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The Stiver House

206, Main, Town of Markham, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/01/10

Of note is the three bay symmetrical facade.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
Facade, The Stiver House, 2008
Of note is the chimney on the low hip roof.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
South Elevation, The Stiver House, 2008
Of note is the Neo-classical entrance.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
Entrance, The Stiver House, 2008

Other Name(s)

The Stiver House
The Eckardt Stiver House
The Fredrick Eckardt House
Fern Cottage
206 Main Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/01/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Stiver House is located at 206 Main Street, on the west side of Main Street in Unionville, Town of Markham. The one storey adobe brick dwelling was constructed circa 1829.

The property was designated by the Town of Markham in 1978 for its heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 4-78).

Heritage Value

Built circa 1829 the Stiver House is thought to be the oldest remaining dwelling in Unionville. It was built for a member of the Eckardt family, one of the first families to settle in the Town of Markham. The Stiver family, also descendants from the original settlers from Germany, lived in the home passing it down from generation to generation. During the late 20th century the residence was converted into a business.

The Stiver House is a good representation of a Regency cottage, often called the Ontario Cottage style because of its popularity in Ontario. The symmetrical three bay facade is flanked by Venetian windows with sidelights. The Neo-classical entryway is centrally located with a shelf entablature and four fluted pilasters. Between the pilasters are sidelights. On the low hip roof are two chimneys constructed of the same material as the rest of the dwelling.

A significant feature of the house is the adobe, or mud, bricks of which it was constructed. York Region is a common place to find buildings constructed of mud materials because of the large clay deposits pioneers found on their land. The bricks for the Stiver House were constructed from clay taken from the excavations for the basement. Mixed with water and fall wheat straw they were put into forms and left to harden in the sun. Since this type of brick tended to disintegrate on contact with water the buildings were adorned with wide, overhanging eaves. The use of this building material did not survive past the pioneer period and many of these buildings were covered with stucco and fired bricks.

Sources: Town of Markham By-law 4-78.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Stiver House include the:
- one storey adobe covered with stucco and fired bricks exterior
- low hip roof
- Neoclassical door surround
- shelf entablature
- four square pilasters
- recessed sidelights
- two chimneys




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Markham Planning and Urban Design Department 101 Town Centre Boulevard Markham, ON L3R9W3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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