Thomas F. Wootten came to Markham from Wiltshire, England along with his parents and siblings, in 1856. He was one of the nine children of David and Eliza (Clifford) Wootten. David Wootten was an innkeeper in Markham Village in the early 1870s. According to the 1871 census, Thomas Wootten was 30 years of age and a shoe maker by trade. His wife was Sarah Jane Brooks. Thomas later took over a local livery business from his brother Albert J. Wootten. He held a contract for conveyance of Her Majesty’s Mails (Queen Victoria at that time), and also served as the village pound keeper. Wootten Way, a relatively recent street east of Markham Village, was named for the family.
George Duncan, Markham Heritage Section
166 Main Street North
Senator David Reesor had this Italianate home built for him in 1876. Mr. Reesor was a very public-spirited man. In 1856, he founded the Economist, “a journal of strong reform proclivities”. David Reesor became a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1860 and remained so until 1867 when he was appointed to the Senate.
159 Main Street North
“Maple Villa”, as it was known, was built for Henry R. Wales in 1845. Henry Wales was born in England in 1822. He learned the carriage and wagon building trade in New York State prior to establishing the Phoenix Carriage Works immediately south-west of his home. The house is Ontario Vernacular with Regency, Georgian and Italian features.
115-117 Main Street North
In 1872, Charles Carleton’s store and dwelling were destroyed in the fire. This Ontario Vernacular building with Italianate features was built the following year to replace these. George W. Reesor and the Nighswander family were later proprietors.
16 George Street
This house in the High Victorian picturesque style was built circa 1890 and is noted for its decorative gable work.
5 George Street
This home was built in the picturesque style, circa 1880, by Alexander Fleury. Fleury operated a foundry that produced agricultural implements, including Fleury’s famous plow, sold worldwide. From 1938 to 1954, Nettie Koch, R.N. ran the Koch Maternity Hospital in this home.
48 Washington Street
This board and batten Ontario Vernacular home was built with picturesque features. Built circa 1870 by Christian Reesor, a Markham farmer and descendant of Markham’s founding Reesor Family, the house operated as the home and office to Dr. Arthur L. Hore, early in the 20th century.
4 Homestead Court
James Robinson built the Ontario Vernacular Farmhouse at 4 Homestead Court in 1879.
The Robinson Properties, Tannery, Woolen Mill, Farm House and Pond
The William Robinson family was amoung the earliest settlers and business people in Markham Village. William’s son John purchased the area at the foot of the Robinson Hill in 1832 and established a pond and tannery there. His son James Robinson operated the tannery business and farmed the area running east from the pond. He also established the Maple Leaf Woolen Mill on the south side of Robinson Street in 1886. The mill was an imposing building with a tower rising 3 storeys above the already four-storey structure. The tower was struck by lightning in 1917 and the mill burned to the ground. Other businesses that thrived in this area included the Levi Jones & Company Foundry which manufactured bells, the Sisman Shoe Factory and Craig Maltloaf Bakery. In 1954 the millpond was washed away by hurricane Hazel. The former pond area was rehabilitated in 2000 by the Main Street Markham Committee. A boardwalk was added, along with storm water management ponds and native plantings.
15-21 Wilson Street
Theses homes, built circa 1900, are examples of Second Empire row housing, typical of dwellings built to house employees of the many mills, foundries and manufactories that made Markham a thriving community in the mid-to-late 19th century.
Corner of Hwy 7 & Main Street Markham
It is on this spot, that the notorious outlaw Red Ryan shot and killed Mr. Stonehouse during a botched auto theft. Red Ryan was a ‘reformed criminal who was out on parole and part of his ‘community service’ was to do a regular radio broadcast of CFRB about the evils of the criminal ways. It was an inspiration to many listeners. The irony was that right after Ryan’s radio Broadcast, Jim Hunter who lived and grew up in Markham was sitting right across the desk from Ryan with the lead story of the terrible murder in quiet Markham.