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Powell-Wisch House

433, King, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/02/25

Powell-Wisch House from King Street; Callie Hemsworth, 2008
Powell-Wisch House
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Other Name(s)

Powell-Wisch House
Brockamour Manor
Powell-Cavers House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Powell-Wisch House, known locally as 'Brockamour Manor', is located at 433 King Street in a wooded area of King Street in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Portions of the two-storey, three-bay structure may have been built as early as circa 1809, the house was refurbished circa 1818. The house now functions as an elegant Bed and Breakfast for visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The property has been designated by the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake under By-law 3642-02.

Heritage Value

As one of the oldest homes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Powell-Wisch House has rich historical significance. The property has been associated with many important local citizens. Joseph Brant, the famous Mohawk Chief, interpreter and British Military Officer who served under Sir William Johnson, originally owned the property before selling it to John Powell in 1805. John Powell built a house on the property in circa 1809 after his marriage to Isabella Shaw. Powell served as County Registrar and was taken prisoner and sent to Albany in 1813.

The majority of the Town, including the house, was destroyed in 1813 by American forces, but Powell's modest claim for loss, leads historians to believe that one wing, comprised of two rooms and a kitchen escaped the onslaught. If the circa 1809 wing did, indeed, survive, it would stand as one of few structures in existence that pre-dates the War of 1812 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The house was rebuilt in 1818 and later purchased by James Boulton, a barrister who was prominent in government. Boulton was married three times and established a large family, which may have necessitated the addition of a nursery, the refurbishing of the house in the 1840s, and the addition of the ballroom in circa 1843. The house is also associated with Duncan Milloy, a well-known sailing captain on the Great Lakes, and later with Dr. Frederick Morson, who served as doctor for the Rye Home, which opened at approximately the same time. It is likely that a portion of the house was used for the Doctor's offices.

The Powell-Wisch House exudes a regal and stately appearance through its exceptional architecture. The two-storey, three bay, hip roof structure displays neo-Classical and Regency characteristics and the building has solid masonry walls of four brick widths thick. The building's numerous additions, many of which were made throughout the 1840s, create an irregular design while enhancing the overall appeal of the building. The smooth stucco finish has elaborate ashlar patterns on the front and sides with voussoirs to the arches of the door and window openings, which also feature raised wood architraves with plain corner blocks. The wide entrance on the north side may have been added as an entrance to the ballroom, with the former nursery above. The front entrance is now in a flat segmental shape to fit the later front porch, added circa 1900. Earlier additions include the bracketed cornice resembling that on the Court House and the division of the window sash, which is very wide with five panes in an arrangement of 15-over-15. The building's one-of-a-kind architecture gives the structure well-deserved merit as part of a significant heritage property.

Source: Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, By-law 3642-02

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Powell-Wisch House property include its:
- Neo-Classical and Regency style architecture
- solid masonry walls of four brick widths thick
- stucco finish with an elaborate ashlar pattern to the front and sides
- voussoirs to the arches of the door and window openings
- wide entrance on the north side
- front entrance with a flat segmental shape to fit the later front porch (c.1900)
- bracketed cornice resembling that on the Court House
- 15-over-15 five panes sash windows




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

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Health and Research
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



John Powell

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Municipal Offices 1593 Four Mile Creek Road, P.O. Box 100 Virgil, Ontario, L0S 1T0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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