Barry & Linda Coutts earn Grimsby Chamber of Commerce award
By Mike Williscraft
Some people build a legacy, others choose to rebuild a legacy.
Barry and Linda Coutts fall into the latter category.
The Grimsby couple, who have invested 40 years of time, money and effort into restoring Nelles Manor to its original glory have gained notoriety they certainly do not seek but is deserved nonetheless.
Soon they will have another honour to add to their mantel – Grimsby & District Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of The Year Award.
“To receive Citizen of the Year is awesome! We know so many people who give of themselves, their talents, their time and money as they can, We can only accept with knowing we also honour those people too who care about filling their life with constructive efforts, however large or small,” said Barry.
“We can only hope in our case that the accolades we receive help to make people aware of giving, as we have done in many ways over the years and in our specific case embrace this old house and all it stands for.”
The couple initially came to check out the home after seeing a real estate ad in the Globe & Mail. The rest, as they say, is history. Lots of history.
After taking possession of the 1788 home, which had as many as eight apartments at one time, the Coutts have spent 45-plus years manicuring every possible detail to bring the property all the way back to its original design.
“The house needs to go on,” said Linda of the 7,000 sq ft building constructed by Col. Robert Nelles over a 10-year period.
“There were a lot of other people who came to this area and did really well, but their story has not been maintained and their ancestors did not keep track of all the documentation to help tell their story. The Nelles family did.”
And what a story.