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Our Story

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The story behind this house is very long (about 100 years long)  and amazing (to us at least).

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Watch the video first and then you might understand more about the story to follow

Mr. Bullock

(From Left to Right)

Keith Bullock, Glen Bullock, Nina Bullock

(From Left to Right)

Keith, Maxine, Glen Bullock, & Kaye Bullock

In 1915, Amasa Bullock Of Welling, Alberta picked the perfect house out of the Eaton’s Catalog and hired a contractor to put it together. It wasn’t long before his brother Ernest Kimball Bullock decided he wanted a house too. He would build on the other side of the road road from Amasa right next to the original Bullock homestead.

When the contractor came to visit Ernest and ask for all the plans and details, his reply was quick and simple. “Same as my Brother. If it’s good enough for Amasa, it’s good enough for me”

This was a major event for the fledgling little community. These houses were an exact pair just facing each other with Electric lights, Running Water and Steam heat. The Electric system was 32 Volt Delco system charged by a wind generator which was robust enough to share the power with the local general store and schoolhouse. People came from a 50 mile radius to see these houses and ‘ooh and aah’ over the technology.

Very shortly before the house was complete, tragedy struck the family of Ernest Bullock when his wife Emma was killed in a buggy accident, never to live in this marvellous house her husband had put so much loving effort into for her.

Within the next few years, Ernest died as well and the house passed to his son Ernest. It stayed in the family for a few generations and eventually came to be the residence in 2010 of a lovely family who had tried to upkeep the house, but a few life decisions came to a head and change was inevitable.

By that time, the foundation was crumbling and an attempted repair from 15 years earlier was failing as well.

They tried unsuccessfully to sell the house on a ‘you-move’ basis. Eventually the house mover they had consulted advised them to give the house away, seeing as how demolition costs would be more than they wanted to pay and lifting the house to rebuild the basement would be too costly as well.

About this time, Rebecca and I had been married for 11 years and were anxious to have a home of our own. We had found a local house to move, but didn’t totally feel great about it. After close inspection from the builder we were going to have do some of our renovations, we were told of some complications in moving and renovating. We did our best to put on a smiling face and be patient while we let the homeowners know we were not going to go ahead with that house.

We were sad and hoped we had made the right decision. That very night, we had a call from the builder who told us of another house he’d just heard about on kijiji.ca that was being offered for free.

WHAT!???

We hurriedly made an appointment to drive the 40 miles to look at the house. From the moment we walked inside and saw the 9 foot ceilings, original wainscotting, the original maple flooring, and the beautiful crown holdings, a special little glow came into Rebecca’s eyes and we felt that our lives were about to change. I should have known what trouble I was in for, but I was remarkably inexperienced and naive about what we were about to undertake.

We hired a company to move the house and got busy building a foundation and basement for the new/old house.

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What we didn’t realize was that the real work had just begun. All that winter we worked together as a family. There was no heat in the house and so at the beginning of each day we bundled up our little ones in their warmest hats and gloves and trekked off to the house project. Honestly we reached our wits end so many times. Rebecca especially was in tears on numerous occasions.

When we truly thought we just couldn’t keep going Rebecca’s parents showed up on the scene and helped us for 2 months finally finish what we had begun so much earlier.

In the end it took us a year to gut the main floor while maintaining all the things we originally had loved about the house. Then we added on a bathroom, laundry room and school room to better accommodate our family of 7.

It was our labor of love and what made it all the more special was the fact that we shared that year with each other. Our kids especially  were just amazing. They had so much fun helping us and were so cheerful for all those months as we worked together. Because Rebecca teaches the kids from home, she would go from helping us work on the house to teaching the kids lessons.

Most of their learning was hands on that year. They learned about measuring, cutting, angles, colors, reading, writing, and installing. Our youngest (at the time) was just little and she loved helping out when she saw everyone else around her doing it.

Sometimes we are asked if there were anything we would do differently or if we would do it all over again if we knew what we were getting into.

The simple answer to both is a resounding YES!