County of Brant Public Library Digital Collections
Penmarvian


Description
Media Type:
Image
Text
Item Type:
Photographs
Description:

Summary

The original house was built by Hiram Capron in 1846 and known as the The Stone House. It took three years and twelve stone masons to complete and is an exemplar of the Greek Revival style popular at the time. Note how the square profile, flat hip roof and roof lantern are reminiscent of Charles Mitchell House built in 1842.

When John Penman of Penman Knitting Mills bought the house in 1887 and re-christened it 'Penmarvian', a combination of Penman and McVicar (his wife's maiden name). He commissioned an extensive renovation project in 1889 that turned the Greek Revival temple plan building into a Victorian castle, complete with bay windows, towers, veranda, and decorative ironwork.

After Penman's death in 1932 the house was willed to the Presbyterian Church for use as a home for its aged minister, missionaries, and their wives. Included in his will was $100,000 to go with the home for the purpose of paying for general upkeep and maintenance. The house operated in this capacity until 1970 when rising upkeep costs forced the building to close down. There was an initiative to turn it into senior citizens' housing in 1973 however delays caused the building to remain virtually empty until its next proprietor.


Timeline

1846 – Construction Begins

Hiram Capron employed 12 stone masons to work on the house.1

1849 – Construction Ends

1872 – Hiram Capron Dies

1872 – House Passes to Banfield Capron

1882 – William and Hester Snider Buy House

The house was sold at a public auction and advertised as a fine, large cut stone residence surrounded by about 12 acres of land which slope to the Grand River. 1

1887 – John Penman Buys House

1889 – House Renovated in Victorian Style

1898 – Library Built

1932 – John Penman Dies

John Penman passes away at age 93.1

1931 – House Willed to Presbyterian Church of Canada

1970 – Rising Upkeep Costs Close Down House

1977 – John Van Gastel Buys House

At this point the house was in rather poor condition and John Van Gastel spent what we can only assume is a small fortune restoring it to its former glory. Part of the renovations included the removal of the middle gable window on the roof as well as of the veranda and the fire escape. Wood from the veranda was reused in replacing rotting wood trim around the roof. Inside the plaster trim on the walls and ceiling was repaired, likewise with the wood trim. 1

1978 – Surrounding Land Severed and Sold

The Paris committee of adjustment and council approved three severance applications by John Van Gastel. The three pieces of land were as follows: three acres intended for the Paris Nursing Home at 199 Grand River; 52,228 square feet intended for Harold Freeborn of 1936 Grand River; and 43,721 square feet intended for Jacqueline Barel of 187 Grand River. This followed an earlier severance of the coach house and 23,770 square feet. 1

1979 – Marie Toncic Buys House

1981 – Marie Toncic and Her Husband Receive Conservancy Award

The award was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Toncic in recognition of their efforts in maintaining the historical and architectural character of Penmarvian during the renovations meant to modernize it and turn it into a retirement home. 1


Architectural Features

Penmarvian is a square-shaped, three storey single-detached building with a tower offset on the right side. The exterior walls are ashlar stone with pilaster and decorative capital designs. The cross gable roof has a slate surface with decorative roof trimming and plain gable dormers. Penmarvian features both flat and semi-circular window openings with bay or double hung windows. The main entrance has a semi-circular opening and 2-leaf door.


Notes

  1. Paris Museum. Building Files - 185 Grand River St. N.. Retrieved July 2015

References

  • Paris Museum. Building Files - 185 Grand River St. N.. Retrieved July 2015

Date of Publication:
1846
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
2015CB005
Collection:
Historic Buildings of the County of Brant
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.116667 Longitude: -80.366667
Creative Commons licence:
by-nc-nd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
Protected by copyright: Uses other than research or private study require the permission of the rightsholder(s). Responsibility for obtaining permissions and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Copyright Date:
2015
Copyright Holder:
County of Brant Public Library
Copyright Holder Contact Information:
12 William Street, Paris ON N3L 1K7
Recommended Citation:
Penmarvian, 2015. County of Brant Public Library. Item No. 2015CB005
Contact
County of Brant Public Library
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

County of Brant Public Library (Paris Branch)
12 William Street
Paris, ON
N3L 1K7 | @brantlibrary

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Penmarvian



Summary

The original house was built by Hiram Capron in 1846 and known as the The Stone House. It took three years and twelve stone masons to complete and is an exemplar of the Greek Revival style popular at the time. Note how the square profile, flat hip roof and roof lantern are reminiscent of Charles Mitchell House built in 1842.

When John Penman of Penman Knitting Mills bought the house in 1887 and re-christened it 'Penmarvian', a combination of Penman and McVicar (his wife's maiden name). He commissioned an extensive renovation project in 1889 that turned the Greek Revival temple plan building into a Victorian castle, complete with bay windows, towers, veranda, and decorative ironwork.

After Penman's death in 1932 the house was willed to the Presbyterian Church for use as a home for its aged minister, missionaries, and their wives. Included in his will was $100,000 to go with the home for the purpose of paying for general upkeep and maintenance. The house operated in this capacity until 1970 when rising upkeep costs forced the building to close down. There was an initiative to turn it into senior citizens' housing in 1973 however delays caused the building to remain virtually empty until its next proprietor.


Timeline

1846 – Construction Begins

Hiram Capron employed 12 stone masons to work on the house.1

1849 – Construction Ends

1872 – Hiram Capron Dies

1872 – House Passes to Banfield Capron

1882 – William and Hester Snider Buy House

The house was sold at a public auction and advertised as a fine, large cut stone residence surrounded by about 12 acres of land which slope to the Grand River. 1

1887 – John Penman Buys House

1889 – House Renovated in Victorian Style

1898 – Library Built

1932 – John Penman Dies

John Penman passes away at age 93.1

1931 – House Willed to Presbyterian Church of Canada

1970 – Rising Upkeep Costs Close Down House

1977 – John Van Gastel Buys House

At this point the house was in rather poor condition and John Van Gastel spent what we can only assume is a small fortune restoring it to its former glory. Part of the renovations included the removal of the middle gable window on the roof as well as of the veranda and the fire escape. Wood from the veranda was reused in replacing rotting wood trim around the roof. Inside the plaster trim on the walls and ceiling was repaired, likewise with the wood trim. 1

1978 – Surrounding Land Severed and Sold

The Paris committee of adjustment and council approved three severance applications by John Van Gastel. The three pieces of land were as follows: three acres intended for the Paris Nursing Home at 199 Grand River; 52,228 square feet intended for Harold Freeborn of 1936 Grand River; and 43,721 square feet intended for Jacqueline Barel of 187 Grand River. This followed an earlier severance of the coach house and 23,770 square feet. 1

1979 – Marie Toncic Buys House

1981 – Marie Toncic and Her Husband Receive Conservancy Award

The award was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Toncic in recognition of their efforts in maintaining the historical and architectural character of Penmarvian during the renovations meant to modernize it and turn it into a retirement home. 1


Architectural Features

Penmarvian is a square-shaped, three storey single-detached building with a tower offset on the right side. The exterior walls are ashlar stone with pilaster and decorative capital designs. The cross gable roof has a slate surface with decorative roof trimming and plain gable dormers. Penmarvian features both flat and semi-circular window openings with bay or double hung windows. The main entrance has a semi-circular opening and 2-leaf door.


Notes

  1. Paris Museum. Building Files - 185 Grand River St. N.. Retrieved July 2015

References

  • Paris Museum. Building Files - 185 Grand River St. N.. Retrieved July 2015