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Hudgin House clean up reveals 1800s artifacts

Preparation for restoration of the Hudgin House – an 1865 log home on Ostrander Point Road in South Marysburgh – unveiled several artifacts of interest.

The restoration of the home is being spearheaded by the South Shore Joint Initiative and members of the Moses Hudgins Log House Restoration Committee.

“We were delighted to have among the crew four members of the extended Hudgin family,” said Cheryl Anderson, of the South Shore Joint Initiative. “Both Glen Hudgin and Bonnie Allen spent summers in the Hudgin House and were able to point out significant places and tell us stories of their time in the house. Laura Edge is Glen’s daughter and the administrator of the Hudgin family Facebook page. Hudgin descendent, Tracey McBride came from Port Hope with her truck to move precious items to Gord and Janice Gibbins’ barn for safe keeping.”

The crew started at the inside the house where restoration architect Edwin Rowse classified items as “keep, garbage or burn”.

Old and rusty wood burning stove – John Brebner photo

“The “keep” items will help us with an authentic restoration of artifacts to be displayed in the house. Included was an old and very rusty wood burning stove.”

Volunteers Suzanne Wright, Liz Driver and Anderson carried out wood pieces for storage and cleaned debris.

“Joined in the afternoon by volunteer Borys Holowacz we started on the fallen wall at the back of the house, which was highly decayed, but still holding together. The wall was originally part of the kitchen addition.

Wallpaper remnant found on the fallen kitchen wall. – John Brebner photo

“As we removed layers, wonderful reminders of decoration emerged. We found painted portions which gave good representations of the colours used. There were two different patterns of wallpaper which Edwin will be able to have dated. In between the outer and inner walls there was a layer of canvas to seal against drafts and moisture.”

Anderson notes that of particular interest were two pieces of newsprint, one from 1888 with the masthead Montreal Weekly Witness and one from 1889 telling the story of the sinking of the schooner Blanche in Lake Ontario off the Cobourg Shore.”

“The pieces will be very carefully preserved.”

Some of the items found by Kevin Flynn

Photographer and videographer John Brebner documented the day’s activity. Kevin Flynn worked with his metal detector over the grounds surrounding the house and uncovered various interesting remnants of household and farm implements including several sleigh bells that would have come from the harnesses of the Hudgin horses.

The Hudgin House was home to three generations of the Hudgin family, beginning with Moses Hudgin and his wife, Ann and was last occupied in 1967. It is located on the Hudgin-Rose Nature Reserve now owned by Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC). As a land conservancy, NCC normally does not deal with buildings. As a result, the County’s South Shore Joint Initiative (SSJI) has taken tenancy of the building and is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the house and surrounding property. The restoration is a joint project with the Prince Edward Historical Society.

The restoration committee has raised about half of its $100,000 goal, through fundraising and grant writing. Donations are welcome Click here for details on the Hudgin House and donations

The Hudgin House clean up crew includes Suzanne Wright, Liz Driver, Edwin Rowse, Tracey McBride, Glen Hudgin, Laura Edge, Cheryl Anderson, Borys Holowacz, Bonnie Allen. John Brebner photo

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  1. What an interesting project. I’d like to suggest you contact Kate Golding who may be able to help you research the wallpaper and perhaps even replicate it

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