Sir John Johnson House National Historic Site of Canada
Sir John Johnson House
Links and documents
1784/01/01 to 1792/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sir John Johnson House National Historic Site is a large, wooden house of typical nineteenth-century Ontario vernacular design, set amidst spacious grounds on the banks of the Raisin River in Williamstown, Ontario. The evolved house is built around a late eighteenth-century core. The designation refers to the house, as well as a shed, an ice-house, the remains of the west wing and the burnt layer from initial clearing of the land.
Sir John Johnson House was declared a national historic site for:
- its historical association with Sir John Johnson,
- its age as one of the oldest surviving buildings in Ontario,
- its architectural design.
The heritage value of Sir John Johnson House lies in its illustration of late eighteenth-century frontier building techniques and in its association with Sir John Johnson. The original core of the house was built 1784-1792 as part of a complex of buildings centered around a mill. It was expanded around 1813-1830 (west addition), and in the early 1860s (east addition).
Sources: HSMBC Minutes, May 1961; Commemorative Integrity Statement, 1996.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the irregular, vernacular massing of the evolved house as expressed in its T-shaped footprint with a low rectangular one-and-a-half-storey original structure under a pitched roof broken by gables and chimneys, an extension to the east of similar massing and roof form, and a two-storey addition with a steeply pitched roof, and set at right angles to the original core,
- the siting and orientation on a knoll with viewplanes over the Raisin River,
- the eighteenth-century core in its surviving classically inspired design, form and materials including:
- the symmetrical, five-bay main elevation, with central entry, gable and chimney, and simple, regularly spaced fenestration,
- the front-sloping pitched roof,
- evidence of original centre-hall interior plan,
- its pièce sur pièce log construction,
- surviving original pine log, wood clapboarding and shingling,
- archaeological features associated with the Sir John Johnson period including remains of the first west wing construction and the burnt layer from initial clearing of the land.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1784/01/01 to 1813/01/01
1813/01/01 to 1830/01/01
1860/01/01 to 1865/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection