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Little Hidden Treasures

Seeing as it’s the season of giving, I though I would share a few of the little gifts the house has given to use so far.

I have been away from the house for a week now, Mikka and I made the 8.5 hour drive back to North Vancouver to spend some time with Kristie. Living apart for 6 months is tough so it’s good to spend the holidays with my little family all together. I miss this.

Coming back gave me a good opportunity to share more of the progress photos and treasures with Kristie.


First, and perhaps the most significant find so far is this ceiling sheathing board I found when I removed paneling from one of the bedrooms.  Signed by the man himself, Ernest Harrop. This board was deep enough in the building to be authentically dated from the early 1900’s.  Ernest Harrop moved into this house in 1907 to open the first Post Office and General Store.  The the postal outlet was named Harrop after him, and eventually it became the name of the town, which makes this signature a unique piece of local history. Sweet.

Here’s a timelapse of peeling the paneling from the ceiling that revealed the board signed by Ernest Harrop.


Obviously a remnant of the days when this was the General Store, above the ceiling boards I found this cool, and absolutely pristine Orange Crush tin advertising sign. It’s in such good shape that I have left it there for now until I can figure out how to remove the nails punched through to hold it in place without damaging the sign.  I’m open to suggestions! We will find a great spot in the finished house to display this treasure.


The last little Christmas present provided by the house was a selection of great old square nails.  The house contains mostly round nails, but I have found a handful of older square ones.  The era of the house might suggest that these are ‘cut’ nails made by machine by cutting them from a sheet of metal, but some of them seem to have equal dimension all around the shank which would suggest that they are hand forged by a blacksmith.  I will have to do a bit more research to find out how they were made. Either way, our plan is to find a cool old glass jar to fill with nails pulled from the house and use as historical decoration in the finished home.

We love the the historic gifts the house had passed on to us, and we will preserve and treasure them so they can be shared with anyone who visits us at Harrop House.

We hope you and your loved ones have a great Holiday season this year!



  1. Gil Elliot Gil Elliot

    Really nice, love the crush sign. Too bad there wasn’t another sign with the lemon or lime crush colours. What is that wiring just to the right of the Crush sign? Merry Christmas. Enjoy.

  2. Dad Dad

    drill the head off the nail with a big enough drill so the head drops off. Start with a smaller bit 1/4″ in. Watch the bigger bitt doesn’t grab and throw you off the Ladder. do it in ever increasing Bitt stages When it is off the first nail tie that end up as not to drop it on the floor whole you free the other end

  3. dorothee dorothee

    Im loving your blog.
    My husband was a builder for 30 years in TX and he always signed a stud and added the date and weather conditions. I think it’s so cool to have a link with the past & hope 100 years from now someone will be excited when they find it!

  4. Ernest Harrop Ernest Harrop

    Hello Andrew, Kristie, and Mikka,
    I’ve been following your story with great interest, and I commend you on your endurance, tenacity, and inventiveness. Few could manage this renovation with such care and devotion to history. I sincerely hope you’ll be able to get out of your trailer and move into the house soon, especially as winter approaches.
    My name is Ernest Harrop, my father was Herbert Harrop, my grandfather was Ernest Harrop (though unfortunately I never met him as he died before I was born), and my great grandfather was William Harrop of Newton Heath near Manchester England. I never lived in the Harrop House, and always knew it as the Elmes’ house because we would sometimes visit my Aunt Winnie and Uncle Walter Elmes there. I often spent summers and weekends at dad’s farm in Harrop, but lived in Nelson.
    I would love to visit you sometime, perhaps in the spring. Glad to hear Jennifer brought you eggs, and I hope you’ll display the signed ceiling board somewhere in the house. Best wishes, and keep warm.

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