Archive for March, 2012
On Saturday, I received an email from a fellow historic architecture enthusiast by the name of Anders Christensen. He contacted me with regard to a builder by the name of T.P. Healy. There is a Facebook page associated with this builder which goes by the moniker of T.P Healy, Master Builder: King of the Queen Anne. If you are unable to follow that link back to Facebook, here is one that goes to another page pertaining to Healy and his architecture.
On the Facebook page, Healy is described as:
….Minneapolis’s most prolific master builder, constructing 130 structures during his career (1886-1906). Healy designed many of the houses he built, but he also worked with a number of architects, including H. W. Jones, W.M. Kenyon, and W.C. Whitney. His most famous group of houses (3100 Block of Second and Third Avenue South) received national designation as the Healy Block Historic District in 1993.
Anders informed me that Theron Healy and his wife, Mary Ann Jefferson, were both born and got married in Round Hill, Nova Scotia, then moved to Minneapolis in 1885. While searching for information on Theron Healy, Anders stumbled upon my blog pages about the old house I have been working on at Round Hill, and wondered if I might have some knowledge of the Healy family. I was a little surprised when I read his note as it happens that my house was built in 1861 by John Henry Healy. After a couple of back and forth notes, Anders informed me that John Healy was the oldest brother of Theron Healy.
I don’t know a great deal about John Healy apart from the fact that he appears on a provincial historic house survey as the owner-builder. From other sources, I have discovered that he was the owner of the Round Hill Woodworks Company which was in business for several decades in the late 1800s. There had been two large wooden factory buildings by the river on the corner of my property, but one was destroyed many years ago. The other still stands and is owned and used as a warehouse by a neighbour who has an antique shop in Annapolis Royal.
If you’re interested in learning more about my old house project, follow this link to the archives of my posts about the Round Hill house.
Taking into account the time zone difference, in a few minutes, it will be thirteen years since the evening that my dad died of kidney cancer. I was his primary caregiver, so we spent the last couple of months of his life in almost constant company and he died in my arms just before 9 p.m.
Much has happened during that time. In many ways, my life has changed so much since the death of both my dad and my husband, Don, that sometimes I don’t even feel like the same person I was fourteen or so years ago. It seems like light years since many past events. However, in spite of the passage of time and the drastic changes that have occurred, it also seems like not much more than a heartbeat since my dad spent his last day talking quietly with me all afternoon.
Barely a day passes that I don’t think of my dad, or remember one thing or another that he taught me. During the past almost-four-years of living alone without my husband, I’ve had to take care of so many aspects of my life on my own. Today, I replaced the terminals on the power inverter that I use in my van. Earlier, I was regluing a broken object with epoxy. I feel appreciative for having a dad who took the time to teach me how to fix things – large and small – using all kinds of tools and materials. I also feel lucky for having inherited my dad’s great sense of direction and ability to read maps, and his memory for landmarks to navigate by. Without these and other skills, I wouldn’t have the self confidence and sense of freedom that makes it possible for me to travel alone across the continent, or work on my old house back in Round Hill. I feel privileged to have had such a great father.
Dad, I miss you, I love you, and I will remember you always.