David Watson House – 1859

Saturday, November 26, 2016

David Watson’s 1859 house on the corner of Highway 10 and Highpoint Sideroad is sitting, waiting for a possible heritage designation.  The 1877 Peel County Atlas shows the property on Lot 26 east as belonging to David Watson.  Centre Road has been coloured green on the map and is known as Highway 10 today.  Highpoint Sideroad, or 25th sideroad, has been coloured brown.  The house is marked with a red arrow and an orchard is shown between the house and the road.


Meanwhile, in spite of the pending heritage designation, it is in a state of deterioration and opened up in many places to the coming winter weather.  The picture below reveals that the window above the front door has been broken.   Many of Ontario’s earliest brick structures were made of yellow brick and accented with red brick.  Later the opposite pattern would come to dominate as red bricks became the more commonly mass-produced bricks. The buff, or yellow bricks came from clay that had less iron in it than the clay used for the red bricks.  These yellow bricks are very common in 1850 and 1860 South-western Ontario homes.  Notice the detailed pattern in the bricks below the roof-line.


The master bedroom looked out of the only forward facing window on the second floor. The brickwork around the window lintels is quite unique with its curving form.  A string of old Christmas lights  hangs from the trim.


The north side of the building faces toward Orangeville where the lower window on the front looked into the living room and the rear one gave afternoon light to the kitchen.  The use of red bricks for quoins on the corners of the building give the structure an increased appearance of being solid.


The rear window on the north end of the building has been removed showing the inside of the kitchen.  A doorway from the kitchen leads to the family room where the three bay windows once looked out onto an orchard and a small gravel road.


This view shows the kitchen cupboards and the place where the sink has been removed. The view in the picture below shows the doorway that leads into the dining room.


The cellar door has been broken open and recent animal and human footprints show that the place has had activity since the last snowfall.


From the rear, the house has some odd colouring to the bricks which suggests that the central back door may have had a porch roof over it at one time.  The upstairs has a bathroom on the right-hand end, above the kitchen.  It has a window which is slightly smaller than the second one which is in the upstairs hallway.


In the field behind the house stands the concrete remains of the silo.  This also marks the location of the former barn on the property.


The south view of the house shows more broken windows, two of them in upstairs bedrooms.


One of the points mentioned in the application for historical status is the picturesque location of the Watson house.  This view looking out across the Credit River illustrates this quite well.


Also located near this location is Island Lake Park which makes a great place for a visit with the family for an extended hike.

Google Maps Link: Highpoint Sideroad and Highway 10

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6 thoughts on “David Watson House – 1859

  1. Pingback: Melville | Hiking the GTA

  2. Larysa

    Time to buy and preserve the legacy of the buildings that helped build our nation.
    Love these homes and the fact status to preserve dwellings like this is so daunting is deleting Canadian history.

  3. Mary Aldcorn Harrison

    Very interesting. We have a home in Priceville, my family home, circa 1860/70 that was also a Watson home, as was our neighbours. The brick work is very similar.

  4. David Watson

    My name is David Watson and I live and own a heritage restoration business in Ottawa called Modern Hieroglyphics Inc. O/A MH Stoneworks. We restore stone and brick structures. Lol. The brick structure looks in much better shape than the interior finishes.

  5. Nadina

    I am so interested to read this as I have passed this house hundreds of times on my travels between Drayton and Toronto and always wondered about it. The house stands so straight and true in its very lonely spot within sight of the very busy highway. Thank you for writing about it. I hope it will be saved and revived.

  6. Pingback: Back Tracks – 8 Years of Trails | Hiking the GTA

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