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Charlottetown man abandons hopes of renovating city’s oldest log home and sells it

Ray Campbell had originally intended to fix up this old log home at 15 Hillsborough St. in Charlottetown but has ended up selling it due to the cost of renovation and running into problems with the city.
Ray Campbell had originally intended to fix up this old log home at 15 Hillsborough St. in Charlottetown but has ended up selling it due to the cost of renovation and running into problems with the city. - Dave Stewart

A Charlottetown man is in the process of selling the city’s oldest log home.

Ray Campbell originally wanted to renovate the tiny heritage home at 15 Hillsborough St. and turn it into a café but said he’s had to “jump through hoops’’ with City Hall.

The venture became a costly one after he ripped the siding off the walls, exposing the old logs. Part of it had started to rot. The city wanted him to put siding back on, in the form of shingles, so Campbell turned to his lawyer in an attempt to demolish the structure and re-erect it at his home in York.

“After the last interview you did with me I went home and I had a letter taped to my door from city council where they said . . . if I touched the old place they would prosecute me,’’ Campbell told The Guardian. “Guess they figure shingles is good enough for this place.’’

Related: Charlottetown's oldest log cabin could soon be a really small cafe

Campbell said he was also told that if he didn’t re-shingle the house, the city would do it for him and charge him for the work.

Campbell said his real estate agent has had a serious offer on the log home but he may have to accept less than the $150,000 he was hoping for the property.

 “The sale isn’t complete yet. I don’t know (the new buyers) and never even asked who they were but one of them wants to open a little business here and it’s an ideal location. At this stage of my life, I had to buy a new engine for my boat this year so I’ve got enough irons in the fire at (age) 64, so it’s time to let it go.’’

Related: Charlottetown man who owns city's oldest log home gives up on cafe plan

Campbell said the city claims the home was built in the 1850s but he firmly believes it dates back into the 1700s.

“Why would they build a log house in Charlottetown 60 years after they were building studded houses? It just doesn’t make sense.’’

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the city’s planning committee, said they were getting conflicting messages from Campbell.

“We were very willing to work with him but I think what we were financially capable of doing and what was asked were too far apart,’’ Rivard said. “We worked with the applicant during the process but we were repeatedly told the job was expensive, which is understandable.’’

Rivard said the city never wants to see a valuable heritage resource torn down.

“We are grateful someone has stepped up, purchased this heritage home, took on this sensitive project and we look forward to seeing the restoration.’’

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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