69 King Street East, Colborne

Roll No. 1411-012-020-08600 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Italianate Vernacular

The profile of No. 69 King Street East in the village of Colborne, reflects the tall, elegant architecture of the classic Italianate style so popular in the mid 19th century.

And, no. 69 would be a classic Italianate house like many more in the area, except that it has a gable roof, rather than the more ubiquitous hip roof. The Cramahe Italianates typically have a hipped roof. (5 North Street, 57 King Street East, 8 North Street). Therefore no. 69 is more of an Italianate vernacular.

No. 69 is red brick with the round head sash Italianate windows which have been replaced from the original multi paned versions of earlier times. It doesn’t have any of the frilly gingerbread cornices, decorative eaves or brackets accept for the front porch which has running rail trim.

The front door is a double door and it is offset like most Italianate styles. The door itself is the same as those most often found in the mid to late 1800s – tall, heavy with two round head windows and a glass transom.

There is a more recent large one and a half story addition, covered in horizontal siding, on the rear of the house.

There is a white picket fence in front and a garage in the rear.

No. 69 is another impressive property in a row of unique century homes that line the East section of the main street into the village of Colborne on the old Kingston-York Road now Highway 2.

History or Associative Value

Farmers Byron Hinman, R.J. Rutherford and E.D. Card bought this part of lot 172 jointly on January 1, 1883. It is not possible to tell from the available records when the house was erected, nor who actually lived there. Six years later the three sold to George Webb, a Colborne merchant. But he died 5 months later and his son Thomas Webb, who was also a Colborne merchant, inherited. His brother Frank Leslie acquired the property in 1895 and he sold to Sarah Coyle of the apple merchant family, in 1906.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

69 King Street, Colborne, Ontario
Cramahe Township, Concession 2, Lot 31, Reid Lot 172

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)).

When Mary Frances Merriman sold Lot 171 to Daniel Lewis Simmons (1830-1915) on 13 March 1874 (LINK), she also sold him the southwestern part of Lot 172. Simmons was the grandson of early Cramahe settler Smiton Simmons (1769-1865). He is listed in various censuses as a wood and lumber dealer, farmer, exporter, and fruit dealer. At various times he also owned Lot 170 and the southwestern part of Lot 173.

In 1879, Simmons split his property in Lot 172 into eastern and western halves. These halves correspond to the current properties associated with 71 King Street and 73 King Street. The western half (now 71 King Street) he sold to Mary Littlefield (1829-1886) on 3 November 1879. He himself retained ownership of the eastern half (now 73 King Street).
After this point, Lot 172, at least from the point of view of the houses on it, was divided into the three lots, with the modern addresses 69, 71, and 73 King Street. As of 1879, these properties were owned by Mary Frances Merriman, Mary Littlefield, and Daniel Lewis Simmons, respectively.

Mary Merriman sold her lot to Byron Hinman (1857-1925), Robert J. Rutherford (1843-?), and Ephraim D. Card (1840-1930) on 1 January 1883. All three of these men were farmers and residents of Haldimand Township, although Rutherford later (1901, 1911) resided in Colborne as an apple dealer. Their tenure of ownership fell between two censuses, so it is uncertain if any of them resided in Colborne at the time. Perhaps they used it for rental income?

Hinman, Rutherford, and Card sold the property to George W. Webb (1828-1889) on 11 March 1889. George Webb was a Colborne merchant. On his death 5 months later (22 July 1889), the property was inherited by his son Thomas Frederick Webb, or Frederick Thomas Webb, (1859-1933), another Colborne merchant.

On 22 April 1895, George Webb’s properties were redistributed among his children, and 69 King Street was transferred to Thomas Webb’s brother Frank Leslie Webb (1863-1937). Frank Webb, a lawyer, also owned Lot 169 (63 King Street) from 1898 to 1920 (LINK).

Frank Webb sold the property to Sarah Coyle (née Lowe, 1872-1950) on 23 March 1906. This is the same Sarah Coyle who owned 3 North Street from 1900 to 1906 (LINK). She was the wife of apple merchant John Coyle (1869-1930), and sister-in-law of apple merchant Benjamin Coyle (1867-1933).

Finally, John W. McCarl (1868-1948), a farmer from Haldimand Township, bought the property from Sarah Nelson (formerly Coyle) on 28 February 1920. He owned it through 1921.

The house at 69 King Street could have been built by the Merrimans, the Hinman et al. consortium, the Webbs, or the Coyles, depending on its age. Hinman et al. paid $1000 for the property four years after Mary Littlefield paid $1200 for the house next door. It seems unlikely that the prices wouldn’t have been so similar if there had been no house on the property Hinman et al. bought. If true, the Merrimans built the house, and it could date from anytime from 1832 to 1883.

The only solid evidence for residence comes from the 1911 census. At that time John and Sarah Coyle lived at 69 King Street.


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