LOOKING BACK: Annis house continues to welcome...
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Feb 03, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

LOOKING BACK: Annis house continues to welcome guests on Kingston Road

Scarborough Mirror

Early in 1975, the Scarborough Historical Society took steps to study the historic buildings still existing in Scarborough and to approach council to have them declared historic sites for preservation under the Ontario Heritage Act. Scarborough Council was most sympathetic at that time and was of great assistance.

The Jeremiah Annis house on Kingston Road, at Scarborough Golf Club Road, is one example of a designated historic site. Built in 1867 for the Annis family, the walls are a beautiful example of the stone work the early settlers of Scarborough were capable of creating. The fancy hand-made, wooden trim around the roof and verandah reflect how the builder took great pride in his work 100 years ago. That trim was recently restored by Douglas Roberts, a modern day heritage restoration carpenter.

The fieldstone house, with its gothic centre gable, was home to Jeremiah Annis, eleventh child of Levi Annis and Rhoda Conant.

Annis was a descendant of early Puritan settlers of Massachusetts, who came to Canada from the United States in 1793, and opened one of the first inns in 1808 for pioneer travellers along the Kingston Road. Jeremiah Annis and two of his sons long played leading parts in Scarborough's municipal life as councillors, he in 1873, Levi E. 1889-1892, and William D. 1902-1907. William D. Annis also served as Township Reeve 1908-1912.

The stone house is a picturesque example of Upper Canadian vernacular architecture, with careful consideration given to the stone work. The former dwelling has since undergone several renovations to serve the commercial needs of today's Kingston Road traveller.

Although the interior has been gutted, the exterior of the house has retained much of its 19th century charm. A large verandah, similar to the original, was added to replace a somewhat hideous addition built in the 1960s (before the general public had any control over such matters). While earlier renovations were not kind to the building, the recent changes have been a great improvement.

Unfortunately, the widening of Kingston Road and the change in land use did little to help retain its earlier "country home" environment.

In the 19th century Jeremiah Annis often welcomed guests who passed by on their way to or from Kingston on the stage coach line. Today, the stone house still welcomes those who pass by.

Perhaps this was not what Annis had in mind when he built the house in 1867, but at least it has been saved from demolition and remains viable today as The Olde Stone Cottage Pub, one of Scarborough designated heritage properties.

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