Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Richness, The Beauty, The Petch House

Days are passing by and the process of natural yet accelerated decay is taking over.

I find beauty everywhere, and I found beauty in the Petch Log House that once housed many families here on the Aurora grounds. An old, decaying log house now embraced by nature stands alone, waiting for the day when it will be alive again.

The Petch House at Sunset, Aurora

Days are passing by and the process of natural yet accelerated decay is taking over. The deterioration from the last time I visited the property is more prominent. Everything with time is decaying. It is a natural process and cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed down.


Nature took over. Nature embraced this little log house and added unprecedented natural beauty. It is now home to squirrels, birds, ants, and many more. Why not? Survivors will seek shelter. It’s there and it is serving its purpose as it once served a purpose a long time ago, providing shelter to many families.

Seeking Shelter

Tiny plants are growing on the logs and feeding on the nutrients from the deteriorated logs, once trees. A fundamental principle in physics states that mass is conserved; it cannot be created or destroyed. Thus, with the help of sun energy, moisture, and the wood nutrients, foliage is now carrying the Petch house history within. The cycle of life will continue, and this property will be forever marked.


Let the Petch log house be a nourishment to our community. I think it is a misunderstanding when one says history will repeat itself. Absolutely not in my opinion, history is irreversible. The moment I take a photo of something, it becomes a snapshot from the past. As much as I will try very hard to duplicate exactly, it is nearly impossible. Everything may look the same, but the time is different.

Let us think about this – the differences in history now and history then. The art of making, building, producing, or manufacturing everything around us has accelerated exponentially with advancements in technology. We don’t think about it, but every minute millions of everyday items are made mechanically. Skilled trade is fading. The art of making is fading. A home build today is just another production house.

It may take 1000 years and not 100 years for the simple family house built today to gain historical value. Not to mention, because everything is built so fast, it can have the same fast downfall, thus never to be of historical value. Only the giant architectural structures will be in front of the line in our future history books, but what will that represent in our society.

Sometimes we think of history as dates and events. But history is in everything and is part of our lives. We learn from mistakes. Mistakes are the past, mistakes are history. History is our teacher.

The Petch House Treasures

How could this house possibly be a benefit to our community? The answer is simple: over many generations, it has preserved family values. The house was built with love and the intention to raise a family. It has endured both happiness and sadness. In those days, the family’s sole goal was to survive by building a shelter and farming to put food on the table.

Look around you today – do we have the same intentions? Our shelters today are hardly ever passed on from generation to generation. Our ‘ready‘ food on the table comes from a local supermarket, packed, cooked, and ready to be microwaved. Our houses are filled with objects that are no longer unique; they are just one of the millions and millions of things produced. In my eyes, the Petch house is a representation of stability – something our community and society lack and need today. Let us learn from history – from the Petch families and their traditions. Let the house be our example.

Petch House Log Cross-section Reveals Rings

What else can we learn? A few evenings ago, I visited the Petch house for the third time and afterwards, my head was filled with thoughts written here. It was a beautiful sunset on the horizon, and the direct shine on the Petch house helped me to uncover the little things one may not see at first glance – the age of the logs and the art of making them. The age rings of the tree are very prominent, and their age can be approximated. The center of the ring being closer to the edge shows that the tree was first split into two halves and then each was squared.

Hook in the Log

Can you see that I am hooked, but I am not the only one out there? The media picked up on the efficient and strategic effort to save the house by The Friends of the Petch House. More history is being uncovered as per their recent post “Petchville Treasures” and my previous post “Inventions From Aurora, Plow Attachment By J.A. Petch.” The house has a rich history as it is unveiling in front of our eyes, and don’t forget the beauty. The intricate patterns and textures on the Petch house can really captivate the eye of the observer, but that is a story for another time.

Petch House Textures


James said: June 5, 2011 at 21:16

A great tribute and photos, Anna. I drive by Petch house most days on my way to work. I should stop and take a closer look some time.

admin said: June 6, 2011 at 15:00

Thanks James. Yes I would recommend, it is a nice little house. It may not be attractive at first, but when you look closely it has so much character. And if you come across the squirrel that hangs around there check for me if it is black or brown? May be just the shine from the sun made it brown, lol.

Thank you for your comment again, it is appreciated.


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