In January 2013 members of the Beaumont & District Heritage Society went on a guided tour of the St. Jacques house. It is the oldest building in Beaumont still standing. We started our tour on the basement level and as you will see in the pictures we have included, it has a very low ceiling. There are three logs that serve as teleposts that have supported the house for over 100 years now. We have a picture of a very thick post in the center of the basement that is firmly perched on a rock embedded in the dirt floor. You can also see some of the stone foundation as well as a thick cement wall that was added to support the original basement walls of the home.
On the main floor, just off from the kitchen, is a room that has served as a master bedroom. There was a story that the room included a second door at the north corner wall. After our visit the paneling was removed from that corner and a former doorway was located. In the photo you can see some of the original wood. We will be restoring this entrance for the public to experience. We have since removed all of the paneling and discovered several layers of wallpaper were applied to the wood walls.
A bath/laundry room was added in the mid to late 40’s by renovating the only other (smaller) bedroom on the main floor. We are renovating this room further by installing a handicap elevator-style lift providing access to the basement level, as well as a handicap washroom. Carpeting on the main and second floor and stairway will be removed to reveal the original wood flooring of the home.
On the second level another bathroom was installed by the family in the large closet space. It was removed before we acquired the house. The chimney will be uncovered on the main floor and continues to the girl’s 2nd floor bedroom. A wood stove will be installed in the kitchen, for appearances only. Though we will not be permitted to use the kitchen for baking we will be arranging for food to be brought in to help us replicate the experience, in a way that follows modern health regulations.
The St. Jacques Heritage House will serve as an ideal hands-on heritage learning activity center for local school children and their families as well as visitors to Beaumont. We appreciate all of the support we have received from the Town of Beaumont that is helping us to preserve this heritage home. 🙂