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Address: 6566 Fourth Line [Main Street]

Location: Pt lot 20, Con 4

Date and Fabric: c. 1870, two storey log under aluminum

Known Owners:

Benjamin McEwen [lot] - 1861
Albert McEwen 1861 - 1884
Margaret Brown 1884 - 1888
Hiram Watts 1888 - 1907
Susan and May Watts 1907 - 1923
James A. McEwen 1923 - 1947
Clifford Todd 1947 - 1961
Eldon and Mary Mills 1961 -

photograph 1997

Photo also on file from 1986

There are no obvious clues to the age of this North Gower house which is located across from the junction of Main Street and Old Highway 16. However, hidden underneath the aluminum siding and behind the numerous additions lies what appears to be the old log home of Albert McEwen.

Belden's 1879 map of North Gower village shows the house, then belonging to A. McEwen, on a one acre lot on the north half of lot 20, concession 4. Registry records show that in 1861 Benjamin McEwen, the owner of lot 20, sold the one acre to Albert McEwen. In 1884, Albert McEwen sold the house to Margaret Brown, who sold it to Hiram Watts in 1888. In 1907 Watts died and the property passed from his estate to Susan and May Watts. In 1923 Susan Watts sold to James A. McEwen, who kept the property until his death in 1947. His estate sold the house to Clifford Todd and it was purchased from him in 1961 by Mr. and Mrs. EIdon Mills, formerly residents of 6576 Main Street, q.v.

The house has received many additions over the years and at one time was raised up off the ground. In 1961 when the Mills moved in, the major two storey addition, forming the back of the house, had already been built. The original log building [now the front of the house] was one and a half stories high and contained two sets of winding stairs which led to the second floor. Both sets have been removed. The log [square timber] construction was discovered by the Mills when they enlarged the front windows. They also discovered samples of old wallpaper. Some pieces had been affixed directly to the logs while other pieces were attached to rough boards which had been placed over the logs. Cracks between the boards had been filled with strips of linen 36 taken from old sugar bags.

In 1961 the house still had an old stone sink and, at the southwest corner, a well and a pump. The pump is now [1986] an ornament in the flower garden. Extending to the north of the house in an L-shape bending to the west was a summer kitchen, then a drive shed, then a horse stable. The drive shed and the horse stable were covered by an overhead loft. These buildings no longer exist and the Mills built a modern garage in 1965. In about 1963, they added a sunporch to the south side of the house. [after Peter Davidson, 1986. Sources 1, 4]

36 surely cotton.

March, 1990

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