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The Stevenson House

 

house2Built in 1859, the Stevenson house was constructed in the “Italianate” style. It was one of the first in Napanee to be constructed in this style which is characterized by a cubic shape, a rather low-pitched roof with deep eaves decorated with carved brackets. This style later became very popular in Napanee through the 1870’s.

A notable feature of the interior is the ceilings with beautiful painted moldings which had been ordered by Mrs. Stevenson.

house3At the time of its construction, the house stood very prominent on a hill (known later as “Piety Hill”) surrounded by tall pine trees. Descendants of these trees still stand amongst others on the large lot.

The house was extensively renovated at the turn of the last century when it was purchased by millionaire financier, John A. Shibley. There were improvements made to floors and walls with installation of plumbing and electricity.

 

Fortunately, the basic layout of the house has remained unchanged over the years and has remained a one-family dwelling.

John Stevenson

john stevensonJohn Stevenson was a very successful businessman and politician. Born in New Jersey in 1812, he came to Canada when a child, and eventually settled in the Napanee area. He had a variety of business interests, mainly lumber.

He purchased the Commercial Mart building in Kingston in 1864 which was to remain a piano factory under different names until 1939. In 1883, the name of the factory changed from Weber & Co. to Stevenson & Co. 

Stevenson became active in politics during the 1860’s and in 1867 became the first speaker of the new Ontario Legislative Assembly. He gave up politics in 1871 and left the operation of the piano factory to his sons and a nephew.

John Stevenson died in Napanee in 1884. His grandson acquired the piano factory in 1893 and sold it. The house remained with the Stevenson family until 1897.

 

More Pictures...

Exterior Interior (Before the instruments arrived)