A committee resolute in their desire for the restoration of the unique and historical Hudgin-Rose Log House on the Hudgin-Rose property on the south shore of Prince Edward County have gathered for their first meeting.
The house is situated on the 31 hectare (76 acre) Hudgin-Rose Nature Reserve owned by Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC). As a land conservancy, the NCC normally does not deal with buildings and, as a result, the South Shore Joint Initiative (SSJI) has taken tenancy of the building and is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the House and surrounding property.
The Hudgin-Rose House Restoration Committee is a sub-committee of the South Shore Joint Initiative and their work exists separately from SSJI’s other activities.
The Hudgin-Rose Log House was built in 1865 and housed three generations of the Hudgin family beginning with Moses Hudgin and his wife, Ann (Mouck) and the couple’s nine children. The South Marysburgh land being what it is, Moses worked variously as a fisher and subsistence farmer. The House was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2011. More recently the land and building were owned by Ben and Lillian Rose. Ben and Lillian replaced the house’s roof resulting in the preservation of most of the inside of the former home.
Edwin Rowse, a renowned restoration architect, has taken on the task of overseeing the restoration of the house. 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. Now it is time to raise the necessary funds to begin the work and bring the house into a safe and secure state.
The committee is composed of interested members of the Hudgin family, members of the PEC Historical Society and local people interested in history. Although not directly involved, NCC encourages the work and is pleased that the house will be properly taken care of. Over the next months the committee will begin a series of fund-raising activities with a goal to raise enough money to see the House initially stabilized, next making the ground floor useable in the warmer months and eventually to complete the second floor and make the house usable all year. It’s recognized that this is a multi year project which will require not only Rowse’s expertise but that of specialized contractors and builders. An application to the County of Prince Edward’s Heritage Property Grants Program and significant gifts from local donors will start the fund raising. Ultimately, the committee needs to raise up to $100,000 to see the project to completion.
Committee member Janice Gibbins has been connected to the House since 2011 when she wrote the criteria to have it designated a heritage property.
“It is a special house in a special place with connections to the early settlers of Prince Edward County,” Gibbins said. “I am delighted that a project has begun to preserve it for future generations.”
The next meeting of the committee will be held on Saturday July 11 at 2 p.m. at the Hudgin-Rose House. More information is available at ssji.ca.