- The Chesser Historic Farm and Estate

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Records dating back to the late 1780s, show that two brothers, settled in this area to log the forests.

The Chesser siblings likely camped in a tent or lean to before building the original, and likely, first structure in 1790. That log cabin now holds the evaporator for maple syrup production.

The Chesser family helped develop the town, now known as Plantagenet. The Chesser name is still on many structures and sites.

After some of the forests were cut down, an apple orchard was planted on the North East field. Hundreds of trees produced apples for local markets. Although well beyond a hundred years in age, some of these trees still bloom and produce apples today.

At some point after that, the converted garage, grainery, ice house, original barn and house were built. We don't have exact information on the years, but they are likely older than the newer main house or around the same time.

The main stone house was built in 1850. Originally, the front door faced the river. Over time, and with modern vehicles, the driveway approach became the front entry.The porch on the North side used to be the full width of the house.

Old Concession 3 is at the North end of the property. Till the mid twentieth century, it continued West across the river, passing through old Montreal Highway (Hwy 26). The flooding of the Ottawa river, for hydro electrical generation, affected it's tributaries. The river became far too deep and wide to continue driving across and the section of road changed to only serve the East and North river properties. Leter, the Eastern span was altered, adding a curve to make the intersection perpendicular to Old County Road 17.

The larger barn was built in 1949 for milk production. At roughly the same point, the first drilled water well was installed and the property finally got electricity, to run the well pump and to allow for some simple electrical lighting and industrialization for milk production.

The main house and some of the outbuildings slowly got electricity and running water. A lifestyle change was in the making for residents on the farm. They likely had a kitchen sink, refrigeration and lighting installed. The Ice house went unnused for food storage and was converted to an additional living space with a small kitchen and bathroom. Before electricity, the fireplace, oil lamps or candles were the only source of nightime light. It's possible that some early battery powered lighting was used.

The single family dwelling, became a duplex to house the families of the farm workers. Since that time, it's changed hands several times and around 1980 was returned to a single family dwelling.

In 2020, Alex Vaz Waddington purchased the dilapidated farm and began the process of restoring all structures. He had a vision and intended to keep the historical charm intact. Alex had previously owned a "stick" Victorian in California that became a landmark, after his restoration work. All the Chesser buildings were in salvageable condition, but almost all infrastructure needed to be replaced. The main house needed just about everything. The modern 2021 tile roof looks much like the original "tin" roof, that was made from flattened importated food cans from Europe. The dormers were not original, but were likely added 10-20 years after the house was first built.

In May of 2022, the region experienced a substantial weather event, known as a Derecho. This damaged every single structure on the property and took out the majority of the forest old growth trees. Since then, work has been ongoing to bring back historic and beautiful structures. Replanting of trees will continie till the summer of 2024.

©2023 The Chesser Historic Farm and Estate

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