Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Family Photos

This lovely black and white photo of a house in Picton is a gift from my brother Eric. It's the result of some rummaging through his old negatives, motivated by a lovely invitation to visit the home on Friday.

There are so many layers to this great story.

Energetic, creative and immensely talented couple Dale and Laura bought the house last year. They are in the process of turning back its years. Back past seniors home, girls' group home, family home with apartments...and likely some lost years. The couple are removing the layers, and returning this elegant Edwardian doctor's home and surgery into their own.

Another layer. Laura and Dale made a walk-on appearance in a County and Quinte Living article back in the winter of 2013. I told the story of Fogorig, a stone mill, barn and house complex northwest of Belleville, and the families who had occupied it since 1834, when Thomas Allan built it. We ended by wishing well to "the new owners of Fogorig." Turns out, that was Laura and Dale.

Patience, friends. This will all fit together eventually. In the fullness of time, Laura and I connected on Facebook (as one does) so I was treated to Laura's post of the red brick house one day.

Seeing the photo took me instantly back to the 1970s, when our parents Ralph and Doris purchased that very home, 62 King Street in Picton.

I wrote a few years ago about the various homes mom and dad purchased, improved and sold in the years following the sale of the family farm.

gorgeous radiators

One of the apartments upstairs was to be home for our increasingly dependent Pierce grandparents. Brother Eric lived in this house his last year in high school. Over the decade, I visited from Vancouver a number of times.

Last Friday, Eric and I visited the house again. Laura and Dale showed us around. We were astounded at the work and care going into reverting the house to its original state.

a salvaged Edwardian staircase now graces this corner

And they were likely amused at our excited reminiscences. These few images (these were film processing at the drug store waiting for two weeks for the photos days) connect me with those emotion-filled visits home.

It was a delight to wander the house, and see the care with which old elements were being preserved and cherished. And how the broken up unloved rooms were being restored to gracious light-filled spaces, with modern amenities. A family home again.

Yes, it really did burn wood

We hope to return. Well, it will in time become easy for us all to do, as the couple plans to share the space, opening the principal rooms into Laura's weaving studio, teaching space and shop.

1 comment:

  1. What a story! And those photos! Looking forward to updates about the loving renos.

    And Eric's fashion choices remind me of my own wardrobe and hairstyle choices...