A fascinating view into Strathroy’s past
In the midst of working on the ABQ Sewing Studio renovations something rather surprising happened. My landlord, Hans, owns the McCabe building, also known as the Lochfine Building, on Frank Street in Strathroy, Ontario behind where the studio is located.
The building has been sold and he’s been cleaning out his son’s apartment. Because of that, he’s been looking for a home for some of the furnishings in the building. We were looking over a few things on the third floor when I asked him where a certain door led. “To the Dance Hall,” he said. That sounded kind of intriguing and I asked him if I could see it.
It was like stepping into a ruin of the past. Hand-painted and stenciled walls with plaster Fleur-de-lis, three large arches, and the most amazing hand-painted paper greeted me. The colors were still vibrant, the sun shone through the hand poured glass windows flooding the room with light.
A reno gone horribly wrong sometime before 1966 resulted in the roof sagging and water penetrating the building. Lesson learned: never saw out the second-floor support posts without re-supporting the building. Hydraulics brought the roof back up to its old position when Hans repaired the building, but the damage had been done.
With Hans’ permission, I have contacted the local Historical Society who in turn called the Museum staff. All have now photo documented the building for posterity. Another missing piece of the history of our town is now known.