The land at 151 George Street was purchased in 1908 and 1916 by Edward Byron Brown. Mr. Brown and his wife Mary Jane moved to Tay Township from Florence in Lambton County, Ontario in 1901. He completed this impressive home in 1911.
Three Victoria Harbor Lumber Company Mills c1910
Mr. Brown was a marine engineer on the tug boat “Reginald” for the Victoria Harbor Lumber Company and he was also a customs officer at Port McNicoll. He became the first village Clerk of Victoria Harbour when it was incorporated in 1911.
The ‘Reginald” (left)
Mr. Brown was very involved in the community, serving on many committees and helping to organize the Masonic Temple as well as acting as Magistrate. He remained the village Clerk until his death in 1939. Byron’s daughter Florence became the Harbour’s first female Reeve in 1955.
Edward Byron Brown and Spouse Mary Jane Brown on Verandah of 151 George Street c.1930
The entire house remained in original condition until sold by the Brown family in 1988. The home was built almost exclusively of pine from the Lumber Company. It is of vernacular style and it is not clear whether Mr. Brown drew up the plans himself or if they were prepared for him.
151 George Street, Before 1920
The initials of the builder “BB” apparently still remain carved into the original siding at the rear corner of the home. However they are covered with new siding.
The original structure is basically intact; the only addition was a summer kitchen on the rear of the home which was likely added shortly after construction. (Today, it functions as a den.) A gable peak on the principal (north) façade that once incorporated a window opening is a feature that is popular in the Gothic Revival style. This façade is organized into two bays, including the off–centre main entrance and living room window.
The original front door is flat, with three panels and its original stained glass. The original bell and knob are still in good working order.
The wrap around verandah has been renovated but retains the character of the original. The home sits on 2 ft. thick granite foundation walls that are in good condition and some of which remain visible. There is a working hand pump on the well in the west side yard.
For more detail on Tay heritage sites visit https://taytownshipheritage.wordpress.com
Facebook Page: Huronia’s Past and Present https://www.facebook.com/groups/HuroniaPastandPresent/
Robert Hart, Victoria Harbour
Tay Township Heritage Committee http://www.tay.ca/en/your-municipality/tay-heritage-committee.asp
Tay Township Heritage Register https://taytownshipheritage.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/vh-151-george-2008.pdf