Plaqued Houses and Buildings
Address:
293 Macdonald Road - Donald Campbell House
Summary:
Donald Campbell was a collector of road tolls
Property Details:
Oakville was built on the vision of William Chisholm as a port with "a rich and densely settled back country for 40 miles, of which Oakville must always be the market and shipping port." For this vision to be realized, the farm produce - mainly wheat - of this hinterland had to be moved to a shipping point, Oakville harbour, using the rough and hazardous facility of the 7th Line (now Trafalgar Road). It was only passable when dried out or frozen. In the 1840s, the first attempt to improve the 7th Line was undertaken. A joint stock company with headquarters in Oakville's post office was formed in 1846 with £7,000 capital to construct the first 19-mile section of roadway from Oakville to Stewart Town (now part of Georgetown). Ultimately the road extended about 60 miles to Fergus. The road was built on 4" square longitudinal sleepers on which 3" planks were laid crosswise. It was a very expensive road. The rewards to enterprising builders were tolls collected at toll gates set up every few miles along the road.

Donald Campbell was born in Scotland and came to North America with his regiment, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. On his discharge in 1842 he settled in Oakville and married Jane Laing. He became a tailor and was given the position of toll keeper on the 7th line at the toll gate that stood at the corner of 6th Line and Trafalgar Road where the Sunrise retirement home now stands. 6th Line runs parallel to Trafalgar Road and to the west. It now stops at the QEW but at one time it continued across the tracks and then curved east to meet Trafalgar Road.

Campbell purchased this property from John A. Chisholm in 1856 for £100 or $400. The house was built within a year. Campbell, who also called himself Douglas, died in 1882. His daughter, Jane Ann, married William Street and, after his death at age 43, lived in the house with her mother and four children. She died two years later leaving her mother with the four children. The two daughters never married and the house stayed in the Campbell/Street family for almost 115 years or until about 1970.

The two storey front façade is unique in Town in that it has Flemish bond brickwork with a cornice of decorative brick and brick eave returns.
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293 Macdonald Road293 Macdonald Road