For seven years it sat on cinder block at the side of Leslie, south of Wellington. It was placed there at the expense of developers, who agreed they would move it once more to a location of the town's choosing when the town got around to choosing..
The town never did.
$100K has been included annually in the town's budget,to be raised from tax levies to restore the building if a use could be found and a place could be identified.
It never was..
A donation of $8K was made by an anonymous donor who never volunteered to accept the building
or suggest a use or a location.
For all that time, the building was home to generations of wildlife who lived, bred, defecated and died and filled the building with gross and unimaginable filth..
The roof was torn off . The building was open to wind and rain and snow and birds that fly and creatures that creep and mould bearing spores that clothed the floors, walls and ceiling.
Log planks rotted steadily to the point the structure can no longer be moved in one piece. Neither can it be restored to authenticity because of foreign material needed to replace that which is no more..
A professional report provided free. indicated the building could no longer be moved in one piece. The unimaginable filth on interior walls, ceilings and floors would have to be scraped bare to determine the full extent of deterioration.
The advice was not accepted by the majority of Councillors. It was free.
An engineering consultant was retained at a fee of several thousand dollars to describe how the building might be moved and restored and at what cost.
Reduced from authenticity, to the size of a three-hole privy the engineer consultant reported an estimate of almost half a million dollars.And that it could not be moved in one piece.
Still the decision was left hanging..
The sad, forlorn, steadily deteriorating shack continued to sit, alone and unloved at the side of the road.
Stories were told the developer was committed to restoring the building when a location had been found.
A meeting established that to be a myth. The developer committed to a one shot additional payment of $50K and no more.
Yet another call went out for expressions of interest. A fellow from Keswick ,at the invitation of the Councllor who insisted on the engineering consultant's report,appeared at Council and declared for $120K he would restore the building.
More calls went out for expressions of interest.
Then we had an election.
Finally on Tuesday, on the Council Agenda along with a list of expressions of interest , was a long awaited recommendation the building should not be restored.
The decision would mean the 2011 budget with the big booby forecast increase could be reduced by $100K .
However, a delegation from Richmond Hill presented as "Friends of the Petch House" .The old clap-board , rotting . moldering, carpenter ant infested , defecation and carcase filled building was once again described as a fantasy inspired "one-of-a-kind log house" and a fervent appeal was made for three months deferral of the decision to allow "A Walk for History" to be held to raise money to "save" the precious artifact.
The fellow from Keswick who would restore it for $120K, was in attendance with the delegation.
A motion was passed at Council to defer the decision for three more months.