Red Grimsby Sandstone and grey limestone from Queenston
Wall Design and Detail
Roof shape and Detail
Roof Trim - Eaves
Roof Trim - Verges
2 or More Attached, Decorative Cap
Roof Trim - Special Features
Structural & Decorative Form
Structural & Decorative Form
Entrance Special Features
Verandah, Posts or Columns
Photos: (Click on the image to view at full size)
Keefer Mansion Historic Photo
Hugh Keefer 1886-1894 T.F. Paterson 1902-1903 John and Mary Jane Conlon 1904-1913 Charles Lee Arthur Anderson Pasquale Santarelli Victor Weaver Walter Windsor John Wilson Mary J. Brittain 1934 Florence Stevenson 1936 Helen Lohnes and Marguerit
Notes on History of the Property
's walk feature.
The Mansion remained the home of the family for only 8 years. The Canada Permanent Loan and Savings Company repossessed the Mansion in 1894 after John and Hugh Keefer’s dwindling fortunes could not cover the back property taxes.
The Mansion had several tenants from 1894 until 1904 (including T.F. Paterson 1902-1903) and was finally purchased by John and Mary Jane Conlon as a private residence in 1904. Mary Jane was the principal owner until 1913, when she then rented the property to Warren J. Curtis. Mr. Curtis was the general manager of the new Ontario Paper Company, sent to Thorold by the Chicago Tribune to build a new paper mill. Niagara Falls supplied an ideal source of low-cost power and the Welland Canal provided the waterways necessary to transport the paper.
The Mansion held several more tenants including owners of several local enterprises until 1934. Residents included names such as: Charles Lee, Arthur Anderson, Pasquale Santarelli, Victor Weaver, Walter Windsor, and John Wilson.
The Mansion was purchased by Mary J. Brittain (a nurse) for $10,500. Ms. Brittain and her family lived onsite while converting the rooms to accommodate a maternity hospital. In 1936, Mary lost the Mansion due to a default on the mortgage. The superintendent of the hospital; Florence Stevenson purchased the building at public auction for $3500 plus municipal taxes. The Mansion continued to operate as a minor surgery hospital (e.g. tonsils and babies). Triplets were born at this site in 1946. Helen Lohnes, a local nurse living in Port Dalhousie purchased the Mansion in 1953 along with a drug clerk, Marguerite Charron.
In 1973, Basil Griffis purchased Maplehurst from Lohnes and Charron and put forth an application to build a three-story addition to the property that would expand the original Mansion. After four years, the Thorold Historical Society lost the battle for conservation and in 1978; Mr. Griffis was given permission to convert the property. The addition however was never built, as the Ministry of Health eventually refused approval, citing a surplus of nursing home beds in St. Catharines/Thorold area.
Maplehurst, operated as a chronic care facility from 1974 until it closed in March 1999 as the result of a provincial consolidation of long term care hospital bed licenses. Mr. Griffis, unable to sell the property, applied for a demolition permit. Mayor Robin Davidson and the council of the day intervened, and purchased the building from Mr. Griffis after denying the permit.
In 2002 the City of Thorold entered into a long-
The Keefer Mansion, Keefer Mansion Inc. http://www.keefermansion.com/content.php?pagename=History