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Oakley residence

Oakley residence

This modest cottage was built in 1930 by its first occupant, Thomas Daniel Gerrior. Mr. Gerrior’s immediate family aided in the construction process and, subsequently, all 9 family members inhabited the small two bedroom home. Upon Mr. Gerrior’s passing in 1995, his brother, John Sylvester Gerrior, purchased the property on Gerrior Road. One year later, Sylvester’s daughter, Evelyn Oakley, inherited the cottage when her father, brother of Thomas Daniel Gerrior, died. Mrs. Oakley and her husband Michael immediately went to work renovating the small home they would utilize as a summer cottage. They refurbished the back room where Thomas Gerrior did much of his painting and added an addition and a large deck to the south of the property. The home features two war inspired murals painted by Thomas D. Gerrior. The murals, which both depict armed warships, were painted with readily available house paint. The mural on the North wall depicts a Corvette, a yellow and black escort ship used to seek out planes, submarines and other visible threats. The painting is signed and dated, T.G. - 1950. Years later, Thomas Gerrior’s son coated the mural with a clear varnish. Consequently, this protective coating has yellowed the nautical themed painting and caused the surface to crack and flake. The other mural, completed in 1948, depicts a battleship which waves the maritime command flag. It is unvarnished, and as such, it remains it better condition then its counterpart. Gerrior also painted an aerial bombing scene on the ceiling of his bedroom. He later painted over it when the sight of the mural induced nightmares and painful flashbacks of his wartime experiences.

The artist, Thomas Gerrior, was born and raised in Larrys River. He left his hometown for Boston in 1920, where it is speculated he may have had some artistic training, and later joined the US Army. While in the military, Gerrior was trained as a medic and also continued to take part in drawing and painting classes. He returned to Larrys River in the late 1930s and served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in the Second World War. He is quoted in a newspaper article saying, "I have seen all I want to see. Larrys River is home and is where I want to be. I can smell the flowers and trees, see the birds and nature all around me, I can taste the fresh air as well as a good saltwater breeze once in awhile. What more could anyone want?" As the resident artist, Gerrior produced close to some 100 paintings. He was also an avid musician and an excellent cook. He taught painting informally but disliked working in front of other people. It is said that he often disappeared for long stretches of time to paint on his own. This earned him a reputation as something of an eccentric.

Larry's River


Property Type:


Construction Details: 
Construction Date: ??-??-1930 Builder Name: Thomas Daniel Gerrior
Current Owner: 
Evelyn & Michael Oakley