johnathan hickling farmstead
Built c 1875 by Jonathon & Elizabeth Hickling
437132 8th Concession
In 1873, Alexander Neilson, holder of an 1867 free crown grant, sold the property to the Hicklings for $1200. The house was built soon afterward. It is believed that Jonathon was uncle to well-known Flesherton merchant Fred Hickling who lived with them for about 6 months when he first arrived from England (1891). Legend has it that Fred operated his first store in one of their front rooms. Circa 1900 the property was bought by John Parsons who farmed there until his death in 1941, after which his son Ranald owned the farm until 1966 when it was sold to the Seminole Fishing Club. Shortly thereafter all but the back portion of the property (abutting the Beaver River) transferred to John Dales and his friend Jim Hickling, a descendant of the original owners. Hickling was bought out, and the property has been owned by the Dales family ever since. There is evidence of a lime kiln on the property (probably used for making mortar to construct the house) as well as a shingle mill and saw mill, both known to have been operated by the Parsons family.
This house is best described as Wilderness Georgian, a description used by Ruth Cathcart on page 18 in “How Firm a Foundation. Although small in scale, Georgian classical balance is certainly apparent. The careful placement in alternating colors of squared fieldstone blocks, including wedge-shaped segments above windows and doors on the front façade is highly unusual. Research by the current owner indicates these stones are cut in the fashion of German masons using the heavy steel blade of a “guillotine” to cut each side of the stone into a flat face (unlike the locally more common practice of Scottish masons who squared only the exterior face leaving the gap between interior & exterior wall to be filled with rubble.) Also of interest is the wooden anchor-board above the first floor on two sides of the structure. This would have been included to provide for construction of a veranda, though no records show that one was ever built.
A simple farmhouse situated on gently rolling escarpment terrain standing strong since 1875: a testament to the will and determination of pioneer settlers.