Comments by Laura Edge at the Hudgin Log House Open House on September 19, 2020
I will start today with a land acknowledgement of those who came long before the Hudgin family.
In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, the South Shore Joint Initiative and the Moses-Hudgin Log House Restoration Committee acknowledge that we are gathered today on the customary and traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee people of this territory.
My name is Laura Edge (maiden name Hudgin). I have the honour and privilege to stand here today and represent the many generations of Hudgins who have lived in this house and visited this house, and the younger generation of us who have always wondered what’s inside this house!
When reading a land acknowledgment it always has me reflecting on the history and struggles of indigenous people when it comes to land ownership, rights to ancestral lands, to have a say in how their own land is to be used, a piece of me has felt empathy when I recognized my own emotions that are tied to this land that we stand on today, and the decisions that are to be made with my ancestral roots therefore I’m happy to be able to be a part of the efforts that are being made by the South Shore Joint Initiative and the NCC to preserve not only the environment here, but the log home that my ancestor built and raised his family in.
I, like many of my cousins here today (1st, 2nd, 3rd.. Many times removed..) would make a yearly visit to this log house (we might have picnicked, just walked around the house, and some may or may not have camped). Even though it hasn’t been in the family since 1967, we’ve all still been drawn here. We’ve always seen it as such a strong symbol of our family ancestry. I recall building a replica for my grade 4 pioneer unit, and even during my Master's degree I wrote about how this place sparked my interest in becoming a history teacher.
Speaking of history, let me give you a little bit of history on this house:
This log home was built by my great-great-great grandfather Moses Hudgin, who was the son of William Hudgin Jr, who was a United Empire loyalist, Moses built this log home around 1865. Him and his wife Ann Mouck had 10 children, 9 living to adulthood. Moses farmed and fished here and eventually the log home was passed down to his son Philip who lived here with with his wife Waity (Bongard), and they raised their 4 kids here, passing the house down to their son, Egbert, who with his wife Jenny (McConnell), had 3 kids, including my grandfather Vernon, Willard and Mariam. Their children would spend their summers here, playing with their cousins, running through the fields and to the beach. My dad always seems to have fond memories to share of his time here.
Vernon eventually sold the house in 1967. Unfortunately, over the last 50 year the house was neglected and the extension that was built near the turn of the century, fell to ruins.
We were happy to learn that the land was to be conserved by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the log home to be restored by the South Shore Joint Initiative to try and preserve the history of this log home while also making it a functional meeting space.
If you get a chance to look at some of the photos on the photo board you can get a better picture of what this would have looked like back in the day. Imagine all field and farm land around us, Moses would have been farming rye, buckwheat, corn, potatoes and turnips. There would have been a big barn out back, a cold cellar behind the addition, the drive shed still over in the corner, and kids, lots of kids running around!
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