217 Morganston Road, Morganston

(late 1800s)
Roll No. 1411-011-050-21200 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Ontario Farmhouse

217 Morganston Road sits between the villages of Morganston and Castleton on a large country lot/ acreage.

The property most closely resembles the “Ontario Farmhouse” with a number of updated features. It is the red brick in keeping with the predominant cladding of century homes in the county, though this brick looks to be of a more recent vintage, probably post 1900. The gable end has a moderately steep peak as does the gable in the centre of the main facade, but they are unadorned with gingerbread or any other type of period embellishment quite often found in Ontario Farmhouses.

The newer windows are tall, slim and mullioned with louvered shutters.

There is an extension to the right of the front door, which is probably a family room. There is an attractive gazebo roof on the corner of the porch that shelters the front facade of the property. In the gable peak above the porch roof is a Palladian style window.

The property at 217 Morganston Road sits on a large lot and the house is strategically situated on a gentle rise with a forest of trees in the rear and a foliage garden and deciduous trees in the front and around the foundation. A significant and attractive addition to this area.

There is a large outbuilding to the rear of the property.

History or Associative Value

In 1860, the first resident of Cramahe to own this property was farmer John Merrill (1827-1904). Previously, all the owners resided elsewhere. Merrill proceeded to sell off blocks of the land and in 1862 the piece of property where this house stands, went to William Monroe Winn who owned it for the next 49 years. In1901, Winn sold to James R. Perry and at this point ownership passed to non-residents again. Although Merrill was the first resident owner, Winn most likely built the house during his long ownership.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

217 Morganston Road, Morganston, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 8, Lot 34

The early history of ownership of the 200 acres in Concession 8, Lot 34 involves people who lived elsewhere. The acres were first granted by the Crown to Jane Van Camp (?-?) on 17 May 1802. Further details concerning her are lacking. Sometime prior to 1831 she lost control of the property because on 26 April of that year the Newcastle District Sheriff Henry Ruttan (1792-1871) transferred ownership to Colborne entrepreneur Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855). Keeler sold the property back to Ruttan on 30 May 1831. It is unclear whether this was in Ruttan’s capacity as sheriff or as a private citizen. Henry Ruttan transferred ownership to Cobourg lawyer George Strange Boulton (1797-1869) on 17 July 1838. Boulton retained ownership for 19 years, selling the 200 acres to David William Dumble (1837-1926) on 6 February 1857. Dumble was a resident of Cobourg and listed simply as “gentleman” when he purchased the property, but he later appears as a barrister residing in Peterborough. Likely he worked for Boulton as a young man. On 17 December 1860 Dumble sold Lot 34 to farmer John Merrill (1827-1904). Merrill was the first resident of Cramahe to own the property.

During the early 1860’s Merrill sold off 50 acre blocks in Lot 34. The northernmost block, on which the house at 217 Morganston Road now stands, went to farmer William Monroe Winn (1834-1912) on 15 August 1862.

Winn owned his 50 acres for 49 years. He and his second wife Mary Elizabeth (née Phinn, 1866-1945) sold them to farmer James Rufus (or Rustus?) Perry (1856-1933) on 1 November 1901.

At this point ownership passed to non-residents again. On 31 December 1902 Perry and his wife Julia Ann (née Townsend, 1861-1949) sold the property to Campbellford butcher Robert Nelson Simpson (1864-1930). On 15 December 1909 Simpson mortgaged it with Penina Jane McRoberts (1879-1949) of Peterborough and she transferred the mortgage to Warkworth bailiff William Henry Love (1853-1918) on 27 March 1916. Four days later (1 April 1916) Love and his wife Eliza Ann (née Merrill, 1857-1916) sold it back to McRoberts, who by this time had married Robert George Clifford (1859-1947). Jane Clifford sold the property to Christopher Harnden (1875-?) of Duoro Township, Peterborough County and his wife Mabel Maud (née Lewis, 1878-?) on 18 September 1917. Coincidentally, Eliza Ann Love was the daughter of a cousin of the John Merrill who had owned the property in the 1860’s.

John Merrill is the first candidate for the builder of the house at 217 Morganston Road because all previous owners were non-residents. However, Merrill only briefly owned the property, selling it to William Winn, who owned it for 49 years. Winn therefore seems much more likely to have been the builder. He was married first to Dency Ann Goldsmith (1839-1883) and after 1885 to Mary Elizabeth Phinn (1866-1945). He appears to have had one daughter by each wife: Mary Elizabeth (1863-?) and Alice Maud (1888-?).

James Perry owned the house for a year in 1901-1902 and may also have lived there. He and his wife had three children: Clara Olive (1877-?), George (1881-?), and Alonzo Albert (1899-1974).

Castleton, ON K0K 1M0, Canada