Just weeks after the Mortimer House was razed in Pictou, another icon of the 19th century is facing the possibility of demolition in Pictou County.
The MacLellan House, an old stone house that has sat in Blue Acres for close to 200 years, is being prepped for demolition.
In recent years the property the building sits on was home to Thompson’s siding and later Farmer Clem’s.
Owner Vernon Blois said no definite timeline has been made for tearing down the building, but confirmed he is considering it.
“It’s in such bad repair,” he said. “It’s difficult to do anything with it. It’s far too costly to repair.”
One wall of the stone building in particular is starting to crumble. He said the building hasn’t had anything in it for at least 10 to 15 years and the only portion he used was part of the basement for storage when he operated the Farmer Clem’s business.
The property has long had a for sale sign on it and Blois said he’s hoping that he’ll be able to sell it soon.
Local historian John Ashton said he is sad to hear the building might not be around long and wonders if there’s any way it might be saved.
“We can get rid of all the heritage properties and historical sites, but if we do, what are we left with?” he said.
His research shows that it was built in 1822 by Donald MacLennan. Donald was the son of John MacLennan who was born in Scotland and was among the settlers who came to Pictou County aboard the Ship Hector. It is for the MacLennans that MacLellan’s Brook got its name. (Ashton said MacLennan became MacLellan over time and descendants still squabble over what is the correct spelling).
Although he isn’t certain, Ashton said it’s possible that the stones used in the home may have been stones that came from Scotland. Whatever the case the home would have been large for it’s time and it represents a significant era in Pictou County’s past.
“For somebody to build a house like that, they would have to be well off and very well educated.”
He said people in Pictou County need to be informed about the importance of heritage and history if buildings like this are to be preserved. He believes there are legitimate questions that need to be asked about whether the building can and should be saved as is.
“Reality is if it’s not worth saving let’s do something to preserve it,” he said, suggesting that something be done to commemorate the house.