Buckwold House

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll

With thanks to our gentle and diplomatic Friday Fictioneers host Rochelle Wisoff–Fields, and to J Hardy Carroll for the © photo that’s prompting us to spin our yarns this week.

Buckwold House

We’ll have to appropriate it. We can’t have this monstrosity spoiling our new subdivision.”

“Does the owner say why she won’t sell?”

“Sentimental reasons. Years back Buckwold House was a rehab hospital for war veterans. She nursed here, met her sweetheart, but he never recovered enough to leave the place. I gather she visited him faithfully until the day he died. Later she inherited a bundle and bought the property. She’s been here ever since — refusing all offers.”

“Well, you can’t fight City Hall.”

Next day’s news headline read: “Buckwold House spinster dies of heart failure.”

The battle was over.

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39 thoughts on “Buckwold House

  1. Dear Christine,

    It seems to me the house could be refurbished and made into a museum. But I hate to see antiquities torn down in the name of modernization. My hometown is notorious for this. 😦
    Good, evocative story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    • Thank you. I’m glad when cities do tag some homes as a “civic heritage building” and preserve it. Maybe I’ll have to redirect my tale. However, I’m not sure how the lady inside would like living there through the restoration project, seeing it’s the memories she’s clinging to, actually.

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    • I don’t know what I can say about that, since we lived in a suburb for some years. Hopefully it wasn’t appropriated from some sweet old lady.
      Here on the prairies the area around our cities is fertile farmland and /or valuable wildlife habitat and I really hate to see it gobbled up by subdivisions, but there seems to be no way to prevent it — other than forbidding people to reproduce.

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    • In this case she was trying to protect yesterday from tomorrow — and that’s infinitely harder, don’t you think? Like I almost want to sit on my grandchildren, hold them here as pre-teens and keep them from moving on. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement.

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  2. I’m reminded of the line from the song Big Yellow Taxi, you take paradise and put up a parking lot. The main street of the town I work in was once lined with beautiful old buildings. In the late sixties, they tore them all down, calling the project Urban Renewal. Some of the neighboring towns kept theirs and now have what they call “historic districts” in which they’ve renovated the old buildings while maintaining the classic architecture and style of days gone by. They are very popular and the businesses there are flourishing. Cookie-cutter houses have no personality.

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    • I remember that song very well. You’re right: those big old houses have personality and if you can afford to maintain them and to heat them in winter, why not live in one? On the other hand they were part of a lifestyle that included servants to clean them. They make ideal Bed & Breakfast places. In Saskatoon the old railways station is now a high-class restaurant.

      It’s great if the city steps in and foots the bill for renos & maintenance so history can be preserved, but sentimentality takes money and most cities won’t budget much for it. too much of a gamble. The taxpayers will squawk. Often it boils down to who makes the biggest noise in town council, the preservationists or the ratepayers. 🙂

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    • Definitely the pressure of having her home, with all its memories, appropriated by the city would bring her to despair. Or resignation. Either way, her little world was coming to an end. Thanks for your comment.

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    • Thanks for your comment. Although I wrote this tale, all you commenters have allowed me to look at the issue from different perspectives.

      They say “no man is an island” and it’s true in this case, too. On one hand we feel sympathy for her losing her home with all its memories, On the other hand we could say the new subdivision will provide homes for many families. And, as you say, she did get to live out her life there.

      There’s a time to preserve for historical value and a time to let the dozers roll. Thanks be that our city centres aren’t still filled with the cozy little log cabins of the early settlers, preserved for sentimental reasons. 🙂

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