When we first met Mrs. Gregor, the last inhabitant of Beaver House as it was then, sitting abandoned on the east side of Hwy 6 in Puslinch, she was a retired lady suffering from arthritis. Both children had left home and she was somewhat distressed that the house, her home since she was first married, had been left on the edge of what was then the beginning of the Beaver Industrial Estate.
The square cut log house bears the original name ” Beaver House,” after its builder, Nicholas Beaver, of Puslinch Township.–“A brief history of Beaver House, erected 1832 by Beaver family, Puslinch Twp.,” Wellington County Atlas, page 14)
Beaver, a Quaker from Alsace-Lorraine, was only nineteen years old when he built his log house. It also served as a Friends meeting house and was later part of the Canadian Underground Railroad.
It has been re-situated on a hill looking toward the Grand River, surrounded by flowers of its original plantings and has new life as the Elora Poetry Centre.
We purchased the house and, with help from Conestogo Carpenters, disassembled the logs, marking each for re-assembly, and brought them to our home in Pilkington Township on a flatbed. Due to lack of funds, the logs sat for two or more years before we could afford the pad on which to erect the house, but they all survived with the exception of one ceiling beam that had been in poor shape at the time of purchase and was therefore ‘replaced’ in the original style by Conestogo Carpenters.
Our aim was to restore the one and a half story house to the original condition but not to replace the inner walls, i.e. omitting the three rooms downstairs and three upstairs bedrooms, thus providing a better space for public functions. Mrs. Gregor came to see the house in the new form and told us much of the history and details of plants surrounding the house. Since then her son and daughter have visited the house and given us more details of their upbringing there. We learned that there had been a basement which was used for keeping meat cool in the summer and that the house was covered in boards for much of their time there.
Today we have secreted a geo-thermal heating and cooling system which leaves the house appearing to be ‘original’ but provides a temperature suitable for storing antique items and displaying art. For further information please contact us.
This drawing of Beaver House was made by Elizabeth Lehman shortly after it was reassembled on its present site: