The 100-mile house

Back before it was trendy or politically correct, houses in Ottawa were made mostly from local materials. It was too expensive to import stuff from much further, unless you were JR Booth.

In doing some kitchen renos, here’s a snap of a wall board we uncovered. There are many similar sized boards, but this is the largest:


At nineteen inches, that tree was right some thick. We don’t grow them like that anymore.

In the basement, I have a very uneven concrete floor that was poured by the previous owners (from 1925 – 1982) in small batches. We broke through that floor and discovered that under the cement topping was a nicely mortared brick floor:


Bricks were made near this house on the west side of Ottawa at the brickyards where Hartwell Locks now are, and where the RA Centre is now. Maybe it came from one of those yards … but we haven’t been able to find maker’s markings on the brick, which are made of “lumpy” clay. I wonder if they were “recycled, reused” from the previous house on this site that burned down in the great fire of 1900. My house was built in 1902.


Here’s a map from just up the street, showing land uses after the fire:

Primrose St in prehistory

Maple Street is now Primrose. Rochester Street is clearly shown, the street on the right edge of the map called Division is now Booth Street. Preston runs up the left side. Double click and the map might enlarge for you to squint more productively.


Now, from old technology to new technology. The west side action word press site has apparently been hacked … by a shoe store. WP , despite the heft fees I pay for this site, is no help. I lack the confidence to remove the hack stuff, despite having detailed instructions from Google on how to do so. ┬áIf anyone out there is bored and wants to try, and can promise on risk of a most painful death, to remove the hacked material / link without destroying those pages or losing the whole site or otherwise F’ing things up royally, give me a email EricDarwin1 at Local crowd sourcing … what could be more modern, or older?