4. The Mud Cottage, 46173 Sparta Line Built in 1830 of clay and straw (wattle and daub construction) in Regency cottage style featuring casement windows, a lantern for light upstairs, recessed door with sidelights and stone chimneys. This is an excellent example of a well preserved early home with additions that blend into the original construction style and period.
7. Alma Villa, Harrison Place, Port Stanley This Neo-Georgian home was built in 1916 with 7,000 square feet of floor space. Guy Lombardo's orchestra and many big bands were entertained here. Tommy Hunter also performed here many times when his cousin Harry Hunter owned the place. It has been restored by Gary and Marina Morritt.
8. Van Patter Home, 10343 Yarmouth Centre Road
9. Erikson Home, 45560 Edgeware Line
10. Judd Martin Home, 45122 Edgeware Line These three homes are excellent examples of the style of houses build in the north of Yarmouth in the 1870's and 1880's. They are all Italianate in style with different features, such as Roman arch windows, side lights and eve brackets and are made of yellow brick, an important regional building material. They reflect the affluence of the period of settlement of this part of our municipality.
12. Christ Church, 283 Colborne St. This church was built in 1845 and was important in the early settlement of Port Stanley. It is a fine example of early Ontario Gothic architecture and features many beautiful stained glass windows. John Bostwick, son of a Church of England clergyman from Massachusetts gave one acre land on which the church was built and a cemetery created. An historical bronze plaque honouring Bostwick stands beside the church.
The congregation was established in 1834 and by 1837 were strong enough to be holding worship services in the newly built school on Francis Street. In 1844, they decided to build their own edifice under the capable leadership of Major John Ellison. Its soaring steeple and white clapboard construction epitomize the best of New England ecclesiastical architecture. Bostwick and his wife are both buried beside the church as are many of the founding families of Port Stanley.
13. McManus Cottage, 201 McClary Avenue This large home at the extreme eastern end of Orchard Beach was built as a summer cottage in 1919 by the Honourable C.S. Hyman. In 1946 it was purchased by the well known London businessman Joe Mc Manus and used as a summer cottage by the McManus family for many years. Without the erosion control measures carried out by McManus, Orchard Beach might not exist today. The present structure, like so many of the cottages on Orchard Beach has undergone extensive renovations, but the present structure looks much as it did when occupied by the McManus family.
14. Smith Mill, 181 Brayside The magnificently restored mill on this property has to be considered as one of Port Stanley’s historical treasures. It was built as a grist mill in the very early 1800s in the little settlement of Selbourne. In 1949 the mill was purchased by the Smith family and moved to an area east of Orchard Beach. Threatened by lake erosion, in 1955 it was moved to its present location and has been lovingly preserved ever since by the Smith family.
The next four adjacent properties acted as a central core for summer cottage development in the area of Port Stanley known as Orchard Beach.
15. Darch Cottage, 192 Harrison Place In 1883 the first summer cottage in Port Stanley was erected on Orchard Beach by two clergymen, one from London and one from St. Thomas. It was situated on a tract of land bordering the west side of Little Creek. In 1907 it was sold to John Darch, a prominent London businessman and extensively renovated. This cottage remained in the hands of the Darch family until 1989 when it was sold to the present owners. As erosion ate away at the shoreline of Lake Erie the cottage was moved repeatedly, but there is remarkable photographic evidence that the present home is little changed from the cottage of 1907.
16. Darch Cottage 2, 194 Harrison Place This home, owned by a direct descendant of the Darch family (see above) is on the same property where Port Stanley’s first cottage was located. The present structure originated as part of a cottage which was situated farther east on Orchard Beach. In the early 1940s this cottage, which was being engulfed by the lake, was divided into 3 sections. One section was moved to the Darch property and used as a two room sleeping cabin. This original cabin has now been incorporated into a much larger home, but the barge boards and original siding of the previous structure have been carefully preserved.
17. Purdom Cottage, 198 Harrison Place The large and gracious home which stands on this lot was built by the Purdom family in the very early years of the last century. The present structure is little changed from the original cottage and is an excellent example of the many spacious summer cottages which were being built on Orchard Beach by affluent families from St. Thomas and London.
18. Labatt Cottage, 206 Harrison Place The intriguing home which stands on this property is believed to have been built in the early 1920s. In 1937 it was purchased by John Labatt, the founder of s Brewery. To reflect his wife’s interest in Chinese architecture, he remodeled the cottage so that the roof line would resemble that of a Chinese pagoda. The cottage was subsequently purchased by two London restauranteurs, John and Dorothy Downs. Johnny Downs orchestra was, for many years, the house band at Port Stanley’s famous Stork Club. The unique "Chinese" roof on the cottage has been preserved by the present owner, Dorothy Downs, and is a distinctive feature of the Harrison Place streetscape.
19. Bostwick Home, 190 Cornell Drive John s original home, believed to have been built in the 1820s and having official heritage designation by the Municipality of Central Elgin, was an important feature of the area of Port Stanley known as Hillcrest. Situated closer to the lake was a large tract of land which was developed in 1897 by a St. Thomas barrister by the name of John Robinson. Calling this area the Liberty Hill Club, he built a clubhouse which stands to this day. Photographs from the very early 1900s indicate that the exterior of this structure has been preserved virtually intact. It represents a very early example of what might be called today a "resort development" and as such may be a unique structure in Southwestern Ontario.
The next eight properties are situated in the central village area, and complement the six Heritage Designated buildings in this area of the village.
20. Traction Line Office, 208 Main Street The very well known London and Port Stanley Railroad was not the only important transportation link for Port Stanley in the early years of the last century. The Traction Line, running up Main and Colborne streets in Port Stanley, provided direct electric street car access to St Thomas and London. Their office and station on Main Street is a little recognized feature of the historical streetscape. The facade is almost identical to that which existed in 1907.
21. Mill Warehouse, 207 Main Street John Bostwick, Port Stanley’s founding father, constructed a grist mill at the foot of Main Street in the early eighteen hundreds. No traces of this mill remain, but the warehouse associated with it is still extant, having been moved to 207 Main Street. One can still recognize the central gable and what would once have been doors leading into the upper loft where grain would have been stored. This is a building which has top priority for preservation if we wish to retain evidence of Port Stanley’s wonderful heritage.
22. The Bank, 221 Colborne Street The intersection of Colborne, Bridge and Main Streets has always been the main intersection in Port Stanley. In 1876 the lot on the NE corner of this intersection was purchased by the SW Farmers and Mechanics Savings and Loan Society. In the second decade of the last century the imposing building which presently stands on this lot was erected to house Port Stanley’s first bank. This bank, which underwent several name changes, played a key role in the commercial life of our little village for the next ninety years.
23. Early Library & Doctor's Office, 232 Colborne Street The attractive little cottage standing on this lot is believed to have been built in the latter part of the 19th century. It served as Port Stanley’s first library, and later as the office of Dr. Bell who, in the middle years of the last century was Reeve of Port Stanley and practiced medicine here for many years. Leaving this important history aside, the architectural aspects of this property make it very worthy of preservation.
24. St. John's Presbyterian Church, 238 Colborne Street Constructed in 1852, St. John’s Presbyterian Church is a wonderful example of small town ecclesiastical architecture. Nestled among the trees in the heart of the village, this building has, for over 150 years, catered to the religious needs of the community.
25. United Church, 239 Colborne Street This lot was purchased in 1868 by the trustees of the Port Stanley congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. In 1888 they constructed the church which presently stands on the property. Following church union in 1925 it became a United Church, and has maintained an active congregation to this day.
26. St. Mark's Masonic Lodge, 291 Bridge Street The red brick building on this lot, built in 1874, houses, on it’s upper floor, St. Mark’s Masonic Lodge. Members of the lodge have played a very active role in the commercial and political life of the village for the last 150 years, and the lower floor of the building has housed many commercial enterprises over the last 100 years.
27. L&PS Railway Terminal, 309 Bridge Street The present station of Terminal Rail started life as the Port Stanley depot for the London and Port Stanley Railway. Although we do not know precisely when the present building was built, it is readily recognizable in photographs taken prior to 1910. Given the importance of the L&PS in the historical development of Port Stanley, the demolition of this building should be prevented at all costs.
28. Sparta United Church, 6073 Quaker Road The present structure was built in 1886 and included a victorian manse as well to the north of the church. Prior to the construction of this fine yellow brick building there was a clapboard chapel on the site which was moved to the lost south of the current structure and is now a private home. This church had a steeple but it was struck by lightening and removed. There are two stained glas windows in the front of the nave dedicated to early pioneers and the remaining stained glass windows are typicl of early Methodist churches. The doors are replicas of the original doors and the ceiling is a fine wood panelled one.
29. Belmont United Church, 247 College Street - The United Church was built on land donated by Thomas Nugent, and served the members of the Belmont Circuit. The original church was a small, white frame church, but by the late 1880s, it had become too small for the congregation. In 1889, architect James Night of Ingersoll designed and built the building that stands on the site today. It features gables with daisy-flower patterned roof tiles, corbelled brickwork, and leaded glass lanced windows spaced between symmetrical buttresses. These features are typical of the Rural Gothic style in which the church was built. It also features a unique Gothic Revival style entrance door with a Tudor architrave, and a quatrefoil-designed “Catherine Wheel” stained glass window on the front gable.
30. Former Knox Presbyterian Church, 231 College Street - This church has been in existence since 1855, when early Scottish settlers in the area built a small brick church on the site. When the congregation outgrew the original building in the late 1880s, it was torn down and replaced with a newer, larger building that could seat 500 people. Knox Presbyterian Church, as it now stands, was constructed in 1889. It features a beautiful trefoil window with a memorial stone beneath it on the facade. Its symmetrical, lancet-shaped, leaded stained glass windows, corbelled walls, and spirelet-capped buttresses epitomize the Simple Gothic Revival style in which the church was built. The church stands as a monument to the dedicated, hard-working early settlers who formed its congregation. The church was converted into a day care in recent years which is an excellent use of the structure.
31. St. James Presbyterian Church - This Church has been in existence since 1838. The original site at Kilmartin Cemetery held a small log church, followed by a wooden frame church in 1858. By the late 1890s, the congregation had outgrown the site, and they moved down the road to their current location. The church was established by the early Scottish settlers to the area, including the Fergusons, Campbells, Giles, and others. Many of these families still attend the church today.
In 1905, architect Neil Darrach (designer of the St Thomas City Hall and Courthouse) designed the brick structure that stands today. The building is a simple rectangular brick structure. There is no ornamental brickwork or woodwork, aside from a stone containing the name and date of the church. The foundation wall is built of stone-mimicking concrete blocks, and similar brickwork forms the continuous headers and sills of the windows.
There are several stained glass windows, a number of which are half-rounds. Many of these windows were donated by the local families. The church features the original curved wood benches, and a unique counter-weight partition that can separate the sanctuary from the fellowship hall. Otherwise, the building is plain and unornamented, a reflection of the practical, hard working people who have formed it’s congregation over the last 175 years.
32. Sparta Baptist Church - The Baptist Church was built as a mission of the First Yarmouth Baptist Church (The Plains), in 1869. Their first minister was the Rev. Alexander MacDonald who later became the first missionary to Western Canada. The congregation struggled for its first few years and then grew by the 1880s. It continues to serve the community of Sparta to this day. The original church structure was a white frame church, but in 1898 it was raised on jacks, had a basement hand dug beneath it and a stone foundation put in place. The surface of the building was covered in red bricks and the buttresses were added. The church features corbelled brick work, and coloured and patterned glass windows in Gothic style spaced between symmetrical buttresses. These features are typical of the Rural Gothic style in which the church was built. It also features double entrance doors with a three teardrop window above on the front gable.
33. Sparta Community Hall, 46272 Sparta Line - Sparta Community Hall was once Sparta Continuation School, a secondary education centre built by Harry Smale of Sparta in 1927 in order to provide education to students in the area beyond grade eight. The building was designed by well-known architect John Finlay of St. Thomas. Prior to the construction of the school, students had to board in St. Thomas for secondary education, resulting in many students ending their education after grade eight. The school closed in June of 1963 as a result of the last two teachers retiring. It was handed over to the Sparta Community Society by the Sparta School board in 1965. The building is a red brick structure that housed two classrooms, a library and in the basement, a recreation auditorium. Students attended grades 9 to 12 there. The structure features large windows with two smaller ones flanking a large central window in each classroom. The roof is a flat one with a raised parapet.
450 Sunset Drive
St. Thomas, ON N5R 5V1