875 Tobacco Road, Castleton

(c. mid to late 1800s)
Roll No. 1411-011-040-02500 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Gothic Revival Cottage

This magnificent 105 acre estate sits among the rolling hills of Northumberland between Castleton and Morganston on Highway 25.

The original part of this century home is a Gothic Revival cottage, but “cottage” hardly describes this unique property. The tall gothic gables with gingerbread, the small balcony with a palladian window over the front door, and the steep peaked roof are all stalwarts of the Gothic Revival style, but the sunroom, the garden room and the Victorian porch with gazebo complete with a riot of bargeboard and other embellishments true to the era, blend the old into the new seamlessly.

The views are a truly breathtaking because the house sits on a hill very much isolated from other properties, and overlooks its 100 plus acres.

875 Tobacco Road, is a widely admired century residence graced with glorious views over the rolling Northumberland hills, extensive perennial gardens, a deep (swimming) pond with fountain and dock, and its own 3 hole golf course.

Interior living spaces blend modern updates with the original beauty of the home. There are two very large fireplaces, beamed ceilings, custom millwork, a designer kitchen, cheery sunroom and a three season garden room all of which add to the enjoyment. The impressive newer barn with hydro & upper finished loft provides a myriad of opportunities.

History or Associative Value

The original Crown land grant on which 875 Tobacco Road now stands was among the earliest in Cramahe Township – it went to Phyllis Grant in 1798. Each of the members of the governing body under Lieutenant Governor Simcoe received 6000 acres for their service and Phyllis was one of the 11 daughters of Executive Councillor, Admiral Alexander Grant – Royal Navy. Records and sale prices support the speculation that the house was built between 1861 and 1873.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

875 Tobacco Road, Castleton, Ontario Cramahe Township, Concession 8, Lot 18

Until 1861 all transactions involving the property on which 875 Tobacco Road now stands included all 200 acres in Concession 8, Lot 18.

The original Crown land grant was among the earliest in Cramahe Township, occurring on 12 December 1798 when land went to Phyllis Grant (1782-1857). In that year each of the members of the Executive Council of Upper Canada (the governing body under Lieutenant Governor Simcoe) received for their services a land grant of 6000 acres for themselves and 1200 acres for each of their children. One of these Executive Councillors was Admiral Alexander Grant (1734-1813) of the Royal Navy, and Phyllis was one of his 11 daughters.

By 1822 Phyllis had married Alexander Duff (1770-1809). She sold Lot 18 on 23 January of that year to Thomas Dickson (1776-1825) of Queenston, near Niagara Falls. Dickson was Phyllis’s brother-in-law, being married to her older sister Archange (1780-1829).

By 1836 Thomas and Archange Dickson were dead and their only(?) daughter Mary Theresa Dickson (1814-1866) had moved to Britain. She married John Stewart Lyon (1808-1862) in London that year and the property in Cramahe Township placed in trust for herself and her new husband on 18 November 1836. One of the trustees was her uncle Walter Dickson (1776-1855). Walter Dickson is listed in the Land Office record for this transaction as a “Writer to the Signet”. This is a Scottish term for a solicitor, the “signet” being originally the private seal of the Scottish Kings. The second trustee was Richard Mackenzie (1780-1850), Deputy Keeper of the Signet. The Keeper of the Signet was the senior office in the Society of Writers of Her Majesty’s Signet, an association of Scottish solicitors. This office was ceremonial, the administrative functions of the Society being under the charge of the Deputy Keeper. The third trustee was Thomas Bushby (1793-1865), a Commander in the Royal Navy. The fourth was named Isaac Bayley (?-?). The final trustee was George Lyon (1805-1879), John Lyon’s brother.

Dickson, Bushby, Bayley, and Lyon sold the property to Edward Bothwell (?-?) of Cambria, New York on 13 October 1843. He sold it again on 28 July 1845, by which time he was a resident of Cramahe Township. This may indicate that he was the first resident of the property under discussion here. Or maybe not… No connection has been found between Bothwell and the previous owners of the property, but it is interesting that Cambria Center, New York is less than 20 km from Queenston, Ontario where the Dicksons resided.

Bothwell sold the property to Gilbert McMicken (1813-1891) of Queenston. He was the husband of Ann Theresa Duff (1808-1887), daughter of Phyllis Grant, the original owner back in 1798.

Gilbert and Ann McMicken sold Lot 18 to David Crouter (1791-1867), a Haldimand Township farmer, on 18 October 1850. Again, Crouter doesn’t appear to have lived on Lot 18, because he was still listed as a Haldimand Township farmer when he sold the property on 15 October 1851.

This time the purchaser was Abraham Wade (1796-1875), an Irish immigrant who was as farmer in Haldimand Township when he bought the property. Wade is another possible candidate for residence on Lot 18. He owned several other properties in Cramahe, but this was the first one he purchased. His wife was Margaret McCullough (1795-1883) and their children were Martha (1821-?), Joseph (1830-?), William F. (1832-1918), Thomas (1838-1879), Elizabeth (1839-?), and Margaret Ann (1844-1917).

If the Wades lived on Lot 18, they probably did not live at the site of the house under discussion here. It lies in the southwestern quarter of the Lot, which was sold by Abraham Wade and his wife on 10 July 1861, the Wades retaining the other three quarters themselves.

The southwestern quarter was bought by William McCullough (1836-1901) on 10 July 1861 (both Land Office records spell his name “McCully”). A native of Ireland, he was a listed as a Cramahe Township farmer in the records of both his purchase and sale of this property, and as a farmer in the 1861 and 1871 Cramahe censuses. His wife was Mary Ann Robinson (1838-?), and their children were Annie (1857-1923), Mary Jane (1860-1895), George (1863-?), William J. (1866-1898), Andrew (1868-1924), Wesley (1869-1920), Florence May (1876-1923), Marcus (1877-1933), and Albert (1879-?). No definite connection has been found between William McCullough and Margaret McCullough, the wife of the man from whom he bought the property in Lot 18, but one has to wonder if there was one. Were they related? Perhaps nephew and aunt?

William McCullough sold his property to Peter J. Stoneburgh (1817-1878) a Murray Township farmer on 30 September 1873. His wife in 1873 was Emma (1843-?; maiden name unknown) by whom he had two children: Emma A. (1874-?) and Maud May (1880-?). His previous wife, Matilda Campbell (1830-1869) had given him six other children: Margaret Jane (1850-1921), John H. (1854-?), Sarah (1858-?), Charles M. (1960-?), Peter Nelson (1863-?), and William (1865-?).

Stoneburgh owned the property for less than four years. He sold it to Richard Crealock (1823-1908) on 5 April 1877. When he purchased the property, Crealock was working as a carriage maker in Brighton, but he spent the rest of his life as a farmer in Cramahe Township. He was married to Jane Saunders (ca. 1814-?) and had six children: Elizabeth (1849-1915), Mary Jane (1851-1938), Ann Maria (1854-1928), Charles (1860-1928), William Henry (1862-?) and Clara Maud (1876-?).

The property remained in the Crealock family until 1939. It passed from Richard to his son Charles on Richard’s death in 1908. Charles apparently never married.

It is clear that most if not all of the early owners of Lot 18 were not residents. Likely this is true of all of them up until Abraham Wade, and as suggested in a previous paragraph, Wade probably didn’t live on the site of the house at 875 Tobacco Road either (although the evidence for this is weak). When William McCullough bought the southwestern quarter of Lot 18 from Wade in 1861 he paid $600. When he sold it in to Peter Stoneburgh in 1873 he received $1200. When Stoneburgh sold it to Richard Crealock the price was $1100. This might suggest that the house now on the property was built by William McCullough sometime between 1861 and 1873.

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