Peter and Chippewa – Then and Now

From Frederick Neal’s “Township of Sandwich” in 1909:

    Looking from the intersection of Peter street, west to the Detroit River. The two old fashioned dwellings on the right of the picture are said to be much over 100 years old and were silent witnesses of the war of 1812 and the rebellion of 1837-38.

I believe that one of the two houses mentioned in the caption above is still standing at 382 Chippewa.

While horribly maintained over the years, it would appear that this house certainly dates from the early 1800’s and may be one of Windsor’s oldest standing buildings. It is not currently listed on the heritage register.

9 Comments:

  1. very interesting post, I’d like to know more about that last photo and the house itself.

  2. Amazing, Cries out for some serious urban archaeology.

  3. I have long studied the houses and buildings in the area and have looked at the historic registries of Windsor and surrounding towns, sadly many hidden gems have never been identified that I have personally identified.
    I’m not an expert on the subject by any stretch, but looking at both pictures, this very well could be one of the oldest homes in Windsor (and the area for that matter).
    It’s heavily covered up and there have been modifications, but with the state and shape it is, looks simple timber framed…older than 1850 at minimum.
    What a shame.

  4. Looking back at this house, it is most certainly the same one. The side in the modern picture shown above is heavily modified to add an upstairs apartment, however when looking at the far side, you can see the exact same positioning of the windows as in the older picture. They too have been modified, but on Google maps you can see where the cut outs are.
    If this house was identified in 1909 and the people knew then it was over 100 years old, it would make this dwelling one of the oldest in the entire region.

  5. Mary Ann Bensette

    Shawn the doors are in the same place as when I was a child leading into the two homes…it was 556 Chippewa St. where we lived …if this is the same home…
    my Mom’s cousin lived in a home down the other end of the street near the river the South side and it was a large home on the corner of Sandwich and Chippewa St.it was two story with a porch a lovely old home .
    interesting…
    Fanes Nelson..this will be a great project to try and get answers…Mary Ann

  6. I have contacted the heritage planner for the city, and it looks like he may add it with a bit more research. It is 100% the same house from the 1909 pic. And if they say in 1909 it was over 100, it would make it an original home on a British Grid Lot within Sandwich Town. (1797-1812) let’s say.

  7. It sometimes drives me crazy thinking about all the 200+ year old homes around town hiding behind layers of siding and alterations. I wonder if the owner of 382 Chippewa is aware of this post and the interest in the home?

  8. I doubt very much the owner knows or cares. But it drives me crazy too John!
    There is likely only a handful left, and they’re ALL hiding.

    Looking at the city registry, majority of homes are from the 1880s and up.
    A few 1870s, very few 1860s, extremly few 1850s, one or two 1840s (that I actually think are newer oddly enough), no 1830s, no 1820s, two or so 1810s, and two or so 1790s – 1800s.

    Where are the silent witnesses to the rebellion of 1838? Surely there are some others left. I have often pointed out random homes throughout the city and county, and know some have a secret to their age.

    I wish we could identify them all. It’s a personal mission.

  9. The problem in identifying them is that, architecturally, they won’t “show” signs of their age. A Victorian can be stucco’d or covered in vinyl siding but the geometry will still give it away. A former log cabin not so much. I’ll bet a lot of them were repurposed as garages/workshops in the rear of properties around the city. Or removed completely. There is a fabled cabin on Knapp’s Island in A’Burg that was supposed floated there from somewhere around Windsor or Lasalle. Anyone who could ever answer these questions from first hand experience is sadly long since passed on.

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