The Fry House at the Jordan Museum has stood the test of time – and more than a few challenges.
It is one of the only remaining homes of its kind in Canada. Built in 1815 by Jacob Fry, this year will mark its 200th anniversary. Although the home has been located on the museum grounds for more than 50 years, it was actually built on Fly Road near Victoria Avenue and moved to the museum in 1960.
People in the community were aware of the history of the old house, which for a time was used as a chicken coop. When it became apparent the home was in need of saving, local resident, the late Doug McNinch formed a committee and the community rallied to raise the funds needed to make the move. There is a video in the museum’s exhibit gallery about the undertaking, said museum director Helen Booth. In-kind donations of help and funds were raised and the house was placed on a flatbed and made an eventful journey to where in now sits.
“The roof was removed and the chimney was stabilized from the inside,” said Booth. “During the move, it got stuck in the mud of the 20 Mile Creek and while it was stuck it was vandalized, someone set fire to it.”
It was saved from the fire and the move continued. Trees were removed and an entrance made to accommodate the building and it was set in place and restored.
In order to keep relevant the addition built around 1830, the Fry House has been restored to represent the period of c.1835. It is largely furnished with artifacts of the period with some reproductions to complete the representation.
The Fry House is now open seasonally (mid-May to Pioneer Day) on a guided tour basis. To honour the 200th anniversary of the building of the Fry House, museum staff is planning an event to be held on Saturday, May 16 at 11 a.m. on the museum grounds. There will be tours of the home and cake and refreshments served.
A celebration is planned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Fry House at the Jordan Museum, Saturday, May 16.