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Selling off a piece of Oshawa’s history

Home linked to piece of the city's rich past hits the market

Frank Reilly and Deanna Wright are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to sell their historic home, including hiring a vintage Rolls Royce to sit in front of the property. Most commonly known as the Mrs. Mabel Robson House, the property was constructed for the owners of the Robson & Lang Tannery, one of the city's key industrial operations in the mid-20th century.

Frank Reilly and Deanna Wright are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to sell their historic home, including hiring a vintage Rolls Royce to sit in front of the property. Most commonly known as the Mrs. Mabel Robson House, the property was constructed for the owners of the Robson & Lang Tannery, one of the city’s key industrial operations in the mid-20th century.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

The history was a mystery when Deanna Wright and her husband first moved into the home at 688 Carnegie Ave. However, now that they’re selling the house, they’re making sure the new owners and anyone looking to buy the place are well apprised of the background. And they’re doing it in style.

The home, known most commonly as Mrs. Mabel Robson House, was previously owned by several of Oshawa’s prominent elite. However, it was for Robson that the 7,000 square-foot, three-level house with 24 rooms was first constructed in 1956. The home is currently listed as a Class A property on Heritage  Oshawa’s heritage site inventory, meaning it has many criteria that would make it eligible for designation.

Robson, the wife of Charles Robson of Robson & Lang Tannery, one of Oshawa’s key industrial operations many years ago, lived a luxurious life and was known for having her chauffeur escort her around in her Rolls Royce, for which she had a large garage (complete with a bathroom) constructed on the side of the house. Her wealth and status would have had her in the same social circles as Colonel RS McLaughlin.

On Feb. 2, Wright felt there was no better way to honour the house’s history and Mabel’s legacy than by reaching back into the history books.

As the pictures were being taken that would eventually showcase the home on the open market, Wright and her husband, Frank Reilly, brought out some vintage class to help spruce up the driveway.

The pearl white 1950 Rolls Royce Silver Donn came courtesy of Classic Royalty Limousines, and was meant as a tribute to Robson and her home.

“It’s not everyday that you buy a house and it comes with such vintage and with such history,” Wright says. “We’re downsizing so we don’t need a house this size anymore, so we’re putting it on the market and (that’s) the reason for the Rolls Royce parked out front.”

Wright admits that she wasn’t aware of the history when her and her husband purchased the home 13 years ago, but have kept the home true to its roots with wide sweeping renovations inside that keep to the home’s vintage appeal.

Looking to own your own piece of Oshawa history? Well, it may cost you, as the house’s listing price is $1.6 million.