OTTAWA-HURON TRACT HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION – CONTEXT OF HOME
THE BAKER EMPIRE
The Chas L. Baker family was a prominent one in Victoria County and the Town of Lindsay. They owned interests in grist mills, lumber mills, imports and exports. They operated their business on the north-East corner of Kent Street and Cambridge Street North and built the Baker Building to store their goods.
THE BAKER BUILDING
The Baker Building was built over two to three years and completed in 1868. Its basement floors were 6-inch thick slabs of stone, cut 6-feet by 3-feet and fit tight together. Local builder, Pat Murphy, said he’d never seen anything like it. He said it was likely that the stone was brought from Bobcaygeon and right down a ramp into the basement by a horse-drawn cart.
*The photos in the Baker Building exhibit are courtesy of Jennifer Boksman
THE DEGRASSI HOUSE
The structure known as the DeGrassi House is located on the north west corner of Cambridge Street North and Wellington Avenue in Lindsay, just a block and a half north of the Baker Building.
The DeGrassi House was built by local builders for Lindsay’s first coroner, Dr. DeGrassi, and was ideally situated, just a block south of the courthouse.
Dr. DeGrassi’s work required him to travel so he also built a carriage house for his horse and cutter.
In 1870 when the DeGrassi House was completed, all the labour was manual. A crew of strong men dug the hole for the foundation with shovels and gathered the rocks for the foundation from surrounding farmers’ fields. It took two to three years to complete a home like the DeGrassi House.
Local builder, historian and arts and heritage enthusiast, Pat Murphy, bought the DeGrassi house to restore it and to maintain the integrity of the historic downtown.
The original DeGrassi House had six bedroom and no bathrooms. It was heated by wood fireplaces. Mr. Murphy sacrificed two bedrooms to modernize the home for modern living and installed three bathrooms and big closets.
The DeGrassi House may seem grand by today’s standards, but it was quite utilitarian by the standards of 1870. Its floors were painted pine and there was a surgery off the kitchen. Martin put in ash floors and details DeGrassi did not.
The DeGrassi House is 44 feet by 44 feet and has a central hall plan.
THE PHILIP MARTIN HOUSE
Dr. DeGrassi severed his property to the north of his residence and sold it to local lawyer, Philip Martin
The Restoration of the Pie Eyed Monk, Lindsay
Local historian and entrepreneur Aaron Young, and his partner, local professional photographer, Jennifer Boksman, had a vision to restore the Baker Building to its historical condition and to call it the Pie Eyed Monk, a craft brewery.
Aaron Young (Left) and Jennifer Boksman (Right)
Local builder, historian, and arts and heritage enthusiast, Pat Murphy, bought the DeGrassi House to restore it and to maintain the integrity of the historic downtown.
The original DeGrassi House had six bedrooms and no bathrooms, and was heated by wood fireplaces. Mr. Murphy sacrificed two bedrooms to modernize the home for modern living and installed three bathrooms and big closets.
Mr. Murphy used gypcrete to level the floors and installed hydronic radiant heating on the main level of the house. This raised the floor by approximately two inches but the only place you can notice the difference is at the bottom of the staircase.
Mr. Murphy replaced the original wood burning fireplaces with historically styled ceramic gas fireplaces