61 Simpson Street
- Media Type:
- Historical Name: Simpson House
Location: 61 Simpson Street, Brighton, Ontario
Legal Description: Concession 2 Part Lot 4 RP 38R1717 Part 1 less RP 39R8342 Part 1
Property: 2-storey House
Date of Construction: 1850
Heritage Status: Listed
Summary of Cultural Attributes:
Historical: The Simpson House is located on a nine-acre tract that is part of a 200-acre Crown grant in 1801 to Obediah Simpson for Lot 4, Con. 2 of what was then Cramahe Township. Obediah had fought for the British during the American Revolution and in 1792 fled with his wife, Mary Lord Taylor Simpson, and family to Canada, at first settling near Adolphustown. In 1796 he moved to Presqu'ile Bay and then on to the above noted lot to become Brighton's first settler. The south half of the lot was sold to John Nix in 1833 and then three years later resold back to Obediah's son, John Simpson. John is believed to have built, or at least have begun to build, the present house on the northerly part of the south half in 1850, on a hill well back from the old Danforth Rd. but close to what later became Simpson Street. In 1872, 60 acres including the farm house and buildings were sold to Mathew Arthur, who lived there until 1909.
In 1910 the property was sold to Albert 0. Maybee, who owned the farm until 1944. Over the years it became known as the Maybee House and it is quite possible Albert built much of what we see today. From 1944 to 1970, it was owned by George and Helen Faulkner and from 1973 to 1998 by Eleanor Muir, who made some alterations to the house's interior and opened the Applecrest B & B. During those years the old barn that had been built in 1900 collapsed. In 2003, the property, now reduced to nine acres, was acquired by the present owners, Patricia May and Colin Conroy, who have undertaken extensive restoration of the exterior.
Two matters regarding the Simpsons are worth noting: a small part of the original 200 acres has remained in the family and one of Obediah's descendants still lives on Percy Street. Second, another of Obediah's descendants bought a small farm across the road from the homestead, and it was the barn from this property that was donated circa 2000 by Gerry and Irene Simpson to Proctor House to become the Roy Rittwage Theatre.
Architectural: This beautiful, large red brick with white trim, two-storey house is essentially Gothic Revival in style. It features an all-wood frame, three-window (two sets) bay extending from the lower to upper floor, topped by small Romanesque window in the gable. There is a wing on each side of the central part of the house - the west wing resembles the central part and provides for the main entrance with a transom, whereas the east wing appears quite different and may have been either the original house or a carriage house. Two large windows are topped by a raised arch. All windows are four-over-four. The roof-line has a prominent cornice with a frieze.
Sources: MPAC; OLR Records; A History of Brighton, 1800-2000; Pictorial
Brighton, 1859 - 1984, p. 108.
- Municipality of Brighton Register of Properties of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
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