A reprieve for Alvinston’s historic Campbell House

The historic farm house at AW Campbell Conservation Area

Campbell House will stand for at least six more months.

In October, The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority decided to demolish the historic home at AW Campbell Conservation Authority. The former museum, known as Campbell House, is deteriorating with holes in the roof, water damage and animals have done damage inside the building.

Greg Wilcox, manager of conservation areas, told the board of directors he doesn’t feel safe going up the stairs of the home.

The move was met with dismay by members of the community who said the home is the last original farmhouse in the area. Many also felt if the conservation authority had maintained the building over the years, it wouldn’t have had to make this choice to destroy it.

Brooke-Alvinston council heard of the pending demolition and asked the authority to delay the removal of the home so they could look at some options to maintain the home.

An online petition headed by several local historians also drew over 700 signatures. There were pledges of $1,800 for repairs and offers to help with the work.

At Thursday’s board meeting, Brooke-Alvinston Deputy Mayor Frank Nemcek spoke for council and residents who wanted the house to remain.

“I’d hate to see this original house torn down,” he said adding “Archie would be turning in his grave if he knew we tore his house down.”

While most members of the board of directors were agreeable to give the community six months to try to raise the money to fix the home, they weren’t ready to commit any funds to a reconstruction project.

Nemcek hoped the $16,200 for the demolition of the building could be used on repairs. Instead the board voted to allow the building to stand until May giving the community an opportunity to save it, but at no cost to the conservation authority.

Wilcox added if the plan to save the building failed, it would be likely the home would stand until at least September 2022 since the authority wouldn’t complete the work when campers were in the park.