The Bowen house is located on lot 16 of the Third Concession of Lansdowne in Leeds & 1000 Islands Township. The land was originally granted by the Crown to Lovell Beach in 1803. However, in 1815, Israel Bowen purchased all 200 acres from Mr. Beach for approximately 56 Pounds. Over time, the land was severed off to other Bowen family members as well as to newcomers to the area.
(View Land Registry files)
Today the property is owned by Chris Smith. The house is terribly dilapidated and has been stripped of all interior contents. Some of the walls of the home have been vandalized and the original bricks stolen. The walls are three bricks thick. The bricks are of particular interest because they were thought to have been made on the property. It is believed that in the field closest to Fairfax Road there once existed a site where the bricks were manufactured. The bricks are a yellowish/orange colour. It is also interesting to note that there stands a house on Union Road that has been manufactured from the same bricks.
In the corner of what was once the kitchen stands a water pump. The inside of the house has been ransacked. The floors are very weak as are the remaining walls. To the west of the house stands a small shed. The wood of this shed was cut with a straight saw. Currently, there are parts of a wooden washing machine, wooden ladders, crates, scraps of wood, parts of ploughs and other miscellaneous items in the shed. (Research findings of August 1993)
Interview with Eric Webster...
Eric Webster's mother, Gertrude Bowen Webster was born and raised in the Bowen house. Gertrude's parents were William Nelson Bowen (1860-1956) and Martha (McMullen) Bowen (1866-1953). Nelson and Martha had three children: Gertrude, Ruby (who later married Clarence Eligh) and Ford, a son who died at a very young age.
Gertrude Bowen married Wilfred John Webster. Wilfred John Webster's parents were Robert John Webster and Louisa McCullough. Wilfred's grandparents were John B. Webster (1828-1904) and Frances Foley (1824-1916).
Nelson Bowen (Gertrude's father) was the son of Israel J. Bowen (1825-1892) and Elizabeth McConnell (1838-1877).
Israel Bowen was the son of John Lamb Bowen (1790-1862) and Mary Neil (1792-1846). John Lamb Bowen was the son of Israel Bowen (1748-184?).
John and Israel came to Canada from the USA in 1796 and settled at Lansdowne in 1812. More about Israel Bowen...
Originally the land consisted of 200 acres, but eventually the Bowens were in possession of 100 acres.
The house has been vacant since either 1939 or 1940. John "WES" Burns was the last to live there and he had lived there for about 20 years. After 1940 Eric Webster and his family only used the house during the summer when they were drawing hay. The house was furnished with a few articles as well as dishes, a table and chairs. The Websters would have lunch and sometimes supper at the house during a day of haying.
Eric Webster's grandfather, William Nelson Bowen was a Captain in the No. 4 Company 42nd "Brockville" Battalion of Infantry in 1891. Mr. Webster has a sword and a few of the Captain's uniforms. More about Captain W. N. Bowen...
Gertrude Bowen Webster was a poet. Eric Webster has several collections of her writings, in book form as well as newspaper clippings. Her writings are passionate and yet simple. Her works also appear to be very personal; topics of everyday life.
Gertrude Webster also kept daily journals and Mr. Webster has many of these diaries dated as far back as 1900. He also has a list of titles of all the works that his mother produced. More about Gertrude Bowen Webster...
Mr. Webster has the original deeds for the land, several photographs, a very detailed family tree with accompanying pictures, and several newspaper articles about family members. See side panel to view Land Documents for this property.
Mr. Webster also noted that there once was a saw mill on the property. When he took over the land he found several large logs and signs of a saw mill once being present. Any additional information about this sawmill would be greatly appreciated by the Historical Society.
(Personal interview conducted with Eric Webster at his home on Warburton Road, Lansdowne on August 20, 1993, by Lisa Thompson)
Interview with Clare Landon...
Clare Landon's grandparents, Oscar and Nancy (Webster) Landon were friends with Nelson and Martha Bowen. Oscar Landon was Fair President and Reeve of Lansdowne at one time.
Reece Webster (a first cousin of Nancy Webster) was Manager of the Lansdowne Telephone Company at one time.
Byron Landon (Clare's brother) is married to Martha Landon.
(Telephone interview conducted with Clare Landon on August 20, 1993, by Lisa Thompson)
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