Plaqued Houses and Buildings
8 Navy Street - The Custom House
The Custom House was built in 1856, and owned by Robert Kerr Chisholm.
Property Details:
The Custom House (8 Navy Street) was first built in 1856. Home of Robert Kerr Chisholm (1819-1899), the son of William Chisholm and brother of George King Chisholm. In 1838, his father appointed him as Deputy Customs Collector for the Town of Oakville. He built a warehouse at the end of the East Pier where goods could be held during trans-shipment.

Around 1854, R. K. Chisholm became partners with John Doty at his foundry after the partnership with Hibberd dissolved after their first building was destroyed by a fire. This partnership lasted for many years and was dissolved in 1863 when petroleum was discovered. Just before his marriage to Flora Matilda Lewis he built an addition onto his house located on Navy Street that he then named "Erchless." His father deeded him the Custom House when he was made Customs Collector, and R. K. Chisholm and his family moved into this building as their family home. In 1855, he built an addition onto the house and constructed another building, on Navy Street, to use as office space.

He was postmaster for many years until 1856, when Robert Balmer succeeded him. He resigned as Customs Collector in 1894, where he had worked for 60 years, and was succeeded by Captain Maurice Felan. The house was used as both a residence and a business, as it contained two offices.

The house is built in Classic Greek Revival style, with its gable-ends, recessed bricks, low hipped roof, and bond pattern structure.

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The Custom House (8 Navy Street), 2020The Custom House (8 Navy Street), 2020
Custom House Plaque (8 Navy Street), 2020Custom House Plaque (8 Navy Street), 2020
Custom House, 1858Custom House, 1858
Robert Kerr ChisholmRobert Kerr Chisholm
Robert Kerr ChisholmRobert Kerr Chisholm
The Custom House, 1966The Custom House, 1966
The Custom House, 1966The Custom House, 1966
The Custom House, 1980sThe Custom House, 1980s