Pumpkin House
Kempt Head Road

The land grant for this property was issued in the 1840ís- the land has traditionally belonged to the MacDonald family. The house was built in another location in 1958, and moved onto its current foundation in 1911. The kitchen addition was built in the same year. John Rory and Jack MacDonald built the fireplace over the course of three months. The house contains some original ceiling beams, which are comically spaced at varying intervals as supports. Ghost stories about a crying child also inhabit the house, but no recent sightings have been reported.

Architectural Comment

This house was built in a vernacular style, with a side gable and front dormer. It is pleasantly detailed at the eaves.

Contextual Comment

An old barn foundation remains on the property, as well as plum trees that were originally cultivated, but have become very aggressive and feral. The last owner of the house, a surgeon, used to grow giant pumpkins to enter in a local contest. This hobby was apparently popular with somewhat competitive local surgeons; some went to extraordinary lengths to grow the biggest pumpkin. The owner apparently used to hire a student for the summer to care for the pumpkin. He built a greenhouse in which to start the plants, and called it the pumpkin house. He hired Robert Grant to dig four feet down from the location of the pumpkin patch, and filled the resultant hole with manure in order to finesse greater girth from the giant pumpkins. A neighbour recalls that he always gave her family one of the reject pumpkins for Hallowe'en, so her children had slightly-less-than-giant jack-o-lanterns each year.

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