Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Photo Journey To The Petch House In Aurora

The condition of the Petch log house now is not the best.

Just before the Easter weekend, I had my first photo journey to the Petch log house – yes, I was invited inside. It was a very interesting and inspiring journey to be a part of – to explore the 167-year-old family house built in Aurora. I really like old log houses. There is so much character in them even though they look very simple – one might say. The condition of the Petch log house now is not the best. There is nothing fascinating about it if you just look. The house has been renovated many times over 100 years so we may never really know the original look inside. However, if you look closely, then you will find many interesting treasures to admire.

Petch Log House, Leslie Street, Town of Aurora

Someone said treasure? Yes, I was hoping to find a real treasure, but not this time. However, let me take you and show you some of the things that can be seen now in the Petch house. If the house gets a new place and new purpose for years to come, then it will have to be taken apart, mainly for safety reasons because the bottom support is in bad condition and structurally poses safety issues. According to the Friends of Petch House, the house is not going to be a museum because it does not have a collection of artifacts. However, it is going to be used for community events and educational programs.

Interior Wood Log Walls of the Petch Log House With Contrasting Wall Paper

As you can see, the house was built from thick and long wood logs. You can see the same logs on the outside and inside. The light wasn’t very good for taking pictures, but if you look closely, you can see the rough chiselled marks. Not sure if “chiselled” is the right word to use, but one can definitely see that the uneven surface was worked by hand. Aha, contrasting wallpaper in the above picture. I thought it would be interesting to see the difference in wall decoration then and now. I am sure it all started with bare wood walls.

Interior Wood Log Walls of the Petch Log House

The same uneven surface is also seen on the top beam of the side wall in the room that was probably a kitchen, to support the cross beams. However, the cross beams that run across the ceiling look much more refined – a little too perfect. But then, as the house will be examined further in the future by an experienced crew, we will know more about the beams.

Ceiling Support Beams, Petch Log House

The wallpaper shown before contrasting wallpaper is probably from the 1980s, but then we found this (see below). It looked like a painting; however, it was definitely some sort of wallpaper which we observed on the second floor. Well, that wallpaper is definitely not ordinary wallpaper; it has a much more historic look and feel. I was able to capture a couple of nice undamaged areas. Again, probably from the early 1900s, but this is to be determined yet.

Wall Paper Sample Inside The Petch Log House
Wall Paper Sample Inside The Petch Log House

When I first visited the Petch house by myself, I only saw the outside. I was kind of surprised to find modern features, one of them being electrical wiring, but then the house was always occupied until a few years ago. The original site of the Petch house was where the current Rona store is located. The house itself has one main floor and a second floor. There was also a basement, but at this moment, the house sits on iron beams so there is nothing underneath. On the second journey, when we first came inside, surprise, surprise, the entrance door on the side was swinging. We found a broken lock. I guess we will never know the purpose of the break-in.

Outside Log Structure Of The Petch Log House

The outside of the log house is a photographer’s dream. There is so much abstract beauty there. The old rusty nails add a sense of security to the whole structure. However, the logs below are slowly deteriorating and shifting apart. The cycling weather conditions are not helping at all. The inside is also exposed to weather conditions. Let’s hope that some hidden treasure inside the house is well hidden and preserved, otherwise there will be none. In conclusion, there is probably no treasure, but for Aurora, the Petch House is a treasure in itself and must be preserved.

Outside Log Structure Of The Petch Log House

I would like to extend a special thank you to Katherine from the Friends of Petch House, who made the arrangements for my photo journey. If you want to learn more about Petch log house, you can visit the Friends of Petch House website. Even better, you can meet the volunteers in person at the Aurora Farmers Market on May 7th, 2011.


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