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    Wednesday September 4th, 2013

    Posted at 10:00am

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    The John Snider house, a 200 year old private home in Colchester Village, will open its doors to the general public for the first time the evening of Saturday, September 14th.

    The homeowners are extending an invitation as a special fund raising event commemorating 200 years of peace between Canada and the US, with proceeds to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation for the John R. Park Homestead.

    “It was worth the wait,” says Kathy Dowling, a direct descendant of John Snider, who owns the home with her husband Jim. “With 2-foot thick limestone walls on the lower level and 1-foot square walnut logs forming the log cabin-like upper level, it’s the oldest continuous family-owned house in Essex County. From fascinating architectural detail to snippets of original furniture from the family, and even a ghost story or two – this house has it all.”

    The fundraising event also features live music, costumed characters from the past, a savoury tastings menu of perch, venison, lamb and other period-appropriate foods by Georgina Burns Catering, and wines by Colio Estates.

    Guests will be able to participate in a silent auction with the highlight prize being dinner, bed and breakfast at the John Snider property itself, next spring.

    The event is called ‘To the Rafters’- a play on the fact that workmen, while building the house 200 years ago, could hear the cannon from the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie while they were installing the roof. On September 14th, guests will have the opportunity to climb up to that same attic to see the construction details. Proceeds from the event will replace the cedar shingle roof on the artifact storage barn at the John R. Park Homestead. Roofs and Rafters all around.

    “The timing for this event is perfect,” adds Janet Cobban, Curator of the Homestead. “September 2013 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, and the anniversary of the building of the original Snider home. The Dowlings have been very generous to offer to open up their home and host this event. Interest has been incredible and tickets are going fast.” Admission is by advance tickets only. Cobban advises that interested people should buy their tickets now, as this once in two hundred years event will sell out quickly.

    Tickets are available online here. For more information, you can call 519-738-2029, or email [email protected]

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