Homes Receive Heritage Designation
and most photos provided by
Nancy Morand, City of Windsor Heritage Planner
Esdras Place, a French farm house,
after its move from Riverside Drive in 1915
house in 2002
November 2003, owners of two city homes received bronze plaques
during a presentation at Windsor City Hall, to commemorate
the designation of their homes under the Ontario Heritage
Act. Michael and Nicole Seguin were honoured for their 1852
home at 827 Esdras Place in East Windsor and Dr. Norman and
Beverly Marshall were recognized for their 1937 home at 2077
Willistead Crescent in Olde Walkerville.
This unique house is one of the few remaining French farmsteads
in Windsor. It is a rare physical link to a significant era
of Windsor’s development, made all the more important
as with the passing of years, other French farmsteads disappear
from our riverfront. The home was built around 1852 by a French
settler and farmer Esdras Parent, son of Laurent Parent who,
in 1800, became the first settler on the land. The house was
moved south one block from its original riverfront location
in 1913 in order to be subdivided for urban development.
Esdras is a one and a half story wood frame farmhouse. The
northerly section (c.1852) predates the southerly ell (c.1890).
Architectural elements of note include the log construction,
hand hewn beams, fifteen-inch floor planks, handmade nails
and the beaded tongue and groove pine floor in the dining
Esdra Parent home was orginially situated
on the Detroit River. Here, an unidentified family sits
on the front steps. (pre 1910)
Parent Farm had significant involvement in the 1838 Battle
of Windsor. It is purported to be the landing spot of the
250-300 “patriots” (exiled Canadians and Americans
supporters bent on liberating Canada from British rule in
the rebellion of 1837-38 in Upper Canada), who then marched
three miles west to Windsor where a battle took place on the
Baby Farm (Francois Baby house – currently Windsor’s
Community Museum at 254 Pitt Street West in downtown Windsor).
The Parent family retrieved guns and other items abandoned
by the “patriots” in their haste to flee back
across the river.
A drum flag is now on display at Fort Malden. Former owner
Peter Chittim retains other artifacts (guns, power horns)
given to him by descendants of the Parent family.
owners Michael and Nicole Seguin, who purchased the home in
1997, have been restoring many heritage elements of the Esdras
building since that time.
Sawn by Hand
Hand-hewn beams were used in the construction of the Esdras
farm house. Hand-hewing was a process used in historical times
to form tree timbers into structural beams. Farmers would
strike timbers with an adze or broad axe. This process would
leave obvious striking marks up and down the beam, but it
was the only means farmers had to process them. If they were
lucky, they lived near a river strong enough to produce power
and may have been able to use a saw. "Re-sawn" timbers
are a rough cut, but still much smoother than hand-hewing.
Today, hand-hewn beams are the most sought after product in
the antique wood industry.
2077 Willistead Crescent, sketch by
Robert Rudkin, 1993
This lovely Tudor Revival style home is illustrative of the
fine residential homes built on Willistead Crescent during
the 1920s. During the first half of the twentieth century,
living on Willistead Crescent projected an image of social
prestige and status in the Walkerville neighbourhood. The
house was built in 1937 for Dr. Roy J. Coyle, a prominent
eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, who practiced in Windsor
for thirty years until his death in 1954 at the age of 55.
plans for the 2 and a half story, red brick house are still
in existence. It was designed by John H. Dury and constructed
by Lawton Bilt Hornes of Windsor. It has typical features
of a Tudor Revival style home inclduing asymmetrical massing,
ornamental half-timbering, an entrance tower, prominent gabled
ells, and expansive windows with small panes.
Anne Coyle (born 1936) and Bill Coyle (born 1938) stand
in front of the Coyle home in 1942
(photo submitted by their brother, Dr. Jim Coyle)
Coyle family occupied the house until 1988, when it was purchased
by Dr. Norman and Beverly Marshall. Dr. Jim Coyle of North
Carolina remembers the home vividly. “My parents, Dr.
R. J. Coyle and my mother Dorothy F. Coyle, had this home
built for them in 1937 and completed in 1938 when they moved
in. My father died in 1954 and my mother continued to live
in the home until the fall of 1987 when she sold it to the
Marshalls. I spent most of my life in that home, coming back
in the summers from Queen’s medical school.”
The name “Tudor” suggests that these houses imitate
English architecture from the early 16th century. However,
most Tudor style homes were inspired by building techniques
from an earlier time. Some Tudor houses mimic humble Medieval
cottages; they may even include a false thatched roof.
style homes usually have these features:
chimneys, often topped with decorative chimney pots
half-timbering - A “half-timbered” building
has exposed wood framing. The spaces between the wooden
timbers are filled with plaster, brick, or stone. In the
North America, harsh winters made half-timbered construction
impractical. The plaster and masonry filling between the
timbers could not keep out cold drafts. Builders began to
cover exterior walls with wood or masonry.
North America, Tudor styling takes on a variety of forms ranging
from elaborate mansions to modest suburban homes with mock
masonry veneers. The style became enormously popular in the
1920s and 1930s, and modified versions became fashionable
in the 1970s and 1980s.
here to go back to the home page.