I am feeling a little sad this week. A beautiful heritage farm-house sheltered behind two gigantic old maple trees is being torn down and dismantled in the name of progress. This property is just two homes down the road.
I have written about this magical place in my blog before. http://wp.me/p2jS4I-27
Most mornings Molly and I would pass this beautiful old home on our pre-breakfast walk. We would often pause listen to the birds and appreciate the rising sun coming up over the fields. It was always so peaceful here. I would admire that pretty covered verandah. The house has sat empty for several years yet it looks like someone might come back at any minute and sit in those inviting porch chairs. This old home speaks to me. It has 160 years of memories to share. Generations of families have been born, married and died in this old house. It is our heritage.
As far as I can tell from research in local historical documents, this property was originally settled by Isaiah Tubbs. This family settled here from New York in the early 1800; long before there was an Upper and Lower Canada, long before the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists. http://isaiahtubbs.com/index.php/about-isaiah-tubbs/ The house appears on the 1878 surveyor’s atlas of Prince Edward County. Across the street sat a cheese factory.
Until a few years ago this place was an operating dairy farm and gentle Holstein cows grazed upon the field. It was sold to an Ottawa couple who intend to build a new home and retire here.
Like the mark of the grim reaper, last November the municipality sprayed large orange Xs on the trunks of these two old trees. Sure enough, a crew of workers returned last week to do the deed. Armed with an over head crane and chain saws they felled these powerful giants. It took half a day to cut down over a hundred years of growth. Pragmatism won out. The old trees might have been brittle. The arborist would never have to return to prune or maintain.
This week crews have been working to remove the roof and front porch. The old house is being torn down. The new owners are not willing to shoulder the responsibility of its stewardship. Perhaps it is too late to go back. Rot has already set into its beams. I just wish someone else was noticing and paying homage to its history and those people who lived here long ago. We have just lost a sense of continuity with past generations.