Turns out that John has had a love affair with the small towns and lakeside settings of Prince Edward County since he was a teenager on a Grade 13 geography project in the area. Years later, he fell in love with Ann, who also loved the area. They visited often, and even honeymooned there.
Six years ago, they bought a condo in The County for weekends and summers. By then, the area was already becoming a trendy place. More and more people were ditching their big-city lifestyles and operating vineyards and wineries, restaurants, cooking schools and art galleries. Some were winning awards for their cheese and wine.
More and more artists had moved there, while others were buying weekend and summer homes in the small, lakeside towns. Still others discovered that The County was a great place to visit.
Meanwhile, John and Ann toured an old house in downtown Picton one weekend a year ago.
“Walking through the home,” John says, “I felt an immediate attraction, not only for the home but the property itself. It needed a keeper, and I really felt that we were the ideal people to take on this project.”
Only four families had owned the house in 100 years. Each owner had preserved its grandeur.
Each bedroom has its own bathroom.
“And lastly,” John says, “the stained glass windows in every room are wonderful!”
John sounds like a man in love – with a house. But his eyes were wide open. For all its good looks, the house needed a lot of work. New electrical wiring and plastering, for starters. That meant floors and walls ripped open, etc., etc., etc.
John’s been doing the work for several months now.
“This project”, he says, is “the greatest test of my skills in my life”.
For one thing, he’s doing most of the work alone. For another, he’s not a brawny guy – John weighs only 155 pounds. And then the third thing: he promised Ann that they’d move in by the end of April.
So how’s it going? Will John and Ann be able to move into the house as planned?
We’ll find out! I’ll check in with John each week. And I’ll share pictures and progress with you.