43 Derby Avenue, Vankleek Hill

43 Derby Avenue, Vankleek Hill

A lovely house, situated on a quiet side street in Vankleek Hill.

You’ll want to move in! A beautiful kitchen and dining area — lots of gorgeous woodwork and the light is wonderful!

One of Vankleek Hill’s nicest heritage homes with the two-storey bay window giving it extra character!

Thanks to the Vankleek Hill and District Historical Society for the house history below!

House History ~ Construction 1896

When Lester Abel Bancroft purchased this lot on Derby Street in 1895, there was only a laneway on the side, not Bond Street that you see today. That laneway led to the large red brick Vankleek Hill High School which later became the Collegiate Institute.
Directly behind the house was the school playfield that in the winter offered a large ice rink used energetically by the students and community. Imagine the crisp evenings filled with the sounds of skates, laughter and hockey sticks slapping pucks.
The house construction began in 1895 with David Steele as master builder. However, mid-construction Mr. Bancroft died. Builder David Steele, who was related to Mrs. Margaret Bancroft, was an executor of the will.
The financial situation for the widow is interesting. The unfinished house and property were evaluated at $1,200. The household furniture and goods at $150. Debts totalled $10. And the mortgage with interest was $1,463.
Construction was completed in 1896, and Mrs. Bancroft lived here 13 years until 1909 when her daughter Daisy married. Perhaps she went to live with Daisy. The house was turned over to son Lester who immediately sold it to William Dunning for $2,051.
It is difficult to pinpoint when the interior finishes were applied. William Dunning was part owner of the Vankleek Hill Manufacturing Company, the largest sawmill in Vankleek Hill. They prided themselves on producing sashes, doors, turned and fancy work. The interior provides contained rooms with elegant mouldings.
The house plan provides two inviting entryways, each with covered porch, at front and side. All the exterior design elements contribute to making this snug home appear airy.
There is a delightful second storey recessed balcony with original gingerbread brackets.
The builder used the roof overhang at each corner of the house as a decorative feature highlighted by large brackets to give the appearance of largesse.
Although the roof looks flat, it is slightly depressed and slanted to allow for the collection of rainwater. The water was directed to a standpipe and travelled down into the basement cistern. Rainwater could be pumped from the cistern to be used for washing and cleaning. A “green” practice that we are envious of today.