THE MARCH HOUSE
A long-time local
landmark that illustrates the early history of March Township and the
type of dwelling built by more prosperous settlers. The March House is
a rectangular, one-and-a-half storey, gable roofed structure
constructed of rough-cut stone laid in irregular courses. Its gable end
faces March Road includes a centrally placed door flanked by large
windows, gabled dormer windows and a recent addition. The original
rectangular windows remain, although the original two- over- two sash
windows have been replaced with one-over-one windows. “Ghosting” on the
brick and an historical photograph indicate that it had a shed roofed
veranda on its north and west facades in the 19th century.
The building was built in the 1850s as a
private house at a time when most settlers were building crude log
structures. Its original owner is unknown but it was occupied by the
McMurtry family, a prominent March Township family, from the 1850s
until the 1890s. During the family’s ownership it remained a private
house. In 1897, it was sold to the Gow family, who operated it as a
General Store and Post Office until 1938. As a grocery store, it was a
hub in the small hamlet of March’s Corners. From the late 1930s it
served a number of functions, ending up as a restaurant in the 1980s.
It was purchased by the City of Ottawa to accommodate the widening of
March Road in 2003.
The above picture of the March House was
part of the report prepared by the City of Ottawa's Development
Services Department for heritage designation by the City of Ottawa's
LACAC (Local Architectual Conservation Advisory Committee). The March
House received Heritage Designation by City Council on October 22,
2003. It however is still at risk due to City budget pressures, the
requirement to relocate it and public apathy regarding its destruction.
(by: Bob Gregory)