Family dusts off relic for Esquimalt centennial year

Esquimalt home model on display through mid-September

Lorne Argyle shows off a family heirloom

Third-generation Esquimalt resident Lorne Argyle has uncovered a miniature piece of the township’s history.

For the past 35 years, the last of six complete miniature houses  sat untouched in the workshop of his uncle, Gordon Hodgson.

“Uncle Gordie was always dragging us down there, showing us his latest project,” Argyle said.

Hodgson, now deceased, and his wife, Kay, began creating miniature houses in the 1970s modelled on family and fictional homes. Four of those houses are permanently on display at Miniature World, while the fifth is in Kay’s hometown at the Metchosin Museum.

Argyle and his aunt decided to commemorate the township’s centennial by dusting off the sixth relic and displaying it at the Esquimalt Regional Library until Sept. 15.

Argyle estimates the model weighs at least 300 pounds.

“All Auntie Kay would say is, ‘it’s heavy. Your uncle made it strong, he made everything strong,’” he said.

Each intricate piece of furniture was whittled from old-growth cedar, while the house is made from a fir base.

The cedar-shingled, composite house is based on a house at 1219 Carlisle St. (formerly Albert Avenue) , built in 1906-07 by Samuel and Louise Hodgson, Gordon’s parents.

Mark the date

• The Esquimalt Centennial Celebration will be held Sept. 8 in Esquimalt Gorge Park.

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