5/7  Forsyth Street

Village of Marmora,  Forsyth Street,  Home & Office of Dr. Parkin.jpg

It was Charles Hayes, who circa 1821, built a thriving iron industry on the east side of the Crowe River. This was the beginning of the financial growth and early development of Marmora as a village.

Between 1821 and 1824, two huge bellows were built to power the iron blast furnaces. Several limestone buildings and Charles Hayes' own private residence, built of solid squared pine logs,  were all built near the present Marmora dam.  Originally,  the house stood at the west end of the lot, with a large verandah,   facing the river,  as shown on the map below - far right, circled in red.    The front door opened into a wide hall with rooms on each side,  and a long staircase led to the upper storey.   Main Street must have extended farther south and shown here as "Road to Bay of Quinte"

Click to enlarge

It is thought that circa 1850 the iron master's log house was moved from the shores of the Crowe River and relocated to the west side of Forsyth Street.  It once was occupied by officials of the Marmora Foundry Co.  and was used by them as an office,  a hotel and a dwelling.  According to Arthur Sweet,  in 1967,  "An old ledger used in its early history records many accounts with the early settlers here,  such as Wm. Campion,  H. Crawford,  B. Johns,  Jno Leonard,  Wm Inkster,  H. Jones and Fraser Chisolm."  Some of the sales reported included indigo, whiskey at six pence, and a potash kettle.

In the early 1850's,   Margaret Brady ran an inn known as the Dominion Hotel,  as shown in this ad in the 1859 Hastings County Business Directory  .Over the years, several additions were made  to the original log house, which at that time measured 30 ft. by 30 ft. in size.


G..W. Bleecker

Sarah Mariah (Johns) Bleecker 1839-1929

  The 1947 write-up   

  In 1857, George W. Bleecker (1824-1895) and his wife, Sarah M. Johns (1839-1929)   would purchase the log home and live there until 1869,  when they moved into their new home next door at 3 Forsyth St.  The ironworks manager's house was then occupied by a variety of tenants and  small industries including a shoe store and harness maker.  

In 1896, George and Sarah's son,  George B. Bleecker  (1861-1903) and his wife, Elizabeth M. Waterhouse (1868-1909) would reside at his parent's home, after  George W. Bleecker had the entire log house bricked over and completely renovated inside and out for his son's wedding.  Outbuildings and additions were torn down,  a new cellar dug,  bay windows added with the entrance facing Forsyth Street.  The house was moved at least 40 feet from the south end of Main Street to the west side of Forsyth Street.

Dr. William Graeme MacKechnie

After George Bartholomew Bleecker died on July 10, 1903, his wife, Elizabeth and her mothr,  Mrs. William Bowen (nee Mary Jane McLaren and her two sons,  George and McLaren occupied the house until Elizabeth's death on March 23, 1909.

For the next 95 years,  the house would be occupied by doctors.

Dr. William Graeme MacKechnie (1868-1945) and his wife,  Ada Maitland Squires (1875-1946), resided there from 1907 to 1918. He then  practiced in Toronto and later retired to the Port of Spain in Trinidad.

Doctor Hamilton A. Crawford (1875-1951) and his first wife, Helen May purchased the house  in 1918.  Unfortunately,  Helen died shortly after on May 20, 1919,  at the age of 34 years.

With  his second wife,  Mrs. Mary DeNike (nee McGlennon), Dr. Crawford  resided there from 1919 to 1950.  He  served the community as a doctor for 34 years and served the employees of the Deloro Smelting and refining Co..  He died in September of 1951

Doctor Herbert Garfield Parkin (1916-2007) and his wife Margaret Eleanor McDonald (1919-1993) purchased the home from the Crawford's in 1950.  They raised a family of five and practiced medicine from this location until his retirement in April of 1988.  He and his first wife Margaret raised four daughters, Anna Lee Gordon, now of Kenora; Rev.Linda Lou MacDonald, rector of an Anglican parish at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia; Mary Jane Goodchild, of Marmora, and Margaret Rose McComb, of Rawdon Township. Their only son, Herb Jr., graduated as a doctor, went to the Vancouver area to set up a practice, but died of cancer at an early age.

Although Mrs. Parkin has died in 1993,  Dr. Parkin continued to live at the house until 2004,  when he moved to the Belmont Long Term Care facility in Belleville,  until his death on July 15, 2007.

For more on Marmora's doctors,  click here.

Dr. Herbert Garfield Parkin



home is now owned by Brian and MarionLlewellyn-Thomas.

See Excerpt from "Glimpses of Marmora" Written by Anita Wisti and Jim Airhart in 1975


Marmora Herald   Feb. 15, 1934

A very unusual accident occurred at Dr. Hamilton Crawford's last Saturday morning which might have had serious results.  Owing to the cold weather,  the automatic gauge in the basement which controls the pumping of water into the large pressure tank failed to work.  As a result,  the pump kept on working until the pressure in the tank became so great that the tank was blown up and struck the joists,  shattering the kitchen floor.  The stove was thrown over and damaged,   and the basement was flooded with water.  Deloro S. & R Co. repaired the damage and by evening the new joists were in place,  the bottom welded in the tank,    floor repaired and the water turned on again.  Fortunately no one was injured as a result of this accident.