8 Park Street West, Colborne

(late 1800s)
Roll No. 1411-012-010-09400 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Ontario Farmhouse

Much of the Ontario Farmhouse architecture in Cramahe Township is defined by the red brick so common to the County. But there are numerous clapboard versions like No. 8 Park Street West in the village of Colborne.

The Ontario Farmhouse usually has a gable end on the front facade with a kitchen side addition (rather than the more common “tail” in the rear) It can be one and a half stories or two. Given the taxation structure of the 19th century, many houses look to be fewer stories from the exterior than they actually are. Some Farmhouses have steep pointed Gothic gables, with copious bargeboard or gingerbread. No. 8 Park Street West has the steep gables, but no ornamentation. There is an interesting dentil embellishment over the windows which also have decorative shutters. The trim on the small front porch and the larger porch on the wing, is very decorative and is augmented by a contrasting paint treatment. The wrought iron fretwork over the front door porch adds to the charm.

The windows are placed in a symmetrical arrangement and there is a door in the gable end (for company) and in the wing (to access the kitchen directly without going though the parlour).

The windows appear to have been replaced and the parlour door is original with two rounded glass inserts.

History or Associative Value

In 1878, Joseph Keeler III (Joe MP) sold this property to William Asa Peterson, a Colborne blacksmith, but it seems he mortgaged and defaulted the same year. Jeremiah Silver Bellamy became owner in 1881. In 1895 through a series of exchanges and quit claims, Bellamy’s only son, George became custodian and finally owner in 1906 when he reached 21. As always there are a number of candidates for house builder, probably Jeremiah or Wesley Bellamy in the late in 1800s.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information
8 Park Street Reid Lot 18

Nathaniel Gaffield (ca. 1755-ca. 1838) was the first owner of Concession 2, Lot 32, a 200 acre parcel part of which would later become Reid Lot 52. To read more about Nathaniel Gaffield, … (LINK TO EARLY LANDOWNERS HERE?). 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) on 23 January 1806. For more on the Keeler family… (LINK TO EARLY LANDOWNERS HERE?).
Keeler transferred the southern third of Concession 2, Lot 32 to his son Joseph Abbott Keeler (1788-1855) on 1 January 1824. This was the area now bounded by Ontario Street on the west, Percy Street on the east, and King Street on the south. The northern limit was along the backs of the modern properties along the north side of Park Street.

Over the next 30 years Joseph Abbott Keeler sold off bits and pieces of this land to a variety of people. On 28 September 1854 he transferred what was left of his property in this area to two of his children. Most of it went to his son Joseph Keeler III (1824-1881). What would become Reid Lot 18 was included in this transfer.

Keeler III sold Reid Lot 18 to William Asa Peterson (1853-1879), a Colborne blacksmith, on 6 April 1878.

The only available genealogy for Peterson has his birth in 1853 in the United States and his death in 1878 in Trenton. It also lists his wife as Mary Jane Weeks (1845-1937) and his children as Annie M. (1869-?), Edith H. (1871-?), Lilian (1875-?), Maude May (1875-?), Amy L. (1877-?), Susie B. (1879-?), and Charles F. W. (1881-?). This means that he married a girl eight years older than himself and that he started having children at 16 years old. Both of these things are possible, but the genealogy also has his last child born three years after he died, so something doesn’t jibe. There is an independent birth record for Maude May having been born in Colborne in 1875.

William Peterson mortgaged Lot 18 with Colborne businessman George Washington Webb (ca. 1828-1889) on 1 June 1878, and defaulted on the loan (perhaps because he died?). Webb then sold the property to Jeremiah Silver Bellamy (1854-1887) on 15 August 1881.

Jeremiah Bellamy was the son of Chauncey Bellamy (1806-1889) and the grandson of the original Cramahe Bellamy, Jared (1765-1841). He was a grammar school teacher. He married Alice Jane Lumley (1856-1933) in Haldimand Township in 1883 and had a single child, George (1885-?).

In a quit claim grant dated 27 April 1895 Jeremiah’s widow Alice, in capacity as guardian of their son George, transferred the property to Wesley Bellamy (1860-1939), Jeremiah’s brother. This was followed on 27 September 1906 by a grant again transferring the property from Alice and George Bellamy to Wesley. A quit claim grant transfers all rights to a property from the grantor to the grantee. Likely the 1895 transfer was temporary because George, the owner of the property, was a minor. Note that the date of the 1906 transfer occurred when George was 21 years old.

Like his brother, Wesley Bellamy was a teacher, except in this case a high school teacher. He would eventually become the principal of the Colborne High School. He married Estella Fidella Purdy (1869-1930) in 1893 and had three children: Mildred (1898-1898), Kenneth E. (1899-1901), and Madeline L. (ca. 1904-?). Estella died in 1930 and Wesley remarried in 1932 to Margaret J. Hinds (1876-?) of Colborne. He was living in Oshawa at the time and working as the principal of the Port Rowan High School.

William Peterson purchased the property in 1878 for $100. George Webb sold it in 1881 for $390. This is almost a four-fold increase, but $390 still seems rather low for a house with a lot in 1881. Alice and George Bellamy sold the property to George’s uncle Wesley in 1895 and 1906 for $375. Wesley would eventually sell it for $1400 in 1929 (before the stock market crash). This would indicate that if the house was built around 1880, it was built by Peterson. This seems unlikely given that he owned it for so short a period before his death. More likely, it was built by Jeremiah or Wesley Bellamy between 1881 and 1929.

Peterson and both Bellamy brothers and their families are all candidates for occupancy of the property. Peterson can be excluded if the house can be dated to after 1880. The occupants as of the 1911 census were three of Wesley’s sisters: Mary (1846-1921), Judith (1847-1929), and Martha (1850-1914), none of whom ever married.


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