Description of Historic Place
This two-storey rectangular plan house is covered in blue stucco, scored to resemble ashlar blocks. Its symmetrical Georgian shell is accented by Greek Revival details, such as the columned front porch. Located on the corner of Dorset Street East and King Street, Bluestone is set in a neighbourhood of larger 19th and 20th century homes.
An Ontario Heritage Trust plaque, on the King Street facade, commemorates the house. The John David Smith House, known as Bluestone, has been recognized for its heritage value by the Municipality of Port Hope By-law #62/85, passed on September 30th, 1985.
Bluestone is one of the most imposing houses in Port Hope's 19th century streetscapes. Set back from the street on a corner lot, this impressive two-storey house stands out in the neighbourhood due to its imposing size and unusual blue colour.
Renowned as one of Upper Canada's premier early houses, the Bluestone was considered a stylistic tour-de-force in 1834, combining a balanced Georgian plan with Greek Revival details. The front and back facades are virtually identical, one facing Dorset Street East, the other facing Lake Ontario. This well-proportioned and well-preserved house features an Ionic columned front porch, six-over-six sash windows, and bracketed cornice line. It also features a unique construction method; walls were covered in blue stucco and then scored to resemble an ashlar surface – hence the name Bluestone.
Bluestone is associated with the Smith family, one of the founding families of Port Hope. It was built in 1834 by John David Smith, the son of Elias Smith, a United Empire Loyalist who settled in the area in 1797 and laid out the Village of Smith's Creek, which later became Port Hope. Elias's numerous business ventures included the first mills and brewery in Port Hope, and he was involved in the shipping trade between Montreal and American markets.
John David Smith became a prominent citizen of Port Hope, holding the office of Magistrate and member of the Legislative Assembly. Like his father, he was also a businessman and mill owner. Bluestone was built on the occasion of John David's second marriage to Augusta Louisa Woodworth, with whom he had four children (in addition to the 10 children from his first wife, Susan Hawkins). John David died in 1849, but Augusta remained at Bluestone until 1907, surviving most of her children and step-children. The house remained in the Smith family until the 1950's.
Source: Heritage Designation for 21 Dorset Street East: John David Smith House (Bluestone), By-law #62/85
Character-defining elements that illustrate the heritage value include the:
- blue stucco covered exterior walls, scored to resemble ashlar blocks
- symmetrical Georgian rectangular plan, with identical front and rear facades
- Greek Revival details, including Ionic columned front porch, large 6/6 windows, red sandstone moulded sills and lintels and bracketed cornice line
- medium pitched gable roof with four symmetrically placed brick chimneys
- entrances, including six panel doors, fluted pilasters, sidelights with tracery and semi-elliptical transoms