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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1870 The Gooderham Mansion is built in Meadowvale

“In 1870, The Gooderhams built a large red brick Georgian Survival style mansion, decorated with ornate Italianate features at a cost of $30,000, for William’s youngest son, Charles Horace, known as Holly (b.1842, d.1915), who was to operate the mill and store. William had purchased Hugh Bell’s original 100 acre (40 ha) grant, Lot 11, Con. 2, WHS, from Bell on October 23, 1865, for $3,300. George Gooderham leased 94 acres (37.6 ha) in January, 1870. The elegant two story house sat on the remaining six acres (2.4 ha) at the northeast corner of Derry Road and Second Line, just east of the property once owned by Francis Silverthorn and now part of the Gooderham estate. It had 21 rooms with a separate wing for the servants’ quarters. While this homestead was under construction, Charles and his wife, Eliza Folwell, who were married on September 30, 1862, resided in the millworkers houses. Charles had been brought from Toronto to Streetsville in 1860 to run the Gooderhams’ Alpha Knitting Mills. This is where he and Eliza met. They eventually had ten children. Once settled, he put up a small building for a school and 13 Gooderham children were taught by a governess. This was later used as a Band Hall until it was torn down in 1920. After Holly left the area in 1884, the 10,000 square foot (870 m2) changed hands many times over the years.”… “In 1895, John Watt Sr., Louise Gooderham Southern’s maternal grandfather, bought it for $2,000. and called it ‘Rose Villa’ and used it as a tourist resort to accommodate Toronto’s elite.

Gooderham Mansion – Rose Villa

George Chavingnaud, an artist, bought it for $3,000.”… “The fourteenth owner, Paul Horvat, bought it in 1979 and used it for people to demonstrate their crafts at which time Louise Southern was the house captain.”… “In 1997, Monarch Development took it over for its sales presentation office. Monarch spent over $500,000 renovating the mansion. Over the next four years Monarch built authentic Victorian homes to augment the historical atmosphere of the tiny hamlet of Meadowvale. ” The Gooderhams left behind a beautiful two storied structure that over the years would draw people in to check out its opulent elegance and explore its interior. The house was designated a heritage house when Meadowvale became a Heritage District in 1980, and it is now a private school, called Rotherglen Montessori School, which is located 929 Old Derry Road.

Excerpt from Meadowvale to Millennium by Kathleen Hicks, copyright 2004 Mississauga Library System


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