Address: 6583 Fourth Line [Main Street]
Location: N Pt. Block F and Pt Block I, Plan 628 [earlier described as Lot 2, Plan 91]
Date and Fabric: c 1900 ? [see narrative], two storey brick
|John, Elizabeth and Charles Elliot [probably lot only]||- 1895|
|James Kite [probably lot only]||1895 - 1895|
|George Ferguson||1895 - 1901|
|Robert Thomas Craig||1901 - 1930|
|Matt and Sarah Arbuckle||1930 - 1960|
|Arthur and Amanda Arbuckle [later Mrs. Tanner]||1960 - 1966|
|J.A. Payne||1966 -|
Other photos on file 1990, 1986, 1980, and undated but probably 1979.
This house is located on the east side of Main Street across from its near twin at number 6576 [q.v.]. The name of the builder is uncertain. One suggestion is that the house was built by Tom Mills sometime in the late 19th century, partly as a practice exercise before building 6576. Another suggestion is that the house was built by T.A. Craig. When it was built is also unclear although the date of 1875 was put forth by one interviewee. If this date is accurate then the age difference of 35 years between the two houses tends to cast doubt on the building-for-practice theory. Registry records don't seem to support the 1875 hypothesis, though.
In 1895 John, Elizabeth and Charles Elliot sold the land that the house is built on [then described as lot 2, plan 91], and the identical neighbouring lot to James Kite for $400. In the same year Kite sold both lots to George Ferguson for $500. In 1901 Ferguson sold lot 2 to Robert Thomas Craig for $250. These comparatively low prices suggest that the property was not developed. [Compare for example 2352 Church Street q.v. which sold for $900 and 2347 Church Street q.v. which sold for $1,300, both in 1902.] If this interpretation of the evidence is accurate then the house was probably not built until after 1901, and this construction date would be consistent with the theory that the house was built as a practice run.
Regardless of whether the builder was Tom Mills or T.A. Craig, it seems non-contentious that the first owner was Robert Thomas Craig. Craig was a farmer whose property was located on the Fourth Line two miles north of North Gower. Sometime around the turn of the century he sold the farm to his daughter Sarah May and her husband Matt Arbuckle, the village tax collector. He then moved into the village house but continued to drive out to the farm most mornings. The house came with a very effective well under the front porch which was often used by the neighbours when their own ran dry. It is still being used today . In 1930, R.T. Craig died and Matt and Sarah May Arbuckle sold the farm and retired to the village house. In 1958 Matt died and in 1960 his nephew Arthur Arbuckle and his wife Amanda [now Mrs. Tanner] moved in. In 1966 they sold to the Paynes.
In 1986, Mrs Tanner described the house as having high ceilings, a gravel floored basement and being well insulated. During her six year residency the summer kitchen and woodshed at the back of the house were modified into a year-round kitchen. In 1962 a bathroom was installed and full plumbing was put in the house. The horse stable was used as a henhouse by Arthur Arbuckle and is now  used as a storage shed. [after Peter Davidson,1986. Sources 1, 2, 3]