Castleton Town Hall, 1780 Percy Street, Castleton

(1893)
Roll No. 1411-011-050-02900 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Village Town Hall – Designated

Exterior

The Castleton Town Hall is red patterned solid brick with part of the lower floor exposed.

There are blind rectangular arcades or bays on the front facade and sides of the building. The face of the building has a projecting blind rectangular arcade or bay which houses the double front doors and elliptical fan transom encased by a brick Gothic arch. There is a gabled pediment on the face and sides of the building. There are oval medallion lights or windows in the upper story on the side of the building, below gabled pediments and in the gabled pediment on the front facade – these windows light the interior gallery. There are two arched windows in each bay on the face of the building. There is an elliptical fan transom over double doors (which have been replaced). There are four brick pilasters on the facade. There are six brick pilasters and three large arched windows on both lower and upper floors of the building sides. There is an exposed stone foundation, wooden eves and a slate hip roof.

Interior

Upper story: There is a large entrance hall with a dual staircase leading to the upper floor. Most of the doors and the trim are original to the building. The window sash – composed of three sections – and trim are original. There is a stage, stairs and banister.

The gallery is still intact, but has now been closed in, a change made when the hall ceiling was lowered. It has a central staircase and paneled railing. The ceiling is original with an applied circular plastered medallion. There are original baseboards and a stage door to the rear of the building.

Interior – Lower Story: There is a double doorway with original five paneled doors and trim and a stairway and bannisters leading to the lower floor. There are 8 arched hinged windows.

History or Associative Value

The original Crown Patent for the land upon which the Castleton Town Hall stands was issued to the
Canada Company on May 28, 1830. Sixty years later, it was determined that there was a need for a Township Hall. Jane Gaffield (related to Nathaniel) sold lot 25 to the Township of Cramahe in 1892 for the sum of $150.00. The Castleton Town Hall was built in 1893 at a cost of $3,900.00. A builder/architect named Crowe is reputed to have built the property.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

1780 Percy Street, Castleton, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 7, Lot 34, Castleton Lot 25 Castleton Town Hall

When Cramahe Township was first surveyed in the 1790’s a seventh of its land was set aside for crown reserves and another seventh was set aside for clergy reserves. These reserves were rented to tenant farmers. The revenues from the crown reserves went to the government. The revenues from the clergy reserves originally went only to the Church of England (Anglican), but after 1824 the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) was granted a share, and by the 1840s all of the major protestant denominations were included (except the Baptists, who refused to participate). The clergy reserve system came to an end in 1854, when all revenues reverted to the government.

The first official owner of the land on which the Castleton town hall now stands was the Canada Company. The Canada Company was a private British corporation incorporated in 1826 to aid in the development and colonization of Upper Canada with an emphasis on the Crown and Clergy Reserves. Among the lands acquired by the Canada Company were the southern 100 acres of Concession 7, Lot 34, Cramahe Township, where the western part of Castleton now sits. The Company was granted this land by the Crown on 28 May 1830.

By 1834 the 100 acres were in the hands of Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855). No record has been seen of his acquiring them from the Canada Company, although there is an 1881 document certifying that the transfer had indeed been made. The Keelers were involved in the history of the area long before they were official owners of this property, having built a mill in Castleton as early as 1806.

Joseph A. Keeler transferred Lot 25 and part of lot 26 just to the west to Oliver Gaffield (1799-1873) on 2 March 1854. Gaffield, son of prominent early Cramahe settler Nathaniel Gaffield (ca. 1755-ca. 1738), was a farmer and lumber merchant, married to Rhoda Tipets (1801-1886). They had seven children: Nathaniel L. (1823-1900), Magaret Jennette (1825-1912), Mary Ann (1828-?), a male child of unknown name (1830-?), Irena (1836-1908), and Phoebe (1834-1907).

Next there is some confusion in ownership. On 18 September 1860 Oliver Gaffield gave the property (“natural love and affection plus $1”) to Jane Hodge (ca. 1831-?) but on 10 June 1873, after Oliver Gaffield’s death, the executors of his estate gave the property (again for $1) to Irena Welton (1836-1908). A year later Jane Hodge sold it to Stephen Edward Fuller (1851-1918) on 8 September 1874, and finally the two lines of ownership converged on 14 September 1874 when Irena Welton, her husband George, Stephen Fuller, and Oliver Gaffield’s widow Rhoda sold the lot to Seth Burr Gould (1816-1891).

Irena Welton (née Gaffield) was Oliver Gaffield’s daughter. The relationship between Oliver Gaffield and Jane Hodge is more obscure. Clearly they knew each other. Jane Hodge was born in England about 1831 and the only connection found between her and Oliver Gaffield (other than the transfer of the property under discussion) is that they appear immediately adjacent to each other in the 1861 Cramahe census. Jane was not, however, living in the same household as Oliver and family, but rather with a family, presumably next door, named Hoskin. By 1871 Jane had moved to Peterborough Township and was again living with the Hoskins there in 1881. Stephen Fuller was a Castleton merchant, not, as far as has been determined, related to the Gaffields.

Although there appears to have been some controversy over the ownership of Lot 25 between 1860 and 1874, it also appears that the effective ownership sequence during this period was the one involving Oliver Gaffield’s daughter Irena. Irena’s husband was George Welton (1835-1903), a Castleton innkeeper. According to the Gazetteer and General Business Directory of Northumberland and Durham (as sited in How Firm a Foundation, Argyris 2000), he was the proprietor of the “Farmer’s Hotel” in Castleton in 1865. Argyris also indicates that there used to be a hotel in the now vacant lot just south of the Castleton town hall (i.e, the southern end of Lot 25). Given the Welton connection to both, these were undoubtedly the same hotel. This means that a hotel appeared on the site during (or before?) the ownership of Oliver Gaffield, and it was the hotel that was passed on to his daughter, the wife of the man who ran it for him. Welton was listed in an 1871 gazetteer as the proprietor of the “Welton Hotel”, again undoubtedly the same establishment. Note that this hotel sat directly across Percy Street from the Temperance Hotel.

As already mentioned, the Weltons, Stephen Fuller, and Rhoda Gaffield sold Lot 25 to Seth Burr Gould on 14 September 1874. Gould was a farmer, married to Jerusha Reddick (1816-1899), who had two daughters: Elizabeth Jane (1839-1876) and Lurany (1840-1915).

Almost exactly a year after they purchased the property (9 September 1874), Seth and Jerusha Gould sold it to Louisa Vosburgh (?-?; maiden name unknown), wife of Wallace Vosburgh (?-?). The fact that Wallace Vosburgh was an innkeeper suggests that the hotel on Lot 25 was still functioning at this time.

NOn 30 March 1876 Colborne carriage maker James Scougale (1821-1890) lost his claim to this property in a lawsuit to the Vosburghs, although where his claim came from is completely obscure given the records at hand.

Two weeks after this court decision (15 April 1876), the Vosburghs sold the property to Matthew Winter (1821-1910), a Haldimand Township farmer. Scougale finally managed to get it from Matthew Winter five years later (6 September 1881). There is no indication that either Winter or Scougale was ever resident in Castleton.

James Scougale died in 1890 and the next year (21 November 1891) his widow Mary Ann Scougale (1828-1906; ne Robson) sold Lot 25 to Jane Gaffield (1834-1915; ne McEwen), the wife of Jonathan Gaffield (1832-1918), who was himself the son of the Oliver Gaffield who originally bought this property from Joseph Abbott Keeler 46 years earlier.

On 26 May 1892 Jane Gaffield sold the northern part of Lot 25 to the Corporation of the Township of Cramahe. The current township hall was built that same year.

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