Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mallorytown, by George!

SO and I just spent 8 days camping in and around Charleston Lake Provincial Park - I say about, as for the two nights there was no room at the inn, we decamped to a favourite pleasant commercial campground near Mallorytown, the better to organize ourselves for a weekend trip to Upper Canada Village, further along the 401.
early tiny square attic windows

I had a ramble around Mallorytown, and picked up a local history (have I mentioned how much I LOVE local histories, written by locals, who give time and attention to the recollections of village elders?). This little book was called Fact, Folklore and Fiction: The History of Mallorytown. I got the impression the writer, David J. Wells, was being a bit coy about which was which.

Peter Gibson tavern c.1850, said to have sheltered the infamous  Frank James 

half-round fan-lights proliferate

typical 5-bay Georgian, end chimneys, small windows
Although this lively book didn't give me the architectural history detail I'd hoped for, it did people the little village with interesting characters I wasn't likely to meet on my ramble.

And did you know that Mallorytown was home to the nation's first glassworks from if they could just agree on where it was! Passionate collectors and museums seem to have an appetite for the workmanlike ware, with the Mallorytown pitcher claiming special place.

Mallory Coach House, c.1853
Other than this bit of industrial history, I was unable to determine the source of the early prosperity that led to the building of some proud and substantial Georgian houses in brick and stone. Seems to have been a proud and self-reliant UEL settlement. The town was a bit far from that centre of marine commerce, Mallorytown Landing, where Vermont Loyalist Samuel Mallory landed in 1784 to begin a new life.

 So, my guess is, logging, given that a large numbers of the farms seem to have produced healthy crops of rocks.


  1. Poor Nathanial Mallory. He and his family had not long settled into Vermont, I'm sure, when he had to uproot and move yet again. Since virtually no one settled Vermont before 1760, and likely years later, he must have felt like the itinerant settler.

  2. Yes, the personal tragedy of the Loyalist diaspora has always been so understated, IMHO. Peter C. Newman, who now lives in Belleville, is working on a book about the UEL's; I'm hoping for his usual intensive scholarship to yield some of the truth.

  3. It was Nathanial not Samuel and his six sons. I believe.

    Will Mallory