Designated Heritage Properties

Designated Heritage Properties in Central Elgin
Central Elgin has 16 designated buildings, 8 in Sparta and 8 in Port Stanley. We also have one designated cemetery, "The Seminary Cemetery", on Sparta Line at Centennial Road.
sparta house
Sparta House was built in the 1840's by David Mills, an early Quaker. It was a hotel built in the American Colonial style featuring a double veranda with classical proportions. Note the dentils under the eaves, eave returns, boomtown, plastered doorway, and clapboard siding. It has house the first library, a general store,  a furniture shop, a funeral parlor, a hardware store, a barbershop, a pub and a tearoom. 
 
forge and anvil museum
Forge and Anvil Museum was built about 1827 of clay and straw by a Mr. Kellar from England. It served as the village blacksmith shop until 1944.  Note the  thickness of the walls, the protruding rafters, and the tiny window panes. When the shop closed Edgar A. Smith purchased it ans gave it to the Sparta Sorosis Women's Institute as a meeting place and museum. In 1995 it was turned over to the Sparta and District Historical Society.
temperance house

 

Temperance House was built in the 1840's by a Mr. Hitchcock as the Sparta Hotel. In 1851 it became the Elgin House owned by Isaac Moore and later by John MacDowell. In 1872, it was renamed Ontario House and owned by Freeborn Taylor. It was Sparta's busiest hotel but its bar was closed by the Temperance Society in 1901.  They took it over and ran it as and ice cream parlor and reading room. Later it served as a  dance hall, apartment house, factory and shops.
 
bostwick house
Bostwick House at 16 Cornell Drive, Port Stanley was built in the late 1820's by Colonel John Bostwick, the most important early settler in Port Stanley. The house is a rare example of exposed post and beam construction with brick nogging.

194 main street harbour house

 
 
 
194 Main St  (Harbour House)
The building was constructed about 1917 by the East Side Fish Company, although it was not completed until after the fishing industry began to decline. It was never used as a fishery but served for net mending and storage. The symmetrical design and the number of windows is very significant as they expose east, south and west facades to both natural light and the sun’s heat in a large structure that was originally heated only by small coal stoves.

 183 main street cork kiln183 Main Street  (Cork Kiln)
Built around 1915 during the boom of the fishing industry, the cork kiln was important for the drying of the cork used for floating fish nets. The kiln was built into the side of the hill as a natural means of maintaining dry heat. Its preservation makes a unique architectural contribution to the streetscape.
 

windjammer inn sheppard house
 
Windjammer Inn: 324 Smith Street (Sheppard House)
The beautiful old house on the southwest corner of William and Smith streets was built in 1854 by Samuel Shepard who was active in Port Stanley as an insurance agent and grain and produce merchant. Samuel Shepard’s windjammers were considered by many to be the finest boats that ever sailed into the harbour. He began the tradition of awarding the first captain to arrive in Port Stanley after the spring break up a top hat. This tradition has continued and is known as the “Shepard Hat”. The Shepard House stayed in the Shepard family until 1947 and much of the original character of the house remains.

telegraph/payne house

Telegraph House:205 Main Street (Payne House)
The Payne House was built in 1873 by Manuel Payne on the site of Col. John Bostwick’s original residence and encompasses its foundation. Manual Payne was a landowner, railway agent, telegraph and telephone operator, a custom’s officer, express agent, issuer of marriage licenses, and the first postmaster of the village. Built of yellow brick in the early Victorian style, it mixes the gables of Gothic Revival and the bay windows and quoining of the Italianate style.
 

 
 

211 Main Street (Russell House)
The Russell house was built in the early 1870s of locally made strawberry bricks by a newly arrived settler, John Sweeney. It was one of the first hotels in Port Stanley, and one of a number of similar inns required in the early days of lake, rail and stagecoach travel. Over the years it has served a variety of functions, including butcher and plumbing shops and doctor’s, lawyer’s and insurance agent’s offices. It later became the Sterling Bank, and several staff members have lived in rooms on the second floor, including a young banker named Mitchell Hepburn, later to become Premier of Ontario.

main street axford building
215 Main Street (Axford Building)
This whimsical building may  well be the oldest structure on the tour. It has been a livery, a confectionary shop, a retail store and temporarily the Village hall. Typical of the early 19th century, the main level was built to be used as a commercial space and the upper level to be used as living quarters for the owner. Its deeply paneled pine doors and large display window are distinctive features of a building whose location has always kept it at the hub of village commerce.
 
 
 
    The Louws’ House was built in the late nineteenth century, allegedly by a member of the Fishleigh family. The house was originally constructed as a single dwelling farm house and continues to be used as a private home. The property is currently home of Brenda and Cornelius Louws and features elaborate gardens.   The structure sits on a fieldstone foundation and has a full basement. It is a two storey building and has an extension on the east side. The facade is 44 feet and 3 inches long and the building has a depth of 30  feet and 3 inches. It is made of brick and supported by a wooden frame. The brick at the corner of the exterior walls includes quoins, and the base of the walls project in the form of a plinth. The main section is roofed   by a medium gable. The building has projecting eaves, moulded soffits, moulded fascia, and wooded verges. The structure has one chimney. It is made of brick. The chimney is not original although it is in the original  location to the west. The roof also features a finial and drops or pendants. The main entrance is off-centred and in the facade of structure. The trim above the doorway features voussoirs. The remainder of the doorway  consists of plain trim. The present door is not original to the structure as the original door was replaced in the 1960s. The present door was taken from a demolished building of the same period. The door has two leaves which feature shaped panels. The windows on the building are two sash and are single or double hung with a 6/6 pane arrangement. The trim above the structural opening of the window also feature voussoirs. The facade also features a (roofed) bay window with brackets. The front porch is on the first storey, and it is open. The porch has been replaced or repaired. The Louws have also replaced the bargeboard trim on the eaves with a replica of the period.

 

The Baptist Parsonage was built about 1855. It served as a residence for the ministers of Sparta Baptist Church until the mid-twentieth century. It now serves as a private home.  The Baptist Parsonage is constructed in the    Greek Revival Architectural Style (with its returned eaves and pilastered entrance with Doric capitals and entablature). The structure sits on a fieldstone foundation topped by several courses of brick and laid with bottom row headers    and stretchers.  It is a one and a half   storey building, and it has a partial basement and a crawl space (though the basement is not original to the building). The facade is 11 metres long and has a depth of 7 metres. It is made of    clapboard and supported by a wooden  frame. The clapboard on the corners is corner board to make a nice finish. The structure is roofed by a medium gable. The building has projecting eaves, returned eaves, wooded verges, plain    fascia, moulded soffits, and plain frieze. A  composite roof replicates the original cedar shingles. There are two chimneys on the building; they are made of brick and are located side left and side right single mass. There is one    doorway   located in the centre of the facade. The  entrance is plastered with Doric columns and entablature. The door has 1 leaf and a single panel. The windows on the building are two sash, single or double hung with a 6/6 pane    arrangement. The building has a wooden platform  across the front. It is believed that the basement and the stairs and porch have been altered or added.
 

The Kettle Creek Inn was built about 1849 by Squire Samuel Price, Justice of the Peace, who used it as a summer inn.  It continues to serve as an inn and restaurant under the current owners, Jean and Gary Vedova.  The inn is built on a concrete foundation above a full basement.  The two and a half story building is finished with wooden clapboard siding and corner boards.  The original decorative shingle on the top half story has recently been covered with clapboard.  A skirt roof wraps around the façade and part of the south wall.  Brackets and bargeboard decoration in the eaves have been recently added to the projecting verges on the façade; the original structure did not have this type of decoration, but they were designed to be consistent with the time period of the building.  The roof is a medium gable with a double cross gable.  The inn has projecting eaves and verges with a plain soffit made of wood, matching the returning eaves.  There are two new metal chimneys offset to the right front side of the roof.  There has been panelling added to the sides of the windows and doors.  A large recess in the façade has been added, functioning as a large patio with a closed railing.  A recess added to the second story has allowed for an additional balcony, with a door and side lights leading onto it.  The windows have been replaced, some of them imitating the original window design.  The façade is 8 metres long, and the building has a depth of 24 metres. 

The Martin House

 The simplicity of this 1855 building epitomizes the Provincial Greek Revival style in which it was built. It has pilastered doorways with entablatures, side lights, and a solid frieze, similar to other houses in the village of Sparta that date back to the 1850s.  The house is a long, rectangular building with an extension built off the back. It is one-and- a- half storeys high with a full basement. It sits on a fieldstone foundation and measures 11m long by 8m deep. The building is a clapboard frame house with corner board detailing. The   roof is a simple, medium gable with projecting eaves and moulded fascia and soffit. The frieze is unique in that the moulding is broken halfway through to give the appearance of a ‘double frieze.’ There are projecting verges on the house, which also have moulded   fascia, soffit, and frieze; there are also returned eaves, as was common in the Greek Revival style.The windows themselves are 6x6 paned, with two single-hung sashes. Very few alterations to the exterior have been made.
 

 

 

 The Abbey The Abby in Sparta was built in the early 1840s. It served as a residence for the Moedinger family for many years as well as being Louis Moedinger’s furniture and coffin   shop. It now serves as the private home and studio of Peter Robson and his wife Eleanor.  The Abby is constructed in the Colonial Style. The structure sits on a sculptured cement block foundation and has a full basement.  It is a two storey building at the front and has a one and a half story addition on the back. The facade is 12 metres long and has a depth of 10 metres. It is made of clapboard and supported by a wooden frame. The clapboard on the corners is corner board to make a nice finish. The structure is roofed by a medium gable. The building has projecting eaves, wooded verges, plain fascia, moulded soffits, and plain frieze. An asphalt roof replaces the original cedar shingles. There is one chimney on the building made of block and located left side, single mass. There is one doorway located in the centre of the facade. The entrance which was altered by the Robsons is pilastered with square columns and entablature and features a half circled transom. The door has two lower panels and two windows above. The windows on the building are two sash, single or double hung with a 2/2 pane arrangement. The original windows would have featured a 6/6 pane arrangement but were replaced at the time the building was moved in the mid-1900s. There are half fan light windows in the peaks of the eves. The windows feature a peaked upper frame. The building has an entrance porch with a railed top and two pillars that was also added by the Robsons in the 1980s.

 

 

Hiram Smith's Tailor Shop

The Hiram Burley Smith store was built as a Tailor shop and Yard Goods store in 1846. It continues to be used as a store, and currently belongs to Eileen Simpson, who runs the building as Morgan Nina’s, a craft store.  The original red brick structure is a long rectangle that measures approximately 10m wide, and 13m deep. It is a two-storey building with an extension in siding added on to the back. It sits on a stone foundation with a full basement underneath.  The walls are three layers of brick thick, and are laid in the common pattern, with no special detailing. It has a basic gable roof with projecting eaves, plain fascia and soffit, and a frieze decorated with projecting dentals. The facade is trimmed in wood, with projecting verges, moulded fascia and plain soffit, returned eaves, and a projecting dentals motif on the frieze. It is made of brick of a later date than the store itself, with vertical decorative grooves on the headers and stretchers pattern. The original first floor shop windows were 12-paned, fixed glass, and covered nearly the entire front of the store. These were replaced when Ms. Simpson took over the store, and are now six nine-paned panels with flat moulded, continuous heads, pilastered sides, and moulded slip sills. The rest of the windows are flat, rectangular windows with flat, arch vertical joint brick heads, plain sides and moulded slip sills. They have two single-hung sashes, with 6x6 plain glass window panes. The facade also has a small half-round window in the upper storey, and the sides of the building have blind windows, as well.  The current main entrance holds a two-leaved, wooden door, featuring a horizontal and vertical board pattern, with two panes of glass in each panel.  Inside, the main salesroom still contains the original pressed-metal ceiling, as well as the original shelving and floors. The original sales counters are still present, including a cash drawer, and an embedded brass yardstick for measuring cloth and other goods.

Morrow House

The exact date of construction of the house at 232 Colborne Street is unknown, but believed to be mid-19th century. It is built in a modest, neo-classical design, with impressive design detailing, and reflects the Quaker influences in the region. Its architectural style is visually linked to the nearby Christ Church and St John’s Presbyterian Church. The building measures 32 feet across the front and down the north side of the main section. There is a side piece to the south that is set back 6 feet from the front of the house and measures 16 feet in depth.It is a simple, rectangular building with an extension built off to the south side. There are three symmetrical bays on the front facade, and a transom and plain pilasters frame the central entrance door. There is a gable roof line with returned eaves and deep but plain frieze extending across the front of the facade. The building appears to have either its original clapboard exterior, or it has been carefully repaired over the years. The building may be plain, but the high quality craftsmanship involved in its creation is evident.

The land on which 232 Colborne St is located was deeded by the Crown to John Bostwick in 1804. Bostwick sold the property to James Thomas shortly before his death in 1835. It was sold to the Thomson family in 1872, and then to the Goodwins in 1945.  The building has served as the community’s first library from the 1870s until the early 20th century. While his name does not appear on the land use records, the property also housed the medical practice of Dr Clinton A. Bell, who served as the community physician in the mid-1900s.

While the building is not a landmark, it does have a significant place in the history of the community. 232 Colborne St is one of the oldest and best maintained residential properties in the Village of Port Stanley, and it represents the early period of economic and social growth and development, as well as the beginnings of residential development in early Port Stanley history.

The Davey House

The exact date of construction of the Davey House is unknown, falling somewhere between 1845 and 1855. The simplicity of the building epitomizes the Provincial Greek Revival style in which it was built. It also has pilastered doorways with entablatures, and a solid frieze, similar to other houses in the village of Sparta that date back to the 1850s.

The house is a long, rectangular building with an extension built off the back. It is one-and- a- half storeys high with a full basement. It sits on a fieldstone foundation and measures 11m long by 7m deep. The building is a clapboard frame house with corner board detailing.

The roof is a simple, medium gable with projecting eaves and moulded fascia and soffit. There are projecting verges on the house, which also have moulded fascia, soffit, and frieze; there are also returned eaves, as was common in the Greek Revival style.

The windows are flat squares with plain, flat heads. The insides of the windows are made of wood and built plainly using mortise and tenon construction with pegs, as is the plain slip sill. The windows themselves are 2x2 paned, with two single-hung sashes. Originally the windows would have been 6x6 paned but were replaced in the 1870s or 1880s. The protruding bay on the west side was added in 1887. This bay features Italianate brackets on moulded fascia, soffit and frieze.  The upper windows are still the 6x6 paned, two being original and the other two were reproduced by Wade using old glass and wood.

There is a small, plain step leading to the main entrance, which is set in the centre of the facade. The doorway is plastered with Doric columns and entablature. The door itself is four-panelled with the upper panels in glass and the lower panels in wood.

The Davey house is an excellent specimen of its type, and the rear extension, added in the 1940s is sympathetic to the original structure being clad in clapboard. The Daveys have restored most of the changes made over the years to the windows and doors to their original forms.  

The property on which the Davey House sits was originally deeded by the Crown to the Honourable James Baby. Baby sold the property to the Jonathan Doan in 1813, who then sold it to his son, Israel Doan in 1843. The Martin House in Sparta which is designated was also built by Israel Doan in the same style In 1850s. The Wade and Vera Davey purchased the house in 1990 and have made considerable effort to restore it.

Solomon V. Willson Home

The Solomon V Willson Home in Union Ontario is a stately yellow brick home constructed in the late Victorian period (about 1890). It has fine bays and verandah, a steep roof, and gingerbread trim. It has been well maintained by a succession of responsible owners; it retains its charm. The well - treed and maintained grounds complement the home and add to its ambience.  It is located on the west side of Sunset Road just north of the Union Pond.

This dwelling was constructed by Solomon Van Willson (1836-1922). He was the owner of grist and woolen mills which obtained their power from the harnessing of Beaver Creek, a main tributary of the Union Pond.  A bridge was built over Union Pond. The Tweedsmuir History of Union (pp. 14 and 24) has good photographs of the Willson mills. Solomon married Hannah Haight (1861- 1905). They had two children, Hannah Marguerite and Charles Edward. Upon Solomon's death, the property that Soloman owned was divided between the two children. Hannah (1870- 1939) (nicknamed "Etta ") married a distant cousin, Edgar Freeman Willson, in 1909. She lived in the house many more years.

This house is a fine example of the architecture of this period. 

The Hiram Smith Burley (Martyn) House

The H. B. Smith (Martyn) house was constructed beginning in 1863 and completed in 1865. The house is a  three bay Georgian style building with a 
centre hall and balanced rooms on either side.  It features a centre door with three paned sidelights and a five paned Roman arched transom light above. 
The walls are three layers of strawberry hand made brick thick with a 6 layer pattern, 5 layers with the sides facing outward and one with the ends
facing outward. The windows are 6 over 6 paned with Roman arches above in brick.  The details are of the Regency period with the original door recessed.
A second layer with the exact same pattern of side lights and transom were added in 1948 flush with the front wall of the house to help insulate it. The
Smith house is an excellent specimen of the Georgian type. Very few alterations to the exterior have been made. 

 

summer at central elgin

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