The idea of a book on Fairholme, The Gurd Masion, which was located in Sarnia, Ontario, started with an email from Jessie Gurd Griffith, the great granddaughter of Robert S. Gurd, the original owner of the mansion. In that email of January 04, 2015, Jessie Griifith inquired about the possibility of a ballroom being located on the third floor of Fairholme. Since my grandfather, Fraser Heartwell, had bought the mansion in the mid 1940's, and I spent my childhood living there, I was an obvious source of information on Fairholme. I had no knowledge of a ballroom so I began some extensive web searches and discovered that the original design drawings of Fairholme were held at the Univeristy Library, located only a few blocks from my home. Thus began my journey into original research and authorship.
Originally, I had planned on a book about 60 to 80 pages that would focus on the design of the mansion and surrounding neighbourhood. However, as I continued to discuss the matter with Jessie Griffith, she revealed that she had in her possession the Gurd Family Photo Albums and the Gurd Family Scrapbook. Well as things go, the story line of the Gurd Family was vast, interesting with amazing connections, and more importantly well documented. The book grew in depth and scope, and now two years later, the book is over 500 pages long and has 350 illustrations. The following outline provides a glimpse into the world of Fairholme, and as I enter my third year of work on this project, I am now exploring the world of publication.