This property is located in the former South Dumfries Township near the village of Harrisburg. The Clarke Family lived upon the property for 50 years or more. The land was owned by Mullen in the 1840s and he presumably built the original log cabin.6 The house was eventually upgraded to stone during the Crimean War (1853-56). The war was a boon to Canadian farmers since the British banned the purchase of Russian wheat and bought Canadian wheat at considerably higher prices and quantities. By 1855 the property was owned by Simon Smith Sr. who had divided up the land between 3 of his sons. The property where the house is located was given to Simon Smith Jr. In 1900 an addition was added to the property. At some point there was a full garden in the backyard. By 1921 the house had been divided up into 3 sections and housed 3 different families. The house’s shutters were removed and burned as kindling during the Great Depression. By 1967 the house was operating as a Bed and Breakfast.
1842 - House was a 1 1/2 story log house
The house was believed to have been built by Mullen who owned the property at that time.6
early 1851 - House was upgraded from log to stone 5
During the Crimean War, Canadian farmers received government funding to improve their farms and increase wheat production.
1855-1879 - Simon Smith owned the land where house is located2
The Smith family several plots east of Harrisburg. Smith Sr. likely divided up the land to leave to his sons. The elder sons built houses on the South side of the road.5
1879 - Simon Smith jr. marries and assumes ownership of the family farm
Simon Smith Jr. inherited the plot of land where house is located. This action is assumed to be tied to either the son's marriage or the father's retirement. 5
1900 – An addition was added to the house
1921 – The property housed 3 families: Shuert, Allen and Gumniak4
1930s - Window shutters removed and burned as kindling
1961 – Family receive calls from individuals looking to rent parts of the house5
1967 - Clarke family purchases house
1970s - Brick removed from summer kitchen and replaced with siding
1980 - Bathroom upstairs added5
Summary of Inhabitants
Simon Smith Sr.
Simon Smith Sr. was born June 4th, 1808 in Jersey Settlement, Wentworth County, Ontario. He was married January 28, 1835 to Mary Shuert (born October 15, 1810 in Welland County.) Simon Smith came to Dumfries Township with his parents in 1833 and settled two miles north of St. George. After his marriage he settled upon land on 1st Concession, South Dumfries. They had seven children: Henry (born December 5th, 1835), Harvey (born December 9th, 1838), Cynthia (born July 5th, 1840), Orpha (born December 25th, 1843), Alfred (born June 27th, 1846), Simon (born February 6th, 1849) and Lavinia (born October 16th, 1851.) Simon Smith Sr. died on May 1st 18802
Simon Smith Jr.
Simon Smith Jr. was born February 6th, 1849 in Harrisburg and is the son of Simon Smith Sr. and
Mary Smith. Simon Smith Jr. was married August 6th 1879 to Eve Eliza Bristol, daughter of Joel and Rachel Bristol from Guelph.2 They had three children: George William (born August 24th, 1880), Charles Edwin (born July 8th, 1882) and Carrie May (1888.)3
Ernest Shuert (1883-1966) inhabited the property with his wife Elsie (Greenfield) Shuert (1877-1927), children Orval and Alvin, his father Henary and mother Elizabeth. His occupation was listed as farmer4
Andrew Allen (1888-1967) lived on the property with his wife Iva (d.1980), his children Harry, Beatrice, Clifford, Jean, and Herbert and labourer Russel Hill. His occupation was listed as farmer4
John Guminiak and his family, including his wife Jennie, children Frank, Verna, Josie, Millie, Julian, Joseph, Edward and John’s brother George Guminiak lived upon the property. Like the heads of the other families who lived in the divided house, his occupation was listed as farmer4
The original section of Smith Place has a symmetrical design with a combination Georgian and neo-classical style. The straight lined roof and positioning of the chimneys are remnant of colonial Georgian style. However, neo-classical influence can be seen in the turned eaves, slightly arched windows and the inset front door. It possesses a 1 ½ storey main house with a single story wood shed/garage and 2 story extension. The house was constructed in header bond brick in cream/yellow buff with quoins on the corners and on the seam between additions. The house is three bricks thick on the main floor and two bricks thick on the upper floor. The stone foundation is twenty inches thick. Brown brick is found on the wood shed/garage main façade with white wood clapboard surrounding. An enclosed small porch creates an entryway to the shed which also possesses a single centered chimney in brick. The summer kitchen and wood shed/garage are just connected on the corner. Residents have to go outside for access. The roof of the main house is done in white fascia with trim and a Greek revival frieze with cornice return. The roof shape is low side gable with a single centered chimney and another single chimney by the main entrance, both done in brick. The original chimney to the west was moved and another chimney added to the right of the front door. The brick wall was cut into in order to erect this new chimney. The more elaborate design and lack of stone base suggest this chimney was of a later date than the initial construction of the house. The front door is centered in the main façade and features Grecian-style moulded trim, recessed side light panels and a recessed light mullion transom. The upper floor windows are Georgian in style and symmetrical. They provide light for the two bedrooms, left and right, while the middle window provides lighting for the upstairs landing. The windows all swing on top hinges. The lower windows were originally designed with twelve panes (six upper and six lower.) The windows feature flush decorative brick in a radial pattern. Inside, the basic plan of the house is four square rooms on the first and upper floors with a center staircase and a box hall at the entrance. The house possesses a full basement with a large six by ten foot cistern and fieldstone walls and four hewn one foot joints under the main floor. The basement stairs are original to the house. It also features split-lath beneath the plaster.6
2. History of the County of Brant, Ontario.
3. Library and Archives Canada, 1911 Census of Canada, June 1 1911.
4. Library and Archives Canada, 1921 Census of Canada, June 1 1921.
5. Clarke, Fiona. Personal Interview. June 13, 2018.
6. Clarke, John. (1969.) Street Scape Showing the Architecture of the Houses on the Western Section of the Harrisburg Road From the Vicinity of the Allen Farm to the Outskirts of the Village of Harrisburg.
History of the County of Brant, Ontario. 1883.
Library and Archives Canada. 1911 Census of Canada. June 1 1911.
Library and Archives Canada. 1921 Census of Canada. June 1 1921.