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argyle.jpgThe Argyle Road Cottages

Tucked in an out of the way part of Argyle Road, just south of Wyandotte Street East, a nearly forgotten fragment of Walkerville's past remains. Three small clapboard cottages are all that left of the dozens built by distiller and town founder Hiram Walker for his workers in 1880.

Over one hundred years later, these cottages sit as a humble reminder of days gone by. Today, when one thinks of Walkerville, the grand homes that are found in great abundance in the area surrounding Willistead Manor, the home of Walker's son E. Chandler Walker come to mind. Most of these homes were built after the turn of the century, once Walkerville was well established.

In the years leading up to 1880, the distillery and Walker's other businesses were still in the growing stages and his town design was based mainly on the need to house his workers nearby, whether they worked in the plant or in the office.

His cottages on Argyle, known at that time as Third Street, were built to house the families of his workers with humbler occupations such as blacksmiths and carpenters. The cottages lined both sides of Argyle from Wyandotte to Tuscarora and for the most part had only two bedrooms and were just slightly larger than nine hundred square feet.

These homes remained company owned until 1926 when they were transferred to the Walkerville Land and Building Company. It was also at this time that many were torn down to make way for the popular new apartment buildings. The remaining properties remained in the same ownership until they were released for private ownership in 1947.

Fifty years later, and with some restoring, we can look at these remaining cottages and imagine what Argyle must have looked like in the 1880's. These homes have not been designated historical but have citations that  recognize them as historically significant.

Walkerville's Victoria Fountain



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