Owen Sound, Ontario – Book 2 – My Top 9 Picks

Owen Sound, Ontario – Book 2 – My Top 9 Picks

Owen Sound is located on the southern shores of Georgian Bay in a valley below the sheer rock cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment.  The city is located at the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers.  It has tree-lined streets, many parks, and tree-covered hillsides and ravines.

In 1814-1818, the first Admiralty Survey of Lake Ontario and the coastal waters of Georgian Bay was undertaken by Captain William Fitzwilliam Owen, Royal Naval Officer, surveyor, land-owner, politician, author and justice of the peace.  He named the bay and the future site of Owen Sound after his family.  His successor, Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, completed the first survey of lakes Erie, Huron, and Superior in 1817-1825.  The work of these officers rendered great service to Canada by increasing the safety of navigation.

The city was first known as Sydenham when it was settled in 1840 by Charles Rankin.  Prior to his arrival, the area was inhabited by the Ojibway people.  In 1851 the name was changed to Owen Sound.  For much of its history, it was a major port city known as the “Chicago of the North.”

Owen Sound Bay is a valley in the Niagara Escarpment formed by rivers that cut through the escarpment limestone.  The valley begins where the Sydenham River cuts down through the escarpment at Inglis Falls and extends out through the bay beyond Bayview Point for a total distance of 16 kilometers.

As the Niagara Escarpment winds its way across southern Ontario, it is interrupted by many deep valleys carved out by the erosive forces of water and ice.  Like Colpoy’s Bay to the north, Owen Sound Bay is a drowned valley partially hidden under Georgian Bay.  Other escarpment valleys like the Dundas Valley are buried under glacial sediments, while the Beaver and Bighead Valleys are occupied by rivers.

Today the Niagara Escarpment continues to slowly erode back from its present position.

John Harrison, born in Staffordshire England, emigrated to Canada at the age of six with his widowed father, three sisters and three brothers.  It was 1830 and they settled in Puslinch Township near Guelph.  Eighteen years later, John and two brothers, William and Robert, arrived in the Village of Sydenham (now Owen Sound).  They acquired the mill dam site on the Sydenham River and operated waterpower grist, woolen and saw mills.  In 1866, John moved his sawmill to the Pottawatomi River and established the steam powered Owen Sound Saw Mills.   He prospered and expanded the saw and planning mills and the range of products offered.  In 1861 he married Emma Hart and they raised their family of six children in a white roughcast house beside his mills.  In 1875-76 they purchased the land now known as Harrison Park.  The mill operation included horses.  When the mills were slack in depressed times, John sent the men to work and exercise the teams on this land.  They built roads, bridges, paths and buildings, gradually bringing his vision for the parkland to life.  John and his family and employees transformed this land and created Harrison Pleasure Grounds where everyone was welcome.  Between 1909-1911 while John’s eldest son Frederick served as Mayor of Owen Sound, the parkland was transferred to the town for half the value of the land – as long as it remained a public park forever.

The park today includes picnic facilities, basketball courts, heated twin swimming pools, canoe and paddle boat rentals for use on the river, a bird sanctuary, a mini-putt golf course, playground, campsites, cycling and walking trails, and the black history cairn and Freedom Trail.

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

935 2nd Avenue West – built in 1912, Second Empire style – 3-storey turret, mansard roof

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

#869 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

Vernacular style – 2½ storey tower-like bay, pediment above entrance

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

Edwardian – Palladian window, pediment, cornice brackets, two-storey bay windows

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

#452 – Gothic style, verge board trim, cornice brackets, corner quoins, bay window

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

Old Post Office – 1907 – Beaux Arts style featuring harmony and balance; positioning of windows, Ionic columns, pediments project vertical and horizontal symmetry; shapes and materials echo across all three floors in pleasing proportions; varied texture of stone graduates from rough and solid rock face limestone to slightly inset and smoother stone above, providing a lighter feel the higher the building climbs; window sills are continuous cut stone, walls are lined with brick; a brick vault was constructed on each of the first and second floors; mansard roof with dormers; voussoirs and keystones over windows and doors on first floor.

Falls on Weavers Creek, Owen Sound, Ontario

Weaver’s Creek feeds into Sydenham River.

Falls on Weavers Creek, Owen Sound, Ontario

The falls on Weavers Creek in Harrison Park is an opportunity to see a miniature plunge falls flanked by cascading falls – two types of waterfalls in one.

Inglis Falls, Owen Sound, Ontario

Inglis Falls – The Sydenham River pours over a fan-like rock formation of limestone shelves creating an eighteen metre high cascade that has carved a deep gorge at the base of the falls.
In 1845 Peter Inglis, a newly immigrated young Scottish millwright, bought the 300-acre property and built his gristmill on the very brink of the falls. It was powered by river water which was controlled and harnessed by a wooden dam, flume and water wheel. Inglis also used the river to power a sawmill which he built on the east side of the river opposite the gristmill.
Peter, his wife Ann with their three small children Eileen, John and George lived in a one storey frame house to the east of the mill until a larger two-storey stone house was built in 1852; three more children had been added to the family by this time, William, Mary Anne and Sarah. The small frame house, along with two others nearby, was used to house mill workers. At this time Inglis also built a new four-storey mill.
In the 1870s the sawmill at the falls was torn down and replaced by a woolen mill which produced cloth, flannels, and blankets.

Owen Sound, Ontario – Book 1 – My Top 7 Picks

Owen Sound, Ontario – Book 1 – My Top 7 Picks

Owen Sound is located on the southern shores of Georgian Bay in a valley below the sheer rock cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. The city is located at the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers. It has tree-lined streets, many parks, and tree-covered hillsides and ravines.

This area of the upper Great Lakes was first surveyed in 1815 by William Fitzwilliam Owen and Lieutenant Henry W. Bayfield. The inlet was named “Owen’s Sound” in honor of the explorer’s older brother, Admiral Sir Edward Owen.

The city was first known as Sydenham when it was settled in 1840 by Charles Rankin. Prior to his arrival, the area was inhabited by the Ojibway people. In 1857 the name was changed to Owen Sound. For much of its history, it was a major port city known as the “Chicago of the North.”

The Old Mail Road was the first into the County, running from Barrie to Meaford. The Toronto-Sydenham Road (Highway 10) was constructed in 1848. In 1868 the first telegraphy system was established connecting the County with Toronto.

The Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery is located in Owen Sound. Tom Thomson was born in 1877 and grew up in a home that appreciated literature and music. He worked as an engraver. In 1912, he sketched in Algonquin Park and canoed the Spanish River. The result was a full size canvas, Northern Lake. He returned each year to Algonquin Park where he supported himself as a ranger and guide as he continued to paint, producing masterpieces such as Autumn Foliage, The West Wind, and Northern River.

William Avery “Billy” Bishop was born in Owen Sound in 1894. Given a .22 rifle one Christmas, Billy was offered 25 cents for every squirrel he shot. “One bullet – one shot” became Billy’s motto. Bishop flew planes in the First World War. Courage and marksmanship made him one of the war’s greatest fighter pilots.

Norman Bethune was born in 1890 in Gravenhurst. From childhood he dreamed of becoming a doctor like his paternal grandfather, one of the founders of the University of Toronto’s Medical School. The family moved to Owen Sound where Norman finished high school. In 1914, one year short of finishing his medical training, he left for France as a stretcher bearer, Navy surgeon, and as a senior medical officer in the new Royal Canadian Air Force. After returning home to Canada, he was appointed to the McGill University teaching staff where, as a thoracic surgeon he invented new surgical instruments. He supported a universal health insurance plan for Canadians. While in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, he organized a mobile blood transfusion service, the first of its kind. In 1938, Bethune went to China to work in Mao Tse-Tung’s 8th route army, performing surgical operations in field hospitals. He cut his hand and it became infected and led to his death in 1939. The Gravenhust home where he was born has been restored as the Bethune Memorial Home.

Agnes Campbell Macphail was born in 1890 in Grey County. In 1921, she became the first woman to be elected to the Canadian parliament. She was later elected to the Ontario Legislature where she was responsible for the province’s first equal pay legislation.

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

#948 – Edwardian style with 2½ storey tower-like bay, pediment above verandah

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

932 3rd Avenue West – Former U.S. Consulate – 1890 – Vernacular example with Italianate influence, tower

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

948 3rd Avenue West – Billy Bishop Home and Museum – built 1884 – Queen Anne Revival style, asymmetrical proportions, a variety of window shapes and decorative millwork – While not overly extravagant, the Bishop family home is a relatively large estate. The Bishops wished to show their stability while being careful not to flaunt their wealth and thus the lavish details were kept to a minimum. Mrs. Bishop received a sizable inheritance from her family which helped fund the construction of the house, while Mr. Bishop worked from home as a lawyer.

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

261 9th Street West – Victorian style

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

Victorian style – dichromatic brickwork, banding

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

Victorian style – banding, verge board trim on gables, fretwork, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Owen Sound, Ontario

The grain elevators caught in the golden glow of sunset

Goderich, Ontario – My Top 24 Picks

Goderich, Ontario – My Top 24 Picks

Goderich is located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. The town was laid out in 1828. The unique layout of Goderich’s core encompasses eight primary streets radiating from an octagon bounded by eight business blocks. This civic square, with a park at its center, is popularly known as “The Square”. Four streets intersecting at right angles – Victoria, Nelson, Waterloo and Elgin – form the outer edges of the core with the octagon in the center.

The Square reflects a vision of a town center of classical design and elegance. From the 1840s to the 1890s, the growth of Goderich centered around the development of the Market Square. For nearly 100 years the original Huron County Courthouse, an Italianate brick building of imposing scale and elegance, stood in the center of The Square. The current courthouse replaced the original which was destroyed by fire in 1954.This fast growing town was the center of a prosperous agricultural region. The Sifto Salt Mines are located under Lake Huron.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

92 The Square – Hotel Bedford – 1896 – three-storey hotel with thirty-five rooms – Romanesque arches on the ground floor and restrained Italianate decorative elements such as the large cupola and projecting balustrade above the entrance.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

Huron County Court House – After the tornado with no trees left

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

Sifto Salt Mine

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

52 Montreal Street – Goderich Public Library was opened in 1903 as a Carnegie library. It is in the Romanesque Revival style with the large round tower, the round-headed windows, and the irregular roof.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

65 Montreal Street – The “Garrow House” was built around 1850 and was the residence of James Thompson Garrow who later became Supreme Court Judge and local Judge of the Canadian Exchequer Court. It is in the Italianate style with unusual bracketing, a two-storey veranda, large front windows and two end chimneys, a central Palladian window and decorative stone lintels and keystones.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

57 West Street – Port of Goderich Municipal Offices in 2007 – It was built in 1890 of stone in the Romanesque style with massive gables. The building was designed by Thomas Fuller, one of Canada’s leading early architects. The rusticated stone coursing and wall capping add to its monumental appearance.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

20 Wellington Street South – The “Strachan House” was built by Adam McVicar, builder of the lighthouse, in 1880. A schooner brought 40,000 bricks to Goderich to construct this mansion for Donald Strachan, a prominent businessman. The Second Empire house features a mansard roof of patterned slate, and a tower crowned with iron cresting, and intricately molded window headings.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

1 Beach Street – Canadian Pacific Railway station – The station is built of red brick with limestone foundation. It has a hipped roof over the central portion with a cross-gable and lunette trackside. Restored slate tiles top the conical roof of the round waiting room. The station house was opened for service in 1907. Passenger service ended in 1956, and mixed train service in 1961. One of the last CPR trains stopped on the bridge on August 3, 1988 and blew its whistle for a final time.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

5 Cobourg Street (the MacDonald House) was the office of the Bank of Upper Canada from 1859-63 and the home of its manager “Stout Mac”. It was built in 1858 in the Georgian style with balanced façade; transom and sidelights are around the front entrance

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

85 Essex Street – “The Judges House” is a white brick High Victorian structure with a Gothic Revival flavor with Tudor Revival or Italianate features built in 1877. It derives its elegance from the symmetry of the three-bay façade. The symmetry is further emphasized by the square bay windows on the first floor as well as the central porch under the central dormer. The delicacy of the wooden barge boards and rails over the bay windows add pleasing touches.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

135 Essex Street – c. 1880 – lakefront cottage in the Picturesque style – distinguishing features include the prominent pyramidal roof, which extends over the main façade verandah and the glazed sun-chamfered wood columns with decorative brackets.

 

56 Wellesley Street – Gothic Revival, bay window

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

82 Wellesley Street – erected in 1888, the Tom House is an Italianate structure built for Mr. John Elgin Tom, a public school inspector for West Huron. The most notable features include iron cresting on the roof peak, decorative brackets and fascia boards under the soffits, decorative fretwork around the center gable, metal roofing tiles, brick chimneys, and the square bay on the west side.

 

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

203 Lighthouse Street – The Wellesley or Wilson House was built by William Bennett Rich, a former Grenadier Guard who later served on Town Council. The house was built around 1845 and combines Georgian and Neo-classical influences. Mr. Rich had several outstanding homes built in town as wedding presents for his many daughters. It has a hipped roof, shutters on the windows, and a verandah with open railing

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

126 North Street, the Baechler House, was built in 1882 for druggist James Wilson, but it was in the Baechler family for 60 years. The tower with curved glass windows and the deep verandah wrapping around the building are typical of the Queen Anne style.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

53 North Street was built in the Queen Anne style by George Acheson about 1905. Features include the pleasing proportions of the three-storey tower, frontispiece with gable, deep veranda with Doric pillars, and pediment with decorated tympanum

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

38 St. Vincent Street, the Johnson House, was built in 1863 for Hugh Johnston who married one of the six daughters of William Bennett Rich. It is vernacular Georgian in its massing and proportions but with Regency influences in the French doors, a Classical verandah and windows, and Italianate cornice brackets.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

Widow’s walk on rooftop, 2½-storey frontispiece with semi-circular window in gable, one-storey wing with flat roof

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

92 St. George’s Crescent, McDermott’s Castle, begun in 1862 in an attempt to replicate the owner’s Irish castle, sat empty until 1904. A new owner added the third floor and finished the roof and tower which contained an elevator run by water from a cistern on its roof. Tower to the right has corbels on the corners and a parapet.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

103 St. George’s Crescent, the Donnelly House, was built about 1880 for Horace Horton, a local businessman, mayor and MP. Second Empire style has both convex and concave mansard roof lines with round-topped dormers, elaborate keystones, a 3½-storey tower, corner quoins, and a second floor semi-circular balcony.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

150 St. George’s Crescent was built for Joseph Williams, importer of fine timber which was much used in this home. Italianate – hipped roof, chipped gable with verge board trim, second floor balconies above entrance and side bay windows, corner quoins, prominent keystones above windows

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

28 Nelson Street West – built around 1870 – The bracketed trim beneath the eaves and the disposition and shape of the windows are Italianate in style. It has a hipped roof, frontispiece, keystones and drip molds.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

80 Hamilton Street – “Thyme on 21” is a restaurant in a Victorian heritage house built in the late 1870s with iron cresting on the porch and roof peak; scroll work on the bay window and the porch is unique to this community.

Architectural Photos, Goderich, Ontario

#181 – Italianate – hipped roof, 2½-storey tower-like bay with verge board trim on gable with diamond-shaped window; paired cornice brackets, fretwork, decorative veranda entrance with stenciling

Erin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Erin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Erin is a picturesque town in Wellington County about eighty kilometers northwest of Toronto. Erin is an amalgamated town, composed of the former Villages of Erin and Hillsburgh, and the hamlets of Ballinafad, Brisbane, Cedar Valley, Crewson’s Corners, Ospringe, and Orton, as well as the former Township of Erin. There are rolling countryside, meandering rivers, small settlement areas and quaint village settings.

The village of Erin is located on the west branch of the Credit River which is known for its pure cold water and trout and salmon fishing as it flows towards Lake Ontario. It joined the east branch of the Credit River at “Forks of the Credit”, with the east branch finding its source above Orangeville.

The first sawmill was built by the Trout family in 1826, at the lower dam at Erin. They opened a small store, and made potash, used in soap-making. The sawmill was later taken over by William Chisholm, from whom Daniel McMillan rented the mill. Daniel McMillan found that the mill cut very slowly, and decided to buy it, and rebuild it to suit himself. Daniel borrowed money to make the first payment, and through hard work and good planning, he was able to meet his obligations.

Daniel McMillan was the man responsible for the growth of the village, assisted by his brothers, Hugh and Charles. Daniel McMillan, 1811-1849, was the oldest son of Donald McMillan and his wife, Catharine Miller, who came with their family from Scotland in 1822. They settled on lot 19, concession 9, Erin Township, and he also took up lots 14 to 17, on both sides of the 9th line. The land that became the site of Erin Village consisted of lots 14, 15 and 16.

In 1834, Daniel McMillan erected a grist mill at the south-west end of the sawmill and the same power was used for both. The same year, Daniel built the first house in the village, east of the sawmill. In 1835, he brought his bride, Mary McLaughlin, daughter of Daniel McLaughlin of Caledon. After clearing the river flats on lots 14 and 15, the present Upper Dam was built, and here the second sawmill was built in 1838. It had new machinery and was a faster cutting mill.

Daniel McMillan built the oatmeal mill on the other side of the street, opposite the first sawmill, using water power supplied by the hand-dug race from the Lower Dam. This oatmeal mill did a good business, and was still in good shape in 1922, when it was being used as a planing mill by Mundells.

In 1838, McMillan built a grist mill at the Upper Dam. It had a large trade for about ten years. It had three run of stones, and they also made oatmeal. It did good work with dry wheat, but not if the grain was damp. This building became a woolen mill.

In 1845, Daniel McMillan had a large stone house built. It was the family residence for twenty years. Then it was sold to William Chisholm, and it became the Globe Hotel, until it was destroyed by fire in January 1945.

In 1847, Daniel McMillan decided to build a more up-to-date grist mill, or flouring mill, that would meet the needs of the fast-growing community.

Erin Village expanded rapidly through the 1840s. Lumbermen and millers enjoyed favorable tariff with the United States when wheat was brought from the States to Canada where it was processed, then shipped to Britain. This increased demand for flour was the reason Daniel McMillan built his new grist mill, which he planned to have in operation by Christmas, 1849.

A surveyor was engaged to choose the best location, the site where Bell’s Mill stood in 1922. Stone masons were brought from the Old Country; the race known as the “Big Ditch”, brought water from the Upper Dam. The building was to be six storeys high. There were 200 men at the raising, and it took three days to erect. Everything went according to schedule. The intricate machinery was put into place. When Daniel McMillan went to Toronto for the mill stones, he was accompanied by his brother, Hugh, and his best friend, John Rott (Root), in whose Conestogo wagon the mill stones were brought to Erin.

On December 14th, he got a sliver in one of his fingers, but no attention was paid to it at the time. However, blood-poisoning developed, and he died in great agony three days later, on December 17, 1849, at the early age of 38 years. The Mill was finished on December 22nd. This mill became the Co-Op Building.

Daniel McMillan was a man of tremendous energy and planning ability; and in the short period of eighteen years in Erin Township, he achieved more than most men do in a lifetime. He was a leader, and had established his village on a firm footing. But without its leader, the village had lost its sense of direction.

Alexander McLaughlin, the great Canadian Poet, and life-long friend and admirer of Daniel McMillan, wrote a long poem about him, expressing very effectively, his great loss to the Erin community. Title of the poem: “A Backwood Hero”, is an In Memoriam. This is the first of ten verses.

Where yonder ancient willow weeps,
The father of the village sleeps;
Tho’ but of humble birth,
As rare a specimen as he,
Of Nature’s true nobility, As ever trod the earth,
The busy head and hands are still;
Quenched the unconquerable will
Which fought and triumphed here;
And tho’ he’s all unknown to fame,
Yet grateful hearts still bless his name,
And hold his memory dear.

Reference is made to his planning and assistance in building roads, schools, churches, mills, a store, forge, vat, and kiln. He seemed to be doctor, lawyer, judge, surveyor, and was never too busy to lend a helping hand.

In 1838, Daniel had encouraged William Cornock to locate in the village. Cornock built a distillery that continued in operation until 1860. Mr. Cornock also operated the first dry goods store, and secured a Post Office for the village. A lime quarry was opened by James Shingler. S.L. Shotter opened the first general store on the corner that was occupied by the Post Office in 1922.

North of Shotter’s store, Daniel McMillan erected a building known as the cooperage, where he and his brothers worked on wet or stormy days. They made barrels for flour, tubs, churns, wooden pails, wooden pumps, etc., which were much in demand by the early settlers. They also made coffins.

In 1839, Erin Post Office was opened under the name of “Macmillan’s Mills”. In 1851, the name was changed to “Erinsville”. The village had 300 people, two grist mills, two oatmeal mills, a distillery, a carding and fulling mill, a tannery, and a church with free use to all denominations. Agricultural prosperity and abundant water power stimulated the community’s growth as an important regional center for milling and the manufacture of wood products. In 1879 a branch of the Credit Valley Railway was completed through Erin to Toronto.

Erin is primarily a rural community but, while farming is still an important activity in the town, most of its population works in the nearby cities of Brampton, Mississauga, Guelph, and Toronto. Wander the beautiful downtown, enjoy the shops, and find unique treasures that are great for gifts. Erin boasts an eclectic array of shopping with everything from housewares and home décor, to clothing and toys. Country living meets boutique shopping in this beautiful village.

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

156 Main Street – The Busholme Inn at the corner of Main and Church Streets was the home of J.P. Bush and family. It was built circa 1886 by Dr. McNaughton, as a hospital, but was never used for this purpose. In 1893, Dr. Martin owned the large house, then Dr. J. Hamilton, and several other doctors. In 1926, Dr. Reynolds sold to J.P. Bush and it became a hotel. Mrs. McKenzie purchased it in 1930, and in 1967, it was owned by Matt Fullerton of Brampton and T.B. Cooper of Toronto. Now it is the Jolly Rogers’ Restaurant. It is in the Italianate style with a hipped roof, dormer, two-storey frontispiece, and corner quoins. The arched lintels with a central keystone were made with sandstone from the Credit Forks quarry.

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

The Erin Pioneer and Continuation School – c. 1854 – was the second school opened in the Township, and became S.S. #2. First school for Erin Village was built on lot 18, concession 9, on the lot that later became McMillan’s Burying Ground. This school was also used as a church for some years. Since the settlement developed to the south, a small frame school was erected in a more central location, on lot 15, concession 9, on the Conboy property. Another school was built on the site of the Baptist Church, later the property of Mrs. Fred Bingham.
In 1854, the stone school was built on the David Mundell property. At first it was one room, later two rooms. The first teacher was William Firstbrook. Three-quarters of an acre was purchased from the estate of D. McMillan, at the rear of the Union Church (now Presbyterian) for a house and garden to be used by the teacher.
In 1924, the new Continuation School was opened and in 1926, it was up-graded, offering all grades from 9-12. Until 1951, Erin had a Continuation School, housed upstairs in the Erin Union Public School on Main Street. In 1944, it was considered a small school, and the Department of Education urged such small schools to close. Erin Village fought against this, circulated petitions and sent delegations to the Department. The community was successful, and established Erin District Board.
In 1951, the name was changed from Erin Continuation School, to Erin District High School, and immediately they began to look for a separate location for a new school. In February 1954, seven acres were purchased on Daniel Street, and a four-room building was opened for the 1955-56 term. Four rooms were added in 1958. Another four classrooms were added in 1963, along with offices, foyer, and gymnasium/auditorium.
In 1974, Erin High School was again in danger of being closed, but finally the new addition made space for Industrial Arts, Family Studies, Music, Art, a Resource Centre, more offices, a gym and cafeteria, biology lab, and an “Open Concept” on Second floor.
In 1975, the Second Floor was changed to six classrooms; and since 1975, several Portables have been added. The County Board system was introduced in 1969.
For the 1955-56 school year, there were 115 students, with three teachers and a Principal. In 1974, there were 729 students with 40 teachers. In the 1995-96 term, there were 653 students, the Principal, Vice-Principal and 48 teachers.
The 40th Anniversary of Erin District High School was celebrated on May 10-11, 1966, with a School Reunion.

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

219 Main Street – hipped roof, balcony above enclosed porch

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

214 Main Street – Victorian – gingerbread trim, contrasting white corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

213 Main Street – Italianate – built A.D. 1891 – hipped roof, paired cornice brackets, iron cresting above bay window, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

202 Main Street – Gothic Revival – late 1800s – verge board trim and finials on gables, bay window, corner quoins, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

Spring Street – Italianate style – paired cornice brackets, second floor balcony with bric-a-brac detailing above the capitals on the support pillars

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

163 Main Street – Italianate – two-storey frontispiece with barge board trim on gable; corner quoins, stained glass transom windows on doors and some windows

Architectural Photos, Erin, Ontario

3 Union Street – Daniel McMillan sold 100 acres of land to his brother Charles who built this early brick house in 1856. Devonshire House and Spa – dichromatic brickwork

Port Colborne, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Port Colborne, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Port Colborne is a city on Lake Erie, at the southern end of the Welland Canal. The original settlement, known as Gravelly Bay after the shallow, bedrock-floored bay upon which it sits, dates from 1832 and was renamed after Sir John Colborne, a British war hero and the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at the time of the opening of the southern terminus of the First Welland Canal in 1833 when it was extended to reach Lake Erie.

Port Colborne was one of the hardest hit communities during the blizzard of 1977. Thousands of people were stranded when the city was paralyzed during the storm.

Maritime commerce, including supplying goods to the camps for the laborers who worked on the first canal, ship repair and the provisioning trade, was, and still is, an important part of Port Colborne’s economy. Port Colborne was a heavily industrial city throughout most of the early twentieth century. A grain elevator, two modern flour mills, a Vale nickel refinery, a cement plant and a blast furnace were major employers. Several of these operations have closed over the past thirty years, while others employ a lot less residents due to modernization and cutbacks.

Port Colborne has been successful attracting agro-business operations which process corn into products such as sweeteners and citric acid. The economy has gradually shifted towards tourism and recreation, taking advantage of the scenic beauty of the lake shore.

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, located near the center of town, is a resource for local history and archival research. In addition to a collection of historic buildings and artifacts, it opened up the “Marie Semley Research Wing” to foster research into local history; it was named to commemorate the long-standing efforts of a local resident who devoted hours to the museum.

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

44 King Street – 1835 – one of only a few stone structures in Port Colborne – The walls, made of limestone taken from the Welland Canal, are more than half a metre thick. The Georgian style of architecture is evident in the balanced three-bay-façade and centered doorway. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

322 King Street – Ingleside – It was built in 1867 for Charles H. Carter and occupied by the Carter family for 118 years, including Port Colborne’s first mayor, Dewitt Carter. The two-storey structure has projecting eaves supported by paired cornice brackets and corner quoins in dichromatic brick characteristic of Italianate architecture. Its rectangular plan with projecting frontispiece and hipped roof indicate it is a version of a house plan popularized by the magazine “The Canada Farmer” in 1865. The grounds are surrounded by a locally produced cast iron fence. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

380 King Street – The only example of Romanesque Revival in Port Colborne, this home was built about 1907 for Thomas Euphronius Reeb. The Romanesque is shown in its dark red brick and heavy cut stone window sills and lintels. The Queen Anne influence is evident in the octagonal tower with lard “band shell” verandah, wide round-arched first floor window with etched leaded glass and a line of terra cotta tiles with egg and dart motif under the eaves. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

296 Fielden Avenue – This magnificent stone and brick Victorian building was erected circa 1860 for Levi Cornwall. Lewis Carter had it redone in its present Italianate/Second Empire form about 1879 with ornately bracketed eaves, multiple bays, mansard roofs, an impressive three-storey tower with four double-hung “Port Colborne” windows, and round headed or elliptical shaped windows, some paired or tripled. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

346 Catharine Street – The former St. James’ Anglican Church Rectory (until 1957) was built in two stages with the eastern portion built for Lewis Carter c. 1875 and the western part was added when the house was purchased as a rectory in 1897. Note the two-storey bay window in the west wing, and round-headed windows capped with brick voussoirs which indicate the Italianate style. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

326 Catharine Street – The Harvie House built in 1900, it is a typical Queen Anne Revival style home and has a wraparound verandah with offset circular tower, two types of siding and a pyramidal roof. The house takes its name from the Harvie family who owned it from 1911 to 1951. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

14 Catharine Street – Wildwood – c. 1875 – This house displays an eclectic mix of late Victorian styles with a mix of bays, an oriel window and turret on its north side in contrast to the restrained Greek Revival style of the east and south facades. It began as a small two-storey brick house built by William Arnott on the lake shore in 1876. In 1886 it was purchased as a summer and retirement home by Carolina residents, Joseph and Alice Dickenson, who enlarged it to its current form. The cast metal lions were imported from the Carolinas by the Dickensons. The New England influence is evident in the architectural styles. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

232 Clarence Street – Built by lawyer Louis Kinnear in 1904, it was the home of his daughter Judge Helen Kinnear from 1904-1943, the year she became the first federally appointed woman judge in Canada and the Commonwealth. Helen Kinnear was also the first woman in the Commonwealth to be granted in 1934, “King’s Council,” a distinction given to noteworthy lawyers. She was also the first woman lawyer to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada. The house exhibits a combination of Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

155 Main Street West – The Century House – c. 1889 – The early-twentieth century commercial building was constructed in a vernacular version of the Classical Revival style popular in rural Ontario. It has a flat façade with symmetrical window arrangement and a gable end. It is characteristic of small town store construction of mid-nineteenth century combining a first-floor shop with residence above; it incorporates innovations of later-nineteenth century commercial buildings with larger panes of glass in the shop windows and a recessed store entrance. It is now “Deli on Main”. – Port Colborne Book 2

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

145 Main Street West – The Augustine House was built by Elias Augustine circa 1860, it displays a mixture of mid-nineteenth century detail. The gable front arrangement and symmetrical placement of doors and windows are from the Greek Revival style. The semi-elliptical shape of the openings is an Italianate detail. Note the detailed woodwork of the verandah with its small pediment framing the double-leaved front door. Mr. Augustine was an owner of the carriage manufacturing firm of Augustine and Kilmer. Some production for the business was done in a blacksmith shop formerly located behind the house. – Port Colborne Book 2

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

Lift Bridge with ship

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

214 Steele Street – Steele Street Public School – The symmetrical red brick façade trimmed with yellow terra cotta tile with an impressive central pediment show the dignified Edwardian Classical style, the style that was at the height of its popularity in 1915 when the school was built. The school and the street were named for the Steele family who were early settlers of Humberstone Township. – Port Colborne Book 2

Belleville, Ontario – Part 2 – My Top 14 Picks

Belleville, Ontario – Part 2 – My Top 14 Picks

Belleville is a city located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in southeastern Ontario. It was the site of a Mississaugas’ village in the eighteenth century. It was settled by United Empire Loyalists beginning in 1784. It was named Belleville in honor of Lady Arabella Gore in 1816, after a visit to the settlement by Sir Francis Gore and his wife.

It is known as the “friendly city” because it offers big city amenities along with small town friendliness, and a pleasing mixture of the historic and modern.

Belleville became an important railway junction with the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1855. In 1858 the iron bridge over the Moira River at Bridge Street was constructed. Belleville’s beautiful High Victorian Gothic city hall was built in 1872 to house the public market and administrative offices.

Due to its location near Lake Ontario, its climate is moderated by cooling hot summer days and warming cold days during the fall and winter.

Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Redpath, and Sears are corporations operating in Belleville. There are many other manufacturing sector companies which operate within the City of Belleville, including Sprague Foods, Sigma Stretch Film Canada, Reid’s Dairy, and Parmalat Canada – Black Diamond Cheese Division, to name a few.

Belleville has an excellent yacht harbor, which is a picturesque stopping point for Great Lakes sailors and a favorite launch for sports fishing enthusiasts after walleye, pike and bass. Beautiful music chimes can be heard all year long from the City Hall clock tower, overlooking the new civic square and Farmers Market. Walking, biking and rollerblading can be enjoyed on the Bayshore and Riverfront Trails.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Bridge Street East – Belleville Armouries – The structure brings to mind a medieval fortress as evidenced in the solid brick construction, stone detailing and the use of three-storey towers flanking the entrance of the administrative block. It has a symmetrically organized façade with rough-cut stone window dressings, narrow vertical window openings, and its medieval detailing such as the string courses, copings and battlements. – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

105 Bridge Street East – Italianate – hipped roof, 2½-storey bay with cornice return on gable, banding, Corinthian pillars on veranda, pediment – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

128 Bridge Street East – Queen Anne style – turret, tall decorative chimney, decorative tympanums on the gables, pediment, open railing on the veranda – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

252 Bridge Street East – hipped roof, 2½-storey frontispiece, dichromatic brickwork, bay window – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

257 Bridge Street East – The Phillips-Burrows-Faulknor House – Glanmore National Historic Site – Glanmore’s property was originally a block wide and extended to Highway 2 (Dundas Street). Harriet Phillips inherited this property from George Bleecker, her grandfather. Glanmore reflects the tastes of the well-to-do in late nineteenth century Canada. The grand house, built by local architect Thomas Hanley, was built in 1882-1883 for wealthy banker John Philpot Curran Phillips and his wife Harriet Ann Dougall, the daughter of Belleville’s Judge Benjamin Dougall. It is in the Second Empire style with mansard roof with elaborate cornices and brackets, dormer windows, iron cresting, a built-in gutter system, and multi-colored slate. – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

The North Drawing Room was used by Mr. and Mrs. Phillips for entertaining. Ornate columns divide the North and South areas of the double drawing room. The rooms could also be used as a ballroom when the carpets and furniture were removed. The coffered ceilings feature molded ornamental plaster and hand-painted designs. The decorative ceilings are complemented by the original settees, three-seated chaperone’s chair, and mantle surround. The clutter of decorative objects is typical of late Victorian style.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

The 9,000 square foot home cost $7,000 to build in 1883. The impressive suspended walnut staircase cost $62.50. The spelter (a zinc alloy) statue lamps and the hanging vigil lamp are displayed in their original locations.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

52 Queen Street – Queen Anne Villa – 2½-storey bay with trim and fretwork on gable; cornice brackets; bay window with iron cresting above, oriel window on side – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

2 Forin Street – cornice brackets, pediment, transom window above door – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

38 Forin Street – Gothic – verge board trim and finials on gables, round windows in gables, window voussoirs – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Alexander Street – hipped roof with dormer with a gabled roof and verge board trim and two windows; cornice brackets; two-storey bay window – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

68 North Front Street – Belleville Funeral Home and Chapel – a Victorian mansion – three storey tower; dichromatic corner quoins; Mansard roof with dormers, prominent keystones, drip molds and engaged columns; engaged columns at front entrance with sidelights and transom window – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

80 Highland Avenue – John R. Bush Funeral Home – Second Empire style – Mansard roof with dormers, cornice brackets, banding – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

110 Bridge Street West – built in 1867 by Smith Steven, clerk in the Grand Trunk Railway solicitor’s office – excellent example of a family home owner of modest means; has original 6/6 pane windows, window sills, and shutters; acorn brackets extend under the cornice; the front door has narrow sidelights – Belleville Book 4

Belleville, Ontario – Part 1 – My Top 16 Picks

Belleville, Ontario – Part 1 – My Top 16 Picks

Belleville is a city located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in southeastern Ontario. It was the site of a village of the Mississaugas in the eighteenth century. It was settled by United Empire Loyalists beginning in 1784. It was named Belleville in honor of Lady Arabella Gore in 1816, after a visit to the settlement by Sir Francis Gore and his wife.

It is known as the “friendly city” because it offers big city amenities along with small town friendliness, and a pleasing mixture of the historic and modern.

Belleville became an important railway junction with the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1855. In 1858 the iron bridge over the Moira River at Bridge Street was constructed. Belleville’s beautiful High Victorian Gothic city hall was built in 1872 to house the public market and administrative offices.

Due to its location near Lake Ontario, its climate is moderated by cooling hot summer days and warming cold days during the fall and winter.

Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Redpath, and Sears are corporations operating in Belleville.  There are many other manufacturing sector companies which operate within the City of Belleville, including Sprague Foods, Sigma Stretch Film Canada, Reid’s Dairy, and Parmalat Canada – Black Diamond Cheese Division, to name a few.

Belleville has an excellent yacht harbor, which is a picturesque stopping point for Great Lakes sailors and a favorite launch for sports fishing enthusiasts after walleye, pike and bass. Beautiful music chimes can be heard all year long from the City Hall clock tower, overlooking the new civic square and Farmers Market. Walking, biking and rollerblading can be enjoyed on the Bayshore and Riverfront Trails.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Church Street – two-storey bay windows, cornice brackets, dormers with iron cresting, widow’s walk on rooftop with iron cresting; 2½-storey section has a hipped roof; 2-storey part has a mansard roof – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

4 Church Street – verge board trim and finial on gable, two-storey bay window, dormers with trim, keystones, sidelights and transom window – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

5 Church Street – hipped roof, cornice brackets, voussoirs with keystones – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

200 John Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, tall chimneys, bay window – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

221 John Street – Built 1871, two-storey brick with a 2-storey bay; the lintels are off-white brick and match the decorative course surrounding the house at the second floor level; chimneys are Tudor type with brick bases topped with small string courses; front porch has wooden gable roof supported by massive wooden brackets, cornice brackets under eaves – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

159-161 George Street – Italianate – north side has a projecting two-storey bay with a string course above the ground floor windows; south side has a projecting five window bay with carved wood paneling above it; window above has an arched lintel, two-storey frontispiece, gable with verge board trim – heritage property – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

165 William Street – Arts and Crafts – stone and brick – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

166 William Street – Gothic – trim on gable, ornate capital detailing on veranda support posts with spindle trim below cornice – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

184 William Street – Italianate – two-storey frontispiece with verge board trim and finial on gable, cornice brackets, impressive entrance – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

234 Ann Street (corner of Queen) – Ilcombe – Queen Anne style – three-storey tower, dormer, Ionic veranda pillars – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

228 Charles Street – lots of iron cresting decorating the roof lines, wraparound verandah with open railing, pillars with ornate capitals, pediment with decorated tympanum, sidelights and transom windows – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

233 Charles Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof with dormers and window hoods, brackets and decorative cornice, keystones – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

221 Charles Street – hipped roof with dormers, cornice brackets, bay windows with iron cresting above, pediment – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

197 Charles Street – built 1872-1873 – mixture of Italianate, Victorian, Second Empire and Gothic styles – mansard roof on 3½-storey tower with small Gothic windows and iron cresting; voussoirs and keystones, dentil molding, bay window with brackets, pediment above door – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

160 Charles Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, polychromatic tile work, two-storey wing with ornate capitals on the two-storey veranda with open railing – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

199 MacDonald Avenue – elaborately spindled railings on both lower and upper wraparound verandahs, Corinthian pillars, finial on gable – Belleville Book 2

Perth, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Perth, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Established in 1816, the era when Upper and Lower Canada were British colonies, Perth was one of three strategic defensive outposts created along the Rideau Corridor after the War of 1812. Named after a town and river in Scotland, this small frontier center, located in a large wilderness tract, became the social, judicial and administrative hub for the Scottish and Irish who settled here. Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The first Scottish settlers came in 1816. Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

In 1823, Perth was named the capital of the District of Bathurst, and this attracted a large number of wealthy and educated settlers. When the Rideau Canal was built as a safe inland military route from Kingston to Ottawa between 1826 and 1832, it created a local economic boom. The Tay Canal, from Perth to the Lower Rideau Lake, was first constructed in the 1830s and rebuilt in the 1880s as a commercial waterway. The Tay has become a recreational and tourism area.

The last fatal duel was fought between two young law students on the banks of the Tay River on June 13, 1833, for a lady’s honor. In 1892, Perth produced the world’s biggest cheddar; it was made from 207,200 pounds of milk and was six feet high, twenty-eight feet in circumference and weighed 22,000 pounds. The mammoth cheese was shipped by train to the Chicago World’s Fair the following year.

Perth is the site of the first installation of a telephone other than Bell’s experimental installations. A town dentist, Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a friend of Alexander Graham Bell, installed a direct telephone connection between his home and office. By 1887, there were 19 telephones in Perth, with a switchboard in Dr. Kennedy’s office.

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

31 Foster Street – Italianate – dormer in attic, frontispiece with decorative window hoods, Doric pillars supporting second floor balconies, tall decorative chimneys

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

32 Foster Street – dormer, decorative cornice, prominent voussoirs over windows, Doric pillars on stone piers supporting second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

36 Wilson Street East – St. John Convent – 1905 – primarily Gothic with some French Canadian features – stone – center Jacobean gable, bay window with round windows

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

53 Wilson Street West – dichromatic brickwork, spindles and bric-a-brac below porch roof; pediment

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

20 Isabella Street – Within the peak is a decorative arch with spindle and stenciling

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

22 Isabella Street – hipped roof with dormer, dichromatic voussoirs and banding

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

27 Isabella Street – Italianate, 2½ storey tower-like bay with pediment, dentil molding band

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

1 Drummond Street West – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – built 1832, rebuilt 1898 – Gothic Revival, lancet windows, battlemented tower, buttresses

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

26 Drummond Street West – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, tower, voussoirs and keystones, turned veranda roof supports with decorative capitals

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

53 Drummond Street East – stone central portion has a mansard-type roof with dormers, oriel window, and cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

Corner of Gore and Harvey Streets – McMartin House – c. 1831 – erected by United Empire Loyalist descendant, Daniel McMartin, Perth’s second lawyer – basic Neo-classical style, and then embellished with unique stylistic features such as recessed arches and a cupola (belvedere) with flanking side lanterns (Federalist style) – widow’s walk on roof

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

77 Gore Street East (corner of Basin Street) – The McMillan Building – 1907 – former Carnegie Library – Beaux Arts style – pediments, pilasters with composite capitals, elaborate keystones

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

80 Gore Street East – Town Hall – 1863-1864 – local sandstone, frontispiece topped by an elaborate wood cornice, a boxed gable, elaborate bell and clock tower/cupola was added in 1874, architectural detailing in both wood and stone

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

66 Craig Street – Inge-Va (a Tamil word meaning “come here”) Museum – local sandstone house – 1824 – Colonial Georgian style of an Ontario cottage – balanced façade, sidelights and transom

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

50 Herriot Street – Kininvie (meaning “where my family lives”) was built of reddish sandstone in 1906 for textile manufacturer Thomas A. Code – grand Edwardian – said to have been heated by steam from the factory across the street

Westport and Port Elmsley, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Westport and Port Elmsley, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Westport

Westport is a village in Eastern Ontario. It lies at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake, at the head of the navigable Rideau Canal system, between Kingston and Ottawa. The first settlers to the Westport area arrived in the period between 1810 and 1820. The land was originally granted by the Crown to a Mr. Hunter, but he never settled in the area and the land was purchased by Reuben Sherwood in 1817. Some of this land was later purchased by the Stoddard and Manhard families. Sawmills built by Sheldon Stoddard and the Manhard brothers in 1828-32, during the construction of the Rideau Canal, fostered the development of Westport.  Grist mills and wharves were soon erected and by 1848 a post office was established.  Within a decade the hamlet had three hundred residents and several prosperous businesses, including the General Store of Declan Foley and mills of William H. Fredenburgh, a prominent lumber exporter.  The community’s growth was stimulated by agricultural prosperity and the construction of the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway, completed in 1888 between Brockville and Westport, a distance of forty-five miles.  With several takeovers, the railway continued to run until 1952.

Port Elmsley

Port Elmsley is located in eastern Ontario in Lanark County on the north shore of the Rideau River between the town of Perth and the town of Smiths Falls.

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

45 Main Street – The Prospector’s Wife – corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

18 Church Street – built late 1880s as the home and shop of A.M. Craig, inventor of the one-piece harness buckle; Catholic Women’s League Hall from 1921 to 1988; now Cottage Country – mansard roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

11 Church Street – Italianate style – hip roof, dormer, Ionic capitals on verandah pillars

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

8 Mill Street – hip roof, paired cornice brackets, sash windows

Architectural Photos, Port Elmseley

Port Elmsley – cornice return on gable

Portland and Newboro, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Portland and Newboro, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Portland is a community located in Eastern Ontario within the township of Rideau Lakes in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. It is north of Kingston and situated on Big Rideau Lake.

Portland was first settled in the early nineteenth century as one of the first settlements along the Rideau Waterway. With the completion of the Rideau Canal Waterway in 1832, steamboats and barges carried raw materials such as cordwood, maple syrup, potash, cheese, tanned hides and salt beef. Portland became a thriving village of trade with Kingston, Montreal and Ottawa.

The village of Portland took its name in 1843 from William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, a British Whig and Tory statesman, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and served as Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1807 to 1809.

By the 1860s, the settlement had expanded considerably to require five hotels and, by the early twentieth century, cottages were built around the lake and the tourist trade began. Advances in rail and road travel and increasing tourism offset a decline in the role of agriculture in the economy of Portland. Tourism began to lead the economy and still does to this day.

An international speed skating tournament called Skate the Lake is held each winter on the Big Rideau Lake at Portland.

The settlement of the Newboro area was begun during the construction of the Rideau Canal in 1826-32. A major construction camp was located here at the Isthmus between the Rideau and Mud (Newboro) Lakes. In 1833, Benjamin Tett, owner of a nearby sawmill, opened a store and three years later a post office named Newborough was established. A small community including several stores developed as a trade center for the region’s lumbering industry and agriculture. About 1850 a tannery was established and within ten years two iron mines were opened. The ore was exported via the Rideau to smelters in the United States. A foundry and a steam sawmill stimulated growth.

In 1888, a branch of the Brockville-Westport & S.S.M. Railroad came to Newboro.  Trade and travel were now year-round. Produce of local farm and forest entered wider markets through Newboro’s cannery and mills. From Newboro Station, local scholars went to and from high school in Athens and Brockville.

Architectural Photos, Portland, Ontario

35 Colborne Street, Portland – The Gingerbread House – c. 1880s-1890s – Gothic Revival – gingerbread trim with finial on the front gable

Architectural Photos, Portland, Ontario

12 Newboro Road – Crosby Public School S.S. #2 – 1907 – now the site of Grace Varley’s Art Gallery; separate entrances for boys and girls, tin roof, bell tower, voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

Newboro – #42 – Gothic – dichromatic voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

Newboro – Victorian – dichromatic voussoirs, verandah pillars with ornate capitals, open railing

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

24 Drummond Street, Newboro – Italianate – Union Bank Building – cornice brackets, second floor balcony, voussoirs, string course

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

7 Drummond Street – The J.T. Gallagher House – c. 1885 – Gothic Revival style – 2½ storeys tall, 2 storey bay, extensive dripped barge board, locally quarried sandstone lintels; ornate polychromatic slate roof; tall decorative chimneys

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

#18, Newboro – hip roof with dormer, dentil molding

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

11 New Street – The John Draffin House – c. 1860 – first stone building constructed in Newboro – Italianate – corner quoins with large ashlars; cornice brackets, two round-headed doors opening onto balcony above porch; sidelights and transom – between 1895 and 1945 this was the parsonage for St. Mary’s Church

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

14 By Street – The John Poole Tett House – c. 1896 – Victorian – tall, imposing windows; bay window; cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

4 Main Street – The R.O. Leggett House and Shop – c. 1870 – furniture and undertaking establishment – intricate treillage work on the veranda posts of the home; large windows of business

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

5 Main Street – John Webster House – c. 1860s – Classical Revival style – entrance has a rectangular transom with sidelights to let natural light into the central hallway before there was electricity; bracketed shelf above door; Doric engaged columns flanking the sidelights; central casement window has a fanlight transom above it

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

14 Main Street – The Richard Blake House – c. 1858 – Ontario Cottage – 1½ storeys; gable window over front doorway provided light to a central hallway on the upper floor; intricate treillage work on the veranda posts, open railing