Description of Historic Place
The Patrice Parent House, located on the south side of Riverside Drive in east Windsor, is one of the few remaining French farmsteads in the City. It was originally constructed circa 1859, but has since been modified. It is a two-storey, wooden clapboard dwelling, and features a front gable shape.
It is recognized for its heritage value by City of Windsor By-law 47-1999.
The Patrice Parent house is one of only about ten to twelve identified remnants of Windsor's earliest French farm settlements along the Detroit River. The Patrice Parent House was built circa 1859 by, or for, Patrice Parent, who belonged to one of the first French settler families. It was built on Farm Lot 108, which had been under Parent family ownership since before 1800.
The Patrice Parent House is illustrative of the French farmsteads which once dotted the Detroit River shoreline. It displays vernacular rough-hewn timber construction, and is supported by log joists. The original form of the house is a basic local Georgian structure with a front gable. Although it has been altered a number of times throughout its long history, the house still exhibits some original features, adding to its historical importance.
French families from Detroit and Lower Canada (now Quebec) were settling along the south shore of the Detroit River by 1749. As more settlers continued to arrive, they gradually moved eastward from the LaSalle area, to the foot of Lake St. Clair. By the early 1800s the Riverside area, now part of Windsor, was dotted with French farmsteads on long, narrow strips of land each with river frontage. This allowed each farm access to the river, which was the main mode of communication and transportation at the time. Since very few of these original farmsteads remain, the presence of the Patrice Parent House is extremely important, as it is evocative, of not only the former Town of Riverside, but also the City of Windsor's past.
Sources: Building Analysis Form, May 1993; Request for Designation Report, September 24, 1998; City of Windsor By-law 47-1999, February 23, 1999; The Windsor Star, September 16, 2000.
Character defining elements that add to the heritage value of the Patrice Parent House include its:
- two-storey structure
- original site and orientation overlooking the Detroit River
- vernacular rough-hewn timber construction
- log joists used for support
- narrow wooden clapboard finish
- basic Georgian structure with front gable shape
- original upper window openings