Palmer Street – 280

By-law: (2003)-17100

Legal Description: Pt Lot 22, Pt Lot 23, Plan 128

Designated Portions

The designation applies to:

  • All of the exterior shape and form of the house and the log outbuilding, in their entirety excluding roofing material and paint colour.
  • The size and location of window openings, the windows in those openings and the exterior wall surfaces.
  • The lot including major trees, driveway location, driveway gate and gate-posts, rail fences and the open clearing.

The following features of the interior of the house:

  • the living room fireplace, ceiling, walls and trim;
  • the original front door and transom, inside the front hall;
  • the interior doors;
  • all of the 19th Century floors, original and re-created;
  • the vaulted ceilings and trim in the east and west main floor bedrooms;
  • the kitchen ceiling; and
  • the stairway to the second floor.

It is intended that any non-original features may be returned to their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.

Property History

This house is the only remaining 19th Century home in Guelph to display exposed walls of log construction. Almost as important is the fact that the exterior of the structure has been restored to its late 1890s state when it consisted of the central, gable-roofed, storey-and-a-half log portion, surrounded on three sides by rooms of frame construction, with roofs of a lean-to form. Dormers, added by the previous owner, were removed, but their dining room expansion and bathroom were retained. The Palmer Street entrance enclosure was reconstructed as documented in the earliest photographs. Because of this restoration by Ron and Betty Pequegnat, owners since 1961, the house is in excellent condition, both inside and out, at the time of this designation.

The design of this home is characteristic of the earlier Regency style. Its basic form reflects the configuration of Guelph’s first major log structure, The Priory, the original headquarters for the Canada Company’s agents who were developing Guelph and welcoming new settlers in the late 1820s. Although it was much larger in scale The Priory also consisted of a central, gable-roofed core, flanked by a lean-to section at each end.

The original house was built for, or by, Robert White, a store owner in Guelph’s business section from the late 1830s. He is listed as living across the road from this property as early as 1840 but his ownership of Lot 23 was not formalized until May 1852, when he acquired a deed from John McDonald. The earliest known map showing the White’s home on Lot 23 is Thomas Cooper’s “Map of the Town of Guelph” from 1862. The construction date cannot be pinpointed, but was probably between 1852 and 1862. Eliza White, Robert’s widow, and her family continued to own the house until 1894. Accountant John Barber and his wife Eliza then raised a family of 14 to adulthood at “Wood Cottage”. Eliza lived on there until 1955 after John’s death in 1922. It was 1961 before Ron Pequegnat and his wife Betty were able to buy 280 Palmer from the Barber Estate to become only the third family to own the home and its one-acre property.

Also located at 280 Palmer is a former log house from the Luther Marsh area of West Luther Twp. in northern Wellington County. In 1966, it was taken apart at its original site then carefully reassembled on the Pequegnat’s property to provide storage space.

The exterior shapes and forms of the house and of the log outbuilding are to be designated in their entirety as they exist at the date of designation. This will include the size and locations of window openings, the windows in those openings and the exterior wall surfaces. The roofing material and paint colours are not to be designated allowing for flexibility and for any further backdating of the painted surfaces. The accompanying lot is also to be part of the designation, including major trees, driveway location, driveway gate and gate-posts, rail fences and the open clearing.

In the interior of the house the by-law would cover (a) the living room fireplace, ceiling, walls and trim (b) the original front door and transom, inside the front hall (c) the interior doors (d) all of the 19th-Century floors, original and re-created (e) the vaulted ceilings and trim in the east and west main floor bedroom (f) the kitchen ceiling (g) the stairway to the second floor.