Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some folks just won't take 'no' for an answer

Some folks just won't take 'no' for an answer, as dad used to say.
Claims of 'no hope', 'no future', 'no potential' don't persuade them.
Obstacles like 'no time', 'no money', 'no skills' don't deter.
Adolphustown church
"No way?"
 No chance.

These are the folks who make restoration miracles happen.
Long Point log cabin

There is the Brisley family of Sophiasburgh. I blogged my enthusiasm for their work and their vision in November 2011 after we came upon their enclave of restored and rescued homes.

Cobourg native

one of PEC's earliest homes - rescued by the Brisley's

This is a sublime early PEC home.
Thank goodness for John and Diane Brisley..for without them it's unlikely it would still be standing sentinel on a hugely important part of our UEL history.

Along Royal Road (called Royal Street in my day)
Then there are Janice and Gord Gibbins who purchased and restored one of our family homes (the homestead of the maternal UEL Striker ancestors) in South Marysburgh. As is that wasn't enough, they have rescued (rescued = fell in love with, dismantled, transported and rebuilt) this exceptional c.1840 log home from the Ottawa Valley and an 1810 grain barn from Hay Bay, the oldest barn in Lennox and Addington township. Both sit like safely rescued donkeys in a preserve, in a sunny field near the old stone house.

Just recently PEC bestowed heritage designation on yet another log building, with some very unique construction features, transplanted by the Gibbins', this time from Waterloo County. It's the c.1845 Stryker house, and Janice and I wonder - is it somehow related to the Strykers (spelling was changed to Striker even before they left the American colonies) who settled in Prince Edward County? 

The Gryphon at an earlier stage in its development in PEC
And then there's my friend and former history of architecture prof Shannon Kyles, who rescued doors, windows, interior mouldings, flooring and beams from an 1840's Regency cottage destined for demolition in Ancaster, transported them (and the gracious ambience of the original Grove Cottage) to Consecon in PEC, and built a new house around them. You can read the story of The Gryphon, soon to be a guest house, in the Summer 2012 issue of County and Quinte Living, or on Shannon's invaluable website on Ontario architecture. Just go to building styles, to Regency, then scroll down through all the exquisite Ontario examples of the style 'til you get to the story.

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