Canada’s second oldest wooden house has a secret beneath the decades-old layers of paint. 

Built more than 300 years ago, the Sinclair Inn in Annapolis Royal has a long history. The inn's records are piecemeal, but it has been around since at least 1710.

Ann Shaftel

Art conservator Ann Shaftel is now attempting to revive the 175-year-old hidden mural. (CBC)

It wasn’t until new owners took over the inn in the mid-1990s that at least part of the upstairs was found to be hiding painted murals, estimated to have been painted in the 1840s, underneath layers of wallpaper. 

Art conservator Ann Shaftel is now attempting to revive the 175-year-old hidden mural but she’s contending with many challenges, including water damage from rain and damage from many winters in the unheated historic building.

"So we have controlled reveals all through the rooms that show the condition of the painting underneath in different areas," she said. 

Before the mural can be restored, the inn must make hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs to prevent the elements from further destroying the building. 

The inn is going to attempt to fundraise the money to make the necessary renovations. 

The Sinclair Inn began as a rustic Acadian cottage built by Jean Baptist Soullard for his new wife Francoise Louise Comeau after their marriage in February 1710.

Over the years it has served as a tavern, an auction house, and is rumoured to be home to as many as ten ghosts, according to the inn's website. 

In addition to being the second oldest wooden house in Canada, it is also the oldest surviving Acadian building in the country, and served as the venue for the first Canadian Masonic Lodge meeting.