This is the old Tank House, the one that used to stand, minding its own business, in between the Hunt Boyer House and the Varsity Theatre downtown on 2nd Street, until one day when Mishka’s Cafe decided to move from one block away (didn’t like the neighbourhood) into a new purpose built building, right where the Tank House was taking up valuable commercial space. It was moved last year, to the other side of the Hunt-Boyer, cutting down an old ornage tree in the process (and I drew it too – see below). It was never a good location, and made that whole corner look clunky, but this was a beloved old historical piece of Davis. Then, recently, it just disappeared. I presumed it was gone. So you can imagine my surprise when I came across it on our annual visit to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, at Impossible Acres Farm on the edge of the city.
Even more surprising was that it was cut in two. Accoridng to a little informational leaflet provided by the farm, this was due to the difficulty in moving it over the trees. I can’t blame them, it’s not exactly something you can stick on the roof of the car is it. The Tank House, along with the Mansion, was built in about 1871 by the first postmaster of Davisville, William Dresbach. The leaflet also tells us that “this is a fancy, urban tank house, not a common farm one,” (before adding, “Ritzy!”) and they plan to restore it to old glories, use it as a tank house again, and preserve it as a piece of working Davis history, even planting the odd orange tree around it. I look forward to it, and will go out and draw it once it’s done.
Below is the drawing I did of the Tank House last year, in its temporary spot. I never got around to drawing it in the old location (which wasn’t in fact the original spot, having been moved there in the 1970s from its original spot slightly further from the Mansion).