Description of Historic Place
The Waterlot, located at 17 Huron Street, is situated on the west side of Huron Street, backing onto the Nith River, in the village of New Hamburg, now the Township of Wilmot. The property consists of a one-and-a-half-storey Flemish bond brick residence that was constructed in 1847.
The property was designated by the Township of Wilmot in 1987 for its heritage value and interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 87-58).
Located within the heart of New Hamburg's downtown area, the Waterlot, now a restaurant and inn, backs onto the banks of the Nith River. The magnificent building together with the river creates a picturesque landscape not typically found in a downtown area.
The Waterlot is associated with two prominent New Hamburg citizens and has served the community in various capacities for well over 150 years. The Waterlot building was originally constructed in 1847 as a residence for William James Scott, a founding pioneer of the Township of Wilmot. Scott arrived in the New Hamburg area in 1838 from Aberdeen, Scotland and over the course of 30 years held many prominent positions within the village, township and province. These positions included his appointment as Common School Commissioner in 1843, first Postmaster in 1851, Township Councillor in 1851, first Village Planner and Township Reeve in 1853 and Member of Provincial Parliament in 1858. Scott's most noteworthy accomplishment was his appointment to the House of Lords, the United Kingdom's upper house of Parliament, at which time the title Lord Campfield was bestowed upon him.
Another significant owner of the Waterlot was Samuel Merner, a Village Reeve and local Member of Parliament who would be appointed as a Senator by Sir John A. MacDonald in 1887.
The Waterlot, constructed of Flemish bond brick, is a fine example of an opulent local residence built in the Gothic Revival style of architecture with Italianate influences. Typical of the Gothic Revival style, the facade features a double gable and decorative details such as bargeboard and moulding above the windows. Also of note is the semi-elliptical doorway, with rectangular sidelights and an arched transom above. The design and quality of materials used in this home were not typical of the time, however, and were considered metropolitan in taste.
Sources: Township of Wilmot By-law 87-58; Historical Sketch, Township of Wilmot L.A.C.A.C., 1985.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Waterlot include its:
- Flemish bond brick construction
- double front gable on facade
- decorative bargeboard
- flat-head single sash windows with decorative brackets on facade
- semi-elliptical entranceway with rectangular sidelights and arched transom
- Italianate cupola including a mansard roof, flat top, iron cresting, louvered dormers, radiating voussoirs and paired corner brackets.
- situation within the heart of downtown New Hamburg
- orientation to the Nith River