When Tignish resident Evelyn Bernard decided to have her downstairs bathroom renovated she had no idea the project would lead to an unexpected discovery of some family history.

Work on the bathroom began July 15, with all the walls being stripped down to the beams. There, hidden behind the gyprock on the north facing wall, were three large pencil drawings.

Ms Bernard was excited by the discovery as the drawings appear to have been done by her grandfather, her great-grandfather and her great uncle.

“It’s history. It’s old,” she said. “It doesn’t look like much, but it was a lot to me.”

The house is over 200 years old, but the downstairs bathroom was installed about 30 years ago by Ms Bernard’s father. The wall with the drawings already existed when he built the bathroom.

One drawing documents the completion of the wall, including a depiction of her great uncle wearing an old fashioned hat and clothes surrounded by old fashioned tools. Another drawing shows Ms Bernard’s grandfather on a sleigh ride while another is an illustration the day her grandparents got married.

Dates with the descriptions indicate the work on the wall was completed on Jan. 24, 1930. The drawing of the wedding says her grandparents were married two days before the wall was completed and the newlyweds moved into the home.

The drawings have survived the passage of time relatively well, despite being covered for 89 years.

“It’s just the history,” said Ms Bernard. “It’s all exciting.”

Ms Bernard isn’t sure which of the three men did the drawings, but feels have grandfather is responsible for at least two of them.

She never met her grandfather, who passed away two years before she was born. But at the very least, thanks to the descriptions included with the drawings, Ms Bernard now has proof of how her grandfather, Boniface Bernard, spelled his first name.

“A lot of people didn’t want to believe that was his name because when they hear that name it’s like ‘Where did you get that’ and I said ‘That’s my grandfather’,” explained Ms Bernard.

Ms Bernard hates the idea of covering the drawings back up, but she has to finish the bathroom.

“We’re thinking of putting a little piece of our own,” she concluded. “It’s nice to know it’s there. I hate to cover it. I wish I could keep it.”

(1) comment

Felicia D. Grimm

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