What is the Fate of Rose’s Cottage?

News flash! Rose’s Cottage, the historic building in Port Hope formerly located at 36 Victoria Street South on the northwest corner of the Victoria and Strachan Street has now been safely removed from its former location and sits safely on the town’s Kings Field next door until its fate can be decided. Its future was in jeopardy in early June when Mason Homes obtained a permit to demolish the building to make way for a new street into their property development nearby. A private developer, Stephan Henderson of Henderson Construction has purchased the building and the Town of Port Hope has generously allowed him to temporarily store the building on town property. Because there is no municipal ownership, monetary consideration or costs involved, an agreement was reached June 18 and allows 60 days to find a permanent home for the building. If the building is on town property more than the 60 days agreed upon it could potentially demolished at the developer’s expense.

According to the Architectural Conservancy Ontario, Port Hope Branch, the cottage has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. It was built for Mary Rose, who was brought to Canada from Ireland to work on the Penryn the Estate, likely by Arthur Williams.   The estate was the legacy of John Tucker Williams, MHA for Durham (now Northumberland) and the first elected mayor of Port Hope. J. T. Williams came to Canada during the War of 1812 as an officer in the British Royal Navy having served under Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar and later commanded a vessel on Lake Ontario as well as commanding the Durham Regiment during the Rebellion of 1837.

After his service John acquired a vast tract of land at the west end of Port Hope called the Penryn Homestead after an area of Cornwall England where he was born. The mansion was built from lumber from the property and sawn at an early water powered mill on the Ganaraska River with bricks for the fireplace and chimney acquired from a local brick yard. This home is still one of the oldest surviving buildings in Port Hope, built circa 1828 in the neo-classical style and is still a very attractive building today.

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Trefusis Heneage Williams was born in Port Hope, the eldest son of John Tucker Williams and grew up at the Penryn Homestead. The Williams family names are remembered in several town street names, Heneage, Arthur, Charles, Seymour, Percy and Percival Street.

Note: the monument in front of the Port Hope town hall, the inscription reads: “To commemorate the devoted patriotism and heroic bravery of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur T. H. Williams MP commanding the Midland Battalion of the volunteer militia who after gallantly leading the victorious and decisive charge at the Battle of Batoche during the rebellion in the Northwest Territories died of sickness contracted in the discharge of his duty, near Fort Pitt, NWT on the 4th July 1885. This monument is erected by his native town by his admiring countrymen throughout Canada assisted by his companions in arms and the Government of the Dominion.”

The Penryn Park property includes three buildings which are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, Rose’s Cottage on the property is not designated nor is currently listed as a building slated for future heritage designation. Hopefully the citizens of the town will come together and help save this rustic old cottage for future generations to enjoy. Stay tuned for updates.

Regards, Ranger


  1. Thanks for the update! Nice to see the local businessman Mr. Henderson step up and save the building; I will look forward to seeing it move to a permanent home.


  2. Andrew Rose · · Reply

    Mary Rose was my Great-Grandmother.


    1. Thanks for your comment Andrew It’s great to hear that she still has living relatives.


    2. Patrick Johnson · · Reply

      Dear Andrew, where are you. Mary Rose’s cottage is of great importance to me personally. Please contact me.
      Patrick Johnson, Port Hope, Ontario


      1. Patrick, I hope you hear from Andrew. Any new information on this subject would be great!


  3. Patrick Johnson · · Reply

    The cottage is now my next door neighbour. Mary Rose’s legacy is a poignant inspiration. I would dearly like to know more about her.


    1. Patrick, Mary Rose’s Cottage is certainly an inspiration, I to would also like to know more about her. I have heard that she has one relative in the area, it would be amazing to connect with this person, thanks for your comment. My son is also an neighbor on Pine Street North.


      1. Patrick Johnson · · Reply

        Thank you, Ranger. If we pursue this patiently, the chances are that we’ll get answers. Already we know that a certain Andrew is her great grandson. Is he willing to correspond? I would certainly be happy to meet either you or your son or both. Having been born in Jamaica there is a significant admixture of Irish in me, in addition to Heaven knows what else. Whatever it is, the name Mary Rose is incomparably bright in my imagination.


        1. Patrick, I to am getting more interested in Mary Rose and her elusive story. I am Irish back many generations and would like know more about Ireland.


  4. Patrick Johnson · · Reply

    Perhaps for a start we can meet, say, in a coffee shop like Happenstance on the main street?

    If Mary Rose has a descendant living around here then perhaps spreading the idea by word of mouth might lead to the person, though such a person’s privacy is paramount and caution is always recommended.

    Andrew appears to have withdrawn from further comment.

    Best wishes.



    1. Hello-o Patrick. The 2oldgyuys find it preferable to remain anonymous, but thanks for the invitation. If either of us come up with any new information on Rose’s cottage we can converse through we site e/m.


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