26 Nugent Street boasts a little corner cottage, facing the McVicar Creek. This property sprawls two lots and has the most beautiful bricked barn with a bright green door. Sadly this home has seen better days, and better owners. We decided to pop in at the open house (it was available for purchase last fall) and see what it had to offer.
Did you know this home has a very fascinating history? It’s a shame it has gone into such disrepair.
According to city records, the home was built in 1908, and it belonged to Louis Walsh – the coal tycoon. He also built McVicar Manor (1906) – where he lived most of his life.
The home (I think cottage is more appropriate) has two chimneys and a cross gabled roof, and now boasts a very sad facade.
Census records and Henderson’s Directories indicate that years later, Louis’ son Grenville (Gren) Walsh eventually lived in the cottage with his family. Further census records indicate his sister Phyllis Walsh also lived in the home.
The photo above is coming in from the side porch area, into what I assume would have been the dining room, which guides you into the kitchen.
My parent’s home on Court street also has this same type of kitchen flooring – what they call “Battleship linoleum“. As you can see, the kitchen is in terrible condition, along with all of the hardwood flooring.
The banister and stairs are one of the only original house features left in tact.
And look, here’s my dad! At one point (more recently than not) they closed off the opening underneath the stairs with this hideous knotty pine grossness. I believe the white cabinet may have been part of the original kitchen or dining room.
On the other side of the icky wall is a wood burning fireplace, with original light sconces.
And a beautiful coffered ceiling.
This cute builtin cabinet was found upstairs in a random spot. I am guessing some of the manipulation done to this home made it seem like it was in an obscure place.
The second floor master bedroom features a fireplace and access to the balcony overlooking the creek. I didn’t take many photos upstairs, it was too chopped up and confusing to document.
Back to the main floor sunroom… where this beautiful disaster sits.
Due to this disaster directly above.
So much potential – but so much cost. I love this house; sadly it needs new everything – furnace, plumbing, electrical, foundation, roof etc.
BUT the best part of this entire property, is the barn.
It’s gorgeous – red brick with all of the original horse stalls.
This next picture may look a little creepy, but I can assure you – it was awesome-sauce.
The Walsh Family played a gigantic role in Port Arthur history. Not only were Louis and his brother Philip coal tycoons, they also were prominent community figures within the political and societal realms.
Louis and Philip Walsh, along with James and Harry Murphy took over the CPR coal contracts in the 1890s, establishing the Western Stevedore Company. The Walsh brother’s fortune blossomed, and they became landholders all over the city. Eventually they formed their own Company, The Louis Walsh Coal Co.
The Walsh block was constructed on the Corner of Arthur Street (Now Red River Road) and St. Paul. This building was victim to a massive fire in 1916, but was rebuilt and sold to the Zeller’s company in 1936.
Richard Grenville (Gren) Walsh was not only the owner to his father’s coal business after his death, he was also a Port Arthur Councillor (1926-1930) and a mayoral candidate (1951). He played large role in promotion of the automatic telephone dial service in the early forties and he served on the Public Utilities Commission as chairman, twice.
Although the cottage is in extremely forgone condition, I do hope the new owners see the beauty and the history this property holds. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, they’ll restore it OR replace it with something similar, fitting to the time period, utilizing many facets of the original home where the Walsh family lived.
Gren Walsh lived in the Nugent Street Cottage from 1926 until 1950.
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