Baie-d'Urfe's houses built before 1850 or houses with a special history

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All the old houses are situated along the water and there are quite a few which are older than 100 years. I am limiting this chapter, however, to really old houses (houses built prior to 1850) or old houses that have an interesting history.

A lot of the information about those houses comes from earlier research documented in the "Baie d'Urfe 1686-1986" book, a report by the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986 called "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" and from a 2004 document called "Inventaire des batiments patrimoniaux du secteur Baie D'Urfe de l'arrondissement Beaconsfield-Baie D'Urfe de la Ville de Montreal" by architects Pierre Beaupré and Josette Michaud. This document will be referenced in the following chapters as IP-BDU-2004-1. There is also another document published by the city of Montreal called "Inventaire des batiments patrimoniaux du secteur Baie D'Urfe, cahier des fiches" published during the summer of 2004. This document will be referenced as IP-BDU-2004-2 and it is unrelated to the work of Pierre Beaupré and Josette Michaud.

19992 Lakeshore, year of construction: 1735 or 1775 or 1808

This beautiful large stone farmhouse used to belong to Louise la Magdeleine and Basile Sauvé. Daughter and son-in-law of Eustache la Magdeleine. They received the location as a wedding present, as well as an amount of money for the cost of the construction of the house the following spring. (Notary Louis Thibodeau, act #2788, November 25, 1807).

Basile Sauvé sells the property to his son Luc (Notary Nicolas Manthet, act #3690, August 2, 1833). Luc Sauvé sells it in 1850 to André Madore.

The house was last used as a farmhouse by Holland and Allan who bought the property from Telesphore Madore in 1904. Mr John Allan was a Scottish immigrant who owned the "allan's" haberdashery stores in Montreal. Mr. Allan's son Douglas Hood Allan bought in the 1930 Mr. Holland's share. He did some renovations and lived year-round in this house which he called "Cent Arpents".

The house might date back to 1775 according to "Baie d'Urfe 1686-1986". Official evaluation records for the house set the date of construction in 1735. The house that Louise la Magdeleine and Basile Sauvé built in 1808 was likely replacing and incorporating an older building that stood in the same location.

The original farmhouse did not have large windows on the south (water side). Lakeshore Drive used to run right in front of the house between the water and the house. Today's front yard was, therefore, the original backyard.

19992 Lakeshore, source: google maps 2020
19992 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
19992 Lakeshore, photo Jan. 2020, road side, view from the east
19992 Lakeshore, photo summer 1981, lake side, source:
19992 Lakeshore, photo March 2020, view from the water, the original house is the right-most part (east)
19992 Lakeshore, photo Jan. 2020, view from the water, the original house is the right-most part (east)
19992 Lakeshore, 1910, lake side, source: "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" report of the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986
19992 Lakeshore, photo Feb. 2020, road-side, the original house is the left-most part (east)
19992 Lakeshore, photo April 2020, road-side
Allan's store, corner of Craig and Bleury, about 1910, the McCord Museum MP-0000.891.4, Craig is now Saint-Antoine
Buy christmas presents at allan's, the Gazette, Fri. Dec. 22 1905
Mr John Allan dies, the Gazette, Fri. Jan. 12 1912
Obituary for Douglas H. Allan, the Gazette, Fri. Apr. 14 1972, (note: Mr Douglas Hood Allan had a son with the exact same name.)
Allan family grave, photo: Sep. 2020, click for details
Telesphore Madore (1838-1917), Baie-D'Urfé/St-Anne cemetery, photo: Apr. 2020

20010 Lakeshore, year of construction: 1773

This house used to be known as the Pilon farmhouse and was built by Jean-Baptiste Cousineu of St-Laurent, a master mason who built a number of stone houses in Bout-de-L'Ile and the Montreal area. It was built for Marie-Amable Deguire (1755-1785), who married in 1773 Michel-Gabriel Pilon (1740-1814). Their grand daughter, Adelaide Pilon (1815-1876) would later marry Andre Madore (1812-1888) and the son of Adelaide Pilon and Andre Madore is Telesphore Madore (1838-1917, see 19992 Lakeshore).

The house was owned by the Pilon family until 1923 when they sold it to C. J. Smith. He rented it out until 1929 when it burned down. The tenants at the time had gone downtown and had left an electric iron turned on. The house was rebuilt using the same stones and foundations. Mr. C. J. Smith kept the house until 1948 when it was sold to Mr. F. Dorion. J. David Molson and Claire V. Molson (b. Faulkner) bought it in 1957 and named it "Fleur du Lac". J. David Molson (1928-06-01 to 2017-05-08) was the former owner of the Montreal Canadiens, aka Habs. The big extensions to the sides were added by the Molsons. Most people in the area refer to this house still as the Molson's house even though it was sold to a new owner in September 2004.

20010 Lakeshore, source: google maps 2020
20010 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, the house is missing because it had just burned down, you can see the outer walls, no roof, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20010 Lakeshore in 1925, source: official town archives
20010 Lakeshore after the fire in 1929, source: official town archives
20010 Lakeshore, view from the lake, March 2020, the original house is the right side of the left part: between the center chimney (behind the tree) and the chimney to the right.
20010 Lakeshore, lake side, Jan 2020
20010 Lakeshore, view from the lake, Jan. 2020
20010 Lakeshore, view from the road, March 2020
20010 Lakeshore, view from the road, April 2020, the old part of the house is near the center of the picture.
20010 Lakeshore, road side, May 2020, the old part marked in orange
20010 Lakeshore, photo summer 1981, lake side, source:
20010 Lakeshore, lake side, source: google earth, 2020
20010 Lakeshore, lake side, photo: July 2020
20010 Lakeshore, lake side, photo: Sep. 2020
20010 Lakeshore, view from the road, Oct. 2020
Jean Beliveau (left) and J. David Molson (right), photo: the Montreal Canadiens
John David Molson and Claire Molson, opening of the new Forum in 1968
Remembering J. David Molson, the Gazette May 13, 2017
Molson family tree, click to read

20122 Lakeshore, year of construction: likely 1703

This is the oldest house in Baie-d'Urfé. It has its own page at and at . It is known as the Hubert Rangé dit Laviolette house or the Charles Lenoir house. Charles Lenoir was a subsequent owner of the house. Hubert Rangé dit Laviolette (1661 - approx. 1727) came to Canada as one of the soldiers to defend the new colony. He was born in La Rochelle, France and married to Anne-Jeanne Girardin (aka Anne Girardy).

It is said to have been one of the first taverns of the time in the Montreal area. This is corroborated by the fact that Charles Lenoir, who acquired the farm from the Ranger dit Laviolette family in 1781, qualifies himself as an innkeeper when he resells the house to Gabriel Pilon in 1806 (Notary Louis Thibodeau act #2497, April 19, 1806).

A ferry service used to run from this house to Ile Perrot and the ferry anchored next to the tiny island towards the east. The lot east of 20122 Lakeshore used to be part of the same property until 2001.

The house had gun-port like openings in the cellar which were not intended for defense purposes but to ventilate the cellar rooms. These openings are now bricked over.

The windows were replaced at the end of the 19th century and the height of the roof was modified when the new owner, André Perrier, opened dormer windows in the attic. The house we see today has an L-shape. The original heritage building is the section to the east, the independent garage building in the north ("Carriage House") as well as the extension to the west was built in 1949 by Dr. William L. Glen. The "Dr. Glen extension" on the house replaced an existing extension that was higher and shorter. The large extension to the north with 3 additional garages was built in 2001.

The road used to run between this house and the water.

20122 Lakeshore, google maps, 2020
20122 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20122 Lakeshore, photo about 1900, view from the north-west, source: IP-BDU-2004-2, Norah Glen collection
20122 Lakeshore, photo summer 1981, lake side, source:
20122 Lakeshore, photo summer 1985, lake side, source: IP-BDU-2004-2
20122 Lakeshore, photo 1978, lake side, source: "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" report of the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986
20122 Lakeshore, July 2012, lake side, source: search Maison Range-dit-Laviolette
20122 Lakeshore, July 2012, road side, source: search Maison Range-dit-Laviolette
20122 Lakeshore, July 2012, road side, source: search Maison Range-dit-Laviolette
20122 Lakeshore, March 2020, lake side
20122 Lakeshore, July 2020, lake side
20122 Lakeshore, March 2020, lake side
20122 Lakeshore, March 2020, lake side
20122 Lakeshore, March 2020
20122 Lakeshore, March 2020, road side
20122 Lakeshore. The red sign below the light says "Carriage House". This is a garage built in 1949. The driveway used to be where the hedge is growing today (behind the building).
Demolition request for 20122 Lakeshore refused, source: N&V September 2000. It is hard to understand how some people do not see the value of heritage buildings.
Plaque in front of 20122 Lakeshore; Apr. 2020; half of of the text is still readable.
The (Société du patrimoine de l'Ouest-de-l'Île) plaque for 20122 Lakeshore. Click here for a bigger and readable photo; La Société historique Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield,, is the copyright owner. I would like to thank the Société for providing the photo.
20122 Lakeshore, Oct. 2020
20122 Lakeshore, the stone building to the left is from 1703, the section in the center is from the 1940s and the section to the right is from 2001, photo: Oct. 2020
20122 Lakeshore, aerial image from 1948, a part of the extension to the west is already visible, the garage by the road does not exist yet, source: Archives de la Ville de Montreal

20180 Lakeshore, year of construction: about 1770 or 1788

The old part of this house is the tower and everything else was added later. It is said to have been a customs house during the times of the fur trade, collecting toll from the fur traders coming down the river. The house had fallen into disrepair during the 1920 and was then known as the "haunted house".
The old Lakeshore road used to run between this house and the water but joined today's Lakeshore road just a few hundred feet further west.

The James Murray maps from 1761 (see chapter "Then and Now") show a path going north near 20180 Lakeshore.

20180 Lakeshore, google maps, taken 2020, the photo seems to be from about 2018 because it still shows the construction site of the new house to the right.
20180 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20180 Lakeshore, the tower, summer 2019
20180 Lakeshore, photo summer 1981, lake side, source:, The boat house to the right used to be part of the same property.
20180 Lakeshore, summer 2019, lake side, the new house on the right replaces a previous building that used to be the boat house. The tower of 20180 Lakeshore is not visible here. The roof of the tower would be behind the big tree.
20180 Lakeshore, Sep. 2020, lake side
20180 Lakeshore, Feb. 2020, lake side, The tower is on the other side of the house but the tip of the roof of the tower is visible in the center.
20180 Lakeshore, Feb. 2020, road side
20180 Lakeshore, March 2020, lake side

20237 Lakeshore, year of construction: between 1775 and 1799

This is the Robillad farmhouse built by Nicolas Robillard. It stands on the land originally given to Hubert Ranger dit Laviolette. Nicolas Robillard acquired around 1775 the portion that became the Robillard farm.

The exterior used to be covered with rosé/pink stucco until Mr. Ryan added white wooden clapboard exterior in the 1930s. It was later replaced with vinyl clapboard. The clapboard was only added in the front and on the sides of the house. The wall in the backyard is still the original stucco but painted white.

The house stands out among all the other old houses because it has not changed much. It is still the original house without significant extensions or structural modifications. Descendant of the Robillards still lived in this house until the early 1900s. The extension to the east used to be a summer kitchen.

The exterior walls of the house are leaning very slightly inwards. This adds extra stability to the structure. The inside of the house has a lot of character and charm. The rooms have nice hardwood floors which are however noticeably uneven. The beams holding the ceiling are straight but clearly not cut with modern precision tools.

Until the mid nineties access to the upper story was by a steep ladder. In the basement and in the crawl space area one can see that the house rests on tree trunks placed between the stone foundation walls.

The house is quite large for a farm house from the late 1700s. It is unlikely to have been built that big from the start. The house appears to have been built in two stages and this is confirmed by the design of the floor in the upper level as well as the sturcture of the load-bearing beams. The upper part of the house has two floor levels with the western part being a few inch higher than the easter part. The ceiling beams and the tree trunks in the basement run north-south in the western part but east-west in the eastern part of the house.

20237 Lakeshore, google maps, 2020
20237 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20237 Lakeshore, July 2011
20237 Lakeshore, Feb 2020
20237 Lakeshore, Feb. 2020
20237 Lakeshore, 1985, Source: IP-BDU-2004-2
Robillard farm in the early 1900s. No clapboard yet. Source: report by architects Beaupré et Michaud, IP-BDU-2004-1
20237 Lakeshore, Jan. 2020
20237 Lakeshore, Feb. 2020
20237 Lakeshore, April 2020
20237 Lakeshore, May 2020
20237 Lakeshore, May 2020
20237 Lakeshore, May 2020
20237 Lakeshore, Aug. 2020
20237 Lakeshore, June 2020
20237 Lakeshore, June 2020
This is an area in the back of the house where the paint came off and the original stucco became visible, photo: Oct. 2020
20237 Lakeshore, backyard side, photo: Oct. 2020
Joseph Robillard donates the farm to his sons, book of the notary Louis Thibodeau, 1799, contract 1234/1235, I am still looking for the actual contracts. Source: Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec

20285 Lakeshore, year of construction: 1808

This is one of the most beautiful old stone houses. The initials "PV" over the door stand for Pierre Vallée. It is said to have been an inn, "une maison à relais", a place to rest, exchange horses, eat or stay over night. A painting called "Party at Jolifou" may have been inspired by this house. This painting by Cornelius Krieghoff was added to the McCord collection in 1865. Krieghoff was during 1846 in Montreal and traveled to Toronto in 1847. He may have passed by this house during this time.
The house has an extension in the back built in such a way that the character of the old house is still preserved.

It remained in the Vallée family until the turn of the 20th century and was then acquired by Charles E. Gudewill, one of the fathers of the incorporation, to serve as a summer residence. Charles E. Gudewill (1870-1938) was a manufacturer and importer. He liked beautiful horses and carriages. The "Baie d'Urfe 1686-1986" book mentions that he built the barn for the horses as well as the house for his manager "like a palace". He was an active member of the council and his family remained in Baie-D'Urfé until 1980.

The house had originally a natural stone facade and a stucco facade was added by one of the decendents of Pierre Vallée. Charles Gudewill keept the stucco facade. The original natural stone facade was restored in 1970 by James A. Gudewill.

20285 Lakeshore, google maps, 2020
20285 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20285 Lakeshore, stone above the door. PV stand for Pierre Vallée. ATC stands probably for "année du temps chrétien"
20285 Lakeshore, about 1960-1970, view from the south-east, source: Michel Bonin
20285 Lakeshore, year unknown, must be before 1948, note how the upper gallery and the staircase changed over the years, the photo is a view from the south-east, source: Michel Bonin
20285 Lakeshore, Oct 2019

The McCord Museum copied in 1977 a number of interesting photos from an album that belonged to Miss Esther Kerry. These photos were taken during the summer of 1894 when Esther Kerry spent, at the age of 5, some time with her family at 20285 Lakeshore. The pictures in this photo album are titled "Bay View 1894".

Miss Esther Kerry became later in life the president of the Montreal Council of Women and was well known. She died April 30, 1990 at the age of 101, and had lived all her life in Montreal. Her father, William Simonds Kerry, also born in Montreal, was the owner of the wholesale drug company Kerry, Watson & Co. Esther had two brothers John and Arthur. A few of the people in the below pictures are marked with some letters: E stands for Esther Kerry, J for John Kerry and WSK for William Simonds Kerry (Esther's father).

The house had a stair case leading up to the second level, which is why the main entrance is off center to the east and there is no window or door in the middle of the house at the ground floor level.

Esther's photo album contains a total of nine "Bay View 1894" photos. The below photos are included here because they show details of the house and the shoreline.

Bay View 1894, Miss Esther Kerry album, source: The McCord Museum collection MP-1977.43, the house had an outside stair in the center, the ground level entrance is in the same location as today, the shape of the window frames is the same as today
Bay View 1894, Miss Esther Kerry album, source: The McCord Museum collection MP-1977.43
Bay View 1894, Miss Esther Kerry album, source: The McCord Museum collection MP-1977.43, view a long the shore towards the west, much more trees and very few houses
Bay View 1894, Miss Esther Kerry album, source: The McCord Museum collection MP-1977.43, view towards the house from across Lakeshore road
Montreal Council of Women, president Miss Esther Kerry, the Gazette March 16, 1950
Party at Jolifou, painting by C. Krieghoff, added to the McCord collection in 1865, source: The McCord Museum collection I-15250.1
20285 Lakeshore, Oct 2019, the little black door on the side of the house used to be a bread oven, view from the south-east
20285 Lakeshore, July 2011
20285 Lakeshore, Oct 2019
20285 Lakeshore, Jan 2020, view from the south-east
20285 Lakeshore, Jan 2020, view from the south-west
20285 Lakeshore, Jan 2020
20285 Lakeshore, Jan 2020
20285 Lakeshore, Jan 2020
20285 Lakeshore, Feb 2020 in the evening
20285 Lakeshore, March 2020 view from the water
20285 Lakeshore, May 2020
20285 Lakeshore, May 2020
20285 Lakeshore, May 2020
20285 Lakeshore, May 2020
20285 Lakeshore, June 2020
20285 Lakeshore, July 2020
"Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edward Gudewill with their daugther Miss Lascelles Gudewill" (Mrs. G., born May McGowan, second wife), The Gazette Dec 13, 1937, click on the image to see it in full size
Charles Gudewill died at the age of 68 in Paris, The Gazette July 6, 1938
Charles Gudewill grave at the Mount Royal Cemetery, Pine Hill section. It seems he had his own family crest.
The Gudewills kept the waterfront after subdividing farm lot 322. Photo: 20285 Lakeshore, summer 1981. The house at the water was only built in 1982, Source: Banq

20331/20329 Lakeshore, Amable Vallée or Mayor Watterson house, year of construction: around 1900

This house was built by Amable Vallée junior (1852-1926) next to the old Vallée farmhouse. The farmhouse would be today 20333 Lakeshore, but it burned down in 1957. The Amable Vallée house (20329 Lakeshore) was sold to John Watterson in 1907. John Watterson had his main residence in Westmount, first on 382 Roslyn Avenue and later at 608 Carlton Ave. The house in Baie-D'Urfé was his summer residence. He was Baie-D'Urfé's 3rd Mayor (from July 1925 to June 1931). He was also the owner of "J. Watterson & Co", an iron and sheet metal business with the main warehouse in Griffintown at 138 Murray Street.

John Watterson bought this Lakeshore house under the unusual condition that a chicken fence be installed to prevent the Vallée's chicken from coming into the garden. You can see the chicken fence in one of the photos below.

The house was sold to Albert Turnau in 1941 and he converted the interior of the house into two semi-detached residences. The two-story stable/garage in the back to the left of the house was either built by John Watterson in the last ten years before selling the house or it was built by Albert Turnau (the more likely scenario). What is today 2A Sunny Acres used to be the backyard of 20331/20329 Lakeshore until 1990.

This house is quite uniquely situated along Lakeshore Road and very visible because the road makes a slight bend around the house. The house stands right in-front when you drive from the east along Lakeshore towards this house. Many people have seen this house and remember it easily because of its position, the red brick and the pointed roof. There is actually a second house on the former Charles St-Denis farm, near town hall, at 20389 Lakeshore, which is a bit bigger and has some similarities in terms of roof design but very few people know it because that house is less visible from the road even though the front doors of both houses are approximately at the same distance to the road.

Amable Vallée house, pre 1907 photo, source: Walter Hrycyna,
The plaque for 20331/20329 Lakeshore, photo: March 2012, the photo on the plaque was taken before 1907 because the chicken fence is not installed yet, click to read
The plaque for 20331/20329 Lakeshore, photo: June 2011
Residence M. Watson, Baie d'Urfe, about 1912, source: The McCord Museum collections MP-0000.903.6; M. Watson is a spelling error by the photographer; it should have said M Watterson (M for Mayor); the Watterson chicken fence can be seen in the front
20331/20329 Lakeshore, view from the south-west, photo: July 2020
Watterson Road sign, photo: June 2020
20331/20329 Lakeshore as seen from the road, photo: July 2020
20331/20329 Lakeshore is very visible from the road, a well known Baie-D'Urfé house, photo: July 2020
20329 Lakeshore in 1948, the Vallee farmhouse can be seen on the left and the barn is behind (at the top of the picture), source: Archives de la Ville de Montreal
20329 Lakeshore in 1962, source: Archives de la Ville de Montreal
Vallee family grave, St-Anne/Baie-D'Urfe cemetery, photo: June 2020
Amable Valleé grave, St-Anne/Baie-D'Urfe cemetery, photo: June 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the south-west, photo: Apr. 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the south-west, photo: July 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the south-east, photo: June 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the south-east, photo: July 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the east, photo: June 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the north-east, photo: Jan. 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, front view, photo: June 2011, the house used to have a dark green door on top of the front door, click and zoom-in
Vallee/Watterson house, front door, photo: Apr. 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, front door, photo: July 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, garage building, view from the south, photo: Sep. 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, garage building, view from the south-east, photo: Nov. 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, garage building, view from the east, photo: June 2020
Vallee/Watterson house, view from the water, photo: July 2020

John Watterson (1865-1942) is the only Mayor of whom we don't have a picture. He and his wife Jane Gow (1866-1936) had two sons. Austin Douglas Watterson (1891-1917) joined the Canadian military in 1915 and was killed two years later, in the summer of 1917 in France. Son John Clarence Watterson (1895-1980) married Grace Margaret Victoria Wilson of Montreal in 1927 but they might not have had any children. In the mid 1980s an effort was made to contact the family but no remaining family member could be found. What we have today of Mayor John Watterson are his signature and this house.

The Wattersons have a family plot in the Mount Royal Cemetery but son Austin Douglas is actually burried in the military cemetery section of the Nœux-les-Mines cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France, plot index II. G. 12. John Clarence Watterson is also burried in the family plot at the Mount Royal Cemetery but not mentioned on the stone.

Signature of Mayor John Watterson, Mayor from 1925 to 1931
J. Watterson & Co, sheet metal, source: the Gazette, Aug. 14, 1911, John Watterson's business was in Griffintown at 138 Murray Street near the Lachine Canal, it used to be a typical warehouse and industrial area but it is now a condo tower.
Obituaties John Watterson, source: the Gazette, Sep. 26, 1942
Watterson grave, Mount Royal Cemetery, section L4, photo: Sep. 2020
Son Austin Douglas Watterson is actually burried in a military cemetery in France, the spelling is slightly off, it should be Nœux-les-Mines; almost all Canadians in that cemetery died during the summer of 1917,
Military Attestation Paper WWI, son Austin Douglas Watterson, Feb. 12, 1915, source: Library and Archives Canada,

20625 Lakeshore, Field House, year of construction: unknown, maybe around 1860

The age of this house is rather uncertain even though this is one of the more recent heritage houses. It was maybe built in 1860 but earlier dates are also possible.

This farmhouse was built for Jean-Baptiste Larente dit Vinet (1840-1907) and he lived there until his death. He married on June 9, 1859 Mathilde Groulx (1838-1919) at the church of St-Joachim in Pointe-Claire. The census of 1881 shows that they had 10 children in 1881 (Delphine, Joseph, Celeophine?, Melina, Seraphine, Ludger, Amanda, Pacifique, Arthur, Leon).

The "INVENTAIRE DES BATIMENTS PATRIMONIAUX DU SECTEUR BAIE D'URFE" by Pierre Beaupré and Josette Michaud from 2004 (IP-BDU-2004-1) mentions that the father of Jean-Baptiste had extended the house around 1870. The marriage record of Jean-Baptiste at St-Joachim in Pointe-Claire states that his father, Seraphin Larente dit Vinet, had already died when he married Mathilde in 1859 (see below). The house does however have an extension on the north-west side and the 1881 census shows that an older person, Hypolite Lauthier, age 78, is living with the Larente family.

This old farmhouse was also the house of Mayor Thomas Roche Lee, a Baie-D'Urfé historian, and this is where he wrote the book "A HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF BAIE-D'URFE".

The house was named Field House because it was built into the fields rather than by the water as most other houses in the 1800s or earlier. Before the construction of the Yacht Club the area by the water in-front of this house was a rather swampy section and therefore not suitable for the construction of a house. The "Field House" sign was probably installed by Frank Walkinshaw.

The house was first rented and then sold to Frank Walkinshaw (1866-1950). Frank Walkinshaw of Birmingham, England came the first time to Canada in 1889. In 1896 he married Louisa Catherine Hope Borthwick (1857-1948) of Montreal. After their marriage they live for short time in England where their two daughters are born. Frank travels around 1900 several times between Canada and England. The family returns in 1903 to Canada and lives in Outremont, Montreal. Frank buys in the summer of 1912 various subdivisions in Baie-D'Urfe and the family moves around this time to 20625 Lakeshore. After Frank's death, in 1950, the two daughters Grace Olive Walkinshaw (1901-1991) and Marjory Hardy Walkinshaw (1903-1992) continue to live in the house until 1956 when it was sold to Thomas R. Lee. The Lees had arrived in Baie-D'Urfé in January of 1953 and they lived first at 3 Lakeview Road (demolished in 2017) before moving to 20625 Lakeshore. Thomas R. Lee was Major of Baie-D'Urfé from 1957 to 1961.

Edith Lee, the wife of Thomas Lee, continued to live in the house after the death of her husbands in 1977. Daughter Nancy Lee (Dixon) sold the large backyard of the house around 1998/1999. She kept the house until 2003 when it was sold to the current owner.

The original house did not have the brick and stone siding. This was added later, probably by Frank Walkinshaw.

A deed of sale available at the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec from June 5, 1912 shows that Frank Walkinshaw buys a number of subdivisions of farm lots 311 and 312 from William Alexander Mackay. He pays about half immediately and the rest over the next 2 years (you can read the exact details below). Alexander Mackay was probably speculating in property and he had bought it just the year before from James Birchenough. It is not clear who James Birchenough or William Alexander Mackay really were and how they obtained the property. A map from around 1917 shows the whole strip of land with cadastre number 312 still belonging to Larente but that must be an error in the map.

When Bell Telephone wants to install poles along the road in 1903 to run the first phone line through Baie-D'Urfé they sign agreements for the rights to install those poles with various land owners along Lakeshore. Jean-Baptiste Larente is among them, thus confirming that Jean-Baptiste Larente owned land along the road in 1903.

Land owners at Cote Sainte-Anne du Bout de l'Ile, Jean-Baptiste Larente dit Vinet at farm lot 312, source: Desire Girouard Lake-St-Louis book from 1893
Page 4, 1881 Census for parrish Ste-Anne du Bout de L'ile, spelling slightly off: Jean-Baptiste Vinette dit Larente, maybe Jean-Baptiste was illiterate and could not tell how to spell the name; the age could also be slightly off; Jean-Baptiste + Mathilde Groulx + 10 children + one other person live in this house, source: Library and Archives Canada​/eng/census/Pages/census.aspx, click to read
Marriage Jean-Baptiste and Mathildee, June 9, 1859, St-Joachim, Pointe-Claire, click to read
Book of notary Joseph-Alphonse Brunet, May 1903, right to install telephone poles, agreement between Bell Telephone Ltd and Jean-Baptiste Larente (note: Charles St-Denis signs right after Jean-Baptiste), source: Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec
Frank Walkinshaw buys a number of subdivision of farm lots 311 and 312 in Baie-D'Urfe, June 5, 1912 (note: the plan showing the location of those subdivisions has not been found yet, Field House stands on lot 312 but this could in theory be some other lots on 312, Frank will sell the 311 subdivisions to Joseph W Hayward, a developer, on March 12, 1913), source: Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec, click to read the deed (opens PDF file)
Field House sign
The former Larente farmhouse, at the time of the photo Walkinshaw, photo about 1916
The Walkinshaws playing croquet at 20625 Lakeshore during the mid 1920s; the house used to have a large backyard; source: collection at the Fritz
Death Frank Walkinshaw, the Gazette, Aug. 3, 1950
Obituaries, Sherbrooke Daily Record, Aug. 15. 1950, page 6
Obituaries, Sherbrooke Daily Record, Aug. 15. 1950, page 6, this article has some details about Frank, source:​/ark:/52327/2998985, click to read
Field House, 1963, the house had for a while an enclosed entrance porch (added by the Walkinshaws), source: this is a crop from a yacht club construction photo
Field House, foundations of the former enclosed entrance porch, photo: Dec. 2020
Field House, May 1930, trees and a large vegetable garden, green fields in the back, an orchard up to were the Red Barn would be today, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
Field House, spring 1949, source: Archives de la Ville de Montreal
Field House, Sep. 2013, source: google earth
Adv. for the sale of 20625 Lakeshore, the Gazette, Aug. 22, 1998, this is Nancy Lee trying to sell the house
"Fashions of Yesteryear" show hosted on the east-side porch of 20625 Lakeshore, June 23, 1961, source: N&V July/Aug 1961
Field House at Berthold Park, photo: Oct. 2019
Field House, view from the south-east, photo: April 2020
The grey building in the back stands at 61 Churchill Street and this used to be part of the large backyard, photo: Dec. 2020
Field House, view from the south-west, photo: April 2020
Field House, view from the west, photo: April 2020, you can see the extension that the father of Jean-Baptiste Larente added
Field House, June 2020
Field House, July 2020
Field House, July 2020, view from the south
Field House, July 2020
Field House, Sep. 2020
Field House, Oct. 2020
Field House, Oct. 2020

20684 Lakeshore, year of construction: 1781 or earlier

This was originally a modest-sized farmhouse built in masonry and it had two chimneys, one at each end of the house. The photo on the cover of the "Baie d'Urfe 1686-1986" book shows the original house as seen from the water side. It did not have any dormer windows in the attic.

The house is known as the "Jean-Baptiste LaLonde" house. Jean-Baptiste (1675-1750) was the son of Jean LaLonde (1640-1687) and Marie Barbant (1639-1702). Jean LaLonde was of course the first settler in the area. However, Jean-Baptiste did probably not build this house as he had died before 1781. The land the house stands on did belong to the LaLonde family and it might have replaced an earlier wooden house. The date 1781 comes from a stone that was covered by the first extension to the house. The stone is therefore no longer accessible.

The house was also called "Maison Sauvé" because it belonged to the Sauvé family from the 1800s right until the early 1900s. Other names include "Willow Grange" and "Domaine St-Antoine".

The house used to have a plaque in the front explaining the history of the house. It's shown in one of the photos below.

This building is also the birthplace of the community magazine "News & Views". Miriam and Sidney Nagley printed here in the summer of 1947 the first issue of the "News & Views" in their kitchen at their own expense.

20684 Lakeshore, google maps, 2020
20684 Lakeshore, 1930-05-14, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
20684 Lakeshore, view from the north-east, July 2011
20684 Lakeshore, view from the north-east, July 2011
20684 Lakeshore, view from the north-east, July 2011
20684 Lakeshore, 1978, view from the north-west, source: IP-BDU-2004-2
20684 Lakeshore, 1985, view from the south-west, source: IP-BDU-2004-2
20684 Lakeshore, the plaque that once stood in-front of the house (by the road), July 2011
20684 Lakeshore, 1911, view from the south-west, source: "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" report of the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986
20684 Lakeshore, Aug. 2019
20684 Lakeshore, Jan. 2020, the old part of the house ends at the chimney and the front door.
20684 Lakeshore, Feb 2020
20684 Lakeshore, view from the water, Jan 2020, the old part of the house is on the left side.
20684 Lakeshore, view from the water, Feb 2020
20684 Lakeshore, view from the water, Feb 2020
20684 Lakeshore, view from Lakeshore road, April 2020, the old part of the house is on the right
20684 Lakeshore, view from Lakeshore road, April 2020
20684 Lakeshore, view from the water, the old part of the house is in the center of the picture, May 2021
20684 Lakeshore, old part of the house, Sep. 2020

20746 Gay Cedars Drive, year of construction: 1778 or earlier

This house is known as Maison Félix Sauvé or Ferry-man's house. The house was definitely in possession of the Sauvé family and pictures from the 1930s show a structure along the water that could have once been a protected slipway for a ferry.

The house is also referred to as "Case's Point". Former Mayor Fred W. Case lived here and he extended it in the 1940s with two pavilions, one on each side.

Massive changes came in 1988. The "Case pavilions" were removed and architect Karl Fisher was hired to re-design the house. Large 80's style extensions were built to both sides of the original house.

Around the time of incorporation this area was known as the Brunet Farm. The name of the street, "Gay Cedars Drive", is related to the second wife of William Fred McBride (1886-1953), first councilor and then Mayor from 1945-1947. Her full name was Grace Christine McBride (1891-1971, born Bell, formerly Mrs Grace Christine Bell Sifton, widow of John Sifton of Winniperg) but her nickname was Gay. The McBrides lived just next door at what would be today 20726. Cedars refers to the abundance of cedars in this area (see also Cedar Croft further down).

20746 Gay Cedars, google maps, 2020
20746 Gay Cedars, June 1944, earlier aerial photos don't show the house because it was completly hidden below large trees. This photo shows the "Case pavilions" already, source: The National Air Photo Library
20746 Gay Cedars, renovations by Fred W. Case in the early 1940s, source: IP-BDU-2004-2. The "Case pavilions" are still missing. This photo was taken at the start of the renovation project.
Aerial photo from May 1930, a protected slipway for the ferry is clearly visible. Today this would be the backyard of 20736 Gay Cedars.
20746 Gay Cedars, July 2011
20746 Gay Cedars, Jan 2020, the original old building is the section in the center.
20746 Gay Cedars, Jan 2020.
20746 Gay Cedars, in the 1960s, view from the water.
20746 Gay Cedars, photo 1978, water side, source: "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" report of the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986
20746 Gay Cedars, photo probably 1980s, road side, source: "Répertoire d'Architecture traditionnelle CUM" report of the "Communaute Urbaine de Montréal" from 1986
20746 Gay Cedars, photo probably spring 1985, road side, source IP-BDU-2004-2
20746 Gay Cedars, in Feb 2020, view from the water.
20746 Gay Cedars, in Jan 2020, view from the water.
20746 Gay Cedars, in Jan 2020, view from the water.
20746 Gay Cedars, in Jan 2020, view from the water.
20746 Gay Cedars, photo summer 1981, lake side, the house is still the same as in the 1940s, source:
Fred W. Case, Mayor from July 1949 to July 1953, he lived at 20746 Gay Cedars
20746 Gay Cedars, photo April 2020
20746 Gay Cedars, photo July 2020
20746 Gay Cedars, photo June 2020
20746 Gay Cedars, photo Sep. 2020
20746 Gay Cedars, the old part is the section that is visible behind the large tree, photo June 2020
N&V article, Dec. 1986, it is thanks to the efforts of a number of residents that this house is still standing (the house number has not changed, it’s a typo)
20746 Gay Cedars, Christmas lights, photo: Jan 2021

20758 Lakeshore, Cedar Croft, the house of Baie-D'Urfé's first Mayor, year of construction: 1904

This house was built for Vivian de Vere Dowker, Baie-D'Urfé's first Mayor and father of incorporation.

Vivian de V. Dowker (1865-1923) was a clothing manufacturer and managing director of the Crescent Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Montreal. Vivian de Vere Dowker and his wife Anna Veasey (1863-1952) had four children (Beatrice V. Dowker [Timberlake] 1894-1984, Gerald L. Dowker 1896-1950, Annette (Anna) V. Dowker 1900-1975, Dorothy F. Dowker [Smith] 1904-2000). The Dowker family had been in the area since 1860 when Vivian's father, Lieutenant-Colonel George Dowker and his wife Susan settled in Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Ile-Sud. George Dowker came from Salton, York, England to New York in 1843 and married Susan Wright Leslie in 1848.

The Dowkers were in the late 1800s active members of the St. Anne Boating club with Leslie being the vice president of the club.

Edward Maxwell was tasked in 1912, plans from Aug. 1911, to do some additions and alterations at Cedar Croft, both internally and externally.

The Dowkers sold this house in 1924, after Vivian's death.

Croft is old English for a small farm.

20758 Lakeshore, google maps, 2020
20758 Lakeshore, May 1930, source: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
V. de V. Dowker, 1886, at the age of 22, Photo: The McCord Museum collection II-81192.1
Vivian de V. Dowker, Mayor from 1911-1917, source: Fred Dowker via Constance Turnbull
Vivian de V. Dowker, source: Study of Dowker Residences by Jan Kubanek
20758 Lakeshore, Cedarcroft, Feb 2020
Cedarcroft, Feb 2020
20758 Lakeshore, Feb 2020
20758 Lakeshore, June 2019
20758 Lakeshore, June 2020
20758 Lakeshore, Sep. 2020
20758 Lakeshore, 1992, source: Study of Dowker Residences by Jan Kubanek
20758 Lakeshore, view from the water, 1981, source:
20758 Lakeshore, view from the water, 1992, source: Study of Dowker Residences by Jan Kubanek
20758 Lakeshore, view from the water, Feb 2020
Grave of Vivian Dowker (1865-1923) with wife and children, Mount Royal Cemetery section C1, photo: Sep. 2020, Beatrice and Dorothy are Vivian's daughters. R.B Timberlake stands for Roland Baker Timberlake.
Advertisement for the sale of Cedarcroft, Fri, Feb 8, 1924, The Gazette
One of the Edward Maxwell architectural drawings for the alterations and additions on Cedarcroft, Aug. 1911, source: maxwells/images/98.0a.JPG
20758 Lakeshore, view from the water, June 2020
20758 Lakeshore, view from the south, Jan. 2021
20758 Lakeshore, view from the water, May 2021


This page contains some material copyrighted by third parties but all other content is free and available under the creative commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

Guido Socher,

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