Homestead’s Smokehouse Restored
Wednesday January 4th, 2017
Posted at 9:00am
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A generous local group has provided a gift to the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area.
The Essex Region Conservation Authority and Windsor’s Canadian Club Chapter of Questers joined guests from around the region for a cheque presentation for the newly restored smokehouse building at the John R. Park Homestead.
Canadian Club Chapter Questers Wit Dudzic and Don Cyr spearheaded the process that required research, fundraising, and volunteer commitment from the local club.
Their $4000 award was announced in June of 2016. The funds were awarded through the prestigious Questers International grant. This is only the second time that the grant has been awarded to a Canadian project. Over the past year, Mr. Dudzic and Mr. Cyr have worked closely with Homestead staff and the contractor, Jeff Clark of Reg Clark Trucking Limited, to complete the project.
“Prior to the restoration, the smokehouse was leaning toward the lake, making it impossible to open the door or use the building for demonstrations. The cedar shingle roof had deteriorated and the 1850’s building could no longer function as a part of the living history agricultural museum whole in adding authenticity to the museum’s portrayal of the Park family’s life here 170 years ago,” explained Kris Ives, Curator/Education Coordinator at the Homestead. “Now, with the new foundation and roof, along with the repairs to the door and the installation of a proper vent, the building can be used as an exhibit illustrating the principles of smoking foods for preservation, and it actually functions as a working smokehouse. The Homestead staff and volunteers have already been using the restored structure for authentic demonstrations.”
The structure was last restored in 1977.