Description of Historic Place
The Wigle House, built circa 1890, is a red brick, vernacular Georgian Revival style dwelling. It is located on the north side of Sandwich Street, between Mill and Detroit Streets, in the former Town of Sandwich (now part of west Windsor).
It is recognized for its heritage value by the City of Windsor By-law 11346.
Situated on the north side of Sandwich Street, between Mill and Detroit Streets, the Wigle House is located within the historic core of the former Town of Sandwich, now part of west Windsor. As it stands today, the Wigle House is an important remnant of Sandwich as Ontario's oldest permanent European settlement, and is evocative of the former town's early streetscape.
The heritage value of the Wigle House lies in its association with two prominent Sandwich families, the Wigles and the Babys, and in its representation of the former Town of Sandwich's early streetscape. The land on which this charming residence stands was transferred by the Crown to Francois Baby in 1801. Baby was a magistrate of the Court of Quarter Sessions (from 1788), a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada (from 1792), and a member of one of Windsor's founding and most influential families. There is no evidence of habitation on the property until 1890, and as a result that is the date of construction given to the house, although it may be considerably older. In 1890 Solomon Wigle purchased the property, presumably to rent to others for supplemental income. Wigle, also part of a prominent local family, was a land speculator, the reeve of the township from 1856 to 1861, warden from 1861 to 1867, and a Member of the Provincial Parliament from 1866 to 1869.
The two-storey dwelling was built in the vernacular Georgian Revival architectural style. It is a brick, cottage-like structure that features radiating brick voussoirs and a shed-style roof over the front, at-grade, porch. The floor plan aligns the front and rear entrances, allowing shotgun pellets to be fired through one door, passing through the house without hitting any barriers, and exiting through the opposite door. This layout, which is one room wide and one or two rooms deep under a gable roof, is more common in the southern United States.
Sources: Building Analysis Form, June 1992; City of Windsor By-law 11346, March 3, 1993; Heritage Planner's files; A Walking Tour of Historic Sandwich, Windsor Heritage Committee, 2004.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Wigle House include its:
- two-storey structure of vernacular Georgian Revival architectural styling
- brick construction, with triple brick walls
- radiating brick voussoirs in segmental arches around the windows and doors
- asymmetrical facade
- shed-style roof that shelters the front entrance across the front facade
- aligned front and rear doors
- small octagonal window on the front facade