Argo is proud to showcase our third heritage house restoration project. Located in the Town of Caledon in our Lotus Pointe community, the Robert Wilson House was built for Robert Wilson III between 1872 to 1891 by Scottish immigrant pioneers and is exemplary for its local stone building use and high-quality masonry craftmanship that has stood the test of time.
The farmhouse combines reddish-brown Credit Valley sandstone with grey limestone to produce a dichromatic palette in keeping with its High Victorian Gothic style. Welsh arches, a stepped arch around a pointed-arch window, quoins, a cut-stone foundation wall and the unique heart motif showcases the mason’s skill. The contrast between the cut-stone walls in front and on the south and the rubblestone walls elsewhere adds a unique visual interest. The skilled masonry suggests the handiwork of a Scottish-trained mason or team of masons – a probable choice for the Wilson family who had emigrated from Scotland to pioneer in Chinguacousy Township. Delicately carved bargeboard trimming gable ends, original window sash and interior woodwork add to the farmhouse’s historic character.
The farmhouse was home to three generations of the Wilsons, a Scottish immigrant family of the pioneer era who prospered and built a permanent house in the late nineteenth century. The farmhouse’s past is also associated with the Allan McLean family and the disruption caused by the tragedy of the First World War, and subsequent farming families including the Newhouse family who lived here for over 50 years.
Together with the team at Sedgwick Marshall Heritage Homes, we were able to preserve many architectural details beginning with extensive foundation work accomplished by carefully raising this 500-tone home by 4 feet in order to stabilize the house. The stone back-wing was carefully dismantled and rebuilt, and the original stones were further repurposed as a stunning interior stone wall feature. Other restored features include:
- Replaced original windows with Kolbe ‘Variation
- 6’ wood windows, which are curved on the outside and square on the inside
- Exterior side and back doors restored
- Re-mortared exterior stone where necessary
- Salvaged wood was used to box in the ceiling’s steel support beams
- Reclaimed wood was used for the counters in the Butler’s Pantry
- The pass-through in the kitchen, originally a doorway, was finished in reclaimed wood
- The built-in shelving in the family room was previously a doorway
- A side entry into the dining room was uncovered during construction, exposing a beautiful curved soldier stone detail
- Original stone and beam mantle reclaimed for the fireplace