Description of Historic Place
The Jeffrey Residence, built in circa 1886, is a polychrome masonry structure with a dual façade. The one-and-a-half-storey west portion is in the Gothic Revival style while the two-storey east portion is of the Italianate or Bracketed style. It is located just outside the Townsend Town site on Concession 13 and retains its nineteenth century farmstead charm.
It was designated for its historical and architectural value by City of Nanticoke (now Haldimand County) By-law 82-82.
Although ownership of the Jeffrey Residence's land was not registered in the Jeffrey name until 1874, the Jeffrey family had occupied the land for many years. An agreement dated October 13, 1844 had been made between Thomas Clark Street and David Jeffrey concerning the property. There are also assessment records dating from 1851 associating David Jeffrey with the property. David Jeffrey died in Townsend in 1854, leaving a wife, Mary, and three children, Mary, Ellen, and David. In 1874, Mary Jeffrey paid $572.89 to the trustees of Thomas Clark Street's estate as “the balance due on the lands” thus bringing the land firmly into the Jeffrey family's hands. The first mention of the house itself is in 1886, when the property was transferred to David Jeffrey, the son.
The Jeffrey Residence is a polychrome masonry structure with a duel façade. The one-and-a-half-storey west portion has elements of the Gothic Revival Style of architecture; and the two-storey east portion exhibits features typical of the Italianate or Bracketed Style of architecture. Despite these differences, the brickwork is consistent. The red brick is accentuated by a pattern of buff brick around the windows and doors, under the eaves, and in the gabled peak. The walls are three bricks thick on the ground floor and two bricks thick on the second floor, illustrating the family's material wealth.
The west façade is three bays, a central doorway flanked by two windows. The windows are large double-hung segmented arched windows (two over two). A simply decorated veranda, with square posts and delicate brackets, runs the width of this façade. A gable peak, containing a round-headed window, breaks the roofline, above the door.
The façade of the east portion of the building is much more impressive and ornate. The central doorway contains a four-panel door with sidelights and an etched, blue, glass transom. The square porch is very ornate, with square twinned posts, elaborate panels, brackets and intricate fretwork. Single round headed double-hung windows (one over one) are on either side of the doorway. Three identical windows on the second floor correspond to the ground floor openings. These windows all have brackets to accommodate shutters. The wide eaves of the hip roof have ornate wooden brackets.
Dominating and highlighting the entrance hall is a spiral staircase with marbleized plaster on the circular stairway walls. The large paneled newel post has circular glass insets. The east parlour has an elaborately paneled by-window reveal and an ornate ceiling medallion, intricately carved with birds, fruit, and foliage.
Source: Haldimand County By-law 82-82.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Jeffrey Residence include its:
- three brick thick construction
- decorative quoins on each corner of the building
- intricately carved keystones above each window
- fieldstone foundation, smooth cut on the façade and rough cut on the side
- west facade with three bays, central entrance and flanking windows
- more impressive east facade with detailed square porch, front entrance and roof brackets
- interior entrance hall, grand stair and decorative finish on the walls