Three months elapsed since April 21st
, 2011 – my first visit inside the Petch house. Destiny of the 160 year old log house was then unknown, but was promising.
On July 28 of the same year I am inside the Petch house taking photographs again. It was different this time. The natural light, better for photography, entered through the windows and the roof, and from the corners of the heavily deteriorated logs. Much more was uncovered and there was much more to see. This time the house was giving off different sense of feeling – a positive one
Embraced and nurtured by nature for many years, the Petch house was happy to have friends inside once again. Friends that were now effortlessly working to save the weak standing structure on the side of Leslie Street in Aurora.
Petch House, Deteriorated Corner, July 28th, 2011
The house is being restored by Peter Van Nostrand and his team. It is interesting to know that the Petch house is restored by someone who has deep roots in Aurora community. The house would not have survived one more year, so they say, and I was able to see it myself. The photographs do not lie.
For many days the house was being aired and cleaned. The results are stunning. The house inside is beautiful again. Of course it does not look like any decorated house we live in now, but if you have sense and appreciation for the workmanship and the skill people had back than to build their own houses, the beauty is there.
The Petch house is definitely on the new journey. It will never be the same, meaning original, but it will be a stronger, renewed, restored log house that will survive many more generations to come.
It will never house a family again, but it will definitely have a valuable purpose in our town. I am so honored to be part of the project and photograph the restoration process that is in place now. This is all thanks to Katherine Belrose – it is a life time opportunity to be part of the historical event that is taking place here in Aurora.
Our experience and technicality of the restoration from July 26th-28th, are now published on the The Friends of Petch House website – Petch House Layers Tell Us Many Things
by Katherine Belrose.
The Petch house will have a new location once restored. I will miss this log house, not for long, but still standing lonely on the one side of Leslie Street. The house will be gone, and never know, that beautiful country road view may go with it in the near future.
Petch House on Leslie Street
Later that day …
I wondered into the garage. I knew I put my sealed plastic container somewhere. I found it sitting on the shelf, the same shelf I placed my Petch box three months ago. This time I had a rusted nail from late 1800s and I wanted to include with my other collection, with the deteriorated log pieces I collected back then. They were just wet dark pieces of wood that fell on the ground and were about to fall apart even more if disturbed.
Piece of Deteriorated Wood Log
I gently opened the box, and I saw it to my disbelief to be alive again. The color of the wood chips changed and some sort of plant species was rooting itself to the wood chip which I have not seen before. Separated, but not far from the Petch house, the pieces were glowing and breathing the same way the Petch house was blooming on the day I photographed it, July 28, 2011.
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