Home / Accueil

Mckinley House

2125, Scotch Line County Road 4, Perth, Ontario, K0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/04/09

Oblique view looking east to front and south  façade of McKinley House – 2006; OHT, 2006
Oblique View
Front elevation through mature trees at McKinley House – 2006; OHT, 2006
Front Elevation
Detail of gable and verandah fretwork, including thistles in the spandrels – 2006; OHT, 2006
Gable Detail

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The property at 2125 Scotch Line (County Road 4), known as the McKinley House, is situated in the Township of Drummond and North Elmsley, southwest of the Town of Perth. The one-and-a-half storey limestone building was designed in the Gothic Revival style and constructed in 1849.

The exterior of the building and the scenic character of the property are protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement (1984).

Heritage Value

Located on Scotch Line (County Road 4), McKinley House is close to the historic Town of Perth to the northeast, and surrounded by numerous forests, farms and agricultural lands to the southwest. A grove of mature trees, including many maples, surrounds and frames the house.

The McKinley House is valued for its association with early settler Alexander Simpson and Town of Perth resident Thomas McKinley. The lot on which the McKinley House was built was originally granted to Scottish-born immigrant Alexander Simpson. Simpson came to Perth at the time of its founding and settled on his land in 1816. At some point the property changed hands and was acquired by Thomas McKinley, who built the McKinley House, in 1849. The McKinley family was influential in Perth and reflected their Scottish heritage in the construction of their family home, using thistle motifs and Scottish masons. Following restoration work in the 1980s, an addition was built at the rear of the building.

McKinley House is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture with Regency style elements. One-and-a-half storeys high and three bays wide, McKinley House is typical of many mid-19th century country houses in Ontario. However, it is distinguished by its Regency-inspired verandah and fretwork. Built of quarry-faced ashlar limestone on the main façade, the sides and rear are constructed of random limestone rubble brought to courses. All of the walls, except for the main façade, were later covered in cement parging. The centred front door has four panels and a pair of double paned sidelights below an elliptical fanlight. A pick-faced limestone voussoir further accentuates the door. Each window on the main floor has a wooden sill and twelve-over-twelve sash, while those on the second floor are six-over-six sash. The small gothic window with gothic glazing bars below the centre front gable has a stone sill and pick-faced limestone voussoir. The gable roof has simple eaves with no returns and is punctuated by a pair of unadorned limestone chimneys at either end. There is a one-storey verandah with a bell-cast roof, elevated slightly on limestone piers that wraps around the front and south side of the house. Decorative fretwork connects the slender columnettes of the verandah and features fleur-de-lis, heart and thistle motifs. The thistles in the spandrels between the central columnettes in front of the main entrance reflect the nationality of the McKinley family, while combination of thistles, hearts and fleur-de-lis speak to Scottish Jacobite heritage. The centre front gable is accented with an open looped vergeboard and continues the heart motif of the verandah, terminating at a gable finial and pendant.

Sources: OHT Easement Files.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of McKinley House include its:
- Gothic Revival architectural style with Regency style elements
- three-bay main façade
- quarry-faced limestone ashlar of the main façade
- random limestone rubble brought to courses on the remaining three facades
- gable roof
- centre front gable
- four paneled front door




Recognition Authority

Ontario Heritage Trust

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Ontario Heritage Foundation Easement

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01
1984/01/01 to 1984/01/01
1816/01/01 to 1816/01/01
1980/01/01 to 1980/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Ontario Heritage Trust Property Files Ontario Heritage Trust 10 Adelaide Street East Toronto, Ontario

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places