50 King Street East, Colborne

(mid to late 1800s)
Roll No. 1411-012-020-10400 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Ontario Farmhouse

This rambling Ontario Farmhouse has some Gothic features which give it a presence on the main street of the village of Colborne. Its current use as a multi family property has altered its appearance from its century roots.

There is ample evidence in the historic annals of this village that two early 20th century catastrophic fires wiped out most of the South side of the main street and reached the very doors of this house. But it was spared.

The basic building is red brick with five or six steep “Gothic” roof gable peaks. There is a single story porch on the front facade (facing King Street), there is a two story porch on the East side, the top part of which is enclosed. There is a full two story frame addition on the south face which has, in the past, housed a commercial operation. There is a door above the front porch which provides evidence of a two story porch at some time in the past.

There may have been embellishment such as bargeboard, finials etc. when the house was built, probably in the mid 19th century, as the rubble foundation would indicate, but today it is without any such decoration.

The windows are the round head sash associated with Italianate houses, of which there are many in the area.

A recent facelift has given the property a new lease on life.

This house is across the street from another large victorian house (No. 52 King Street East) which is captured in its hay day in the Northumberland and Durham Historical Atlas of 1878. The size of No. 50 and its location would seem to indicate that it too was once a house of some repute and presence, though like the others on the South side of King Street East, this house has lost its front lawn to road widening at some point in its past.

History or Associative Value

Records indicate a house present on this site in 1852. In 1846, John Lutman acquired the property which he shared with his wife Elizabeth and their six children. Three years later Lutman died and Elizabeth inherited, but as she lived in Steuben County New York, she sold to Adam Yule, a feed merchant, in 1894. She lived locally until 1871, in Michigan with her sons in 1881 and by 1891, she was back in Steuben County New York. This house escaped the devastating fires that beset the South side of Colborne’s main street in the early 20th century.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information
50 King Street East, Colborne, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 1, Lot 31, Reid Lots 231 and 232

Lot 31, Concession 1, Cramahe Township, was originally set aside as a Clergy Reserves (LINK). Although roads didn’t exist when the lot was surveyed, it consisted of the 200 acres now bounded by on the north by King St., on the west by Division St., and on the east by Elgin St. The southern boundary is now in the middle of the Ogden Point quarry. This clergy reserve included much what was to become the southern part of modern-day Colborne.

Although the Clergy reserve system wasn’t to end until 1854, the northern half of Lot 31, including all of the land in the reserve that is now part of Colborne, was granted by the Crown to Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855) (LINK) on 12 April 1842. Four days later (16 April 1842), Keeler sold Reid Lots 231 and 232 to William Parker Ketchum (ca. 1800-?), a Picton innkeeper. Ketchum probably never lived in Colborne, because he was still listed as a Picton innkeeper when he sold the property to John Lutman (1807-1855) on 17 January 1846.

There is a Land Office record for an adjacent property that indicates that Lutman was a resident of Lots 231 and 232 in 1852. With him would have been his wife Elizabeth (née Spencer, 1813-1894) and children William (1838-?), John H. (1840-1914), George A. (1842-1915), Margaret Elizabeth (1844-1894), Donald W. (1846-?), and Sidney J. (1849-1920). No reference has been found as to John Lutman’s occupation.

When Lutman died in 1855, the property was inherited by his wife Elizabeth. She sold the northern part of Lots 231 and 232, on which the house of interest stands, to Murray Township farmer Charles Adam Yule (1868-?) on 22 October 1894. She was a resident of Steuben County, New York at the time. Yule married Eva Marish Male (1874-?) in Colborne in 1891 and had two children: Nellie Elaine (1894-?) and Grant C. H. (1907-?). By 1911, Yule was a feed merchant.

On 14 November 1914 Charles and Eva Yule sold the property to William Mutton (?-?). Unfortunately, there are too many William Mutton’s in the Cramahe area to be sure which one this was. In the Land Office record, he was listed as a “gentleman” living in Cramahe Township.

William Ketchum paid Joseph Abbott Keeler £12 for the property in 1842 and received £112 (almost 6 times as much) for it from John Lutman in 1846. Lutman’s widow Elizabeth sold it to Charles Yule in 1894 for $600 and Yule sold it to William Mutton in 1914 for $3500. There was a big jump in price during the ownership of William Ketchum and another during the ownership of Charles Yule. £112 was the equivalent of $448 in the 1850’s so the price increase while the Lutman’s were involved was not very great ($448 to $600 over the course of almost 50 years). Since Lutman was resident on the property in 1852, a house was obviously present. If the current house dates to that period, it looks like it was built by William Ketchum, even though there is no evidence he lived in Colborne. The almost 6-fold increase in price between 1894 and 1914 also suggests that there was significant improvement to the property. Perhaps the 1840’s house was replaced by the current one.

There is no question that the Lutmans were living on the property in 1852, and Elizabeth Lutman probably continued to live there for a while at least. She was a resident of Colborne in 1871, but there is a record of her living with her sons George and Sidney in Michigan in 1880 and by 1891 she was in Steuben County New York. Charles Yule and family occupied the house in 1911.

A fire on 9 May 1915 that burned much of the south side of King Street almost destroyed this house. To quote an article in the Cobourg Sentinal-Star from 14 May 1915: “…The fire then struck the brick Yule Block owned by Wm. Mutton, but this was saved by a bucket brigade and with blankets, etc.”


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