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210 Thomas Street, St Marys


Address: 210 Thomas Street St Marys, ON

This home was built circa 1883 by Robert Barbour. Mr. Barbour was active in St. Marys as a builder, contractor, and architect from 1854 until his death in 1989. Although not a stonemason, he had a profound impact on St. Marys’ architecture and stone construction. Many masons and stonecutters likely got a start to their careers or gained employment working for him. Barbour was born in Coldstream-on-Tweed, Berwickshire, Scotland in 1826. At 15 years of age, he worked as a joiner apprentice. He and his wife Agnes immigrated to the United States in 1851 where he worked in New York City and Rochester as a foreman for several contractors. When he arrived in St. Marys, he was employed in the Whimster factory and then commenced business for himself as a builder and contractor. Barbour designed and supervised construction projects and was hired by the Town Council in 1865 as “Inspector of the Work” for construction of the West Ward School. In 1871 he was referred to as “designer and builder” of the Garnett House Hotel, Church Street, St. Marys. In The St. Marys Journal, March 24, 1898 edition, the following obituary was printed: The town was shocked on Tuesday afternoon to learn that Mr. R.F. Barbour, an old and well-to-do resident, was found dead in the cellar of his residence. Mr. Barbour was not home to dinner and as the hours wore by and he failed to put in an appearance, Mrs. Barbour became anxious and went out to look for him. He was found dead in the cellar. There was a target at which he had been shooting, a number of bags lying on the floor and stretched upon them in cold death with a bullet hole behind his right ear and his arm holding the revolver laid across his breast, lay the body of the missing man. Medical assistance was summoned but he had evidently been dead for some time. The deceased was 75 years of age, owned considerable real estate in town, including two stores on Queen Street and was in past years identified with municipal and other matters. His widow and a large family of grown up sons and daughters survive him. (source: St. Marys Museum)