67 King Street East, Colborne

(c. 1870)
Roll No. 1411-012-020-08400 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Folk Victorian Vernacular

67 King Street East in the village of Colborne sits in a line of Victorians of roughly the same vintage, in fact some would say this row is Colborne’s “Alamo Square” (the row of famous “Painted Ladies” in St. Francisco).

The closest architectural style discernible in this large and gracious home is Folk Victorian. This style was prevalent from 1870 to 1910 and it began as an orderly, less elaborate version of the classic Victorian.

Initially these Folk Victorians were found in remote/rural areas, made of local materials with or without adornment. Later they became very popular and today they can be found in every neighbourhood of both rural and urban environments.

The floor plan is usually straight forward with a parlour in front, kitchen in back, and bedrooms upstairs.

The classic Folk Victorian has a tall, square symmetrical shape with a front gable and a side wing which gives it an “L” (or sometimes a “T”) shape. It has a cross gable roof and a front porch with spindles and gingerbread and sometimes flat jigsaw trim.

67 King Street East is a “T” shaped Folk Victorian, two and a half stories, with one gable roof bisecting the other. There is another one story “T” shaped rear addition. There are two porches and entry doors on both the East and West facades. There are leaded window transoms and a wonderful little balcony under the front gable end. The wooden clapboard is in excellent shape and the white with green trim and roof colour scheme is aesthetically pleasing and suitable to its era. The property also has a separate garage at the rear.

No. 67 King Street East is a very large and very impressive property, sitting as it does on Colborne’s main street. It is a significant contribution to the century streetscape of the village.

History or Associative Value

According to the Colborne Womens’ Institute Scrapbook, No. 67 King Street East may have been the Rectory for Trinity United Church across the street. In 1832, J.A.Keeler, the founder of Colborne, Castleton and Norwood, sold the property to Hiram Merriman, a cabinet maker, putting him next door to his brother-in- law George Stevens. In 1874 the property passed into Daniel Simmons hands who is notable for buying and selling many properties in this area. In 1908 Simmons sold to his nephew whose widow owned it until 1930.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

67 King Street, Colborne, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 2, Lot 31, Reid Lot 171

Lot 31, Concession 2 was first settled by George (1761-1833) and Hannah (1765-1832) Palmer, who arrived with Joseph Keeler (1763-1839) in 1793 or shortly thereafter (LINK). George Palmer was officially granted the 200 acres comprising Lot 31 on 15 July 1802 and he sold them to Joseph Keeler on 18 January 1812 (LINK). On 15 January 1824, Joseph Keeler transferred the southern 100 acres of Lot 31 to his son Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855) (LINK).

Joseph Abbott Keeler sold the property that was to become Reid plan lots 171, 172, and 174 to Hiram Merriman (1791-1862) on 6 April 1832. As pointed out in the discussion of 65 King Street (LINK), Lot 171 is next door to Lot 170, sold by Keeler to Hiram’s brother-in-law George Stephens (1805-1875) in August of the same year. Hiram Merriman was a cabinet maker, and was one of the sons of early Cramahe settler Joel Merriman (1760-1832).

After Hiram Merriman’s death, the property was willed to his wife Nancy (née Rogers, 1802-?) on 22 April 1863. It then passed to their only surviving daughter, Mary Frances Merriman (1838-1877), who sold it, as well as the southeastern part of Lot 172, to Daniel Lewis Simmons (1830-1915) on 13 March 1874. This is the same Daniel Simmons who acquired Lot 170 in 1875 from Weymough G. Schreiber (1826-1898) (again, see the discussion under 65 King Street (LINK)).

Daniel Simmons sold Lot 171 to his nephew Oscar A. Simmons (1850-1918) on 4 May 1908. Oscar was a retired farmer. He gave 67 King Street to his wife Mary Dency Irena Simmons (née Taylor, 1854-1930) on 24 January 1911. She owned the property until her death in 1930.

Who built the house? Again, it depends on when it was built. It was owned by the Merrimans from 1832 to 1874, after which it was owned by the Simmons family.

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