Description of Historic Place
Built in 1886, the Charles Reicheld House is a two-storey residence of vernacular design. Located on Regional Road 12, in the former Rainham Township, the decorated wooden veranda, bracketed eaves and buff brick detailing stand out against the red brick construction.
It was designated by Haldimand County as a heritage property under By-law 888/91.
The Charles Reicheld House is associated with the Reicheld family, German-speaking immigrants from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Nicholas Reicheld settled in the First Concession of Rainham Township in circa 1840. Reicheld died at a rather young age, and his son, Nicholas Junior, took over as head of the household and moved the family to a small farm on Lot 7 of the sixth concession. Through hard work and sacrifice, he and his wife, Sophia, eventually managed to build up a large and prosperous farm of over 200 acres. Nicholas Reicheld Junior also played a leading role in community affairs and served as Reeve of Rainham Township. In 1885, when Charles married Catherine Ebert of South Cayuga, a new house was built across the road from the old one to accommodate the new couple. Completed in the spring of 1886, the large brick house clearly showed the wealth and social standing this immigrant family had achieved through half a century of toil on the land and service in the community.
The Charles Reicheld House is one of the finest and best-preserved bracketed farmhouses in Haldimand County. The tall, two-storey house has the proportions of a cube and is a spectacular example of the vernacular building style. The hip roof is broken by substantial chimneys half-way back on each side of the house, while a small dormer window illuminates a large, unfinished attic space. The roof retains its original pressed metal shingles. The cornice is richly decorated with finely crafted wooden brackets and the exterior walls are finished with locally made red brick. There are diamond shaped patterns, in buff brick, at the corners to suggest quoins. The perfectly bi-symmetrical three-bay front façade consists of a center door on each storey, flanked by a segmented arched window on either side. The richly decorated wooden veranda extends across the main floor and the projected center bay is topped with an ornate fretwork balcony. Each façade has one of its windows slightly off-center on the second floor. Operable louvered shutters are found on the balcony door and all windows, the latter being uniformly glazed with 2-over-2 panes. A gable-roofed summer kitchen and woodshed wing extends westward from the rear of the main house. Several openings in its clapboarded walls demonstrate the functional characteristics of the farmhouse. Of special interest are the door and narrow window framed together in one opening on the south side of the summer kitchen; the two doors in the west (rear) wall of the wing, one raised and the other on grade for convenient access to the cellar from the orchard, garden, and barn; and another small opening in the gable, giving access to the attic space above the woodshed.
Source: Haldimand County By-law 888/91.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Charles Reicheld House include its:
- two-storey vernacular construction
- window sash, frames, shutters, and storm windows
- brick and stone masonry, reflective of the period and the craftsmanship
- wooden clapboard siding on the summer kitchen wing
- front veranda, including the roof, cornice, posts, wooden floor, and steps
- location of the window and door openings
- ornate fretwork balcony
- decorative porch details
- hip roof with pressed metal shingles, dormer and chimneys