View the homestead of former soldier and historian

By Sarah Ferguson, Fort Erie Times

Submitted Photo/Special to the Fort Erie Times 
The childhood home of Brigadier-General Ernest Alexander Cruikshank.

Submitted Photo/Special to the Fort Erie Times The childhood home of Brigadier-General Ernest Alexander Cruikshank.

The community is invited to explore the childhood home of Brigadier-General Ernest Alexander Cruikshank, a First World War soldier who was born in Bertie Township and died in 1939.

The home, which was built in 1853, currently belongs to the Moore family, and all of the items inside will be sold through an online auction, Toronto-based Silent Bidders Online Auction Solutions. The auction, which is already underway, continues until Thursday Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.

Monique Van Beilen, owner of the online auction that serves the Greater Ontario Area and Niagara, said there will be a preview for potential buyers on Sunday from noon until 3:30 p.m. to view a variety of historical artefacts and antiques. “It will be open to all of the dealers, everybody,” Van Beilen explained.

Although some artefacts were from the original homestead, the Moores were also antique collectors.

Van Beilen said the “unique auction” is an “important piece of Canadian history.”

While serving as a soldier, Cruikshank wrote a number of books on the history of Ontario including its military history, and in 1908 he was seconded to the Public Archives of Canada as keeper of military documents. It is known that his writings of the famous book The War of 1812 are some of the most accurate and authentic writings on the historic war that shaped Canada as a nation.

According to her research, Van Beilen said the homestead was also used for a period of time as a court house and the library where his portrait still hangs today is where magistrate’s court was held.

His wife, Julia Cruikshank, also wrote a book, chronicling her life and love of this house and the area.

This is only the first part of this remarkable historical home, Van Beilen said.

The Moore family kept all the original artefacts attached to the house, “lovingly restored it and added their own flare.”

Van Beilen said many of the furnishings in the home were part of the antique collection of Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, Bainbridge Colby, and “many other pieces of interest” including furniture that belonged to Louis XV, as well as pioneer artefacts from the current owner’s own ancestors from the 17th, 18th and 19th century.

“Our team spent a couple of days in the house preparing this fascinating auction and we found it charming and inviting, plus we have some new friends from the past,” Van Beilen said.

For more information visit http://silentbidders.hibid. 

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