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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Benjamin Chaffey – John McMullen Houses

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30, 32 Apple Street

built about 1834



chaffey-mcmullen-house-32-apple-st-sm

1911

This picture comes from the collection of the Lorimer family. Shown is a pair of attached stone homes which date from about 1834. The photograph was taken in 1911 during the period of ownership from 1908-1920 of James Lorimer, the father of Hal Lorimer.

This empty lot was acquired in 1833 by Benjamin Chaffey (1806-1867) for 75 pounds from Sabina Buell (1786-1859), the unmarried daughter of William Buell Sr. The home in which she lived for over thirty years is located to the north at 36 Apple St.

chaffey-benjamin

Benjamin Chaffey

(1806-1867)

Builder, Contractor and Engineer

taken in the 1860s


It is very likely that Chaffey, a young building contractor, erected these houses on Apple St., and that he lived here in the 1830s and 40s while engaged in building many of the stone buildings in Brockville.

The property changed hands in the 1840s and was later acquired in 1856 by the tempestuous Irish newspaper publisher and writer, John M. McMullen (1820-1907). McMullen’s book, The History of Canada from it’s First Discovery to the Present Time, was first published in 1855 and filled a need for a Canadian history book. Subsequent editions came out in 1867 and 1892.

He also edited and published the local newspaper, The Brockville Monitor starting in 1857, but to less favourable response. McMullen and his wife Sarah Nesbitt lived here along with their 6 children. He died in 1907. In the next year it became the property of Jim Lorimer, and when he married Mae in 1910, No. 32 became their first home together.

mcmullen-john-m

John M. McMullen

(1820-1907)

Historian, Newspaper Publisher, and Town Councillor


Source: The Building picture is from a photograph loaned by Hal Lorimer, Anchorage Bay, west of Brockville. The two portraits are from my collection.


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