David Laidlaw House
328, Centreville Road, Village of Westport, Ontario, K0G, Canada
David Laidlaw House
The Stepping Stone Inn
Links and documents
1849/01/01 to 1852/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The David Laidlaw House, also known as the Stepping Stone Inn, consists of a one and a half-storey stone house in the vernacular “Rideau Cottage” style and is located at 328 Centreville Road, in North Crosby. The David Laidlaw House was constructed between 1849 and 1852 by David Laidlaw II from locally quarried limestone. It still stands today as an important landmark in the area, as it is now operated as a bed and breakfast, conference centre, wedding venue, and spa.
The Township of North Crosby recognizes the heritage values of the David Laidlaw House in By-law 86-12.
The David Laidlaw House, also known as the Stepping Stone Inn, is associated with the Laidlaw family. The Laidlaw family's presence on the property, which is now the site of the David Laidlaw House, dates back to the 1842 census. In this census, David Laidlaw I was shown as holding the deed on this property. He had emigrated from Scotland in 1839 and worked as a farmer in the area until his death only three years later. He was buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Westport and following his death, his son, David Laidlaw II, constructed the stone house that stands today. Constructed of locally quarried stone the house which began in 1849 was completed by 1852. David Laidlaw II died in 1869 and David Laidlaw III retained ownership of the house until his death in 1905.
The David Laidlaw House reflects upon the early settlement of the North Crosby Ward. Surveying of the area was completed by 1806, after which United Empire Loyalists, English and Scottish settlers cleared the forests and many built beautiful stone homes in the area, much like the Davis Laidlaw House. Development during the nineteenth century in North Crosby was linked to the agricultural activity as well as the mill sites located in Westport. The David Laidlaw House, situated a short distance from Westport, recalls this early relationship between industrial development and residential settlement.
The David Laidlaw House is a fine example of the one-and-a-half-storey stone house known often referred to as the Rideau Cottage Style which became the most popular form for a farm dwelling in Ontario between c1840 to c1875.
Sources: Township of North Crosby By-law 86-12; Township of Rideau Lakes, Heritage of the Township: North Crosby Ward; http://www.twprideaulakes.on.ca/heritage/northcrosby-ward.html (2006); Neil Patterson, The Stone Road to Salem (Forthcoming)
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the David Laidlaw House include the:
- locally quarried limestone exterior, with a natural grey colour
- heavy, well-cut corner quoins
- stone lintels over most of the windows
- side-lights and transom around the front door
- arched window beneath gable roof-line with radiating stone voussoirs
- two chimneys
- symmetrical facade
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
David Laidlaw II
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of North Crosby By-law 86-12, Rideau Lakes Township Office
“Heritage of the Township: North Crosby Ward”, Rideau Lakes Township Office
Cross-Reference to Collection