Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Friday, March 10, 2017

Post cards from the Edge

One golden day last October I wandered to one of my favourite spots in Picton, a charming little park on Hill Street. The little strip of green sits on the edge of a bluff which overlooks the harbour,  and unlocks so much history for anyone prepared to ponder a bit on one of the benches. Here's a peek at the spot. I told you a bit about that day, here.

I remember wondering about this uniquely shaped building, and its story. Still haven't found the opportunity to just ask around. Last night I was reminded of the structure, while rifling through my brother's collection of vintage Prince Edward County post cards.

Here it was. In a faded sepia toned post card showing "A pretty bit of Picton Harbor." [sic]. The arched roof of the main three-story section is discernible through the murk. The foreground is undeveloped, as today. Across the harbour, not visible in my photos of the day, due to the dense autumn foliage, stood Edward Young's impressive Colonial Revival 'Claramount', its Edwardian elegance perfectly repurposed as an inn and spa today.

Here are a few more images of the workmanlike little round-headed corrugated steel-clad building on the wharf. For goodness' sake, Picton people, would someone please let me know its history?

The building sits right at the water, so I'm sure it had to do with fishing, or milling, or shipment of some sort. A tree has grown up, unnoticed. It's upstream from the yacht club, not at all 'gentrified.' A stalwart.

I believe the steel building appears at right

From the docks, as I looked up and down the harbour, I felt the years roll back. I mused about the fact last November,when the landscape changed yet again. To my own early experiences, all the way back to the beginnings.

the late great Villeneuve Castle on the harbour

A few more of Eric's historic post cards, to help you on your journey.

And the way the scene appeared last fall.

There is a history portal on Hill Street, and you are invited to enter.


  1. You might ask Russ Cole. I think that is a building that he did some restoration work on, and I think it belongs to the Yacht Club. John Lyons may be able to help as well.

  2. This posting brings back memories of the Sunday afternoon boat races that used to be held just east of the Yacht Club. It was a regular family outing to sit in the park, along with many others, to watch the races. As for the mystery building: are there any Publows still living in Picton? The Publows lived just behind that building - maybe a Publow person would have more info.

  3. Drs Bob Clapp and Sally Sarles used to own one of those boathouses, not sure if it was the one with the curved roof. A view from the water shows that it was used to store a sailboat.