Almonte’s Distinguished Homes -1982

In the spring of 1982, the Almonte General Hospital Auxiliary organized a fund-raising house tour, of some of Almonte and area’s most distinguished homes.

“The 750 tickets printed for the tour sold out in record time,

weeks before the tour date of June 16th.”

It was the first time in the history of the Almonte house tours that the tickets sold out so quickly. The cost was $8.00, and the proceeds were to help the building fund for the Almonte General Hospital.

Hanna House

The Hanna House – was on Highway 29, just outside of Almonte, and the property owners were, Dr. Alexander ‘Sandy’ Hanna, (1917-1989), (son of Isaac Alexander Hanna, Millicent Elgey Chesney), and his wife, Ann ‘Nan’ (Dalgity) Hanna), (1919-2008), along with their children, Allan, Brian, and Susan. Ann ‘Nan’ was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and her parents were John Watt Dalgity (1895-1963) and Lizzie Mason Houston, (1892–1979).

“The Hanna House was built in 1981,

with retirement and space for horses in mind.”

“The focus of this bright and cheerful home

is the 26-ft high main floor hallway.”

“The 1981-built Hanna home.

set in rolling farmland.”

“Custom designed by their son, Brian, a Regina architect.”

Sheffield House

Sheffield House owners: Judge Alan Sheffield, son of James Garfield ‘Shep’ Sheffield and Viola (Mullin) Sheffield of Arnprior, and Heather (Jardine) Sheffield, their children: Jennifer, Sarah, and Emily.

“Built in 1966, the four-bedroom home, with a pool,

features interesting decor.”

“This comfortable modern Georgian style house

is home to Judge and Mrs. Sheffield,

and their three daughters.”

Henderson House

(also known as Glenelvin Farm)

Dr. Ian Henderson, (1928-2006) and his wife, Jane (Mitchell) Henderson bought Glenelvin Farm in Ramsay Township in 1973. Dr. Henderson was born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland

“This rambling country home was built in 1836,

with additions completed in 1890.”

“At the end of a long lane

lined with century old cedars, is Glenelvin.”

“The rambling country home began its history

as a small log farmhouse.”

Rintoul House

The Rintoul House was located along Highway 29 to Pakenham, near the Cedar Hill turn-off, and the property owners were Laurie Winston Rintoul, and his wife, Janet Ray (Anderson) Rintoul.

Background: Laurie’s parents were George Alva Rintoul and Helen Elizabeth Somerville. Janet’s parents were John Anderson and Irene Hargreaves.

“The tongue and groove cedar paneling

represents many hours of work

as the lumber was cut on a local woodlot,

aged, prepared, and applied by Mr. Rintoul.”

Graves House

“Marney Graves, (1919-2014), purchased

the log house in 1978 for $1,750,

and began extensive renovations.”

“Graves, a decorating consultant,

has restored and refinished most of the interior

of the old log cabin herself.”

Marny Graves was a well-known Decorating Consultant,

and beautified homes in both Almonte and Ottawa.

Margaret ‘Marny’ (Hardwick) Kemp Graves, born in London, England, daughter of William Hardwick, and was married in 1952, to George Garland Graves (1916-1973). Marny came to Canada in 1947, and worked in the advertising department at the “Ottawa Journal” for 15 years. She worked for 10 years as the Decorating Consultant and Curator at Laurier House, a Victorian mansion in downtown Ottawa, and former residence of Prime Minister William Lynon Mackenzie King. In 1974 she was on site at Laurier House for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mackenzie King’s birth.

In an article about the 100th Anniversary celebrations at Laurier House, Marny spoke about the collection, and of Mackenzie King, “You can almost feel him in some of the rooms.”, “The third floor study was Mr. King’s favourite room”

According to the article: “He would work at every opportunity from the study rather than his Parliament Hill office. On every available ledge and wall area there are photographs, paintings, statuettes and other keepsakes collected by the bachelor Prime Minister. According to Marny, “It was what one might call organized clutter.”

Marny Graves, while she was the Advertising Manager for Armstrong and Richardson

From there, she secured a position with Armstrong and Richardson Shoe Stores, and was the Advertising and Display Manager, responsible for store decor. In the 1980s, Marny worked as the Advertising Manager for Neta Clarke Real Estate, where she specialized in decor, specifically preparing a house for sale so it was more attractive for prospective buyers, what later became known as ‘staging’ a house.

Marny Graves – during her career with Neta Clarke Real Estate

The five-bedroom home was converted to a two-bedroom house

Sadly, Marny Graves, age 94, passed away at the Almonte Country Haven, on September 16, 2014.

The Almonte House Tour of 1982 was surely one that stands out as an event featuring some of the areas loveliest and most stately homes.

I wonder who lives in these beautiful houses today, after many decades have gone by?

Please comment below with your memories and thoughts on these lovely homes.

Sources for Almonte’s Distinguished Homes – 1982:

Article on 100th Anniversary Celebrations at Laurier House, Ottawa – “The Ottawa Citizen”, Dec. 14, 1974, p. 25

Clippings from “The Almonte Gazette” , May 5, 1982, p. 6 and

“The Ottawa Citizen”, Saturday, May 15, 1982, p. 79

Arlene Stafford-Wilson

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