Plaqued Houses and Buildings
Address:
40 First Street - Romain House
Summary:
also known as the William Romain House- was built in 1855.

Property Details:
William Francis "Frank" Romain (1818-1911) worked as a grain merchant and contractor. Originally from Montreal, Que, he apprenticed with William Ayers for a decade.

He was the husband of Esther Ann Chisholm, the eldest daughter of William Chisholm.
Frank also helped Peter A. MacDougald build the stone warehouse that stands today at the head of Robinson Street and Sixteen Mile Creek

The " Romain House" at 40 First Street was built in 1855 by William Romain.

He was listed as a general merchant, forwarder & agent for life, marine and fire insurance. He suffered bankruptcy in 1869. His furnishings were purchased at auction by his brother-in-law, Thomas Chisholm.

The house subsequently was owned by the Turner family, then became the Lakehurst Sanitorium for treatment of psychiatric patients.

In 1905 it was purchased by William Sinclair Davis, a real estate agent, prominent citizen and warden of St. Jude's Church.

William Sinclair Davis (1865-1942) moved to Oakville, from Milton, in 1883 at the age of 14. He worked with Robert Balmer at the post office for 17 years, and then went into the real estate business in 1900.

Around 1910, Davis was instructed by the Bank of Hamilton to improve the Brantwood Survey by grading the streets, laying cement sidewalks and installing sewers. He owned a real estate office in the east half of the Davis Block on Colborne Street (now Lakeshore Road). In 1903, he started the Tennis Club with Allan S. Chisholm and a group of other men, the club became the Oakville Club 5 years later.

In 1908, he went into a partnership with Charles F. Doty to form the Oakville Pressed Brick Works. He was the purser of the "White Star" with William Boyd as captain. He then became the general manager, secretary and treasurer of the Oakville Navigation Company.

He was the father of Douglas "Dud" Davis, Jim Davis, Bill Davis, Bob Davis, and Ted Davis. Bob Davis left a sizeable bequest of books on marine history to the Oakville Historical Society which forms the bulk of our R. W. Davis Marine Library collection.

The house still stands today.
Click to Enlarge
40 First Street, 202040 First Street, 2020
40 First Street Plaque - The Romain House40 First Street Plaque - The Romain House
40 First Street, 1920s40 First Street, 1920s
40 First Street, 195640 First Street, 1956
40 First Street, 190440 First Street, 1904
40 First Street, 195740 First Street, 1957
40 First Street, 190740 First Street, 1907
William RomainWilliam Romain
40 First Street, 1970s40 First Street, 1970s