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Address: 6519 Third Line

Location: Lot 19, Con 2

Date and Fabric: c. 1860; 11/2 storey stone

Known Owners:

John Cole [land] 1835 -
Subsequent owners not recorded on file until:
Henry Seabrook 1894 - ?
John W. Seabrook ? - 1926
Harry Seabrook 1926 - 1972
Glen Wallace 1972 -

photograph 1997

Earlier photos on file [all showing 1940's porch] are poor xeroxes

Limited documentation including architectural description on file; short narrative follows

Situated on the Third Line in Lot 19, Concession 2, this stone house follows the basic plan used throughout the Rideau Valley for houses of the period. It is 1 1/2 storey, gable roofed, and built of fieldstone and coarse rubble limestone. Several changes were made in the 1940's, including the erection of the prominent two storey wooden porch with numerous windows, and the closure of the door on the south wall to leave a window opening. The window at the centre of the front gable was enlarged as a door opening, to provide access to the upper storey of the porch.

The summer kitchen, dating from the 19th century, is to the rear of the house and is a simple, gable-roofed, rectangular structure.

John Cole, an Irish immigrant born in 1806, came to North Gower in 1835 and purchased the 200 acres in lot 19, concession 2. He married Mary Hyland, whose family had settled in Marlborough Township in 1832. It is reported that when Cole decided to build the house [apparently around 1860, though the source for this date is not on file] a bee was called to draw the stones to the house site, a knoll just east of the Third Line. This is the house that is said to have stimulated the friendly rivalry which gave rise to the elegance of Strathmere; see "1980 Phelan Road".

Although the dates are inconsistent on the file and there is no evidence of a Registry Office search, it appears that the property was purchased by Henry Seabrook in 1894, and subsequently passed by inheritance to John W. Seabrook and, in 1926, to Harry Seabrook, who owned it until he sold it to his grandson, Glen Wallace, in 1972. [See note below.]

[after Robert Hunter, n.d. about 1980, and Steven Hicks, high school essay, 1973]

March, 1990

The following note is from the Presence of the Past newspaper column by Fern Graham, Chairman of Rideau Township LACAC, published in the Ottawa-Carleton Review, December, 1998.

... the John Cole house on the Third Line, Lot 19 concession 2. Cole was born in Ireland in 1806, and emigrated to Canada. He settled on 200 acres near North Gower in 1835, and married Mary Hyland of Marlborough Township. Her family had arrived three years previously. Their substantial stone house was built around 1860, and it appears on the Belden Atlas map of North Gower Township in 1879. According to local tradition, the stones for the house were drawn to the site in a bee, the whole community pitching in to help a neighbour. The Cole house was one of the first large stone houses in the area, and it is also related to the grandest, Strathmere. Soon after he arrived, John Cole wrote to a friend back in Queen's County, Ireland, that he should try his luck in Canada. A few years later John Phelan came out, settling on Lot 16 near his countryman. When Cole later bragged to Phelan that his was the grandest house in the neighboourhood, Phelan took it as a challenge and built Strathmere in 1865 - or so the story goes. The Cole house is a classic one-and-a-half storey stone Ontario farmhouse. The gentle slope of the roof and the fine proportions of the five-bay facade with its central gable are typical of the 1860s. The ubiquitous summer kitchen extends from the rear of the house - it was added sometime before the turn of the century. A two-storey enclosed porch was added in the 1940s. In the LACAC files, few sources are cited for the information, so that the details of ownership of this farm were a bit vague. No search had been done at the registry office, so it is probable that the information is anecdotal -- and therein lay the error! It seems that Henry Seabrook bought the farm from John Cole or his estate around 1894, and the farm was passed through the Seabrook family over the years -first to John Seabrook and then to Harry Seabrook. In 1972, Glen Wallace, Harry Seabrook's grandson, bought the farm. Harry continued to live there until 1984, when he moved into North Gower, and Glen and Carol Wallace moved into the old stone house. Mr Wallace passed away in 1995. Unfortunately the LACAC file incorrectly list[ed] the owner as Morley Wallace since 1989. The mistake was brought to our attention by Glen Wallace's daughter, Cassandra Greer. I am pleased to be able to correct the file, and to be given an excuse to feature this fine example of our architectural and agricultural heritage.

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