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Bev Wigney, a native of eastern Ontario, is doing some checking into Healy’s life and work there. She is the owner of a house that had been built by T.P.’s brother, John H. Healy. She reports:
“Now that I am back in Round Hill, I went through some of my papers and found this survey page on a house that lists Theron Healy as owner from 1867 to 1870. Interesting is that the previous property owner was John H. Healy, who was the owner-builder of my old place here at Round Hill. I will post a link to the reverse side of this page which lists the history of ownership. Unfortunately, this house has been radically altered and I would not have recognized it but for my neighbour next door knowing the house as soon as he saw the photo and I asked him about the last owner.”
|The document with image of Healy’s first family home, dated 1996. The original house was undoubtedly a simple Greek Revival design.|
|The reverse side of the document above. It shows that Healy’s brother John (“Carpenter” of the family business, Round Hill Woodworks) built the house in 1863. Theron (“Trader/Farmer”) acquired it the year after he was married, 1867.|
Theron and Mary Anne were married in 1866. He was 22; she 19. Their first two children, Lena (1867) and Alice Edna (architect John Cuningham’s grandmother, 1868) were born in Round Hill. By 1870 they apparently had moved to Annapolis, NS, where their first son, Charles, was born.
John Cuningham on a recent trip to Nova Scotia discovered that T. P. Healy owned ships moving hardware up and down the New England/Maritime Canadian Coast. Did his hardware business grow out of the Round Hill Woodworks?
Theron Potter Healy was born in Round Hill, Nova Scotia, Canada, on May 14th, 1844. In 1866 he married Mary Anne Jefferson, also of Round Hill. From what we can piece together, Healy started his career as a shipbuilder. He moved to Halifax, where he continued in the shipbuilding trade. However, disaster struck in 1883, when one of the vessels he owned was lost in a storm. Because of this loss, and probably also because wooden ships were at the end of their commercial use, Healy picked up his growing family and moved to Minneapolis. Three years later his first house went up at 3137 Second Avenue South.
|Theron and Mary Ann with their children. l-r back row: Alice, Charles, Dora, Lena; middle row: Reginald, T.P.,Mary Anne, Erena; front row: Birdie, Chester, Bessie.|
(Thanks to the Halifax (NS) Public Library, info on the shipwreck that spurred T.P.’s move to the US–Vessel: Mary E. Banks, Type: Schooner (wood, 2 masts, 1 deck), Tonnage: 50.2, Length: 62.4′, Breadth: 17.6, Draft: 8′, Built at Barrington, NS, 1863, Date lost: August 30, 1883, Cause: Stranded during gale on shoals off L’Ardoise, Cape Breton, Value: vessel $1,500+ cargo $2,000, Owner: Theron Healy.)
Much research remains to be done on Healy’s work in Canada. Round Hill is a small community on the Annapolis River, off the Bay of Fundy on Nova Scotia’s west coast. Here are images from Round Hill currently on the Web:
|This vernacular Gothic Revival house in rural Round Hill is listed for sale at $198,.000. No building date is given, but its style suggests it was built mid-19th century. Shown at right is its barn with the gambrel roof Healy used so frequently in his later designs.|
|The Annapolis Valley from Round Hill in autumn.|