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Old 12-03-2008, 05:12 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 153
Default Re: Gord's Orillia Home

Thanks Pam. The funny thing was that when my aunt and uncle took it over in the mid- 1900's when they needed a place to live and the empty tavern/home was the only thing available, it already had some of the "updating" of the early 20th century and was full of rotting wood and squirrels from being left empty for so long. My great-grandmother had left it to her side of the family and they were absence owners.

Anyway, through the years and with a lot of blood, sweat, tears and 2 am mornings, they restored the tavern back to its 18th century glory. The biggest treat was finding a 5 foot high x 8 foot long working fireplace complete with dutch oven behind a plaster wall in the keeping room. They re-stenciled all the wallpaper by hand and moved the more "modern" conveniences of bathrooms and kitchen to closets and a back hall. And dealt with the many collapsing barns and outbuildings on the property. Clearing them away and relandscaping to a beautiful lawn surrounded by a stonewall flower garden. They did an awesome, awesome job on the incomes of a telephone operator and a state college maintenance worker without so much as a cursory glance from the city.

Then in the 80's when their youngest son took over the house and started making his changes for energy efficiency and so his mother could stay in the home she poured her heart and soul into, the city said "whoa....wait...we don't want you to do that."

Another irony to the saga is that there is a Revoluntionary War Cemetary not a 1/4 mile down the road that is an historical landmark. But it is quite run down with broken headstones and iron work. Why? Because it is owned by the city and they don't have anyone to foot the bill to make it look pretty.

And yes, we shouldn't necessary restore things back if it means erasing significant historical changes. I am not a fan of Art Deco, but I will be the first one to say that it is a slice of Americana that shouldn't be ceremoniously erased.

I hope that Mr Hill doesn't have a drawn out ordeal with Orillia. I am happy that he recognizes the signficance of the home he's bought and puts up with the lookyloos and grass stealers. lol It would be nice if the designation just meant a listing in a brochure for tourism sake with a reminder to respect the current owners privacy. But with the required 60 day notice before he does demo work on the house...doesn't sound like it.

You'll have to keep us posted Char.
Sundown17 is offline   Reply With Quote