Uncovering the Walls of a Stone Home in Fergus


Scottish settler christened it Thistlebank in 1852, and new owners restore the stone house to new glory.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Holiday/Winter 2017/18 issue of OUR HOMES Wellington County, Orangeville, Caledon, p.52. Find local businesses in our Wellington directory.

After a first visit to Fergus in 1992, this homeowner fell in love with the town’s old stone homes, but the family wasn’t ready for the renovations and repairs they imagined would come with century home ownership. Eighteen years later, after an inspiring vacation among the beautiful stone cottages of Scotland, they returned home to Fergus determined to find a stone home of their own, and they found what they were looking for on Thistle Street.
The family visited the Wellington County Museum and Archives and learned that the original owner, Alexander David Ferrier from Edinburgh, had christened the house Thistlebank in 1852.
Restoration began with Paul Kraemer of Paul Kraemer Quality Construction as lead contractor while Castle Masonry worked on the exterior of the home. The team worked with diligence starting at the rear of the house, working towards the front. A garage that had been added to the side of the house in the 1940s was removed to reveal more stone. The masons kept working.
Inside and upstairs, the owners stripped away layers of old flooring to reveal 1850s wide-plank pine floors, and pulled away lath and plaster wall to reveal interior stone walls.
The family entertains frequently and the large pine island that was a fixture when they bought the house is where guests congregate for drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
They wanted wide-plank floors similar to the original ones upstairs and decided on hemlock planks from Century Wood Products Inc., who also provided hemlock beams to achieve the look they were after. A gas fireplace was installed after Castle Masonry created an artful stone surround that looks like it could be original to the home. An Elmira stove was included in the purchase of the house and adds personality to the room, repurposed into a display for an impressive selection of Scotches.
In the upstairs family bathroom, the rustic theme continues with an exposed stone wall, hemlock beams, beadboard walls, a stunning claw-foot tub and an antique ladder used as a towel bar. Wellington Millwork Inc. created a cabinet and mirror from reclaimed wood fashioned after a jam cupboard in the home’s dining room and topped with leathered granite. A stunning glass shower with textured sea-green tiles completes the bathroom.