3220, River Road, Haldimand County, Ontario, N3W, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dochstader Hotel is located at 3220 River Road, in Caledonia, Haldimand County. It was built in c. 1853, to provide lodging to boaters on the Grand River.
Haldimand County recognized its historical and architectural importance in the designation By-law 689/88.
In 1835, the Grand River Navigation Co. bought land on the west side of the Grand River where they constructed what was known as Dam 2. The site was later named Mount Healy. The Grand River provided a transportation route for commercial boats and help the economy of the area develop. Some of the original land purchase of the Grand River Navigation Co. was eventually sold to Henry Dochstader in 1853. Henry promptly built the Dochstader Hotel and opened it with a grand reception for officers and friends, during the Haldimand County Fair. It quickly became the social centre for the community of Mount Healy and remained as such until the early twentieth century. In 1875, Dochstader sold his property to James S. Karr, at which time the hotel ceased operation. The Dochstader family were well known for their hotels, built throughout Welland and Haldimand Counties.
The Dochstader Hotel, a two storey Georgian red brick structure, is a fine example of a riverside hotel with a widow's walk, or balcony, on the hip roof. It was built using local materials, emphasizing its connection to the community. The red bricks were made on-site. The exterior walls are up to four bricks thick and the interior walls are two and three bricks thick. Interior wall plaster was also produced locally, with materials from the Donaldson Mine, in Mount Healy. The first floor has a large dining room and a parlour. The second floor has the ballroom and a library, in addition to the bedrooms. The front (main) staircase, grand and ornately decorated, connected the two floors. Also notable is the rear carriage house, which has large doors on either side, allowing carriages to pass through. It remains in outstanding condition and is an excellent example of a riverside hotel.
Source: Haldimand County By-law 689/88.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Dochstader Hotel include its:
- location along the Grand River, originally a trade route for commerce
- two-storey brick construction
- exterior walls, 4 bricks thick made from bricks on-site
- interior support walls 2 and 3 bricks thick made from bricks on-site
- interior wall plaster produced at Mount Healy from the Donaldson Mine
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Cayuga Registry Office;
Haldimand County Archives;
Cross-Reference to Collection