses are parked near the house. The towering elm tree is still standing. A modern bungalow has been built on the adjacent property. A cedar hedge separates the front yard from the now paved road. A hydro pole is at the corner of the one-acre lot. (Actually, the deed says, “Property is 0.99 acre.”)

Next week’s I’ll tell you about how things at TLC changed even more.


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