Description of Historic Place
DeLaurier House is approached along a boardwalk at the western edge of the marsh lands at Point Pelee National Park. It is a two-storey, gable-roofed structure, which incorporates two attached log houses. The dwelling is clad in board and batten siding and the shingled roof exhibits two roof pitches with one brick chimney. Windows and doors are asymmetrically arranged on the walls of the house. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
DeLaurier House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
DeLaurier House is associated with the early settlement of the Point Pelee area. It illustrates the life and times of a small French-Canadian community outside Québec and the agricultural activity on Point Pelee between 1850 and 1966. The reclamation of marshland led to Point Pelee becoming one of Canada’s finest agricultural areas in the latter half of the 19th century. The house is also associated with its builder, Oliver DeLaurier, and with his descendants. The house was used as a neighbourhood tavern for local parties and for community dances. In addition, the house is the oldest remaining structure and illustrates the development of export-oriented farming at Point Pelee during the late 19th century. It is now the interpretive center for the Point Pelee National Park.
DeLaurier House is valued for its good aesthetic and functional design. The integration of the two, simple log houses shows Olivier DeLaurier’s resourcefulness despite limited income and construction experience. The interior also illustrates the building’s evolutionary nature, having been modified for use by two families in the early 1900s and later renovated to accommodate the interpretive programs of the park. Notable for its craftsmanship, the dwelling was clad in board and batten siding and finished with a shingle roof, in order to present a uniform appearance and to demonstrate the DeLaurier’s improved economic and social status in the community.
DeLaurier House reinforces the present character of its landscaped, park-like setting and is a familiar building at Point Pelee National Park.
Marilyn E. Armstrong-Reynolds, DeLaurier House, Point Pelee National Park, Point Pelee Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 89-174; DeLaurier House, Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 89-174.
The character-defining elements of the DeLaurier House should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the two-storey massing, which consists of two attached log houses with a gabled roof with two roof pitches, and the wood clad greenhouse addition;
-the log construction, board and batten siding and roof shingles;
-the asymmetrical arrangement of windows and doors;
-the interior elements that illustrate the building’s evolutionary nature.
The manner in which the DeLaurier House reinforces the present character of its landscaped, park-like setting and is a familiar building at Point Pelee National Park, as evidenced by:
-its overall scale, design and natural materials, which harmonize with its landscaped
surroundings at the park;
-its familiarity to visitors, through its role as an interpretive center at a national park.