Construction crews in Breslau have dug up a little part of history.
Right in front of Roberta Schofield’s home on Woolwich Street, crews unearthed a very heavy, rectangular-shaped stone last week. It turned out to be a piece of the past: a carriage step.
The stone now sits on her front lawn. Schofield had seen the stone step before, when her and her family first moved into the house in the late 1960s, but it went missing almost 40 years ago. She never thought she would see it again.
“When we moved out here in 1965, the stone was right down at the street. You can see how the grass on the front lawn (of the house) is worn out into a straight line down to the road, it was right at the edge of the boulevard. It was there and the people that lived here before us said it was a carriage stone. In the time when everyone used horse and buggies, they would be quite high off the ground. They would step on to the stone and then step up or down from the carriage,” she said.
Then, construction started on Woolwich Street, just south of the bridge from Victoria Street, and the stone was lost.
“Then about 37 or 38 years ago, they redid the road out there. The road used to curve across the street more, and they brought it closer to our house. Our property line is actually about in the middle of the road if you look at the old property line,” she said. “The stone disappeared and my husband and I were quite disappointed. We didn’t realize that they were going to be digging that far and taking it away. We figured it had gone with the construction to the dump or wherever.”
Schofield hadn’t thought about the stone in years, assuming that it had been lost to time, but then her son had a memory come back to him while current construction crews were digging up the road in front of her Woolwich Street property.
“My son, he lives just over in the subdivision, was talking to the superintendent of the construction and they were digging in the same spot,” she said. “He told them there used to be a carriage stone down there. He said he didn’t remember it that well, because he wasn’t even in school yet when it was here. He told the superintendent that we were upset because it got taken away.”
A few days later, she had a knock on her front door.
“The construction superintendent came to my door and he says, ‘I think we found your carriage stone.’ They dug up right in front here, and they found it under there. The last construction crew must have just buried it. They didn’t take it away,” she said with a laugh, adding that the stone will be staying on her property for good, now. “My son brought it up to the house, and I am not sure where we are going to put it. We are going to keep it, and I think it needs to be turned upside down. It has been chipped probably from the digging and so on. But, we haven’t been able to turn it over. It is very heavy. They had to add a lift to a tractor to bring it up to the house.”
Schofield’s husband Dale passed away in 2013, but she remembers him loving the carriage stepping stone, and the disappointment that came with losing it.
“I know my husband was quite upset about losing it. He always liked it down there. He was the one that was cutting the grass, and he was the one that had to trim around it,” she said.