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Two, Two, Two

It occured to me when I wrote about my house renovations that many of you had not even heard of my little house before and it is time for me to tell its story. I bought the house when it was in a very, very dilapidated state - I mean dilapidated! Why would I do such a thing. I'll tell you. First it is one of the very few houses left in Charlottetown that was built before 1830 and it was in jeopardy. It was owned by ........who got it by default. He did not care about it and was in the akward position of not being able to bulldoze it down before it was removed from the City Heritage List. That would mean a public meeting where we would all be there [press included]trying to protect a heritage building and his wife did not know he owned it!!!! We had many talks and it usually ended with him asking "How many apartments could I make out of that place anyway?" That drove me foolish. So on September 17th, three days before my birthday in 1997 I bought the building. What were its assets? The lot was a good, it was around the corner from the house I grew up in and up a block from Notre Dame Academy where I went to school all my life, and it was on a street , albeit a bootlegger street to quite an extent, that I travelled on when I went to church each Sunday and many other days as well. It was downtown and that I liked. It was very near the archivies. Then since I got involved in this "hysterical stuff" with my friends we have loved this little house and we pretty well knew its history. I tried to buy it back in 197.. before I bought Pidwell Lane, but could not find the owner and the next thing I knew a young man bought it with his dreams. His dreams did not completely materialize and the house changed ownership until it landed on the lap of "my friend". OK, I own a house. It was not hard to read its attributes - they were all exposed. NO furnace, no wiring, no plumbing except a funny toilet in a closet upstairs and many holes in the roof - at the back at least. People asked if it cost more than I thought it would and I say no, because there were no surprizes and it was an open book. I had gotten my friends at Moveall to look the place over and see whether they would tackle it. Stephen Baird and I had worked on moving and renovating buildings before - my barn at the farm, The Burnett Curley House and the big one was St Andrew's Chapel that we took back up the Hillsborough from hence it came in 1864. I had confidence in Stephen and his crew of nephews. We added an Icelander from next door [truly] and we were of and running. I deviced the plan and I had a number of consultants`- like my friend Dental Don. I knew that old houses talk to you as you begin to work on them and that did happen. Surprizes? There were many. But I had said I wanted in for Christmas and it almost happened. On New Year's Day we had a reception in the kitchen and I spent my first night in the house. It has gotten beter and better and people are always amazed as to how roomy it is when they come in. I want to tell you the history of the house, but that must wait for another time.

Written Thursday, November 30, 2000 at 10:11 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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