Every property has its challenges, but real estate agent Mary-Catherine Kaija admits this one is a little different.
Kaija is one of the agents trying to sell a 19th century pioneer village located northeast of Montreal.
It’s 55 hectares in size and has been listed for $2.8 million.
“Canadiana Village” was the creation of Earl and Nora Moore, a couple who wanted to teach people about life in the 1800s. The site brought in more than 30,000 visitors per year during its heyday.
“He wanted to educate people and make them kind of have the feeling of living through that era,” Kaija said of Earl.
The Moores started collecting antiques back in the 1940s. Eventually, they moved on to whole buildings.
Almost all of the approximately 40 structures on the land are real, and have been transplanted to the site.
“The old school house was built in 1836,” says Jeremi Sirois, another agent for the listing. “It actually has the living quarters of the teacher on the second floor, and a beautiful wood stove in the middle of the class.”
There is also a saloon, a post office, a blacksmith and a general store.
The covered bridge originally straddled a river in Coaticook, Que., nearly 200 kilometres away.
The Moores kept the site open to the public free of charge for a couple of decades.
“Earl never wanted to put a gate there and have people pay to come in,” says Beverly Prud’homme of the Rawdon Historical Society. “But he realized things were getting out of hand. Unfortunately, some people came and their pockets weren’t empty. Things disappeared.”
Canadiana Village opened in the 1970s, but it closed in 1996, after the Moores died.
Kaija says the property still generates revenue, as the current owners rent it out for film and TV productions. Among the actors who’ve worked on the site are Richard Gere, Burt Lancaster and Genevieve Bujold.
The listing can be seen here.