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Common Name The Keefer Mansion
Municipal Address 14 St. Davids St. West

Building Demolished No
Postal Code L2V 2K9
Local Municipality Thorold
Province Ontario
Construction Date 1886
Type of Recognition Individual Designation of Property
Project Name Building Stories Podcast Series
Building Historic Use Residence Estate
Building Current Use Commerce/Commercial Services Hotel, Motel or Inn
Building Form
Massing Units Single Detached Single Detached
Storeys 2 1/2 2 1/2
Main Exterior Wall
Stone     Other
Stone other Red Grimsby Sandstone and grey limestone from Queenston
Wall Design and Detail Quoins Quoins
Roof shape and Detail
Roof Type Hip Hip
Roof Trim - Eaves Decorated Decorated
Roof Trim - Verges Decorated Decorated
Dormers Plain Gable Plain Gable
Chimneys 2 or More Attached 2 or More Attached, Decorative Cap Decorative Cap
Roof Trim - Special Features Cresting Cresting
Typical Window
Structural Opening Flat Flat
Structural & Decorative Form Lug-Sill Lug-Sill
Main Entrance
Location Centre (facade) Centre (facade)
Structural Opening Pointed/Arched Pointed/Arched
Structural & Decorative Form Shaped Transom Shaped Transom
Entrance Special Features 2 Leaf 2 Leaf
Entrance Stair Ground Floor Ground Floor
Main Porch Verandah Verandah, Posts or Columns Posts or Columns
Property Features
Landscape Garden Garden, Trees Trees
Architect C.W.Mulligan
(Click on the image to view at full size)
Keefer Mansion Historic Photo
Keefer Mansion Historic Photo

Historic Owner 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-
Sources The Keefer Mansion, Keefer Mansion Inc.
Statement of Significance
Audio Play audio
Last updated 2013-12-16 10:11:01.497
Group Heritage Resources Centre
Added By HRC Admin
Date Added October 25, 2013
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