Houses of the Gatineau Hills

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the February 23, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Heritage home entices couple to move in full time

by Trevor Greenway

When Rowena Pomeroy and her late husband, Arthur, purchased their Cantley home in 1966, they couldn't see themselves living in it permanently. It was more of a cottage to them. But after spending a few summers on the 100-acre property, their view changed.

"We used to come out and sort of camp in the summer for a few years," said Rowena from her heritage home on River Road. "And then without discussion, we decided to move here permanently, because we loved it so much."

What they loved about the property was the space, the privacy, and the beauty. It was perfect for the Pomeroys and their two boys, who could spend the summers running about the fields, or cross-country skiing and tobogganing during the colder months.

For Rowena, who now lives alone in the large house, it's all about how busy it has kept her over the years that she loves the most - everything from the cleaning and general maintenance to the large vegetable gardens and flower beds she maintains in the summer. She has shaped the house to her liking since the 1970s.

"I just love everything about it, because it's me," Rowena said. "There is always something to do. That's what I really like about it."

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
Rowena Pomeroy's Cantley heritage house boosts large windows, a grand kitchen and 'the character from over 100 years ago. Trevor Greenway photo.

What she also loves about the house is its history, especially since she had no idea how old it was until the National Capital Commission notified her that it was, indeed, a heritage house.

According to Bob McClelland, director of the Cantley 1889 historical society, the woodframe building was built in 1866 by the Wilson family, who owned it for a century before selling it to the Pomeroys.

The Wilsons had expanded the kitchen to allow their 14 children more space, which explains why Rowena has such a massive kitchen for just one person on her hands.

When the Pomeroys bought the house from Neil Wilson, they immediately began upgrading it, installing new floors, expanding the living room and adding new large windows that let in loads of sunshine throughout the entire day.

"The sun is wonderful," said Rowena. "It really warms the house up."

The five-bedroom house radiates plenty of character, from the vintage veranda on the front porch to the gingerbread molding on its exterior. The expanded living room boasts a large window, allowing in even more light.

Rowena has hung vintage photographs of the farm and family, memorabilia and sentimental items on the interior walls - valued keepsakes from the past.

Even though the Pomeroys were used to country living - Rowena in her native England and Art in Ireland - the couple knew absolutely nothing about farming. So they rented out the land to local farmers who cut the hay and pastured their cows on their holding.

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