On Saturday, June 9, it will be Doors Open in Port Granby and Newtonville, east of Toronto.
If you’ve never heard of Port Granby, you’re not alone. Once a thriving village and busy port, Port Granby is now a quiet hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s home to several families.
Three of those homes, built during Port Granby’s heyday (between the late 1850’s and early 1880’s) are on the Doors Open Clarington tour this year: Hilltop Farm, the March Hotel and March Cottage.
David March owned the latter two.
The records from that time usually showed only men as owners and proprietors of homes and businesses. So while there were certainly women in Port Granby, and David March probably had a wife, I haven’t found her name.
March, like many others of his time, was clearly a multi-tasker: between the late 1850’s to the early 1880’s, he was the local innkeeper, carpenter, builder, postmaster, grain dealer, elevator operator and “general merchant” (shopkeeper).
I’m told he bought March Cottage for his mother.
Today, both the old March Hotel and March Cottage are residences — owned by families who cherish their history.
Paul Sahota’s parents bought March Cottage in 1993:
“They saw it in the dead of winter and brought me to come see it on their second viewing. My mother sat looking out at the lake over the snow as my father and I tromped down over the bridge to the shore. As we drove away I asked my parents when they were putting an offer in, being so sure that it was the right place for them.”
Paul and his wife Susan took over the cottage nine years ago. It was a daunting task at first, but the family has enjoyed many happy times there.
“We love that it is spacious enough to host gatherings with family and friends in all seasons.
“We love the soft shaded lawn for playing croquet, frisbee, baseball and cartwheeling.”
March Cottage includes original features ( e.g. the family-room’s fireplace), and modern additions.
The family also loves the lake.
“We all spend hours watching the lake. We watch the waves (small and huge), the storms roll in, the many, many different shades of blue that the lake turns, the birds, ducks, loons, swans and heron come and go, the giant lakers, speed boats and sailboats move through the water and we watch for the calm when we can grab our kayaks and canoe and go for a paddle along the shore.
“The shore is a place to relax and get wet in the summer and, at times, an arctic adventure in the winter.”
The family will offer a warm welcome to visitors this Saturday:
“We have previously enjoyed other Doors Open experiences and are happy to share our little piece of Port Granby with the community. We hope people get a sense of the history and the beauty of our community.”
For more information:
Photo Credits: Paul Sahota; Bernice Norton & Christine McSorley (Doors Open Clarington) and Newcastle Village and District Historical Society.
34 thoughts on “Port Granby’s March Cottage”
Wish I could attend. Sounds lovely.
I will attend and will walk through one of the buildings with you in mind, Karen!
Fascinating history. If March was a multi-tasker he must have had a wife to show him how 🙂
I’m entirely with you, Derrick. Must have had a wife.
This kind of cottage–the summer place, the camp, the “other house”–is so special!
Bang on, Kerry. What’s nice is that the old cottages in this area haven’t been turned into McMansions — at least, not yet.
I love reading about a home’s history and all those it has held inside it. In fact, I wrote a blog post about my old country house several months ago–I imagined I went back to visit after 40 years. Nice post.
Thanks. Do send me the link to your post, please.
Hi Cynthia, That particular post (about revisiting my old house) is included in a book I just published. Therefore, that post no longer exists on my online blog. I’d be happy to send the post to your email if you’re comfortable sending an email address. If not, no worries! I understand. 🙂
Oh how lovely it all looks. Summer, winter, old and new… I hope the event is successful, with much pleasure had by all 🙂
Thanks, Sandra. It’s run by some very dedicated volunteers. They’re a great group of people and the events are always splendid.
What a charming place, Cynthia. … Except for the snow! 😉 I loved all the photos. Hugs.
I hear you about the snow. But kids love it!
The kid in me adores that little barn cottage. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your love of homes and their history Cynthia. It looks like a charming area.
Thank you, Brad. ‘Tis so indeed.
Beautiful place, fascinating history.
Thanks, Laurie. Your Maya books take us to other worlds, and these areas feel like another world too.
Other worlds can certainly be on this planet.
Fabulous photos. I love old homes and history.
Me too. Thank you!
What a beautiful place and fascinating history too.
The Doors Open team always chooses great places. They’re a very committed and smart group of volunteers.
I’m with Teegan, it’s beautiful, but I prefer no snow. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Cynthia!
You are both fairweather friends!
There’s nothing like a little local history, though I’m not sure what they think of as “cottages” is what I think of “cottages”. These are quite good-sized homes! 🙂 Thanks for the tour and info. Stay well …
Oh, Jeanne. You should see the mansions in southern Ontario that replaced the tiny, very modest lakeside cottages — people build these humongous homes and still call them ‘cottages’!
What a lovely, peaceful place and beautiful cottages.
What an interesting post, Cynthia. I also love finding out about the history of houses and who has made them into homes. I hope the Doors Open Event went well.
Thank you, Clare. The event went very well.
I am so glad!
A beautiful cottage and interesting history, Cynthia. Granby was also the name of the town where we lived in Connecticut.