Creek at the end of Mill Street
A small river runs at the far end of Mill Street, where the park is. On a sunny summer day, there's nothing better than grabbing a couple of bottles of Creemore Springs Lager and enjoying them sitting on a rock in the middle of the creek with your feet dangling in the warm water.
198 Mill Street
In 19269, Greg and Thelma Thomson built this Colonial Revival house. The Thomsons owned a successful lumber yard and the interior of the house is beautifully finished with woods from the family farm in Mulmur. I wish I could have taken a peek inside, because I would love to have seen that.
The classical entrance features a fanlight transom.
217 Mill Street
This Gothic house was built for Mr. and Mrs. George Kembar in 1904. Mr. Kembar owned a shoe store/bicycle shop on Mill Street at the corner of Elizabeth Street. The stable in the rear of the grounds is original with three stalls and a hayloft. The floor plan of the house is L shaped, creating a side porch, which has decorated wood trim. There is a lovely story about this large walnut tree in the backyard. Nuts from a farm in the Mulmur Hills were stored in a back shed and apparently swept onto the lawn during a "spring cleaning"- hence one large walnut tree!
216 Mill Street
Built in 1890, this house is another example of Ontario Gothic, with its steep front gable and diachromatic brickwork. At one time, the house aws owned by Dr. J.A, Smith, who came to Creemore in 1916 as a pharmacist and physician. In 1962, John Hutton opened a nursing home in this house. The business was later bought by Hazel McIntosh, who named it "Creedan Valley Nursing Home". The nursing home expanded and was moved to another location.
6 King Street
This house was built in 1886 for Joshua Kitson. The Kitsons were active members of the church and political communities. Later, the house became known as the Bank House, providing housing for a succession of Toronto Dominion Bank managers. This Gothic Revival house is interesting in thata it has two front entrances, double upper windows and a very ornamental bargeboard. The cornices with bracketing over the bay window, unusual in a Gothic house, indicate that the builder was influenced by other architectural styles. The facade of this house has remained the same over the years.
220 Mill Street
This handsome Gothic styled house is the manse for St.Andrew's Presbyterian Church, built on property purchased by the congregation in 1886. It features an unusual window treatment with triangular pointed arched windows on the first floor. The upper windows are enhanced by the intricate buff coloured brickwork in the gables.
221 Mill Street
Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Stacey had this stately Edwardian home built in 1912. Mrs. Stacey was the County president of the Temperance Uniun and had specified that the living room be extra large to accommodate up to 50 people at her meetings. From 1944 to 1954 the house was the Beacom private hospital. The operating and delivery rooms, a nursery and some beds were on the second floor. The kitchen, office and more beds were on the first floor and the Beacoms lived on the third floor. Origanlly there was a front porch and the larger windows had stained glass in the transoms.
241 Mill Street
Alexander Earle built this fine house in the early 1900's for W.J.Corbett, a local druggist. The house was later owned by the Machesney family, who operated a grocery store on Mill street. During the construction of the house, electricity and a gravity fed plumbing system were installed. Although refubished in recent years, the driveshed behind the house is the original structure which contained three stalls for horse and carriage and a hayloft. Also original is the iron fence along the sidewalk.
243 Mill Street
This house with its large verandah and stained glass windows was built in 1900. The attractive paint work on the fascia of the pediments accentuates these features and gives the house a very bold appearance. The sunproch windows with small upper panes is typical Edwardian style. A very interesting decorative feature is a stained glass window on the north wall. It is embellished with tulips, a windmill and a wonam wearing a hat inscribed with a crown and the letter "W". Unfortunately I wasn't able to see this from the street. To me it sounds like Dutch people must have lived here, because of the windmill and tulips... hahaha, what else is Holland about ;-)
224 Mill Street
This elaborate house with its pillar, bay windows, intricate brickwork and ornamental bracketing, was built for Sam Hisey. Sam, along with his brother Jake, Contributed greatly to the prosperity of Creemore in the early 1900's with their livestock, feed and coal businesses.
The pediments of the house feature a sunburst design, popularized at the turn of the century. The original iron fence borders the grounds once known for their spectacular gardens. The house is known locally as either the Hisey or Rinn house, recalling two of the previous owners.
8 Johnston Avenue
This striking house was built by a local craftman, Alma Scarrow, about 1915, during the Edwardian architectural period. The buff brick is unusual in this community of red bricked houses. The ornate wood work in the gables and the stained glass transoms are of interest. At one time there was a porch down the east side of the house. This was once the home of Mr. Vincent Flynn who was manager fo the Noisy River Telephone Company from 1944 until just prior to is sale in 1956 to Bell Canada.
232 Mill Street
Hidden behind this tree you can see the house on 232 Mill Street which was built in 1892. This stucco house is a fine example of Ontario Gothic architecture with its central steep gable. Originally there was an upper front porch. Past owners include George Lawrence, a local grain merchant, Robert Johnston, a tailor for whom Johnston Avenue was named; and Percy Thomas, a station agent.
The last original hitching post in the village can be seen on the boulevard in front of the house. Hahaha, don't expect to see much though, the hitching post isn't that spectacular to see.
245 Mill Street
Built at the turn of the century, the walls are precast block with red mortar, an new technology for that era. It is interesting to note the coloured glass embedded in the stucco in the gables. I have to admit that I never noticed this before, until I walked here with the guidebook. It was quite fun to see the coloured glass so high up as a decoration.
The front and side veranda have the original slate flooring. For many years the house was owned by the George Shepherd family. Mr.Shephard was a village reeve, a Simcoe County warden and proprietor of a local feed mill that he purchased from the Hiseys.
North America's Smallest Jail!
I've done a walking through Creemore in the beginning of September 2002. It was really fun to do, because I had been to Creemore several times, and always wondered about the history behind the old houses in the main street of Creemore. Now I had a guide telling me all about these old buildings. So in this travelogue I want to take you by the hand and make this walk with me.
The first picture you see is of the North America's smallest jail.
North America's smallest jail
The Creemore Jail was built in 1892 of stone and measured 15 feet X 20 feet on the outside. It contains three small cells and a hallway. The contract for building the structure was awarded to James Clow for $425.20. It is situated on Jane Street.
A Mr. Turner served as a constable in 1892. Most of his ''guests'' were incarcerated for drinking offences. The jail was used from 1892 until the 1940's when it was locked up and left vacant. It was discovered in teh early 1970's that the jail was actually the smallest in North America! It was decided to spruce up the jail and open it on weekends for visitors.