Plaqued Houses and Buildings
Address:
247 Trafalgar Road - The John Porquin House
Summary:
John Porquin was a millwright.
Property Details:
About this house George Sumner in his diary entry of 20 June 1869 says: "…This afternoon Molly (her last name was Manear) and Potter's old place burned to the ground…". Hazel Mathews in "Oakville and the Sixteen" repeats that it burned to the ground and adds: "She then determined to have a stone house and spent years collecting stones from the creek bed which she carried up the bank in her apron. She finally succeeded in hauling enough stone to build the house that is now here. It has since been covered with stucco."
It is doubtful that the house was completely destroyed by fire. Hedleigh Home, a later owner, found some old papers, largely indecipherable, among which was a promissory note, which made it clear that John Porquin, the original owner, was Danish. He also found some slightly charred barn boards. The back wall of the front section of the house is 14 inches thick of very solid stone construction and undoubtedly from the original structure. By contrast, the front wall, which Mrs. Manear built, is largely rubble and mortar.

Molly was a widow who supported herself and two daughters selling small items about town. She kept the Chief Constable, George Sumner busy and he mentions her in his diary. She kept animals on her town lot: from three to eight cattle; two or three brood sows; a large ?ock of geese which frequented the river; and many chickens. Her handling of livestock drew a compliment from one who knew her: "To-day a man can't run a hundred-acre farm and keep as many head of stock as this old lady could do on her town lot 208 by 50 feet wide." Her animals did not always stay on the lot, however, and Molly appeared frequently before the magistrate. "Had Mary Manear up for letting her hogs run at large, fine and costs, $2.25," noted Chief Sumner in 1868. (from: Oakville and the Sixteen)

The property was originally sold by William Chisholm to John Porquin in May 1839. Porquin built a two-storey frame house of rough barn boards about 25' square. He lived there until he sold it to Philander Travis in 1843. There were several other owners until Mary Manear bought it in 1869 - the year of the fire.

Following her death it again changed hands many times until George Grice bought it in 1911. His estate sold it in 1945 to Hedleigh Home. At that time it was heated by four stoves on the main floor. In 1946 the whole back wall collapsed as it had never had any footings. Mr. Home lived here for many years and obviously made many improvements to the house. More recently other repairs and restorations have been made.
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247 Trafalgar Road247 Trafalgar Road
247 Trafalgar Road plaque247 Trafalgar Road plaque
247 Trafalgar Road - 1991247 Trafalgar Road - 1991
247 Trafalgar Road - 1991247 Trafalgar Road - 1991
247 Trafalgar Road - 1960247 Trafalgar Road - 1960