Plaqued Houses and Buildings
Address:
175 Allan Street - William J. Shaw House
Summary:
William J. Shaw built this house in 1910 and it remained in the family until 1984.
Property Details:
William John Shaw was born on 24 July 1863 in Liverpool, England, the fourth of nine children of Joseph and Elizabeth Shaw. Joseph was an engineer.

In 1887, William married Rachel Walker and they lived at Walton On The Hill, a village just outside of Liverpool. He was a joiner and builder by trade and the family, eventually including five children: Fred; George; Flora; Samuel and Rachel, resided in the area until 1908 at which time they decided to emigrate to Canada, settling in Oakville.

The family would have noticed a stark contrast from the overcrowded streets of Liverpool and likely welcomed the pleasant tree-lined streets of Oakville and its proximity to the lake with its beaches, piers and harbour. In 1909, William purchased Lot 14 at the corner of Allan Street and Sumner Avenue in the newly-formed Brantwood Survey for $300 and built the family home. The Shaws also owned several other lots along Allan St. It was a happy existence for the family with William and sons establishing their trade as builders.

In 1915, the two eligible sons, Fred and George, signed up and went off to war, both fighting on the battlefields of France. Fortunately, they would return home. However, tragedy struck the family before their arrival when their father William contracted tuberculosis and succumbed to his illness in July of 1918.

The family continued on, with the 3 sons building houses and buildings in the area, employing many tradesmen and creating business for the planing mills and suppliers. They built the bank at the corner of Lakeshore Road and George Street as well as the cottages that now house the Oakville Historical Society. The three sons remained in town where in later years, in addition to their building trade, they became members of the Oakville Volunteer Fire Department.

In 1938, Williamís wife, Rachel, passed away. Frederick, Flora & Rachel continued to live in the family home. In 1938, Rachel married Fred Post, but, unfortunately, passed away five years later due to complications of childbirth. George and his wife Margaret lived a few doors down at 163 Allan and Samuel and his wife Jessie lived on Herald Avenue on the west side of 16 Mile Creek.

Flora eventually took over the family home after the death of her brother Fred in 1962, and remained there until her own death in 1982. In 1984 the house was sold bringing to a close 74 years of ownership by the Shaw family. Many of the Shaws are buried in St. Judeís Cemetery.

The archival photos below show:

the house in 1910, shortly after it was built. The young girl on the porch would be Rachel Shaw and the older person is either her mother Rachel or her older sister Flora.

The three Shaw brothers in the Volunteer Fire Brigade in the 1940s

The only known picture of William Shaw (middle) constructing W. S. Davisís pier at the foot of First Street along with Asa McDonald & Mike Joyce, circa 1910.

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175 Allan Street175 Allan Street