Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Gordon-Dunn-Holm House soon to be demolished in Alberton

     This old house is located at the corner of Main and Carroll Streets on your way from downtown Alberton to Northport - not far from Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  
     It is said to be the oldest house south of "the cross" the main intersection in Alberton.  It was most recent the home of Harvey and Sandra Holm who lived here from 1984-2004 then rented it.  They believe the house is near 200 years old.   
     The ground under this house is mostly sand, once you dig through 6" of topsoil you hit sand.  Mr. Holm's said it was great digging fence posts.   He also said he used the old stone-lined well on the property for many years - it was 16'-18' deep and in recent years had a pipe going into the house to supply water, however, when three houses were built nearby it completely dried up.  
     The Holm's bought this house from Carl Shea; before him the house was owned by Bob Dunn (m. ? Gordon) who used the workshop at the back (next to Dufferin Street) to make sleigh runner, chafes, etc.; before the Dunn's the house was owned by the Gordons.
     The house is said to have a ghost named "Rah" - the Holm's never experienced him.  See the story below from, Footprints in the Sands of Time: A History of Alberton, 1980.
   Page 265-266: "It's very rah (raw) the day," was the usual remark to fall from his Scottish tongue when he greeted an acquittance, so they called him, "Old Rah."  He lived in what is believed to be the oldest house between "The Cross" (corner of Church and Main, Alberton) and the settlement at Cascumpeque Point (Northport) - at the corner of Main and Carroll Streets.  Probably he acquired it about 1887 from James Gordon under whose name it appears in Meacham's Atlas of 1880.  One day, some years later, Old Rah dropped dead in the driveway and in 1902 his mortgaged property was sold to John Dun.  Another family moved into the house before it was purchased by Mr. Dunn and tradition says that Old Rah's ghost was seen in an upstairs bedroom.  Believers claim it was only a whitened flue, but the family left immediately.  This story was well known in the community and two of the Dunn boys, aged about then and twelve, made use of it to have some fun with their small sister on occasions when their mother was absent from home, "Old Rah will get you," they would exult as they locked her in the room where Old Rah was said to have been see, "Old Rah will get you."  The child was terrified but she dare not tell her parents lest the boy carry out threats of what they would do to her if any tales were told.  On other occasions they would tell her, "Old Rah will get you.  You just wait.  He'll reach out from behind one of those white birch trees beside the driveway and grab you.?  The little girl is a grandmother now.  She has not yet seen Old Rah but she never walks up the driveway to her old home at night without thinking of him." 

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