Old House
Old Route 5

This is a neat little house, its heritage lies in its age and in the role the family played in the community. The house features a steeply pitched roof with returning eaves on either side. The exterior is clad with wooden shingles, corner boards and barge boards. The front façade is three bay and symmetrical. Dentil detailing outlines the peaks of the dormers and the windows are double hung and are 6 over 6 and 2 over 2. The foundation of this house is fieldstone. The central front dormer extends down to the main floor and forms a front entry porch; this porch has a shed roof. It is thought that George Old, who owned the local saw mill, built this house with his son John. As previously mentioned, the Olds were master shipbuilders. The cove just below St. James Church is named for this family, and it was there they built and launched their ships. John Old was also the mail driver in the Big Bras d’Or area. Interesting features of this house are its widow’s watch, and the two bedrooms located off of the dining room. Even though each bedroom has a separate door, the two rooms are connected with a door in the middle, an unusual feature for this time period. As well, this house has as many as five chimneys. There were three known chimneys, and when the present owners began renovations they found two more. The “Old House” is associated with ghost stories too. When Hazel Kaiser lived in the house, she re-tells the story of her girlfriend coming to Boularderie for a visit. The friend got up early one morning, washed her hair and went for a walk still wearing her white nightgown. Her walk took her to St. James Cemetery, where a motorist saw a woman wearing white with long dark hair walking amongst the graves. The motorist was sure he’d seen a ghost, and was quite upset until the truth was learned.

Architectural Comment

The foundation of the house is fieldstone. The windows are double hung, 6/6 and 2/2. This house features five chimneys. The house also has a steeply pitched roof with returning eaves on both sides. It has the original shingles, corner boards and barge boards. It is vernacular in style with Gothic leanings.

Contextual Comment

Located close to St. James Presbyterian Church, the “Old House” was built by John Old in 1895. A simple 1 and 1 half storey, this house is built in a vernacular style with gothic leanings. The Olds were master carpenters and ship builders. Along with this house and numerous ships, they built Knox Presbyterian Church in Ross Ferry.

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