Article: Restoration of the "Immel Wing"
The Immel House Restoration
You must have seen the scaffolding is down and now the Immel House is back (as closely as possible) to its appearance in 1857, when a Scottish carpenter, James Aird, built it. It was a workman's house, simple just whitewashed walls.
This was not built near the Town Hall, rather the Town Hall was built, two years later, only two feet away from the Immel House. Now the interior is fully incorporated office space with the Town Hall.
This restoration was not only needed for exterior cladding' with insulation' but also for the stone foundation walls. Mostly these old “rubble walls” can last for ever but some don't and this was the case with the Immel House. The Township was able to secure a 50% contribution from the Federal Government's sesquicentennial fund. We appreciate and are proud to use their logo in our opening celebration in May 2017.
We are working with our MP, Kim Rudd, to fix a May Opening Day; watch this space for details early in the New Year. It would be nice to get some citizens in period costumes, there was a good showing in 1967! One person who will be in period costume is the Township's newly appointed Town Crier – if you missed the article try Google “Northumberland To-day, Town Crier”.
Finally, why call it the “Immel House”? The Township bought the property from the Immel family in 2002. It had been in the family for 80 years. George Immel bought it from the Lawless family and they in turn purchased the property from the Aird family. George Immel had a garage and gas station between the Grafton Inn and the Town Hall.
OPEN HOUSE - Monday, February 17, 2014
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Grafton's Municipal Council Chambers
.... stay tuned to your website for additional details
2013 - Family Day - Grafton's Council Chamber
Photos from the day:
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the streets of Grafton Village and in the beauty of significantly historic architecture. Brochures available at the Grafton Township Office or you may download from here.
Presentation: Certificate of Appreciation
Mayor Dalton McDonald presented Donna Smith, past chairperson for HAH with a certificate of appreciation for her many years of dedication and service to this committee.
Postcards of Grafton
Now available for sale at both the Grafton and Roseneath Municipal Offices: $0.50/card.
Businesses purchasing postcards for give-away or resale must purchase in quantities of 10 and may do so at a reduced rate. Heritage Alnwick/Haldimand Committee is presently working on a postcard for the Roseneath area...stay tuned for more details.
19th Century Houses - Alnwick & Haldimand
HAH - Heritage Alnwick/Haldimand - has recently released a Binder of a collection of photos and write-ups on the 19th Century Houses of both Alnwick and Haldimand.
You may view a copy of this Binder at each of the three library locations as well as both Municipal Offices.
Ontario Heritage Regulation 9/05
made under the Ontario Heritage Act
Criteria for determining Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
Presentation by Mr. Bert Duclos, Ministry of Tourism, Cultural and Sport
March 2, 2014, for the
Northumberland Heritage Alliance
at the Keeler-Campbell House, Lakeport
WALL PAPER SAMPLES OF THE OLD MUNICIPAL OFFICE AND IMMEL HOUSE
Where do you find Heritage Wallpaper? In the Heritage Room in the Township Offices. Seems quite logical except we didn't know it was there.
The contents of the Heritage Room are being sorted, catalogued and in the end we will have a small but informative reference room for our Township.
All this thanks a member of the Township Heritage Committee.
Returning to the Wallpaper, shown in the collage above. It was in a corner in a plastic shopping bag,
at first glance it looked like old wallpaper that someone had forgotten to throw out a long time ago.
A closer look revealed 9 dazzling patterns one or two flecked with (we are told) gold dust.
However, it was in the heritage room and there had to be a reason.
Move on a month and with two confirmed facts and some circumstantial evidence we have a fairly convincing story to tell.
Firstly the paper was taken off the walls of the Immel house in 2000 or 2001. The Immel House is the annex to the right of the Town-Hall.
When the annex was joined to the Town-Hall and at the same time renovated, someone had the presence of mind to recognize the old wallpaper and saved some pieces.
Secondly, in the seven different patterns three still had the selvedge with “The ROBERT GRAVES Co.” and a pattern number.
The research began with the wallpaper:
There are a few internet photos of Robert Graves Wallpapers with selvedge markings and identified by year of manufacture.
- Brooklyn Museum and Historic New England. If these have been accurately identified this is a summary of what is recorded:
ROBERT GRAVES Co. 1885 to 1895
ROBERT GRAVES Co. 1900 to 1915
ROBERT GRAVES Co. 1900 to 1910
THE ROBERT GRAVES Co. 1920 to 1925
From other web sites we know the company went out of business in 1929.
The only year slot available for the lower case “The” is 1915 to 1920.
(The company was a victim of the depression and Robert Graves, the third generation in the business committed suicide.)
We are in email communications with the Brooklyn Museum, which has a large collection of Robert Graves Wallpapers
and was close to the old manufacturing plant as well as the mansion owned by the Graves Family.
Their opinion is that the paper was produced between 1905 and 1910.
We beg to differ, and have asked the museum to reevaluate their earlier conclusion.
We know the Immel House was built in 1857, two years before the Town Hall. The builder/first owner was the
Aird family and they sold it in 1870 to a member of the Lawless family and it remained in that family until 1920.
The third owner, the Immel family, owned the garage which was between the Inn and the Town Hall – well back from the road.
Wallpaper was an expensive item, our logic is that the Immel family redecorate when they moved into their new home in 1920?
The Brooklin Museum is interested in having the rest of the Wallpaper.
As always we look forward to any local input that will throw more light on this collection of old wallpaper.
Maybe you would like to join the Township Heritage Committee?
Northumberland County Archives
Did you know that you can find a Township of Haldimand Collectors Roll dating back to 1859 at the Archives? For more Alnwick/Haldimand history, please visit the Northumberland County Archives, click here to view the brochure
Print copies of the brochure are available at the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand Municipal Office in Grafton
Twinning - Postcards - Walking Tour Book for Alnwick??
Let us know your thoughts.....
HAH is always looking for volunteers....please consider joining us.
Contact: Bob Deane, Chairperson 905-349-2910