Lightning strikes Ottawa House, damages chimney

Damaged chimney at Ottawa House, click to enlarge

Damaged chimney at Ottawa House

Lightning struck the Ottawa House today, damaging the east chimney and blowing small holes in the roof at the front of the building. No one was hurt.

Tour guide Linda Littlejohn was in the parlour talking about the history of the 240-year-old structure to a couple of visitors she thinks were from Germany when the lightning hit.

“I jumped right clear,” she says. “I don’t know what I said after that.”

Manager Susan Clarke was in the kitchen preparing food for tonight’s dinner theatre performance when she heard a loud bang that echoed through the House.

“I thought for sure I was hit,” she says.

Bricks

Bricks lying behind Ottawa House

Fire Chief Randy Mosher and Kerwin Davison, who happened to be in the museum talking to artist Tom Forrestall, checked damaged electrical wiring to make sure there was no danger of fire.

Summer student Caleb Goguen cleared away bricks that had fallen onto the front driveway so that no one would drive over them. Other bricks were lying on the ground behind the building.

roof

Holes in Ottawa House roof

Show must go on

Tonight’s sold-out performance of the play, Parrsboro’s Parrsborough, by Bernice Byers is going ahead as planned in spite of this afternoon’s excitement.
The play, which stars Bruce Graham as the young pacifist James Hatfield, Kip Yorke as the sententious Rev. Spout and Jill McTiernan as the reverend’s daughter Sally, is set in Parrsboro as the First World War breaks out. David Atkinson, Johnson Repetto and Chuck McCready are also in the cast.

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