Compatibility with Heritage Environs
95 King St. W. sits proudly among other commanding residences (many of them older) and religious structures along King Street West and side streets such as Church. Neighbouring buildings include: Beaver Hall at 75 Kings St. W. (2 buildings to the east, 259 King St. W., and the Victoria Rose Inn at 279 King St. W. A short distance to the south on Church Street are a commanding Italianate Style residence, and Christ Church with its integrated rectory (designed by the same architect as 95 King St. W.).
The polychromatic exterior is an adaptation of colours derived from archival and paint analysis of different periods and, fundamentally, is in keeping with the Queen Anne Revival Style, while at the same time offering a balance to the towered exuberance of its neighbours such as 279 King St. W.
The site around 95 King St. W. is consistent with its early 20th century origins as demonstrated by early images of the property. The front/north and west/side elevations are prominently visible to the streetscape, there are a select number of trees that do not obscure these façades, and the primary ground cover is a lawn. Variations over time include the arrangement of shrubbery and flower beds, but these play a secondary role to the above landscape features. While provision for parking and cars is not original, accommodation for the automobile was an early alteration, as the first owner F.J. Skinner not only had the means to purchase a vehicle, but he also produced components for them, and required regular use of the vehicle for both his work as an MLA and a car part manufacturer.
Community Context/Landmark Status
Recently painted with bright colours, and situated on a corner lot along a principal municipal street that is also a traditional regional east-west highway, 95 Kings St. W. is an eye-catching structure.
The building has also been prominent by virtue of its owners or the accommodation it offered. F.J. Skinner was already an influential man in Gananoque when he commissioned its design and construction. His significance increased in the next near-30 years of his life, as his business prospered by addressing new technologies, and because of his two terms as a member of the Ontario Legislature.
Subsequent owners were not as prominent in business or civic affairs, but the alternate forms of accommodation offered in the structure over the years has maintained a prominence of sufficient stature for the building, such as with: early tourist accommodation, as a nursing home, notoriety stemming from an ill-fated attempt to re-zone the property for commercial use as an art gallery and, after 1999, as a bed and breakfast which since 2002 has offered a wide package of options beyond standard overnight accommodation.
Sleepy Hollow Bed & Breakfast, owner’s research file and website http://www.sleepyhollowbb.ca/ . Work on the building evidently continued until 1906, as documented by a piece of paper recently found in a built-in bench in the entrance hall which states: “Frank Wright, Painter, January 26, 1906.”
Donald H. Akeson, The Irish in Ontario: a study in rural history, chapter 6, “Gananoque 1849-71,” (McGill – Queen’s University Press, 1984 and 1999), p. 287, 299-304.
R.G. Dun and Co., “Leeds Co., Canada West,” p. 86, in Akeson, The Irish in Ontario, “Gananoque 1849-71,” p. 287, 299-304.
Akeson, The Irish in Ontario, “Gananoque 1849-71,” p. 289 and 291.
Gananoque Historical Society Newsletter, Special Ed., 1990, p. 4.
Sleepy Hollow Bed & Breakfast, owner’s research file, F.J. Skinner obituary, n.s., 4 November 1933; Skinner family mausoleum, Willow Bank Cemetery; Canadian Register of Commerce and Industry, ca. 1959, held in the University of Western Ontario, and Akeson, The Irish in Ontario, “Gananoque 1849-71,” p. 304.
The shaft or handle of a scythe.
Either of two curved pieces of wood and/or metal fastened over the collar of a draught horse, used to attach the traces (each of pair of ropes, chains, or straps connecting the collar of a draught animal with the swingle-tree (cross-bar pivoted in the middle, to ends of which traces are fastened in a cart, plough, etc.) of a vehicle).
Frank T. Lent: Sound Sense in Suburban Architecture: containing Hints, Suggestions, and Bits of Practical Information for the Building of Inexpensive Country Houses (Frank T. Lent, Cranford, New Jersey, 1893); Sensible Suburban Architecture: containing Suggestions, Hints, and Practical Ideas, Sketches, Plans, etc., for the Building of Country Homes (Frank T. Lent, Tremont Building, Boston, 1894); Summer Homes and Camps: containing Suggestions, Hints, and Practical Ideas, Sketches, Plans, etc., for the Building of Summer Homes (Frank T. Lent, Tremont Building, Boston, 1899); and Ah, Wilderness! Resort Architecture in the Thousand Islands, Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey, Guest Curator, Dorothy Farr, Supervising Curator, Exhibition Catalogue, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, 2004, p. 94-97
Biographical information and quote from, Freeman Britton, Souvenir of Gananoque and the Thousand Islands, privately published by the publisher of the Gananoque Reporter, quoted in Ah, Wilderness! p. 96.
Commissioned by Charles McDonald of Gananoque, the tower was part of the Fire House complex with the portion below the clock level serving as the hose drying chamber—the chimes could also ring to a code that indicated what area of town a fire or emergency had been noted. See, Gananoque Historical Society Newsletter, no. 4, Feb. 1986, p. 39; and Gananoque Clock Tower, heritage plaque.
E.g., Avery Obituary Index of Architects and Artists (Boston).
Gananoque Historical Society Newsletter, no. 4, Feb. 1986, p. 39.
Gananoque Band Stand, heritage plaque.