Mrs. Harrop Builds a House

Someone advised me to see an elderly lady in the hospital in Lindsey, I forget just who now. All I was told was that she was very interested in history and antiques and wanted to share something with me. I did go to see her and I’m glad I did. She was supposedly gravely ill but the twinkle I saw in her eyes belied that. She sat up and showed me pictures of the century farmhouse she and her late husband had lovingly restored. Over our conversation it became apparent she knew quite a bit about the subject and had the will to attempt it once more. Just something small she said. It was just her and the cat and a visiting daughter once in a while. She thought I was the guy to help her do it. Her twin sister told her she was silly to even think about it, with her illness as the main reason to stay in bed. I couldn’t give her too much encouragement but I said I’d think about it.

At just about that time I thought to look into a small house on a farm just down the road near Cavan where I lived. It appeared to be an original settler’s home of about 26 ft. by 18 or 20 ft. I thought it had potential though it was being used as a chicken coop. I met the owner who just days earlier had thrown a guy of his property who only offered him $1000 for it. I asked him what he wanted for it. He said two. I paid him right then and there. He took me inside it and was I surprised. The chickens were living in style. Panelled wainscoting, the original fireplace mantle, doors with their period hardware and nice wide pine flooring. Even the original staircase to the second floor. Right away I thought of this one for Mrs. Harrop. I took lots of pictures and visited her the next day.

There weren’t many clients who could visualize it right away. She was one.

 She thought it to be perfect for her. She seemed to perk up right away, all excited with the project in her mind. Her recovery was almost instantaneous. I thought she was about to jump out of bed and make me dance with her. And that’s how it went. We worked out the plan, the logistics, the timing, etc., all simple stuff to her. She found I nice vacant lot right in the middle of Lindsay. It was just right for the small house. It didn’t take much to bring the house back to its tasteful beginnings. Jewel spruced it up with wall murals and had it ready for family Christmas gatherings in no time. No, she wasn’t going to be kept down, not by anyone. She loved her little house. She called be back about three years later to add on a back saltbox sunroom to the south. She was one of the special ones for sure.

By |2017-08-28T09:28:24-04:00August 14th, 2017|post & beam house, Vintage Homes|Comments Off on Mrs. Harrop Builds a House

About the Author:

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.