Description of Historic Place
Wood Cottage, located at 280 Palmer Street, is situated on the southwest corner of Palmer Street and Stevenson Street North, in the City of Guelph. The property consists of a one-and-a-half-storey log house and an outbuilding that were constructed of logs cut in 1853.
The property was designated, by the City of Guelph, in 2003, for its cultural heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2003-17100).
Wood Cottage is considered to be the best preserved early house in the City of Guelph and one of the oldest restored log houses in Ontario. It is also the only remaining 19th century home in the City of Guelph that displays exposed walls of log construction.
The design of Wood Cottage was influenced by Guelph's first residence, the Priory, which was the original headquarters for the Canada Company's agents, who were developing Guelph and welcoming new settlers, in the late 1820s. Although Wood Cottage is much smaller in scale than the Priory, it has the same central gable-roof, flanked by a lean-to section at each end.
Wood Cottage is an early example of Regency architecture. It was constructed, in circa 1852 to 1862, by store owner Robert White and consists of a one-and-a-half-storey gable roofed log portion, surrounded on three sides by rooms of frame construction, with roofs of a lean-to form. The exterior of the structure has been restored to its late 1890s appearance. Typical of the Regency style, the first-storey windows on the front façade are tall, narrow casements which allow for unimpeded views of the property.
Also located on the Wood Cottage property is a former log house from the Luther Marsh area, of West Luther Township, in northern Wellington County. In 1966 it was dismantled and removed from its original site, then carefully reassembled at Wood Cottage, for preservation and to provide storage space.
Wood Cottage is located on a property that is buffered from urban life by a thicket of shrubbery which creates a private and tranquil atmosphere. The trees, driveway location, driveway gate and posts, rail fences and open clearing all contribute to the rural pioneer feel of Wood Cottage.
Sources: City of Guelph By-law 2003-17100; “Wood Cottage”- Proposed Designation of Site, Katie Nasswetter, July 2002.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Wood Cottage include its:
- exterior elevations of log and wood frame construction
- central gable roof
- lean-to sections on north and south elevations
- large windows with plain wood surrounds
- log construction of the outbuilding
- location on a lot buffered by a thicket and including major trees, driveway, gate and gate-posts, rail fences and the open clearing