The Stone House

This is probably on my list of top 3 favorite things about our Museum. It is not located downtown, or in some fancy new building. It is actually in an estate of sorts!

Built by a master stone mason named Rudolph Schultz, construction was started in 1952, but ended 15 years later in 1967 due to his death. Mr. Schultz completed his masonry apprenticeship in Russia & Germany, then came to Canada after WWII.

He never married, and has no known children.

Rudolph Schultz in front of where the gift shop is now

Rudolph Schultz in front of where the gift shop is now

Mr. Schultz was in high demand for building fireplaces and stone walls in the valley, as the workmanship was not only a rare style out here but of quality as well. He also possessed the skill of ‘dressing’ stone.

nope.

nope.

It meant that he could create a nice flat, fairly uniform surface on the stone… like making it into a block; instead of a prehistoric petrified blob. But the beauty of his skill was he could make the blob shapes work into a mosaic form instead of relying on uniform shape (like bricks); thus the mastery.

collage 4

Some examples from an outside wall

 

The picture below shows the main house in 1967, as it was originally. Subsequent renovations by other owners have added a second story, but if Mr. Schultz had of been able to continue building, it might of looked more like a CASTLE!

–>I’m not being dramatic. <–

Check it out. Look at the flat roof style in the top picture. It is not very practical around here; wintertime brings heavy snowfall, (especially prior to the end of the 90’s), and with lots of snow, comes lots of water.

collage 1

Also, the walls are approximately 12″ of stone!! A foot thick! They are ginormous! Which leads to the question…Why would you put so much extra work into beefing up your walls if it was only single level?

The stone was enclosed by the renovating owners before us. They had a thing for panel board too.

The stone was enclosed by the renovating owners before us. They had a thing for panel board too.

That brings us to the roof….

6-8″ solid concrete. Reinforced. With RAILROAD TRACK. [cuz why would you use anything BUT railroad track?]

He was a thrifty kind of guy. That’s why. What’s that called now? Up-scaling? Recycling? Re-purposing?

Anyways. Back on track.

With this kind of hulking base, we believe due to his European training/heritage [and his…slight…eccentricity] that he had intended to build his house much like the churches or estates that he was so familiar with in Germany. I guess he took the figure of speech ‘a mans home is his castle’ quite literally :/

Now, besides the fact that he decided to build himself a castle; there are so many other funky little tid-bits in this house…it’s AWESOME!!

Take the dining room floor for example.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis little decorative circle of bricks was apparently at one time a working fountain. {no, you don’t have to go back and read, it is IN the dining room…}.There was a small underground spring running below the house; so theoretically, this could of worked. Still a little weird.

But there is a Reason. Since Mr. Schultz had his bachelor pad out in the shop, and really wasn’t the kind of guy to bring random strangers into his living space, it was actually his showroom! So not quite so weird anymore.

The fireplace and the Argillite wall are definite highlights in the dining room.

My apologies for the poor phone quality pic, the fireplace is on my spring photo hitlist

My apologies for the poor phone quality pic, the fireplace is on my spring photo hitlist

Argillite: 1.5 Billion years old from Moyie Lake. The wall is glazed to highlight a stunning green colour. (another hit list item)

Argillite: 1.5 Billion years old from Moyie Lake.
The wall is glazed to highlight a stunning green colour. (another hit list item)

The room was at one time divided by a wall *the beam where the green arrow is pointing is about where it would of been*. That other little left hand used-to-be side room? Now that one has a story.

collage 3

a couple different perspectives

So…there is this tradition that the keeper of the castle lay with his home for eternity. This is usually accomplished by a crypt somewhere in the home. {apparently -taken with a bag full of salt- somewhere waaaaay down my family tree there is a castle in the UK, and it’s crypt occupier is a long past owners favorite horse. not exactly…traditional.}

Mr. Schultz (being quite staunch in tradition), felt that he needed a crypt in his castle. So that’s what he did. This didn’t go over too well with the town, as that isn’t so much observed in Canada; so, a little bit of a temper storm later, it got covered up. That is the brick rectangle. (I love watching tourists faces when I reveal what it is. My sense of humor might be just a bit off.) He now rests in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Another ‘goody’ is his trademark: something above an archway. You will see it on almost all the fireplaces (exception being the dining room one) and doors/windows here. These are some of the figurines, but it was usually just a symmetrical pattern or a pretty stone.

Figurines & Symmetry above archways were Mr. Schultz's trademarks

Figurines & Symmetry above archways were Mr. Schultz’s trademarks

Did I forget to mention there are headstones in the walls?

It is believed the one on the right (and a few others scattered) were...re purposed...when the cemetary began laying the headstones flat in the ground, taking them off these 'stands'

It is believed the one on the top right (and a few others scattered through the building) were…re purposed…when the cemetery began laying the headstones flat in the ground, taking them off these ‘stands’

There is another building off to the right now called Founders Hall. It had been an open shed during Mr. Schultz’s ownership, containing a small bachelor pad in the back for him to live in during construction of the house.

Built directly into the side of a hill, it somewhat resembles a bunker in that respect. uuuuuunfortunately, being built on to the side of a hill comes with an inherent pain-in-the-butt. Over time, the weather took it’s toll, and a touch of a reno had to be done. {and let me tell you, these guys -volunteers- did an astoundingly incredible job}

As much as possible was saved, but some things had to be taken apart and re-built with the original material, such as the sink in the bachelor pad.

here it is during demo…

All torn apart

All torn apart. and yes. that is a car window you see in the bottom right.

you can see very well in this one how he built 'on' to the side of the hill

you can see very well in this one how he built ‘on’ to the side of the hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and here is a little closer to what it looks like now from the outside (minus the mongo cedar trees and woolly jungle plants.) I will be going on a hard-core photo expedition this spring/summer to get some updated pics of everything.

 

ahhh...much better...

ahhh…much better…

Pictures are cool, but if you are ever in Creston BC, you should seriously come check this place out for yourself, pictures just don’t do it justice. Plus, a building of stone has it’s perks in the summer!!

 

Thanks for reading!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s