3 Church Street East, Colborne

Roll No. 1411-012-010-27500 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Italianate Vernacular

No. 3 Church Street in the village of Colborne is centrally located next to the United Church (Methodist when built first in 1823, then a larger version in 1830 and finally the present building in 1860). It is across from Victoria Square, the central park around which the village of Colborne grew.

No. 3 Church Street East, is a red brick Victorian with many Italianate features, modified by a porch more often associated with the American Four Square style.

It has a hip roof, decorative brackets under the eaves, and it has the tall, slim, round head sash windows that characterized the Italianate style. It has a clapboard “tail”. On the West facade, there is a three panel bay window at ground floor level beside a small open porch shielding the entry into the “tail” portion. No. 3 is one of a number of red brick Victorians on Church Street East and its offset front door speaks again of the Italianate. The front facade fenestration is flat with a porch rather the more common one or two story bay windows seen in many of the other houses of the era and area.

The windows have been replaced but probably would have been two over two pane when the house was built.

There is a red brick knee wall with decorative finials, defining the boundary between No. 3 and the church next door.

Historical records indicate that a property on the south side of Church Street East was the parsonage of the Methodist church, and in the 19th century, 16 North Street served that role. Also interesting to note that in 1901, the then owner (Albert Stoat Hinds) died of typhoid fever indicating how vulnerable and susceptible people of the era were.

The house is in excellent condition, having been well maintained over its 125+ year lifetime.

History or Associative Value

We can speculate that Church Street East began life as the South and West access lanes from the 1820 J.A. Keeler House at No. 9. The first Methodist (today United) Church chapel was built in 1823 and enlarged in 1830 and 1860 and the Keeler’s were probably patrons if not parishioners. In 1834, Keeler sold the lot on which #3 stands to William Henry Colton (1809-1882) from Jefferson County New York. He was a farmer, merchant, gentleman and magistrate and upon his death in 1882, a Justice of the Peace.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information
3 Church Street, Colborne, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 2, Lot 31, Reid Lot 81

The first settlers in Cramahe Township arrived from Rutland, Vermont, in 1793 under the leadership of Joseph Keeler (1763-1839). Among the early settlers were George Asahel (1761-1833) and Hannah (1765-1832) Palmer (LINK). On their arrival, the Palmers took possession of the 200 acres of land in Concession 2, Lot 31. This land was officially deeded to George Palmer by the Crown on 15 July 1802.

Palmer sold his 200 acres to Joseph Keeler on 18 January 1812, on the same day buying from Keeler 150 acres in Concession 1, Lot 30, just to the south and one lot east of the property they sold. Basically, Palmer and Keeler appear to have simply exchanged the two properties.

Joseph Keeler transferred the “front part” of Lot 31 to his son Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855) (LINK) on 15 January 1824. On acquiring the land from his father, Joseph A. Keeler proceeded to subdivide it, selling, among other properties, the land that would later be designated Reid Lot 81.

Numbers 3 and 5 Church Street are both on this land, which Joseph Abbott Keeler sold to William Colton on 16 August 1845. William Henry Colton (1809-1882) was born in Jefferson County, New York, and married Maria Dame (1821-1887) from Belleville in 1837. His profession is listed in censuses variously as farmer, merchant, gentleman, and magistrate. His death certificate in 1882 recorded him as a “justice of the peace”.

William Henry Colton was the eldest surviving son of William Colton (1785-1862) and Hannah Dorwin (1788-1863), who had 11 other children between 1808 and 1831, all born in the United States. William and Hannah appear in the 1851 and 1861 Cramahe censuses, so apparently they moved to Canada to live near their son and his family. The census entries for William and his parents are not adjacent to each other, so apparently they lived in separate residences.

No genealogy for William and Maria Colton is available, but the children listed in censuses are William Wallace (1839-1888, apparently called “Wallace” at least as a child), Marshall Henry (1844-1911), and Helen (1856-?, “Nellie” as a child). William Henry Colton was actually resident on Lot 81 in 1859 and his wife and all three of his children were living with him in 1861. Given these facts, it is probable that lived there throughout the time they owned the property (although unfortunately there is no proof of this). Wallace and Marshall were 6 and 1 years old when their father bought Lot 81 from Joseph Abbott Keeler, and Nellie was probably born there.

Wallace probably moved out when he married Diantha Finton (1840-?) of Grafton in 1862; by 1871 he and Diantha were living in Picton. Marshall married Emma Eliza Crandell (1846-1922; “Eliza” in census entries) in 1864. They continued to live in Colborne, but not with Marshall’s parents on Reid Lot 81 because the censuses after 1871 list them separately. I don’t know where Marshall and Eliza lived. Marshall owned no other land in the area until he purchased property in Concession 2, Lot 27 in 1881, so he must have lived on property owned by someone else. This someone else was probably Eliza’s father Reuben Crandell (1816-1903), because the 1871 census lists Marshall and Eliza immediately after Reuben, who at one time or another owned much of Lot 29, Concession 2. Nellie married T. Grant McKay (1851-?), a merchant from Chatham, in 1880.

As of 1861, the Coltons lived in a frame house. Both 3 and 5 Church Street are made of brick, so the house in which they were living in 1861 is no longer standing and both of the present houses are post-1861. Unless, of course, the bricks are a façade over the older frame house.

William Henry Colton died of “valvular dysfunction of the heart” in Colborne on 19 August 1882, and the property passed into the hands of his son Marshall, a farmer by profession. Marshall was already ensconced elsewhere, probably in Lot 27 or Lot 29, Concession 2, and there is no evidence he ever lived on Reid Lot 81 after the death of his father. On 9 December 1896 Marshall sold the western half of the property (now 3 Church Street) to Joseph Hinds (1825-1898) and the eastern half (now 5 Church Street) to Joseph E. McDonald (1866-?). Marshall died of “bronchial asthma” in 1911.

Joseph Hinds was born in Cobourg and married Emma Winters (1845-?) of Brighton in 1866. He was a labourer in 1851, and a farmer in 1861, 1871, and 1881. No profession is listed in the 1891 census: perhaps he was a retired farmer. He was living in Haldimand Township with his parents until his marriage, and continued to live in that township as of the 1871 census. The 1881 and 1891 censuses place him in Cramahe Township, somewhere other than in Colborne. Hinds was 71 years old when he purchased the western half of Reid Lot 81 in 1896. He died of Bright’s disease (renal failure) a little over a year later on 10 January 1898, at which point the property was inherited by his son Albert Stoat Hinds (1869-1901).

Just 10 months before he inherited his land in Reid Lot 81 Albert, a grocer from Colborne, married Sarah Anderson (1872-?) of Peterborough, in Toronto. He had been living in a lodging house and working as a dry goods clerk as of the 1891 census, and perhaps he met Sarah there. Albert himself died on 20 January 1901 in Colborne of typhoid fever and left his property to his widow Sarah who continued to own it through 1921.

It does not appear that Albert lived on Reid Lot 81, since his death certificate lists his address as Division Street. Sarah, on the other hand, did live on the Lot. She is so listed on the 1911 and 1921 censuses. She obviously moved there from Division Street sometime between 1901 and 1911. In 1901, whether living on Division Street or Church Street, her household consisted of herself, her two sons Joseph (1898-?) and Albert (1901-?; birth certificate says “William A. Heinds”), a domestic named Nettie Lae (1883-?), and Sarah’s brother William Anderson (1874-?), her sister Kate Anderson (1872-?), and her nephew Henry Champane (1880-?). In 1911, when they were definitely on Church Street, Sarah lived with her two sons and her mother Rachel Anderson. Rachel’s birthday is listed in the 1911 census as 1821, but her age as 80, suggesting 1831 as the birthday. The latter date seems more likely since she had at least two children in the 1870’s; this seems more likely if she was in her 40’s than in her 50’s. In 1921, again probably on Church Street, Sarah lived only with her son “Allan” (presumbably Albert since he and “Allan” were the same age). Joseph Hinds served in the military in the First World War.


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