Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Heart-warming House-warming

Once again, I come away from Bath Ontario with such admiration for Ron Tasker and Bonnie Crook, rescuers and restorers of the historic Ham House (here's their website telling the story, though how they find the time...) But without photos. So once again, I will use Ron Tasker's photo of his house (with prior permission) to remind you of this worthy project, and of the couple's fundraising efforts to meet municipal licensing fees to re-purpose this wonderful house as a public space.

Ron telling just some of the stories they've unearthed (FHF tour)

a very early look at a very early fireplace
Darkness by 4PM, mizzling rain, light streaming from the 8x8 sash windows, people doing likewise toward the house from all directions, entering to  Bonnie Tasker's warm welcome inside the massive front door. The smell of hot apple cider, trays of shortbread, the buzz of conversation were a foretaste of the pub/restaurant which is the vision of the couple.

Ron and Bonnie hosted yesterday's Open House to celebrate the completion of the kitchen restoration - historic paint on mantel, trims, heat hole mouldings. Reproduction window sash, (could they be the work of D.J.White?) a richly coloured Persian carpet hastily rolled out onto the painted floor - and the fireplace. Oh my. Could park a small car in the hearth of the former cooking fireplace.

Date now corrected to c.1816
We met (in person) Gus Panageotopoulos, a friend of Ron and Bonnie. Gus went to the wall some years ago to save the house from demolition (oh, Bath. Don't you know you could be another Niagara on the Lake, with your concentration of War of 1812 era buildings? - albeit mostly concealed under modern 'improvements' at the moment. But we note the profile of many of your hidden treasures.) Gus  lives in the old Peter Davy house in the village, and has just recently had the exquisite facade restored.

The evening felt like a night at 'the local.' Den and I chatted with Jane and Stuart (Jane, my travelling companion in Yarker and on other history rambles.) Jude (she of the stone school-house in Wilton) hailed us as we were leaving, and we caught up with  news of the schoolhouse and her busy life.

A gift, all these people. For them, I have Ancestral Roofs to thank. Look what they have accomplished, while I've been sitting at my computer.


  1. Well, you may be ‘just’ sitting at your computer, but your delightful blog helps draw people to the cause of preservation. Long may it be, say I!

  2. Have I ever told you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog?

  3. Thank you folks. I feel pretty fortunate to have appreciative readers. Funny, as AR started out as a convenient way to keep a personal journal for photos, research notes and reflections.