Gathered on traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee people of this territory, Ostrander Point Road was a little louder than usual on Saturday as the South Shore Joint Initiative (SSJI) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) held the first organized event to commence the restoration of the Moses Hudgin log house and raise funds for the project.
The open house ‘sneak peak’ featured static displays detailing the lineage from the family patriarch and a silent auction designed to raise funds for the restoration effort.
The project is a departure for the NCC as the conservancy group rarely take on lands with buildings located on them but the SSJI is the organization taking on the tenancy for the historic log cabin while the NCC will maintain ownership the land. As tenants of the house, the SSJI are starting a process to have the Moses Hudgin log house renovated and are also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the strcture and surrounding property.
“The land we’re on, the Hudgin-Rose property, is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada,” explained Cheryl Anderson, Vice-President of the SSJI. “But the South Shore Joint Initiative has the tenancy for the house because the NCC does not deal with buildings so as tenants of the house we are starting a process to have this house renovated and this is the first organized event for the renovations.”
Built by Moses Hudgin, a United Empire Loyalist in 1865, the settler was married to Ann (Mouck) and the couple had 10 children with nine living into adult hood.
Moses farmed and fished in the Ostrander Point Rd area and eventually the log home was passed down to his son Philip Hudgin who lived there with his wife Waity (nee Bongard) and they raised their four kids at the Hudgin House, passing the house down a son named Egbert Hudgin
Egbery and his wife Jennie (nee McConnell) had three kids including Vernon, Willard and Mariam. Their children would spend their summers at the house playing with their cousins, running through the fields and to the beach.
Vernon eventually sold the house in 1967 and, unfortunately for the last 50 years, the house was neglected and fell to the ravages of time.
“A lot of us have visited this house over the years, have picnicked here, some may have camped here,” expressed Laura Edge (Hudgin) a great, great, great granddaughter to Moses Hudgin. “And even though it hasn’t been in the family since 1967, we’ve all still been drawn here. We’ve always seen a such a strong symbol of our family ancestry. I recall in Grade 4 building a replica of this house for my pioneer project. and even during my masters degree I wrote about how this place actually sparked my interest in becoming a history teacher.”
Taking on the task of overseeing the restoration of the house is Edwin Rowse, a renowned restoration architect.
In 2019 Rowse did a complete analysis and budget of the work necessary to stabilize the house and make it useful as a small museum or field house for nature-based surveys of the South Shore.
“It’s notable most of the logs are eastern white cedar, which is unusual but makes the construction very durable, as we know from cedar rail fences. The construction tells us most of the materials were sourced on the farm, from the stone foundations, to the log roof rafters to the squared logs of the walls which were likely fashioned from trees growing close to the site,” said Rowse.
For more information and for upcoming events please visit the SSJI’s website www.ssji.ca/news_updates_4irbb5vgsu2-yxpbyzlxag