A historic home in Hantsport is in need of substantial repairs after a broken pipe sent water flowing throughout the Churchill House earlier this week.
David Folker, president of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society, and local historian St. Clair “Joey” Patterson were pleased to see that although a model barque built in 1854 took on water in the flood, the vessel made it through the ordeal unscathed.
Ashley Thompson photo
Bill Preston, acting treasurer of the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre’s (HMCC) board, says community volunteers happened upon the mess during a routine visit to the uninhabited Churchill House Jan. 8.
“We came in to clean up after Christmas and we couldn’t get in because the door was swollen shut because of the water, so we went down and turned the water off and went from there.”
Preston says they were “wading through” a few inches of water in some areas of the house, which was constructed by esteemed shipbuilder Ezra Churchill in 1860.
The origin of the flood has been traced back to a broken pipe that runs along the outside wall of the old kitchen that was located on the upper level of the home.
“It was just pouring right from the top down to the basement,” Preston said.
The HMCC board, a not-for-profit, volunteer-led organization, maintains Churchill House.
Preston says he believes the repairs will be covered through insurance, but it is too early to tell exactly how much it will cost to repair the water damage.
Restoration specialists are expected to be on site for about a week. Fans have been placed throughout the house and some flooring will have to be replaced in two of the rooms.
The newer kitchen, located on the main level, and the room housing the local historical society’s Marine Museum bore the brunt of the damage.
David Folker, president of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society, said water was running out of the light fixture, onto the exhibits in the Marine Room.
Several old photographs were drenched before the water was turned off, but Folker says they may only lose a few.
“We don’t know yet until things dry out but I don’t think there’s a lot of damage,” said Folker.
The artifacts belonging to the museum have been laid out to dry as the restoration work continues.
Preston says it is a good thing the leak was discovered before the items showcased in the museum were beyond repair.
“How do you restore stuff like that?”