A few years ago, I bought a couple of old black and white snapshots from Louise, owner of the delightful vintage boutique, Jones & Co., on Wyandotte Street East in Olde Walkerville (Windsor). This particular photo caught my eye because the house in the background reminded me of the charming English style cottage homes that line a few of the roads and cul de sacs south of Ottawa Street.
Known as “Community Homes” these wooden or brick houses were designed and built for the Walkerville Land and Building Co. in the 19 teens by W. N. McEachren & Sons Limited. In addition, the commercial building on the corner of Ottawa and Kildare Streets is one of their structures.
One day, I drove slowly through that neighbourhood hoping to find a house that matched the one in the photo. My mission was impossible however, in part because several of the homes have been altered over the years.
Or, it’s could be quite likely that these little girls were photographed in front of one of the thousands of other Community Homes built by the same company throughout Ontario including Toronto, Brantford, Kingston, Brockville, Niagara Falls, Welland, Port Colborne, Amherstburg, Leamington and Essex, as well as Lansing, Michigan.
I have an original McEachren booklet describing their products as:
“… proven by living people to be Beautiful, Practical, Substantial. The designs and plans are the final creations of Foremost English and American Authorities on Home Architure and Construction. Economy is the controlling thought in these plans – not economy that merely cheapens but that which eliminates all unnecessary costs without sacrifice of appearance, strength or utility.
McEachren Built-Homes are truly Better-Built, better to look at, better to live in and better to last.”
A quick Google search did not reveal if the company lasted but their South Walkerville homes certainly have.