Description of Historic Place
The Horace Sheldon House is a T-shaped, one-and-a-half storey, sandstone house. It is located in Portland, Ontario at 3196 Sheldon Rd. The Horace Sheldon House was constructed in 1865 by Horace Sheldon with sandstone quarried from his farm. The verandah was added shortly after construction was completed. The rear addition was completed in the 1880s under the supervision of Horace Sheldon's son, Richard Sheldon.
The Horace Sheldon House is recognized by the Township of Bastard and South Burgess for its heritage values in By-law No. 628.
The Horace Sheldon House is associated with the original owner and namesake of the building, Horace Sheldon and Portland's early agricultural and economic history. Horace Sheldon was born in the United States in the late 18th century and eventually immigrated to Canada as part of the loyalist movement. Upon settlement in Canada, Sheldon helped defend Canada during the War of 1812, and as a result, was granted the tract of land that the house now sits on. This was part of a grant provision established by the British government to compensate veterans for participation in the War of 1812. The Horace Sheldon House reflects the early development in the Bastard Township and bears witness to a relationship between Loyalist immigration, military defence, the Rideau Canal, and the emergence of nearby communities.
The Horace Sheldon House and the surrounding 80 acres was historically used for agricultural purposes and for quarrying sandstone. According to the 1851 census, Horace Sheldon owned approximately eighty acres of land and produced 120 gallons of cider, eleven pounds of maple sugar, 500 pounds of butter, 250 pounds of cheese, and sixty yards of woollen cloth. The Horace Sheldon House recalls the early economic base of Portland and many surrounding communities up and down the Rideau Canal which relied upon agricultural activities.
The Horace Sheldon House was constructed with sandstone which had been quarried on the Sheldon farm. Stone farmhouses were typical during Portland's early development. Built in a variation of the Ontario Regency cottage style, the house features a symmetrical façade, a verandah with decorative trellis work, and a medium pitched gable front.
Sources: Township of Bastard By-law No. 628; Rideau Lakes L.A.C.A.C, Heritage Tour of Portland, (2002); Diane Haskins, Heritage Buildings in Bastard and South Burgess Township: My Own Four Walls, Council of Bastard and South Burgess Township (1984).
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Horace Sheldon House include its:
- one-and-a-half storey construction
- locally quarried sandstone exterior
- pattern of alternating large and small cut stone of the front elevation
- broken course stone of the sides and rear
- central gable on the front
- medium-pitched roof
- projecting eaves and verges, a corbelled cornice and a moulded frieze
- casement windows flanked by wooden shutters
- window with semi-circular head in the front gable
- stone voussoirs above and side-lights surrounding the front door
- three-sided verandah with decorative trellis-work and an open railing