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The Guthrie House

10, Perth Street, Village of Elgin, Ontario, K0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/08/20

decorative porch and eave detail; Rideau Heritage Initiative 2006
The Guthrie House
overall view; Rideau Heritage initiative 2006
The Guthrie House
corner detail; Rideau Heritage initiative 2006
The Guthrie House

Other Name(s)

The Henry Laishley House
The Guthrie House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/01/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Guthrie House, also known as the Henry Laishley House, consists of a two-and-a-half-storey house, located at 10 Perth Street in the Village of Elgin, with design elements reflective of the Italianate and Queen Anne styles. The Guthrie House stands as a prominent structure on the main street in the Village of Elgin. The Guthrie House, was built by John Stanton and John Grail, beginning in 1886.

The Township of South Crosby recognizes the heritage values of the Guthrie House in By-Law 39-90.

Heritage Value

The Guthrie House, also known as the Henry Laishley House, is associated with its original owner and namesake, Henry Laishley who had been one of Elgin's most prosperous entrepreneurs at the end of the 19th century. Laishley was also influential in local educational and municipal affairs. Laishley acquired property on Perth St. during the last few decades of the 19th century and hired a carpenter to construct the present home in 1886. John Stanton and John Grail were hired to erect this frame mansion which still stands as one of the most imposing homes in the village. The Guthrie House reflects Elgin's prosperity and growth in the last half of the nineteenth century as it became a prominent community in the South Crosby Township as a thriving service centre for farmers, commuters, summer residents and visitors to the surrounding lakes. The original owner of the house, Henry Laishley was involved in the lucrative potash industry, buying ash from settlers who were clearing their lands, then exporting it for the making of soap, glass, and baking soda. Laishley also owned and operated several bush farms in the Chaffeys Lock area. Laishley's entrepreneurship and the construction of this house in Elgin both point to the unique relationship between Elgin and the construction of the Rideau Canal. Elgin is located some distance away from the Rideau Canal; however construction of the canal brought hundreds of stone masons and labourers to camps and quarries near Halladay's Corner, the original name given to what is now known as Elgin. These stonemasons and labourers cut thick layers of sandstone for the great dam and locks at Jones Falls and the locks at Chaffeys and Davis. Many of these workers settled in the area.

The Guthrie House is a fine example of a structure, which combines elements of both the Italianate and the Queen Anne styles. Features such as the decorative cornice brackets, segmented head sashes and decorative porch columns all lend gracious accents to this clapboard clad home.

Sources: Township of South Crosby By-Law 39-90; Sue Warren, Hub of the Rideau: A History of the South Crosby Township, Township of South Crosby (1997); Township of Rideau Lakes L.A.C.A.C, Heritage Walking Tour of Elgin(2004).

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Guthrie House include the:
- low-pitched hipped roof
- stone foundation
- rounded windows with shutters on the front facade
- wide eaves with decorative brackets
- three sided verandah with fine lattice work
- two semi-rounded bay windows on the rear
- window frames with a gable key-hole design.




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

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



John Stanton

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Township of South Crosby By-Law 39-90; Rideau Lakes Township Office Sue Warren, Hub of the Rideau: A History of the South Crosby Township, Township of South Crosby (1997), Public Library Township of Rideau Lakes L.A.C.A.C, “Heritage Walking Tour of Elgin” (2004), Rideau Lakes Township Office

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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