(aka) f.t. hill candy factory
Built c 1895 by George Haskett
81 Main Street East
William Haskett was a prominent early settler to Markdale. 1860’s records show him operating a hotel with his brother Robert in what was then called “Cornabus”. 1867 William’s older brother George walked from Owen Sound to help open a tin-smith business which in 1874 they expanded into a hardware store located at the south-east corner of Toronto & Main. A substantial brick house c.1895 was built on land subdivided from lot 101 (1854 crown grant 50 acres to George Walker). 1918, G. Haskett’s widow sold to F.T. Hill who later used the building to make “hard” candy, and also for worker housing. 1950’s he also made chocolates. After F.T.’s 1962 death, the building was abandoned until sold by his estate in 1967 at which time it reverted to again being a residence. Extensive additions, renovations, and restorations by subsequent owners have ensured the preservation of this (by local standards) unique heritage landmark.
Local red brick likely from Bowler Brickworks in Cheeseville is used in an unusual double-brick “common bond” pattern where the number of stretcher rows flanked by header rows varies between the standard five to as many as eight. Windows with rounded corners are defined by “eared” buff-color vousoirs framed in black brick, then further enhanced by “banding” in an unusual variation of a locally popular motif. Ornate Tuscan-style frieze and cornices supporting eaves and the entablature over an advancing bay results in a unique blend of “Italianate” with neo-classical. A complex pattern of crown moldings and well-crafted bas-relief ceiling medallions grace the interior. Plaster cornices and wide oval arches that frame bay window spaces are reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance architect Palladio whose designs later became a popular classic revival style in England and “the colonies”. The covered semi-circular porch added 2013 features reproductions of original cornice and frieze detailing. The mullioned, five-sided conservatory added to the west side in 1997 offers a good view of other historic homes. Rear additions also compliment the house.
The Haskett Brothers and Franklin T. Hill were prominent citizens who contributed greatly to the economic development of Markdale. Chocolates and other candy from 81 Main East would have been sold at F.T. Hill stores throughout Southern Ontario. Students playing hooky from neighboring Beavercrest School could generally be tracked down next door.
July 6, 2015, bylaw 2015-44 Municipality of Grey Highlands. Physical design attributes include decorative brickwork, cornice & frieze, interior arches & moldings.
Link to designation bylaw: http://www.greyhighlands.ca/downloads/1594.pdf