Hi Marty, as I indicated a few days ago the following is a brief history along with photos of the McConachie family in Greenfield Park. The house in which I grew up was built sometime in the 1930’s .The first owner that I could track down was a Mr. George O’Brien who later sold the property to a Mr. Main, a merchant in Point St Charles, who then sold it to my Parents in Feb. 1941. My Parents were married in June 1940 and I was born a year later. As was typical of the day, my Parents were one of a group of people who had lived in “The Point” and then crossed the big river to buy a home. My Mom was born in Belfast and came to Canada immediately following the WW1 Armistice when my grandfather was mustered out of the army. My Dad was born in Canada – 173 Bridge St-- but his father was born just 15 miles outside of Belfast. When my parents married my mother was working in a factory in The Point and my dad was working for the Montreal Light, Heat and Power Co., the forerunner of Quebec Hydro and since he was considered to be working in an essential service he was ineligible for war service but two of his brothers did go overseas, only one returned. Most of my relatives were still living in The Point when I was growing up and in the summer time it was not unusual for a cavalcade of three cars on a Sunday to make their way from Rozel, Liverpool, and Charlevoix Streets across Victoria Bridge for a day in the country.
My parents bought the house for $2800.00 ($200.00 down, I have the original receipt) on the 24th of Feb. 1941 and the property had the main house, a corrugated steel garage and a small cottage which was rented to a single woman for a couple of years, until the water and sewer services came in and my dad decided to tear it down and use the wood to build a chicken coop. The records show that the property was 60 feet wide by 173 feet deep. Believe it or not they paid off the mortgage in nine years, and we had the mortgage-burning party on March 16th 1950. I have the original receipt for that as well. In light of relative terms that was a hell of an achievement even by today’s standards and in hindsight I guess it was partly due to the fact that my Mom and Dad had a number of alternate revenue centers as follows: renting the cottage, our own chickens and eggs, a big garden which provided fruit and veggies which were canned or bottled or stored in the cellar , foster children which my mother took in occasionally for short terms but we did have one little girl who stayed for 4-1/2 years, and German Roller canaries and tropical fish which they bred and sold. When the house was evaluated in 1952 for the purpose of settling the estate after my dad died, the house was deemed to be worth $7000 more the double it’s value of ten years earlier. Unfortunately as a result of a number of moves after my Dad passed away many photos were lost so I do not have a full shot of the house as it was. I have however attached a photo that shows the front porch as it was when I was a child and John Riley’s recent photo shows the entrance has been changed from the front to the side of the porch. Aside from the back porch being converted to a family room and the garage in John’s pic being a 1960’s add-on the basic external appearance is much now as it was 60 years ago. Before the new garage was added there used to be a covered in set of stairs leading to the cellar—it was too roughly finished to be called a basement. Our original garage can be seen in the background of the photo of Jim and I with my Grandmother. Just to the left of the current garage there was a full grown transparent apple tree when we were kids. If you look closely at the roof in John’s picture you can see the narrow ledge that Jim navigated to get out of the house as mentioned in my earlier anecdote. Based on my last tour of the town last summer there are still many houses that I remember from my childhood and hopefully my story will prompt other of your subscribers to research their family homesteads.
Thanks John for sharing your family story