Built c 1872-73 by John W. Armstrong
25 Sydenham Street
First owned by J. Beattie, then M. Richardson, in 1871 the property was purchased by John W. Armstrong, prominent merchant and an early settler in Flesherton. Soon after, Armstrong built this large family residence where he lived for 48 years. In 1922, his son-in-law Fred Hickling purchased the house.
F.H.W. Hickling emigrated from England in April 1891 when he was 23 years old. In 1901 he married Adelaide Elizabeth, one of the four Armstrong daughters. (After she passed away in 1941, he later married her niece Dorothy.) Hickling initially worked ten years as a book keeper in the M.K. Richardson store, then spent another five years at the store of J&W Boyd. Although he bought into the partnership with the Boyd Brothers, in 1906 he sold his interest and moved to Sault Ste. Marie. Upon his return to Flesherton in 1911, he opened his own dry goods store at 16 Toronto Street, where he continued to operate until his death in 1961 at age 92. Among his many community activities, he was active in the Masons and also served as town treasurer. Early 2000’s the house was a popular B&B. Randy and Nancy Simon, owners since 2011, are working to repair and restore the property and hope eventually to reopen as a B&B.
A prominent landmark, this Victorian Queen Anne House is found on page 80 in Ruth Cathcart’s “How Firm a Foundation”. The polychromatic brick-work features elaborate segmented window treatments and unusual tri-color courses that divide the elevation. Advancing and retreating wall planes, jutting out bay windows and complicated roof design are typically Queen Anne as are the three ornate chimneys. However the unusual square one-room turret above the main entry shows definite influence of Second Empire style, only just becoming locally popular at time of building. A butler pass-through to the dining room and much original woodwork add interest to the interior.
July 9, 2001 bylaw 2001-48 (Municipality of Grey Highlands). Exterior attributes protected under the designation include all elevations and brickwork, all dormers and brick chimneys, the principal entrance door and windows as well as the pine tree at the NW corner of the house. Interior attributes include original wood trim, decorative plaster and light fixtures as well as the principal staircase. https://greyhighlands.civicweb.net/document/173962