Farmer's Store

The Land Registry for Lot 10, Concession I, Ernestown suggests title to 152 acres was passed from the Crown to John Davy in November, 1803. In reality this was merely the start date for land registry records as the land actually passed to Davy in 1784/85 with the first wave of Loyalist settlement.

In April 1812, Davy sold part of the lot to William Mackee for £70 and in September 1813 Mackee took out a mortgage on 1 acre 7 rods for £480. This is the land from Church and Main Street west to the edge of Mrs. Ham's lot and down to the water, and it seems there must have been improvements on the lot by 1812/1813.

In May 1815, Mackee's widow sold the lot to Darius Dunham - the committee of the Farmer's Store for £700. George Ham was a committee member of the Farmer's store which he left amicably in November 1816.

Figure 1. Announcement of George Ham leaving the Farmer's Store, Kingston Gazette, January 25, 1817.

In the History of Lennox and Addington(1) it notes that in the early days Bath was considered the centre of the county for business and Henry Lasher ran the Farmer's Store there. Though the store was operated for the farmers, the profits were pocketed by the committee, usually going to the middle men. It further indicates Lasher bought out the committee, one by one.

In June 1818, the N 3/16 acre end of the lot was sold to George and Peter Ham for £50. This was what the Registry Office later labeled 'Mrs. Ham's Lot'.

Given the personality of George Ham, one might wonder what it took to buy him out. In addition, why did Lasher give up the most visible parcel of land at the intersection? Is it possible the foundation of Ham House was constructed as early as 1812 by Mackee and George and Peter took on the incomplete building, completing it by 1818?


1. Walter S. Herrington, "History of the County of Lennox and "Addington", The Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd., 1913