1118-1124 Morganston Road, Morganston

(1850s)
Roll No. 1411-011-040-09600 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Gothic Revival Cottage Vernacular

The best way to describe this house is a “stretch” Gothic Revival cottage. This is a rural property near the hamlet of Morganston and its architecture echoes other properties in Cramahe Township while bearing differences which cause us to add “vernacular” to this description. This cottage is considered “vernacular” not just because it has been significantly altered and updated over the decades but because it is a wider version of the Gothic Revival architecture which, in the 19th century, was more often three bay. The Gothic central peak is not as steep as most, the bay windows on the front facade are atypical and the Palladium window in the central gable is smaller than commonly found.

If our supposition that the house was built between 1844 and circa 1877 by James McGlaughlin, it is one of the older houses in our Cramahe Cultural Heritage Register. It was probably built by McGlaughlin, for his wife, Catherine née Taylor and their eight children.

Given that, it was likely built in the Gothic Revival style with materials at hand, rather than via a blueprint of a true Gothic Revival cottage. It is after all a farm house in a rural setting. The more elaborate Gothic Revival cottages have narrow full length paned windows, a decorative door, often double and round headed and a great deal of gingerbread on the porch and gables. (see 101 King Street East, Colborne) which was probably built in the same era).

History or Associative Value

This property was the subject of multiple transactions in and among the McGlaughlin family. In 1844 Alexander Gilkinson of Glasgow sold to James McGlaughlin. On his death it went to son Robert who sold it in 1889, to Davidson Carlaw who sold it back to the McGlaughlins 2 months later. 1894 a McGlaughlin sold it to Carlaw again who then transferred title to Colborne lawyer Frank Leslie Webb in 1898. Webb sold it back to the McGlaughlins again in 1900. The property left McGlaughlin hands in 1901. James McGlaughlin probably built the house.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

1124 Morganston Road, Morganston, Ontario Cramahe Township, Concession 9, Lot 23

In 1798 each of the members of the Executive Council of Upper Canada (the governing body under Lieutenant Governor Simcoe) received for their services a land grant of 6000 acres for themselves and 1200 for each of their children. This apparently was at least in part an unsuccessful attempt on the part of Governor Simcoe to establish a landed gentry in Canada, similar to that in England at the time. One of Executive Councillors was Alexander Grant (1734-1813) and one of his children was 15-year-old Isabella Grant (1783-1826).

The 200 acres in Concession 9, Lot 23 made up part of Isabella’s 1200 acres. She married William Gilkinson (1777-1833) in 1803 and on her death in 1826 the property went to her eldest son David Gilkinson (1803-1851). Four years later David transferred title to his father on 1 September 1830, and his father transferred it to second son, and David’s brother, Alexander Grant Gilkinson (1805-1849) on 7 March 1833. It does not appear that any of the Gilkinsons were ever residents of Cramahe Township.

Local ownership started on 10 June 1844 when Alexander Gilkinson, then a resident of Glasgow, sold the southern 100 acres in the lot to James McGloughlin (1788-?). McGlaughlin and all subsequent owners of the property were farmers.

James McGlaughlin’s wife was Catherine (“Kate”) Taylor (1809-?), and their children were John (1825-?), Patrick J. (1829-1898), James (1828-?), Jane (1831-?), Henry (1832-?), David (1835-?), Robert (1839-?), and Elizabeth (1842-?).

McGlaughlin was alive as of the 1871 census, but dead by 1877 when his wife turned the property over to their son Robert on 11 October of that year. Robert married Elizabeth McKague (1845-?) in 1871 and had two daughters, Meta Mabel (1873-?) and Letty Beatrice (1881-?). The family was living in Cramahe Township in 1881 but by the time Robert sold the property in 1889 they were living in Cobourg.

On 12 January 1889 ownership went to Davidson Carlaw (1843-1923), a farmer living in Percy Township. Two months later (5 March 1889) Carlaw sold the property back to the McGlaughlins, this time to Robert’s brother Patrick. His wife was Louisa Winn (1842-1919) and his children Alecta (1866-1869), David O. (1865-1922), Mida (1869-1870), and George (1871-1894).

On 6 December 1894 Patrick McGlaughlin sold the property back to Davidson Carlaw again and Carlaw transferred title to Colborne lawyer Frank Leslie Webb (1864-1937) on 31 January 1898. Webb sold it back to the McGlaughlins yet again on 29 March 1900, this time to Patrick’s son David. David was married to Catherine (“Cassie”) Lucinda Puffer (1871-1971) and had a single daughter, Maxcine (1907-1998).

On 31 January 1901 ownership went back to Frank Webb. The property finally left the McGlaughlin family on 27 November 1901 when Webb sold it to William Albert Thompson (1851-1920). Thompson was married to Annie Winifred Robbins (1858-1908, m. 1878) and had seven children: Edith Beatrice (1881-1974), Harold Roy (1884-1887), Edna Mabel (1886-1968), Arthur Glenn (1891-?), Harry Eugene (1893-1949), John (1897-?), and Maggie (1899-?).

Thompson sold the property to William Henry Summerville (1872-1949) of Haldimand Township on 29 June 1903. Summerville appeared in the 1911 and 1921 Cramahe censuses. He was married twice, first to Carolyn (“Cassie”) Samis (1883-1906) and second to Lumira P. (“Lula”) Richardson (1879-1916). As far as can be determined, he had two children with Cassie, Jessie (1898-?) and William Hayden (1905-1906), and five with Lula, Lena Grace (1908-?), unnamed male (1910-1910), Kenneth (1911-?), William Cameron (1911-?), and Ruth (1914-?).

James McGlaughlin purchased the property from Alexander Gilkinson for £75 in 1844. All subsequent sales, beginning with his widow selling it to his son in 1877 were in the thousands of dollars. The house therefore was probably built by James McGlaughlin. It was probably the home of multiple generations of McGlaughlins until 1901. Temporary periods of ownership by Carlaw and Webb around the turn of the 20th Century were probably for legal reasons. Neither ever lived on the property.

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