80 King Street East, Colborne

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

Ontario Farmhouse

The “Ontario Farmhouse” is a ubiquitous architectural style in Northumberland county, with its acres of agricultural land, horse farms and apple orchards.

80 King Street East in the village of Colborne is such a style, with its double gable peaks and double wide side wing. This, as distinct from the “L” shaped Folk Victorians which have the same gable end but are much narrower with only one door and one window in the side wing.

The Ontario Farmhouse is usually two stories but it can be one and a half stories only. In some examples, the peaks are very tall and steep in the Gothic Style, which is not the case here. There are two peaked dormer windows in the front facade adding to the over all symmetry.

80 King Street East, is a handsome house sporting the ubiquitous red brick found throughout the county of Northumberland in the mid to late 1800s. It has a single story three panel bay window in the front facade. There is no gingerbread, fretwork or other embellishments often found in these old farmhouses. The windows are mostly the tall and narrow round head sash with two over two panes so common to the Italianate architecture. There is a sturdy porch extending from the gable wall across the entire wing shielding the first floor main door and window.

The house is right on County Road 2, the main “Kingston-York” highway in place when the house was built, probably in the mid to late 1880s. It was built in the “urban” style with very close neighbours on both sides and virtually no front garden.

There is a rear addition consisting of a two story (or one and a half) section with a one story section attached. A chimney at the West end of the gable and one of the West facade windows has been bricked in.

History or Associative Value

In 1860, John Merriman Grover acquired 100 acres including this property. He sold to George W. Carnall, a British carpenter, in 1865. Carnall appeared in the 1861 Cramahe census but could not be found in more recent censuses. This is odd because his wife and 9 children did appear in the census record. A quit claim in 1868 transferred all rights on the property to the previous owner’s wife. Speculation is that the house was built between 1868 and 1895. Who lived there is a mystery because all the owners had other properties.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

80 King Street East Grover Lot 2

This is the location of the Pop Art Studio.

Concession 1, Lot 30 was granted to Joseph Keeler (1763-1839) on 6 December 1803 (LINK?). This Lot consists of 200 acres now bounded on the north by King Street, on the west by Elgin Street, and on the east by the driveway to the derelict house just west of the Streamside Drive subdivision. The southern limit of Concession 1, Lot 30 is now in the eastern end of the Ogden Point quarry.

On 18 January 1812, Keeler sold the northern 150 acres of this property to George Asahel Palmer (1761-1833) (LINK?), apparently in exchange for Concession 2, Lot 31, which Palmer had sold Keeler 6 days earlier (12 January 1812).

Palmer sold the eastern third of his 150 acres in 1819 but he retained the remaining 100 acres in the northwestern part of Lot 30 until 9 April 1831, when he sold them to James D. Goslee (1794-1865) (LINK?). Goslee transferred these 100 acres (minus the Grand Trunk Railway right-of-way, which he had sold in 1855, to his son George Goslee (1823-1882) on 1 March 1856. Ownership then passed to the Trust and Loan Company of Upper Canada on 20 August 1858 and then to George Goslee’s brother-in-law John Merriam Grover (1815-1888) on 12 June 1860.

Grover had the property surveyed and subdivided (the Grover Plan), and started selling off small parcels in 1864. Grover Lot 2, the site of the modern 80 King Street, was sold to George W. Carnall (1839-1893) on 29 December 1865. Carnall was a carpenter, born in England, who moved with his parents George Carnall (1805-1871) and Mary Ann Hill (1811-1874) to the United States by 1842 and to Canada by 1844 (judging by the birthplaces of his siblings). The Carnalls (parents and son) first appear in Cramahe censuses in 1861. George W. Carnell can be found in the 1861 and 1871 censuses and he died in Cramahe in 1893, but for some reason I can’t find him in Cramahe censuses (or any other census for that matter) for 1881 and 1891. This despite the fact that his wife and children are listed in the 1881 Cramahe census.

Carnell married Catherine Linton (1840-1909) in 1865 and had nine children: James Linton (1863-1933), Frederick William (1865-1939), Frances H. (1868-1933), Maria Ursylla (1869-1943), George Wallace (1871-1872), Leonore M. (1874-1942), Charles Boon (1876-1914), Catherine Josephine (1877-1952), and David Arthur (1881-1963).

There is a quit-claim grant dated 31 August 1868 transferring Grover Lot 2 from George W. Carnall to Elizabeth Grover (née Goslee, 1817-1903), John M. Grover’s wife. A quit-claim grant transfers all claim to a property to the grantee, suggesting there was some controversy over ownership prior to the grant. John and Elizabeth Grover transferred the lot to Almira G. Foley (1807-1893) on 16 February 1875 and Foley immediately (the same day) transferred it to the Grovers’ daughter Mary Elizabeth Bennett (1840-1922), widow of Edward G. Bennett (?-?). Almira Foley was John M. Grover’s elder sister, the widow of James Foley (1810-1864).

Mary Elizabeth Bennett, by now Mary Elizabeth Bailey, widow of James Edgar Bailey (1852-1885), sold Grover Lot 2 to Frederick O. McGlennon (1868-1907) on 3 April 1895. McGlennon was a nurseryman who married Alice Dougherty (1870-1952) in 1890 and had two daughters: Marjorie (1897-?) and Madeline (1902-1902). He died of typhoid in Colborne in 1907.

Alice McGlennon inherited Grover Lot 2 from her husband and sold it on 4 March 1910 to Robert Martin (1840-1921). Robert Martin was born in Yorkshire, England in 1844. He emigrated from England with his parents and brother and sister in 1857 and was living with them in Portsmouth, Frontenac Co., Canada West in 1861. By 1870, the family had wandered as far as Corinne, Box Elder Co., Utah Territory. By 1881, Robert was back in Ontario, working as a butcher in Colborne. His father, Richard Martin (1821-1903), was working as a bartender in Bannock, Montana when he was gunned down by a disgruntled patron by the name of George Pollack.

Robert married Elizabeth Porter (1845-1919) before 1873. Their children were Ralphena (1873-?; I think she died in infancy), Augustus (1875-?), Mattie (1878-?), Maud Lavinia (1879-?), and Robert Waddingham (1885-1927). All but one of these children were born in Colborne and I question the birthplace of the other. Mattie’s marriage record states that she was born in Salt Lake City. It just seems a little odd that her siblings born both earlier and later were born in Colborne. Of course, it may be that the Martins were visiting Utah when she was born. The Martin family appears in Colborne censuses for 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911.
Robert died of pneumonia in Colborne in 1921 but Grover Lot 2 had been transferred to his son Robert Waddingham Martin on 22 May 1919. The younger Martin was married to Bertha Amanda Button (1887-?) and I have found reference to one child: Richard Gerald (1912-?). Like his father, Robert W. Martin was a butcher.

Robert W. Martin sold Grover Lot 2 to William George Robertson (1873-?), Colborne dentist, and Frederick Marshall Brintnell (1871-1956), Colborne insurance agent, on 22 March 1920. These gentlemen were trustees, though I don’t know what they were trustees of. They sold it to Maud Lavinia Edwards (1879-?) on 19 December 1921. She was the youngest daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Martin, and Robert Waddingham Martin’s elder sister. She had married Ira Edwards (1879-?) in 1902. I have seen reference to one child: Ira H. (1912-1990).

Prior to 1865 Grover Lot 2 was included in land transactions involving larger tracts, so sale prices aren’t much help in determining the age of the house that sits there. George Carnall bought it that year for $150. This was a going rate for empty property at the time, suggesting that there was no house. Carnall sold it back to the Grovers in 1868 for $250. A larger amount, but still not suggestive of a house. Then it stayed in the Grover family until 1895 when it was sold to Frederick McGlennon for $1600. So probably the house was built between 1868 and 1895.

Transactions amounts during this period are of no help in pinning the date down, because all of them were between family members (sales of this type often occurred with minimal dollar transfers) and because most of the transactions involved other parcels of land as well as Lot 2. Robert Martin purchased the property in 1910 for $2000 and it remained in the Martin family from then on, at least until 1921.

Who lived on Grover Lot 2? I think the preceding paragraph makes a reasonably compelling argument that there was no house there before 1868. The Grovers lived across King Street in Seaton Hall. I suppose it is possible that they built a house on Lot 2 for John M. Grover’s sister Almira Foley before she officially owned it for a few minutes in 1875, but Almira was involved in transactions for lots all over the 100 acres layed out in the Grover Plan, so there is no particular reason to think so. Mary Elizabeth Bennett (later Bailey) is also a possible resident: she owned it for 20 years. But again she at one time or another owned numerous other Grover Plan properties. The McGlennon family is a bit more likely. For most of their tenure as owners of Reid Lot 2 (1895-1910), they owned no other properties. The Martins owned properties in Concession 2, Lot 32 at the same time they owned Grover Lot 2, but the 1911 census places their residence on King Street, so I think he probably lived on Lot 2.


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