spoht
 Back
< Previous Stop
   Next Stop >

F5 SIDE TRAIL, CRICKLEWOOD, 54 Cricklewood Cres. (Plaque)

Cricklewood
East of this location surrounded by Townhouses, stands an imposing Georgian house known locally as Cricklewood, although until 1956 the house and surrounding property were called Brooklands. Part of this house was built by Matthias Sanders before 1813. He married the original crown grantee, Elizabeth Denis, daughter of John Denis, a boat-builder and U.E.L. Matthias Sanders was killed in the War of 1812 defending York., and Elizabeth remarried an American adventurer, to her subsequent regret. An early resident at Cricklewood, the Rev. Isaac Fidler, rector of Holy Trinity Church wrote in his diary in 1832:

There is no Anglican rectory and the accommodation available proved far from comfortable. It consisted of half a house, 2 rooms downstairs and 3 above. The upper rooms being lathed, but not plastered, could be seen into from the outside....With two small children and a new baby to care for, Agnes Fidler longed for accustomed amenities. Had the inside of our residence corresponded with the outside, it might have counted among the beauties of Canada. It was delightfully situated on the summit of a hill, not far from the church, and above a pleasant bend of the valley. A perennial stream sufficient at all times to give motion to a grist and saw mill ran through the grounds a little below. In front, but a distance of 300 yards, were the expanded waters of a mill pond....Behind this sheet of water was a thick grove of lofty pines standing on a steep acclivity. The view from the house was extensive and commanded a sight of Yonge St. for a considerable distance on both sides. The village of Thornhill, a thriving and increasing place was surrounded on all sides by families of great respectability....

The manner in which we lived was not very splendid....The house had no oven. One had been built which had fallen into decay. We could sometimes have bread from York....It was not always possible to obtain joints of fresh meat....as there were no butchers or stalls....Our usual drink was tea into which a little whiskey or brandy was infused, sometimes a little wine and water. Mrs. Fidler occasionally procured ale for herself at 8 pence per quart.

Our landlady was a widow and had come originally from New York. The former husband of our landlady had left her family of sons and daughters, with a highly improved farm, with flocks of sheep and herds of cattle and with 500 pounds in money. American republicans have been frequently found prowling up and down Canadian search of something which they might be able to convert to their profit, regardless of the character or welfare of their dupes. Our landlady, a handsome widow, with a handsome fortune was not likely to remain undiscovered. One of them, a physician by profession learned her history, was introduced, gained her heart and married her. He obtained possession also of her cattle, her money, but not of her land, for this was a grant from the government....and she would never part with it. This American...found his way back to the States where he had another wife. The cattle and money...disappeared. Elizabeth Dennis died two years later in 1834, age 53.

Erected by
the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill,
2004 A.D.



Cricklewood plaque.

Cricklewood
Back to image of Cricklewood
< Previous Stop
Next Stop >

 Back

© 2014 The Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill