When we were kids and when my kids were young we would drive by the house where my mother was born in Gananoque. She would tell us stories about the things they did in the house, the songs they would sing and how they all slept on the second story porch in the summer with screens on the windows and the neighbors would hear them singing etc.
Over the last few years I have driven by that corner so many times and wished I could go inside the house and see what it was like. I will never get to do that but today I drove by coming into town and noticed that they were doing work on the house. I kept going and did my errands and then drove back around that block and saw that they were doing extensive work inside and that no one was living on the first floor at least. I kept going and was heading for home and had a chat with myself. “Don’t be stupid, this might be your only chance to go inside” so I turned around and went back. I parked across the street and walked up to the back door. It was wide open and there were three fellows inside working. I told them that my mother had been born in that house and about my grandfather having been the Mayor of the town. They told me “come on in” so I did.
The house on the first floor is completely gutted. The floor needs to have new supports in the basement as it is sagging in the middle. IN addition, there was no insulation so they are adding that as they go. One of the sad things was that a long term tenant had a dog or dogs and had let them pee on the floors so the entire center section of the original hard wood floors was destroyed so they all had to come out. One very nice thing is the original fireplace is there and they are going to put an insert into it and it will remain. They have moved the stairs and are taking out another set of stairs. When it is done the first floor will have a bedroom, a large bathroom, and an open concept living room and kitchen. They are opening up the original door that was closed off.
The outside of the house is made of what is called Gananoque stone. It is like concrete blocks but the design on the blocks is different from house to house. Theirs was pretty plain. The inside looks just like cinderblocks. They did tell me there was a sprinkler system in the ceiling of the house. They are not sure when it was installed but it was very old and not of any modern design. I have tried to down load some pictures I took today to see if they came out.
It was a great feeling being inside although I wish I had stopped there one of the many times I drove by when someone was there who obviously was living there. I would have loved to have seen what it looked like before they took off the walls and the hard wood floors. But cannot look back, only forward. It will continue to be a place where people live and will be in better shape when the fellows are done with it.