Address: 2310 Roger Stevens Drive
Location: Not on this file
Date and Fabric: .c. 1875 ?
Known Owners: Detailed research not on file. Craig connection to c. 1956; Pratt and Williams subsequently.
Two early n.d. photos on file [pre-1920?]; also oversize undated [c.1910 ?] "North Gower Women's Institute Grandmothers' Day" on front porch.
This property has not been researched for LACAC, but an interesting text follows.
[Because it has been so extensively modified, this house has not been researched for LACAC. It is nevertheless significant in the history of the Township. The following narrative, identified by the handwriting as coming from the late Mrs. Muriel Jago, a former member of LACAC, [see 2376 Church Street], is transcribed without any editorial intervention.]
This house, popularly known and referred to as "The Maples" because of the row of lovely big maple trees that ran from the front door down the lane almost to the Main St. on the south side of the house and all along the fence skirting the side-road leading to Kars Village [originally called Wellington] on the north side, was in the Craig name from 1870 something till about 1956. Outside plaster carried the date 1857 [sic].
James Craig purchased this farm from Silas Andrews. Those were the days of barter - i.e. - "a load of hay for a cupboard". Men were ploughing with oxen and a wooden plough, beginning as early as April 20th. Grain might be sowed in May to be followed by frost and snow on into June. Grain was cradled and built into stoops.
Around 1860, the Prince of Wales' visit to the area created quite a stir. He later became King Edward VIIth.
James Craig sold the farm to his son James junior who took the initial "E" 74 to distinguish himself from James Sr. James Jr. had married Grace Clara O'Loughlin, daughter of the resident Anglican clergyman, the Rev. Anthony Joseph O'Loughlin, and became the rector's warden and son-in-law.
The old cow stable remains of the outbuildings; the horse stable was built by James Jr. A small barn adjoined the big barn built over the cow-stable, and the horse stable, forming a horse-shoe shape conducive to shelter in winter. The sheep-fold was under the little barn.
James Jr. became township clerk in the 1880's and served for 50 years, to be followed by his son A.J. Craig, "Tony", into the 1950's.
In 1866, certain people in the community were engaged to be married. I wonder if it was she who managed to escape from an upstairs bed-room window at the farm to a waiting ladder and anxious boy-friend below, while two young nephews of her father maintained a vigil in the lane under the old plum tree, sustained by a bottle of Scotland's best aided by a shot gun that was never used because neither young man could do as the girl's father had primed them to do. Not often does a home have a story like that to tell.
Metallic ceilings became the rage around 1910, because the old plastered ceiling had passed service and repairs. The fine white pine boards of wainscotting and trim were lavishly covered over with a paint or stain and a comb-decorated pattern applied over that, maybe a coat of varnish after that.
I can recall the first vacuum cleaner - a huge heavy affair which was supposed to free the anxious house-wife from lifting each and every one of those carpet tacks that kept that Axminster carpet down without a wrinkle in it that could easily cause someone to stumble.
The fire-place was a point of interest. I never saw it in use as such but it was very wide, a pillar on each side and a mantel piece above to keep the old black 8-day clock on - which was wound up every Saturday night to keep the hours striking regularly on time. A large pink shell somehow imported from Florida decorated the mantel along with other family treasures.
When they opened up the fireplace so I could see it, I was so disappointed and horrified to see what was actually there, we put the outside covering back on quickly. A very wide fire-screen, with a brass edging had been in use for many years.
The house remained as of old until finally sold to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Read of Richmond and so began the changes that have been taking place ever since the sale in 1956.
[transcribed without editing from the late Mrs. Muriel Jago; n.d.but probably around 1975 - 1980]
74 He was universally known as James E. Craig.