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A Heritage Moment... The Stoddart-Reynolds house reflects legacy of a pioneering family
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A Heritage Moment... The Stoddart-Reynolds house reflects legacy of a pioneering family

  • CA BWGPL PH26640

Municipality :
Community : Bradford West Gwillimbury
Lot :
Concession :
Description : In 1818, John Stoddars travelled from County Cavan in Ireland to the Township of West Gwillimbury, and liked what he saw. He returned to Ireland, then came back to Simcoe County with his three sons, William, James and Hugh, and stepson John Faris, to settle on Lot 10, Con. 7 - on the northwest corner of Hwy. 88 and 10 Sideroad, by today's map. In due course, each son would have his own 100 acre farm nearby. The eldest son, William inherited the home farm in 1836 and built the brick house known as "The Oaks" that still stands and is ocupied today. James farmed next door on Lot 9, was a member of West Gwillimbury's first Council in 1850, and donated land for the Anglican Church on his lot. Other family members served on Council in following years. his son Burt built the red brick house across Barrie St. that is still standing today. Another of William's sons, William Davis, built what was later known as the Stoddart-Ritchie house on the south side of 88 - now demolished. Whether the family name was spelled Stoddars,Stodders or Stoddart, members of this family were all significant contributors to the early settlement and governance of Bradford and West Gwillimbury. Most recently a representative of this family has been Canada's Privacy Commissioner. A symbol of the pioneering years is the stately home, built circa 1860, formerly known as The Oaks and now called the Stoddart-Reynolds house. A solid brick, full 2-storey, 3-over-3 bay front, typical of other homes of the period, it was built in the Georgian Vernacular style, with a Regency door case, and bow-roofed verandah. Two end fireplaces still exist on the main floor - the eastern fireplace with the original mantelpiece in place. Some interior design still survives, and the home has been well-cared for over the years. In fact, the pre-confederation house, associated with a prominent pioneer family, displays notable architectural significance - truly a home worth preserving, as part of West Gwillimbury and Bradford's Heritage.