Plaqued Houses and Buildings
24 Thomas Street - Duncan Chisholm Houses
The three workmen's cottages at the foot of Thomas Street were built by Duncan Chisholm, a nephew of the founder of Oakville.
Property Details:
In September 1833 William Chisholm sold Lot F, Block 21 of Plan 1 to Robert Thompson. In November 1833 it was sold again to William Earls "and wife" and then to Richard Crozier "and wife". In November 1851 it was sold to Duncan Chisholm "and wife". He built three Workmen's Houses at the foot of Thomas Street to house workers in 1852 but never lived in any of them. They sold them in December 1855 to George Wilson.

Duncan Chisholm was the fourth child, second son, of seven children of George Chisholm Junior and Eliza McCarter. George was a younger brother of William Chisholm, founder of Oakville. Duncan was born on the family farm on the north shore of Burlington Bay in 1824, died in Oakville on 17 Dec 1888 and is buried at Oakville Cemetery. After the War of 1812-13 he served in the Provincial Navy. His first wife was Hannah A. Miller, daughter of W.G. Miller. They had six children before she died in 1871. He then married Ellen J. Walters of Chatham and had another four children before she died in 1880. He and his younger brother, George Brock Chisholm (not to be confused with his grandson, Dr George Brock Chisholm, first Director General of the World Health Organization) became master mariners and moved to Oakville. In 1848 Duncan founded an iron and tin business in Oakville. He first lived at the corner of Lakeshore Road and Dunn Street, sharing a house with Mrs Mary Wilson who operated a bakery in her half. About 1853 he built a new brick house and shop on the southwest corner of Dunn and Lakeshore and lived there until his retirement.

In the late 1850s he established a shipyard on the Sixteen at William Street and built there the "Victoria", the "Monarch" among others and finally, the "White Oak". The White Oak was built for George Brock Chisholm and launched on Dominion Day 1867 and it was expected that she would be named "New Dominion" but George Brock's daughter, Kate, named her "White Oak". For Canada's Centennial 100 years later, the Oakville Historical Society commissioned a scale model of the White Oak. It is now on display in our office. The White Oak ended her days in Collins Inlet near Killarney Provincial Park.

Duncan was also a ship owner and served as Captain of the "Oddfellow", the "Royal Oak" and the "Three Bells" among others. He was the instigator of Captain Morris Felan's epic Christmas voyage of the "Victoria" - they shared her ownership - to Oswego and back. Navigation was closed for the season, there were no lights and insurance was not available. Felan managed to scrape up a crew of five, including Duncan, and they returned to Oakville on Christmas Day with the ship covered in ice. Their cargo was about 200 tons of pig iron for which they paid $2.50 per ton.
Click to Enlarge
Thomas Street Workmen's CottagesThomas Street Workmen's Cottages
24 Thomas Street Plaque24 Thomas Street Plaque
The White OakThe White Oak
Centennial Model of the White OakCentennial Model of the White Oak
Duncan ChisholmDuncan Chisholm
George Brock ChisholmGeorge Brock Chisholm