It isn’t every day – or even every year – that you have the opportunity to visit a real Ontario farmhouse with roots that go back to the 1820s. Those who enjoy the Grimsby Historical Society’s Timeless Treasures House Tours will be able to do that when they go to Nixon Farms at 524 Ridge Road West on Saturday, May 23.
The Nixon family were among the earliest settlers in Grimsby Township. Allan and Mary Nixon travelled from New Jersey with their little son, John, in 1787. Their second son, William was said to be the first white child born in this area in November 1787. Like his father before him, and his son after him, William was a member of Grimsby Township Council, and a very active participant in the life of the new community.
As a young adult, William became a blacksmith and carried on his carriage-making business in the old Stone Shop on Main Street West. Later, when he turned over the business to his son Robert, he and his wife Christine (Cline) moved to the Ridge Road property. In 1826, William built a fine house, using bricks, and nails that he made himself, and 48-foot pine timbers that he cut himself.
Following a fire, William’s son Robert rebuilt the house using the original bricks. This is the house that stands today and is known as Rose Cottage. This beautiful house, dating from the late 1840s retains many of its original features, although it has been modified to include all the modern conveniences of today. Its gingerbread trim, attractive open verandah and saltwater pool make it a unique example of history, architecture and modern rural living. Visitors will also be welcomed into the lovely garden by volunteers from the Grimsby Garden Club.
Timeless Treasures House Tour features six other interesting buildings as well. You will be able to visit Echo Hall, the Metcalf House, the Samuel Green Cottage and the Doran House all on Main Street West as well as the Whittaker house on Elizabeth Street and St. George’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Ontario Street.
You are also invited in to the 1912 Carnegie Building, formerly Grimsby Public Library, across from the church. Tickets are available by calling 905-945-0361, at the Grimsby Historical Society Archives in the Carnegie building or by going to the GHS website firstname.lastname@example.org where you can make payment via PayPal.
The Grimsby Historical Society’s Timeless Treasures House Tour is set for Saturday, May 23 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Nixon Farms on Ridge Road West c. 1820, is among the seven buildings on the tour.