I was called out to inspect a log house in the country near a hamlet called Canton. No, we were not in China …closer than that. It wasn’t quite a log house. It was half of a log house. A huge old maple had crashed through it during a recent storm. It certainly was a shame. What could I do? The logs, at least some of them, seemed in fair shape. I looked closely to determine what might be worth salvaging. It had been a fairly large home for its day, being about 30’ by 26’. I soon came to realize that the tree took out only the right half of the building. Maybe after clearing away the splinters and broken pieces there would be something worth saving. Even as spare logs they were valuable. Eventually, I had two short walls of about 16 ft. and the width of the building, the gable end of 26 ft. I reassembled the remaining logs on a highway lot on the edge of Port Hope. A few days later I met a couple, Don and Bev, who evidently lived in a log house on Broadview avenue in Toronto. Really. It was said to be one of Toronto’s earliest houses that had later been stuccoed over as a Regency cottage. They had hoped to enlarge the house by adding on, perhaps using the old foundation that almost existed. In subsequent visits to inspect their situation I was met with quite a surprise. My salvaged half of a house fit the requirement. They needed a 16’ x 26’ addition. The size of the logs even matched their existing logs that showed at the end of their house. Meant to be I guess. Needless to say, the new/old kitchen that the room came to be, oozed charm. It’s even been used in a couple of movies since. That was almost fifteen years ago. Three years ago we were charged with adding to it again, going up a half story, redoing the ceiling with incredible old hand-hewn timbers. Today our dogs are buddies, loving to romp in the park across the road.
Half a Log House
About the Author: Mel
Since 1969 Mel Shakespeare has been designing award-winning homes in the tradition of early 19th century Ontario. The company name, Tradition Home, is now synonymous with period homes of distinction.