The Calcott-Walker House 1875
This house occupies its original site and is comparable to other 19th century residences in the area which makes it a familiar landmark and helps maintain the present character of the neighbourhood.
This ltalianate style house of brick construction has walls which are three bricks thick and a stone fecundation. It was built in 1875 for James Calcott by Isaac Usher. Alterations to the house done c.1938 were designed by architect Robert Ian MacBeth of St. Catharines, who also designed the Registry Building, Art Deco style St. Catharines City Hall, the Central Fire Station in St. Catharines, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, and influenced the design of wartime housing in Niagara.
Features characteristic of the ltalianate style include its boxy profile, topped with a hip roof, projecting eaves, supported by paired decorative brackets and segmentally arched openings capped with brick voussoirs (now obscured under stucco).
Over the years it has undergone several major changes. The 1938 renovation added Colonial Revival elements such as the neoclassical pilasters and fanlight framing the front door and the exterior French doors to the dining room. Restoration work has retained the original style of the windows
Lot 11 on the west side of Carleton St. South came into existence when Dr. Henry Rolls had his large property subdivided in 1853. In 1867 it was sold to James Calcott who had a house built on this lot, but never lived there. The Calcott family rented it out over a period of 38 years and in 1913 it was purchased by the Walkers.
James Calcott was one of the oldest residents of the Niagara District and lived to be clearly 100 years old. His son, George Calcott was a merchant in Thorold and a municipal councilor in 1875 and 1878.
There were many tenants in the house over the years, eg. Robert Smith who owned a grocery store known as ”The Stone Store ” on Front Street; T.F. Cox was agent for the Quebec Bank on Front Street; the Lepper family – James owned a dry goods store on St. Paul St. in St. Catharines; the John H. Thompson family – he was publisher of-the Thorold Post and had a strong background in this business.
The Walker family had an interesting history in the stone quarry business. During the 1980’s and 90’s they expanded to Walker Industries, becoming a large diversified corporation with operations across Ontario; they have a strong presence in the area supporting community and charitable projects.
The house was passed to Donald Walker when Martha Swayze Walker died about 1938. He had the house remodeled before his marriage to Helen Millen of Windsor. Donald was an avid sportsman, a swimmer, golfer and licensed pilot. He served on the Thorold Public School Board and was a member of many clubs and associations. The family moved to St. Catharines in 1953 and sold the house to Dr. Boyce Sherk.
Dr. Sherk was married to Mildred Hare and they raised seven children in the house. Dr. Sherk was a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) and International College of Surgeons, the Royal Canadian Military Institute of Toronto, Niagara Peninsula Military Institute and Western University Club. He served in England with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, founded the St. Catharines Medical Clinic, and later became chief of surgery at St. Catharines General Hospital. All of the children went on to successful careers.
Dr. Sherk died in 1980 and in 1984 Mildred sold the house to Norbert & Sandra Mischke; in 1989 it was sold to the current owners.