When Doiron House in Dieppe opens its doors to the public on Oct 3, people will find themselves transported back to 1841.
That's the year the home was built by Joseph Doiron, a writer, justice of the peace and prosperous Acadian farmer. The house also served as one of the area's first Acadian schools and a place for community meetings.
Pauline Cormier, manager of leisure services for Dieppe, said the city bought the large wooden home in 2015 after talking to one of the descendants of Doiron.
The home had remained in the family through the centuries, but there was interest from a developer who wanted to tear it down to make room for an apartment building.
The City completed a feasibility study and the decision was made to restore the house.
'It's like a piece of gold that we found'
Cormier said painstaking steps were taken to remove the modern amenities and preserve as much of the history of the house as possible.
"We kept everything that we could keep. The walls are all original, the flooring, the architecture, the woodwork around the doors and everything," she said.
"So everything is really up to what it was before back in the 1800's, that's what we wanted."
Along the way came a few surprises, including the discovery of the original masonry hearth. It's the only known Acadian house that still has one.
WATCH | Dieppe house brought back to the way it was in the 1840s
"It's like a piece of gold that we found," said Cormier.
It then took months of research, interviews and preparation to determine what kind of experience they would offer to visitors.
Artistic director André Roy says he wanted to steer clear of a traditional museum with ropes around old furniture, and instead come up with an interactive experience.
Visitors to Doiron House will have tablets, and a young Acadian girl named Marie will be their guide.
Marie is preparing for a big test and Roy explained she will guide visitors through the ten rooms of the home.
"She's looking for her rosary so we're asking the public here with the tablet to find the rosary and it's actually somewhere in the house," he said.
"We have hidden it somewhere and the people, after their tour, we'll ask them, 'Did you find the rosary?'"
Roy says a lot of technology has been used, including a map that overlays Dieppe in 1841 and Dieppe in 2020.
Roy thinks the mix of old and new will help visitors appreciate what Doiron's life was like.
"People, when they step in, will see how he lived back then so it's a nice touch."
First event a Doiron family wedding
Pauline Cormier says the city has also purchased a piece of land next to the house, which will connect it to a nearby trail. There are plans to rent out the meeting room, and to open a cafe in the basement, which was home to the one room schoolhouse.
The barn, which is attached to the house, will be available for events such as dinner theatre performances or weddings.
Cormier says the barn will be used for the wedding of the last owner of the house, Jean-Guy Léger, who is a descendent of Joseph Doiron. Léger and his girlfriend of 30 years are getting married in October.
"They just realized they're getting married the same day as their parents 75 years after," Cormier said.
"He's even getting married with his father's ring so I find that very unique and very cute of them," she said.
Heritage Canada and the Province of New Brunswick helped to finance the $2 million project.
The facility will be open year round. Visits will take place on Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 5 p.m. with a maximum of six people per one hour tour. Reservations must be made in advance.
Cormier says after putting her heart and soul into the project, she can't wait until it's unveiled to the public.
"We can't believe that we're here and five years after they're going to be reopening the house." she said.