Inge-Va Inderwick Estate

Inge-Va as it appeared in 2018

Inge-Va

Inderwick Estate

At 66 Craig St., in Perth, ON, Built in 1824, of local sandstone.

Who were the Owners?

HARRIS family

1824-1839 – Reverend Michael Harris, came to Perth from Dublin, Ireland, in 1819, the first Anglican minister in the district. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Fanning on September 21, 1819. Mary was the daughter of John Fanning and Sarah Wilson. On November 16, 1822, St. James Anglican Church, Perth, opened for their first service, and in 1824, the elegant stone home at 66 Craig Street was built for their family. Michael and Mary Harris had 11 children, Margaret, Mary, Clifton, Caroline, Harriet, Jane, Emma, John, Robert, Dora, and Michael.

In 1839 the house was sold to Perth lawyer, Thomas Radenhurst.

RADENHURST family

1839-1854 -Thomas Mabon Radenhurst, a prominent lawyer, son of Thomas Radenhurst and Ann Campbell; married his cousin Lucy Edith Ridout, daughter of Thomas Ridout of Toronto, and they had four sons and six daughters. He was elected  to the Legislative Assemby for Upper Canada in July 1828, as the representative for Carleton County. 

Many of Edith’s Children

Died in the House

She lost three children to tuberculosis, one to typhoid, and one to drowning.

Edith Radenhurst, was widowed in 1854, at the age of 42, and continued to live in the house. Between 1855 and 1873 she lost three of her 10 children to tuberculosis, one to typhoid and one to drowning. Mary, died age 33, Frances died age 15, Charles died age 27, Edith died age 30, Thomas died age 11, and Catherine died age 26.

Child’s coffin, of that time

Radenhurst plot, Pioneer Cemetery, Craig Street, Perth, ON

Only four of Edith’s children – George, Anne, William, and Sarah lived into middle age and beyond.

Edith died in 1878, leaving son William, a lawyer, and daughter Annie, to live in the house until 1894. Annie remained single, and moved to Barrie to be closer to her brother, George. William moved his law practice to Toronto.

Archaeologists Discover

Radenhurst Family Dishes

“Thousands of pieces of dishes and kitchenware discovered.”

Some of the lovely ornate dishes, glass pieces, and kitchen items were found at Inge-Va

Archaeologists made a remarkable discovery at Inge-Va in 1988. While excavating the site of a small shed which once contained a toilet, they unearthed thousands of pieces of dishes, glasses and kitchenware.

It is believed that Edith Radenhurst had thrown out everything

used to consume meals

because of her children dying of typhoid and tuberculosis.

Last Fatal Duel

Robert Lyon, a close relative of the Radenhurst family was fatally wounded in 1833, in a duel with rival law student John Wilson over the honour of a local teacher. In Perth, it was known infamously as ‘The Last Fatal Duel’. His body lay at the house for the funeral.

In 1894 the estate was sold to the Inderwick family.

INDERWICK family

As it appeared in 1923 when the Inderwick family resided there

Ella Leaves Wandering Husband

Brings Children to Perth

1894 – 1989 – Ella Inderwick and her three children: John, Basil, and Cyril, moved into the house in 1894. It was said that she had grown tired of following her wandering husband around the world, in a series of unsuccessful business ventures. Their last stop was her wealthy father-in-law’s tea plantation in Sri Lanka where she often heard the workers in the fields calling out, “Inge-Va”, meaning, ‘Come here’.

She named the estate Inge-Va

Meaning, “Come Here”

John, the eldest son, moved to England, married Marjorie Handcock, and they had two children – Patrick and Tony. John died in Devon, England at the age of 67. Basil died at the age of 28, fighting with the 17th battalion in WWI, and is buried in England.

Cyril Inderwick, the youngest of the three sons, remained in Perth, joined the Royal Navy, and served in WWI. He lived in the West Indies, and on the west coast of Africa. After WWII, he returned to Perth and married Winnifred ‘Winnie’ Shaw, in 1946, at St. James Anglican church. Winnie was the daughter of Alexander Shaw and Elizabeth Denny. They did not have any children. Cyril became President of the Perth Museum, and was keen on preserving history and specifically heritage buildings. He died at age 67, in 1962.

Inge-Va Donated to

Ontario Heritage Trust

Cyril’s wife, Winnifred ‘Winnie’ Shaw Inderwick, local historian and philanthropist, donated the property to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1974. Through a life-tenancy agreement she remained in the house until her death in 1989.

Ontario Heritage Trust

From the Ontario Heritage Trust site – an interactive map of Inge-Va’s rooms

Click on link to take a virtual walking tour through Inge-Va:

https://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/properties/inge-va

What Became of Inge-Va?

Inge-Va, 66 Craig St., Perth, ON, in 2006

In recent years, the estate appeared to be abandoned, and the grounds overgrown.

In a committee meeting in October 2020, the Perth town council discussed a letter received from a concerned citizen – Lynda Haddon. Haddon stated that Inge-Va was in a dilapidated state.

Together with 16 Perth and district gardening and landscaping volunteers, Haddon maintained and beautified the grounds of Inge-Va in the years between 2004 and 2010. She was also an active member on the house’s Board from 2006 to 2010. The Board attempted to ensure that that there was usually a tenant on site, like the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce, and that the grounds were tidy and buildings were maintained. The Ontario Heritage Trust resumed responsibility for Inge-Va in 2010. Haddon believed that property has gone downhill since then, pointing out that there was no access to the house or the gardens.

Council agreed that Inge-Va appeared to be neglected, and stated that Ontario Heritage Trust is responsible for the property. Council promised to contact Ontario Heritage Trust and said they would investigate further, once they had received a response from Ontario Heritage Trust.

(from the Ottawa Valley News, published Oct. 8, 2020)

In March of 2021, the Perth town council’s voted to sign a one-year agreement with the house’s owner, the Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT), to have volunteers assist in garden restoration at the Craig Street location. The Ontario Heritage Trust promised to provide $2,000 toward the upkeep.

photo: “Inside Ottawa Valley”, “Perth Courier”, Desmond Devoy

Archaeological Treasures

“Inge-Va’s archaeological value is one of its most important characteristics. Excavations carried out from 1987-1994 recovered approximately 50,000 artifacts, 15,000 of which came out of an abandoned privy. This pit contained over 350 china objects and 280 glass objects. Items recovered from the privy include 10 different sets of tableware, 280 bottles, 71 wine glasses, 108 pharmaceutical and toiletry bottles, 16 chamber pots and seven toiletry sets. These items were discarded in an attempt to rid the house of tuberculosis. These objects provide a unique insight into how medical threats were addressed in the latter part of the 19th Century.”

Source: Ontario Heritage Trust Easement Files

(most of these items are being held in Toronto, ON)

Last Fatal Duel

Controversy

Perth Historical Society member, Ron Shaw, has suggested that Inge-Va may not actually be the site of the last fatal duel in the province, as engraved on the plaque, although the body of Robert Lyon is believed to have been carried to Inge-Va for the funeral.

Shaw writes,“an eyewitnesses testified at the Wilson trial, Robert Lyon died where he fell in that North Elmsley Township field,” though Lyon’s body was indeed carried to Inge-Va House, then home of Thomas Mabon Radenhurst (1803-1854), “under whose tutelage Lyon was studying law.”

“(the duel) was fought on the west bank of the Tay River, about 100 yards south of South Street, at a point midway across the width of North Elmsley Township … then the farm of John Ambrose Hume Powell.”

The plaque outside of Inge-Va House on 66 Craig St. states: “Here died the victim of the last fatal duel fought in this province.”

The location of the plaque on the grounds at Inge-Va

Last Fatal Duel placque at Inge-Va

Source of Last Fatal Duel controversy – ‘The Record News’, Sept. 10, 2021

Future of Inge-Va

We can only hope that Inge-Va continues to be valued and treasured by her custodians, and that both the stately house along with the historic grounds are maintained and preserved for future generations.

http://www.staffordwilson.com

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