201 D’Arcy Street South, Cobourg, Ontario
Built about 1842, for Lt.-Colonel D’Arcy Edward Boulton (1814-1902) and his wife, Emily Mary Caroline Heath (1817-1903). This early Victorian white stucco villa was until recently considered among the finest examples of its kind left in Ontario, when it was also known as the Dumble Estate. It was demolished in the 1990s and replaced by “The Lawn Condominium Residences”.
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D’Arcy Boulton grew up at The Grange in a family that was at the centre of Toronto’s ruling “Family Compact”. In 1837, he came to Cobourg come to study law under his uncle, The Hon. George Strange Boulton (1797-1869) who lived at Northumberland Hall. The following year, D’Arcy married Emily Mary Caroline Heath (1817-1903) whose family is best associated with Heathcote.
The Boultons lived all their married life at Cobourg, building their spacious family home in about 1842 which immediately became a social centre for Cobourg’s elite. D’Arcy successfully continued his legal career and served as Mayor of Cobourg in the 1850s. In his capacity as commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) during his visit to Cobourg on his Canadian Tour in 1860.
After Colonel Boulton died in 1902, his widow put the house up for sale. Mary Estelle Brown (1876-c.1970)“a wealthy Pittsburgh socialite”purchased it for use as a summer home. She was the widow of Thomas Mifflin Jones Jr. (1874-1902), nephew of the Hon. Benjamin Franklin Jones Sr. (1824-1903), co-founder of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company who built Braemar Cottage in Cresson.
In the same year that her first husband died, Mary purchased The Lawn and remarried Charles Edward Speer Jr. (1874-1937), the youngest son of the President of the First National Bank. Her son by her first marriage, Thomas Mifflin Jones III (1896-1966) married Katherine Hess (1896-1970) from Philadelphia whose parents had bought Heathcote next door where they summered. Mary and Charles divorced and in 1926 Mary was married for a third time to Lt.-Colonel Wilfrid Chatterton Dumble (1871-1963), C.B.E., of Cobourg.
The Dumbles family had lived at Cobourg since the 1840s when they lived at Dromore. From 1926, The Lawn became known locally as the Dumble Estate. In 1928, Mary made several significant extensions to the house, notably to the north. The wings added either side of the original house were sympathetically done by Darling & Pearson, architects, of Toronto. In 1930, Mary purchased the neighbouring property, Heathcote, and demolished that mansion in order to extend her own already extensive gardens.
The gardens included an old orchard, fountains, a formal pond and a freshwater well. It is presumed to have remained in the Dumble family after Mary’s death in about 1970. By 1991, the house had been divided into apartments but by the following year then owner, Don DePalma, obtained a demolition permit in order to sell it to John Wilson of Wincolm Developments.
Wincolm Developments tore down what had been “one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in Ontario,” but had escaped designation. Some of the original shutterscan still be seen at Blackham’s Hotel in Port Hope. The grand old house itself has been replaced by “The Lawn Condominium Residences”.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 14/11/2018 and last updated on 17/03/2019.
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