March, 2018:

Petrolia, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Petrolia, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Petrolia is a town in Ontario twenty minutes from Sarnia, and fifty minutes from London.

Following the discovery of oil at Oil Springs in 1857, prospectors extended their search to the entire township of Enniskillen. At the site of Petrolia, which contained two small settlements with post offices named Durance and Ennis, a well was brought into production in 1860. The following year a small refinery was opened and the Durance Post Office renamed “Petrolea”. In 1865-66, the drilling of the King well established Petrolia as the major oil producing center in Canada and its population soared from about three hundred to two thousand three hundred.

Oil men from Petrolia traveled to the far reaches of the world (Gobi Desert, Arctic, Iran, Indonesia, the United States, Australia, Russia, and over eighty other countries) teaching others how to find and extract crude oil.  Some oil fields in the area are still operational to this day.

Oil enticed people to come here, but Petrolia was created, nurtured, and sustained by hardworking visionaries, shopkeepers, builders, drillers, laborers, and leaders.

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

416 Warren Avenue – Italianate, hipped roof, cornice brackets, bric-a-brac on verandah

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

429 Ella Street – Lancey Hall built by Henry Warren Lancey – c. 1876 – Gothic Revival – verge board trim and finials on gables, iron cresting above bay window and enclosed front porch

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

#430 – Italianate, hipped roof, corner quoins, iron cresting on roof (widow’s walk), paired cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

4200 Petrolia Line – The original Grand Trunk Railway Station was built in 1903. Designated heritage building now the Robert M. Nichol Library; turrets on each end, center tower

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

Petrolia Line – Romanesque, three-storey turret, decorative iron railing on second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

Queen Street – heritage building – Second Empire style, mansard roof, window hoods, iron cresting, cornice brackets, pillared entrance, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

4142 Queen Street – manse for St. Philip’s Church – Italianate, hipped roof, dormers, pillared entrance with Ionic capitals, dentil molding, sidelights and transom window

Sarnia, Ontario – My Top 20 Picks

Sarnia, Ontario – My Top 20 Picks

Sarnia is a city in Southwestern Ontario located on the eastern bank of the junction between the Upper and Lower Great Lakes where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River, which forms the Canada-United States border, directly across from Port Huron, Michigan. It is the largest city on Lake Huron. The city’s natural harbor first attracted the French explorer LaSalle, who named the site “The Rapids” when he had horses and men pull his forty-five-ton barque “Le Griffon” up the almost four-knot current of the St. Clair River in August 1679. This was the first time anything other than a canoe or other oar-powered vessel had sailed into Lake Huron.

Captain Richard Emeric Vidal (1784-1854), one of the founders of Sarnia nurtured the little settlement for twenty years from his first visit in 1834. His wife, Charlotte Penrose Mitton (1790-1873) lived her last forty years in Sarnia and three streets bear her name (Charlotte, Penrose, and Mitton Streets).

Paul Blundy was born in Sarnia in 1918.  He served in the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II. Following the war, he co-founded the McKenzie & Blundy Funeral Home. Paul served four years as a member of the Hydro-electric Commission, twenty years as a member of Sarnia City Council, eight of them as mayor. During his time on City Council, he was a strong advocate for the redevelopment of the waterfront. From 1977 to 1981, he served as M.P.P. for Sarnia. He died in 1992.

 

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

303 Brock Street North – Victorian home – 1895 – Sarnia Book 1

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

283 Brock Street North – 1900 – Queen Anne – turret, curved verandah

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

270 Brock Street North – 1890 – Georgian

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

191 Brock Street South – Gothic Revival – 1890

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

435 Christina Street North – 1890 – Gothic Revival – barge board trim on gable with stenciling, arched and rectangular windows with voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

127 Christina Street South – Lawrence Family mansion – Mr. Lawrence was a lumberman – Queen Anne style – 1892

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

1031 Ellwood Avenue – 1890 – Edwardian – Sarnia Book 2

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

254 George Street – McCormack Funeral Home, Stewart Chapel – 1880 – Italianate – three bay two storey yellow brick building with a central frontispiece topped by a gable with projecting eaves; gable has a blinded round window; brick voussoirs over windows with carved oak leaf keystone; semi-elliptical brick arch doorway with a shared transom

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

197 London Road, Mulberry House 1867 – Gothic/Georgian style – 1½ storey yellow brick home, stone foundation; centered on the façade is a frontispiece with a gable roof – Sarnia Book 3

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

223 London Road – 1880 – Italianate – three bay, two storey yellow brick house with a centered frontispiece topped by a gable with a semi-circular arch decorated with barge board

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

424 London Road – 1911 – gambrel roofed gables, sidelights and transom

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

312 London Road – 1922 – Georgian – dormers, transom window

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

144 Maria Street – Tudor style – Elizabethan Manor

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

329 Vidal Street North – vernacular, cornice return on gable, wide cornice overhang, fish scale patterning, dentil molding – Sarnia Book 4

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

280 Vidal Street North – 1872 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, voussoirs with keystones

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

279 Vidal Street North – Edwardian – 1900 – two-storey tower with cone-shaped cap

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

262 Vidal Street North – 1880 – French Canadian home – red and yellow brick detailing, gabled parapets, French bay window

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

251 Vidal Street North – late 1870s – Christian Science Church – bell-cast mansard roof – Second Empire style, vousoirs and keystones, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

240 Vidal Street North – 1900 – Victorian – 3-storey tower with conical roof covered with cedar shingles, fish scale patterning in gable

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

183 Vidal Street South – Queen Anne – three-storey turret with cone shaped roof

St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Marys is a town in southwestern Ontario located southwest of Stratford. The north branch of the Thames River flows through St. Marys and is the heart of the town. St. Marys’ early economic success depended on the mills, powered by the water in this river.  The town’s prosperity was also helped by the presence of accessible limestone, taken in blocks from the riverbed and from quarries along the riverbanks. The name “Stonetown” is an apt moniker for St. Marys, as the town is filled with unique architecture featuring locally-quarried limestone. The stone buildings reveal much about the town’s history, and the development of the town can be witnessed in the architecture.

John Grieve Lind (1867-1947) was closely associated with the start of the St. Mary’s Cement Company.  St. Marys was chosen as the location for the plant because of its abundance of limestone, clay and water, it was on two national railway lines, and it had access to hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls. The plant opened in 1912.

Once the cement plant was in operation, Lind turned his attention to parks and recreation. He purchased the seven acre Cadzow Park on Church Street South and build Cadzow Pool. Lind Park has a statue of Arthur Meighen, Canada’s ninth prime minister.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

145 Church Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim and finial on gable, corner quoins, wood turned porch supports, sidelights and transom window surrounding door – St Marys Book 1

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

112 Church Street North – pediment with decorated tympanum, wraparound veranda

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

15 Church Street North – 1905 – Beaux Arts style, Public Library built of St. Marys limestone – pediment with dentil molding, pillars with Corinthian capitals

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

163 Church Street South – Queen Anne style, turret, dentil molding, dichromatic tile work, wraparound verandah

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

217 Jones Street East – Italianate style – 1875 – verge board trim on gable, cornice brackets, pediment with decorated tympanum, pillars with Doric capitals supporting verandah, bay window with iron cresting above, corner quoins, curved window voussoirs with keystones

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

236 Jones Street East – Ercildoune was originally built as a wedding gift to George Carter’s daughter Charlotte when she married Henry Lincoln Rice in 1880. The home is built in the Second Empire style, a very rare style of home in St. Marys.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

67 Peel Street South – built in 1883 for James Carter (wife Mary Box), only son of George Carter, a successful grain merchant in St. Marys – steep gable roofs, tall windows and chimneys with decorative brickwork – Queen Anne style – St Marys Book 2

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

175 Queen Street East – St. Mary’s Town Hall – This Romanesque Revival building was built in 1901 of local limestone with red sandstone as the contrasting elements for window arches and checkerboard effects in the façade. The massive entrances on the south and west façades of the building and the two towers on the south add to its lasting beauty. Due to its prominent location on the north side of the main street, and dominating as it does the sky-line of the Town, it plays an important role in the character of the downtown area.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

96 Robinson Street – built around 1875 for Leon Clench and his wife Eunice Cruttenden. It is now the Riverside Bed and Breakfast. Clench was a lawyer, a builder, inventor, violin-maker, musician and furniture-maker. Italianate style – St Marys Book 3

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

226 Water Street South – corner quoins, bay window with iron cresting above, pediment

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

17 Water Street South – The Post Office and Customs House built in 1908 – Romanesque style

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

92 Wellington Street North – Italianate – paired cornice brackets, 2½ storey tower-like bay with verge board trim on gable, iron cresting above entrance porch – St Marys Book 4

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

146 Wellington Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable, bric-a-brac and stenciling on porch

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

127 Wellington Street South – spindled and stenciled bric-a-brac on wraparound verandah; Palladian type window with window hood and stained glass window

 

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Oxford County is located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario and is made up of eight lower tier Municipalities. Zorra Township is located at the north-west corner of Oxford County.  It is a rural municipality, and was formed in 1975 through the amalgamation of East Nissouri, West Zorra and North Oxford townships.  The township includes the communities of Banner, Bennington, Brooksdale, Brown’s Corners, Cody’s Corners, Dicksons Corners, Dunn’s Corner, Embro, Golspie, Granthurst, Harrington, Harrington West, Holiday, Kintore, Lakeside, Maplewood, McConkey, Medina, Rayside, Thamesford, Uniondale, Youngsville, and Zorra Station.

Kintore, Medina, Thamesford and Uniondale are included in this book of photos.

Thamesford is located on the western boundary of Oxford County, half way between London and Woodstock on Highway 2 (County Road 68) and between St. Mary’s and Ingersoll on Highway 19.

Thames Centre is a municipality in Middlesex County east of the City of London.  It was formed on January 1, 2001, when the townships of West Nissouri and North Dorchester were amalgamated.  Communities in the township include: Avon, Belton, Cherry Grove, Crampton, Cobble Hill, Derwent, Devizes, Dorchester, Evelyn, Fanshawe Lake, Friendly Corners, Gladstone, Harrietsville, Kelly Station, Mossley, Nilestown, Oliver, Putnam, Salmonville, Silvermoon, Thorndale, Three Bridges, and Wellburn. Putnam is included in this book of photos.

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

128 Delatre Street West – St. Andrew’s Manse 1897 – “sleeping porch” on second floor, turned wood spindle supports, fretwork, pediment with decorated tympanum

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

118 Delatre Street West – decorative gable and pediment, Romanesque style window voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

George Street – Gothic Revival – within peak of gable is a decorative arch with applied scroll work, spindles and circular piercing

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Washington Street – Edwardian, decorative gable

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

144 Washington Street – Regency cottage

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

155 Allen Street – gambrel roof

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

205 Allen Street – Gothic Revival – stone architecture, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable with finial