Description of Historic Place
The building at 1372 County Road 2, known as Homewood, is situated east of the village of Maitland in Leeds and Grenville County. The two-storey fieldstone building was designed in the Georgian domestic style by contractor and builder Louis Brière and was constructed in 1800. A number of outbuildings also remain, including the ice house, log shed, barn and apple shed.
Homewood was designated as a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada in 1982. The property was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now the Ontario Heritage Trust) on October 22, 1974.
Located on Highway 2 just east of the Village of Maitland in a rural area of Eastern Ontario, Homewood is situated on a slight rise overlooking the St. Lawrence River. A section of the property was also used by the St. Lawrence Fruit Station. Generations of Jones' built a variety of outbuildings on the property, but only the ice house, log shed, barn and apple shed survive.
Homewood is associated with six generations of the Jones' family and illustrates the experience of Loyalists settlers in becoming an influential family with a successful working farm and orchard. Dr. Solomon Jones, born in 1734, was living at Fort Edward, New York at the outbreak of the American Revolution. He enlisted with the British forces in Jessup's Rangers and served as a surgeon's mate. In 1785 he settled in what became Augusta Township, in the colony of Quebec (in 1791 became Upper Canada) as a Loyalist, with his wife Mary Tunnicliffe and widowed mother. They built a log cabin on the St. Lawrence River where the growing family lived until 1800, when Solomon moved his family into a large stone home. In addition to his duties as the only doctor from Kingston to Cornwall, Solomon was a surgeon in the militia, a member of the Second Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, and in 1800 he was Judge for the District Court of Johnstown. Upon Solomon's death in 1822, the property was passed to his son Dunham who served in the War of 1812 and the 1837 Rebellion. In 1876 Andrew Jones inherited the property upon his father's death and expanded the farm, supplying milk to cheese factories, making butter, and selling produce at the Brockville market. In 1905 Andrew's son Harold inherited the property and developed the Jones Fameuse Apple in 1900, which won a medal at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo. Justus took over operation of the farm in 1941, however, in 1951 he sold the property to Du Pont of Canada, continuing to live in the house until his death in 1972. At this time, Du Pont took full control of the property and house, proposing demolition. After a successful campaign by the Grenville County Historical Society, Du Pont donated the house and 11 acres to the Ontario Heritage Foundation (OHF) in 1974. Jones' family descendent Monica Jones offered her oral history which assisted the OHF in interpreting the history of the house for the public. In 2001, the OHF purchased a number of Jones family heirlooms and furniture for display at Homewood.
Homewood is significant for its Georgian domestic design executed by Montreal builder and contractor Louis Brière. Although the fieldstone house is predominantly Georgian, it has French Canadian architectural elements on its exterior including its window shutters, metal work, and steep pitched roof. On the interior, pine was used for the flooring, cupboards and mouldings. The original main floor consisted of a surgery, parlour, bedroom and kitchen. In the 1820s, after Solomon's death Dunham turned the surgery room into a Regency drawing room adding arches and decorative trim. Dunham also added a back kitchen and converted the previous kitchen into a formal dining room. In 1927, Harold Jones divided the house into a duplex after his son Justus' marriage to Willa Sarney. A large west wing addition was built in the 1930s with stone that matched the original house.
Since 1979, archaeological excavations have been undertaken at Homewood and have uncovered over 30,000 artifacts. The focus of archaeological work has been to identify outbuildings on the property. As a result, the smokehouse, privy, ash pit, drive shed and carriage shed have been identified and investigated archaeologically. Artifacts recovered include building hardware, medicine bottles, and large quantities of 19th century ceramics.
Source: Ontario Heritage Trust Property Files
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Homewood include its:
- two-storey Georgian domestic architectural design
- fieldstone work by Louis Brière
- pitched two-sloped roof
- second floor Venetian window and the half height sidelights flanking the six panelled front door with glazed transom above
- 28 12-over-12 double hung wood windows
- original window case in mortar around the east end gabble's garret window
- bake oven which projects beyond the exterior wall
- 1930s addition by Justus Jones constructed to complement the 1800 house
- pine used for the flooring, cupboards, wainscoting, fireplace, mantles, doors, and mouldings
- Georgian centre hall plan on the first and second floors
- large front hall, also used as a dance hall and dining hall
- regency styled drawing room (southwest room) with arches and decorative trim
- dining room's large fireplace
- largely unaltered second floor bedrooms
- wallpaper samples dating to the 1830s with a yellow, white, and green pattern (reproduced and hung in the southeast drawing room)
- enclosed stairwells to keep heat on the first floor level during the day
- attic that provided additional work, sleeping and storage space
- remains of the foundations of the smokehouse, drive shed, outhouse and other outbuildings
- approximately 30,000 artifacts found on the site
- fragments of building hardware, medicine bottles, ceramics, and farmyard implements
- location overlooking the St. Lawrence River
- survival of the apple shed, log shed, barn, and ice house
- vestiges of the Jones' apple orchard