57 Percy Street, Colborne

(1876-1908)
Roll No. 1411-012-010-16100 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Gothic Farmhouse

57 Percy Street in the village of Colborne is a cross between the Folk Victorian style and a Gothic Farmhouse. It is clad in the ubiquitous red brick found throughout Cramahe Township. It has a gable end facing the street and the usual side wing, though in this case the wings are “T” shaped on both sides. It has a cross gabled roof and it is two story.

The Gothic influence is present in the steep pointed gables (with delicate gingerbread).

There is a porch on the south side sheltering a door into, presumably, the kitchen wing. There is also an enclosed vestibule/ entrance on the North side which is another point of entry if we note the stone walkway leading to it. The windows are arranged symmetrically and they are 2 over 2 pane with a keystone and “eyebrow”brick arch over each window, painted now in contrasting white. There is a three pane bow window at ground level front facade and another on the south side of the wing. Also on the South side, is a door giving access to a second story porch which, at the moment, is a roof without the railings and spindles of a porch.

There is often a transom over the front door with a sidelight but not in the case.

57 Percy Street sits on a large lot with a lovely view behind the property.

History or Associative Value

Ozem Strong sold this land to Hiram Merriman, a local cabinet maker, 10/8/1851. In 1862 Frederick Pugh, a physician, bought it. Thomas Phillips Keeler acquired it in 1875; he was superintendent of the Welland Canal (his father, Joseph Keeler MP was responsible for the Murray Canal being built). Joseph Arundel Philp, one of the many Pugh family members who owned property on Percy Street, had the property from 1876 to 1908 when he gave it to his son Arthur, he probably built the house in that 30 year period.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

57 Percy Street, Colborne, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 2, Lot 32, Reid Lot 4

Nathaniel Gaffield (ca. 1755-ca. 1838) (LINK) was the first owner of Concession 2, Lot 32, a 200 acre parcel part of which would later become Reid Lot 4. Lot 32 is bounded on the south by King Street West, and on the north by Orchard and Purdy Roads. On the east it is bounded by the undeveloped road allowance running north from Ontario Street. On the west the southern half of the Lot is bounded by Percy Street. Percy Street angles northwestward in the northern half of Lot 32, and the western edge of the lot is along the line Percy would have taken if it had headed straight north.

Although he had probably lived there since at least 1797, Gaffield wasn’t officially granted Lot 32 until 13 May 1804. He sold it to Joseph Keeler (1763-1839) (LINK) on 23 January 1806.

On 1 June 1827 Joseph Keeler sold the northern half of Lot 31 and the northern 2/3 of Lot 32 to his son-in-law Ozem Strong (1786-1857). (LINK).

Ozem Strong sold Reid lots 2A, 3, and 4 to Hiram Merriman (1791-1862) on 8 October 1851. Hiram Merriman was a cabinet maker who, at one time or another, owned various other properties in Colborne. He married Nancy Rogers in about 1815 and appears to have had two daughters: Elmira (ca. 1823-?) and Mary Frances (ca. 1838-1877).

Although he continued to own Lots 2A and 3, Merriman sold Reid lot 4 to Joseph Keeler (LINK) on 27 April 1860. This would be Joseph III, because Josephs I and II were both dead by that date. Less than two years later Keeler sold the property to Frederick Pugh (1820-1879) on 28 February1862.

Frederick Pugh was a physician. There is no genealogical information for him, but from censuses, he was married to Brittanie or Brittonia (surname unknown, ca. 1825-?). The children that appear in censuses are Emily (1849-?), Edith (1850-?), Frederick (1852-?), Charles (1855-?), Arthur (1860-?), and Carrie (1863-?). The Pugh family can be found in Cramahe censuses for 1851 and 1861; by 1871 they were living in Cobourg. Pugh was born in Engand in ca. 1820 and died of “pthisis” in Campbellford in 1879. Presumably this was pthisis pulmonaris, an old term for tuberculosis, and not pthisis bulbi, a shrunken, nonfunctional eye.

Although he had moved to Cobourg by 1871, Pugh retained ownership of Reid lot 4 until 27 February 1875, when he sold it to Thomas Phillips Keeler (1852-?). Thomas Keeler was the second son of Joseph Keeler III (LINK). His occupation is variously listed as commission merchant, clerk, and insurance agent. He was the Superintendant of the Welland Canal in 1891. He died of gastritis in Rincon Antonio, Mexico, while working on a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Thomas Keeler married Blanche Elizabeth Boyer (1854-?) in Cobourg in 1873 and had four children: Grace Mary (1874-?), Olive Alice (1875-1920), Joseph (1877-1936), and Ralph Boyer (1887-1950).

Thomas Keeler sold Reid lot 4 to Joseph Arundel Philp (1827-1911) on 12 January 1876. He was the father of Frederick Arundel Philp, the owner of Reid lot 60 (27 Percy Street) (LINK) from 1902 to 1905. Joseph Philp was born in Grafton. His wife was Isabella Mabel Battell (1830-1914; married in 1853). His children were Ida Eleanor (1854-?), Frederick Arundel (1857-?), Albert Edward (1860-?), Percival Herbert (1862-?), Edgar Ernest (1863-?), Sommerville Charles (1865-?), Edith Maude (1868-?), Arthur LeRoy (1873-1950), and Frederick James (1875-?). His occupation was listed in various sources and at various times as farmer, mason, and plasterer. He died of arterioscleriosis in Colborne in 1911.

On 22 December 1896 Joseph Philp added Reid Lots 2A and 3 to his property. On 17 January 1908 he gave the combined lots to his son Arthur LeRoy Philp (1873-1950), who retained them until his death. Arthur Philp was a farmer and later a harness maker. Like his brother Frederick, he was born in Cobourg. He married Maud Winnifred Thomas (1879-?) in Haldimand Township in 1907. No genealogy is available, but the 1921 census lists two sons: Charles (1912-?) and Gordon (1914-?).

Ozem Strong sold Reid Lots 2A, 3, and 4 to Hiram Merriman in 1851 for £160 (equivalent to $640). Merriman sold Lot 4 alone to Joseph Keeler in 1860 for $300. Two years later Keeler sold Lot 4 to Frederick Pugh for $793.70 (a strangely precise amount). Pugh retained the lot for 13 years, but when he sold it to Thomas Keeler in 1875, he still asked only $700. This same amount was paid by Joseph Philp the next year. Philp retained the lot until he gave it (“natural love and affection” plus $1) to his son Arthur. Thomas Keeler doubled his money on this lot, so he may have improved it to some extent. Whether this was due to a house being built is open to question, though: most property prices seemed to go up more than that when a house was added. It seems likely that the house was built by Joseph Philp, who owned the property for 32 years.

Joseph Philp was the resident of Lot 4 in 1911.

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