Plaque #H27 Heritage Home

16 Pellister St E., Harriston
Plaque #H27 Heritage Home

Built in 1882

Builder/ First Owner:  William French

Occupation: Bricklayer

Brief History:
This large, yellow brick house with its windows framed by heavy wooden shutters, features an entrance way with identical keyhole stained glass windows. The land on which this dwelling stands was purchased by William French from William Harrison and his wife in 1882. The house was built in this year and its first tenant was a painter, Wm. Simmons. The first assessment was done in 1884. It was home to the Thomas and Alice Hobbs and their family of four from 1910-1928. Mr. Hobbs, a well respected principal of Harriston High School continued to own the house when they moved from town in 1928. He and Alice returned herein 1950 when he retired. Many High School students were tutored in the dining room in the 1950s. The twelve room house features front and back staircases as well as spacious rooms, many with ten foot ceilings. An interesting feature is an unusual wooden door, still visible but closed in, off the living room. The door, having no steps leading to the ground, is believed to be a `mourning door`used in the early days of the house to move the body of a deceased family member to and from the residence. Visitation of the family and viewing of the deceased at home was a custom still held by many families in rural Ontario as late as the 1960s.


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