24 September 2019

Perth & District Historical Society September Meeting

“Documenting the Old Red House in Perth”

Please join us on Thursday 26 September, (at the Perth Legion as usual), when we delve into the history of the Old Red House on Craig Street - the oldest standing structure from the Perth Military Settlement of 1816.  In 1819, the Commander-in-Chief/Governor General of Upper and Lower Canada, Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, while on tour of the developing colony, suggested that the building be painted red, hence the source of the nickname.  (The house is now white.)

The presentation by our guest, James Forrester, will focus on the relationship between architecture and family history by recounting the intersecting events in the lives of the occupants and the building’s history as an Officer’s Quarters, inn, tavern, church, school, meeting place, printing office and then dwelling.  In fact, August 2019 was the 200th anniversary of the banquet hosted in the Inn for the Duke of Richmond by the citizens of the community.

James’ power point presentation will also examine the preparatory work that has been undertaken for reconstructing this important historic building, with the involvement of Algonquin College.  In preparation for the work on the main building, Algonquin students dismantled a timber frame driveshed on the property in March, as a pilot project.  The materials are in storage until the structure can be rebuilt on the campus.

The project builds on previous heritage initiatives in the Town of Perth such as the Heritage Canada Main Street Project, the Algonquin Heritage Institute, the $10 million Algonquin Perth Campus, the 200th anniversary celebrations in 2016 and the 150th celebration of Canada in 2017.

James Forrester grew up in Westport and attended both Rideau District High School and P&DCI.  His post secondary studies included History, Film Studies and Library Information Science.  James worked as a systems administrator at OCAD University before returning to graduate school from 2014 to 2016 at Trent University.  His previous work and training in archival documentation provided a sound base for undertaking the needed research for Old Red House Project.  James and his wife, Stephanie Ford Forrester, have carried out several log and timber frame reconstructions.

Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, Home of the Hall of Remembrance
26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

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