Items for sale from rustic N.B. farmhouse damaged in 2018 flood

·2 min read

Fixtures from an old farmhouse in rural New Brunswick are up for grabs this weekend before the house is torn down later in the fall.

The house, about 150 years old, is in Fredericton Junction, about 30 minutes outside of the capital city. It was severely damaged during the historic flood of 2018.

Zach Vanthournout and his partner, Emily Evans, purchased the property in 2016 to start a farming business.

When they bought the house, the spring freshet had previously reached about 45 metres away from the home in 2008.

But when the water crept in fast in 2018, they weren't surprised.

"You can do one of two things, right?" Vanthournout said. "You can jump up and down and scream, or you can deal with it."

Gary Moore/CBC
Gary Moore/CBC

The couple had to canoe to get out of the house during the flood. They managed to get their farm animals to safety with the help of New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization.

The family continued to live in the home during the flood, as the water was only in the basement.

When the water receded, they discovered some structural damage.

"As we walked in [to the basement], here was this five-foot crack in the foundation," Vanthournout said.

The crack was four times larger when engineers assessed the house a couple months later, according to Vanthournout.

Gary Moore/CBC
Gary Moore/CBC

Officials deemed the foundation compromised, and said it had to be replaced, along with the electrical wiring.

That's when the couple was faced with a choice. They could repair the old home or build a new one.

Hesitant to lift a 150-year-old home, and staying committed to the new farming business, they decided to build a new house on the property with the money that was offered by the province for the flood damage.

Their new home is built higher off the ground to help prevent future flood damage.

"We did all the things that you would want to do," Vanthournout said.

Gary Moore/CBC
Gary Moore/CBC

Now the old farmhouse has to be torn down.

But before that, the public had a chance to go through and purchase anything that was attached to the house.

Doors, mouldings and windows — anything that could be removed — were for sale.

Vanthournout said people were quick to jump at the chance.

"They're looking for that moulding that they want to put in this room that they've kind of set up or, you know, we actually sold the old kitchen sink."

Vanthournout doesn't know if everything in the house is original. Some things he figures have been replaced over the years. But he said anything that was replaced had a similar old, rustic design.

He said the offer is only for this weekend, and the property will be torn down in a couple of weeks.