Thursday, August 15, 2019


These two pre-confederation homes have me obsessing over this quaint Norfolk County lakeside community.

Millar House, 45 Prospect Street, Port Dover, ON

Battersby House, 93 Prospect Street, Port Dover, ON

I have always had a soft spot for Port Dover, spending many summer weekends of my childhood there, but I had no idea the homes would be luring me back over the sun, waves and golden glows (get your fix at the Arbour, turning 100 this year!).

I am still focused on raising the profile of #HamOnt’s character homes but Port Dover is our version of Muskoka to Toronto. If dreams had no limits, these two properties would be the ultimate weekend/vacation home for Hamiltonians to escape, or permanent possibilities for those willing to take on a 1-hour commute to Hamilton, or 2-hours to Toronto (in no traffic!). Love makes you do crazy things and these two homes, just might!

45 Prospect Street, Port Dover, ON circa 1857

This grand Georgian heritage designated home, with its distinctive rooftop belvedere, overlooks the historic and picturesque Silver Lake/Lynn River and is walking distance to the sandy shores of Lake Erie, plus all the shops, restaurants and amenities of Port Dover.

Beyond the main house, there is an original, self-contained, coach house which has been updated and outfitted with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, kitchen, full bath, bedroom and living area. Total living space between the two buildings is around 5,000 square feet!

And if you’d like a 3rd outbuilding to match the 3-car garage, Millar house has that too! A 30-ft by 70-ft fenced-in flower cutting garden is serviced by Mennonite-built studio with barn doors, water and electrical, shelving and windows overlooking lake.

VIDEO: Watch and Drool!

Offered at 1,695,000
View full details HERE:


  • Once home to generals and gentry.
  • Considered a fine example of Pastoral Architecture.
  • Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1988.
  • The belvedere (windows, buttresses, and roofline), east facade (doorway, windows, roofline, and four chimneys), south elevation (windows, roofline) and stucco exterior wall treatment are covered under heritage status.
  • Georgian-style, wedding cake design, constructed of triple red brick
  • Symmetrical with identical 6-over-6 paned, wooden windows on every level.
  • The original windows on the south and east facades remain, but the external shutters are no longer present.

First Owners: Millar 1857-1908
Son of Scottish immigrants who settled in America in 1804 and moved to Canada in 1824. In 1835, he married Isabella and they had five children. Frederick and his brother John established businesses in Berlin, Ontario. Successful, they went on to create the town of New Dundee and operate shops and a flourmill. Frederick and Isabella moved to Port Dover and built what we now call Millar House in 1857.

Second Owners: Johnston Millar 1908-1939
Brigadier General Daniel Robert Johnston and his wife Elizabeth Johnston purchased the house in 1908 for $700! They lived in Alabama and used the house as a summer home for their family. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of the Governor of North Carolina - she was a philanthropist and was heralded for her role in establishing the Alabama Boys Industrial School for incarcerated youth.

Third Owners: Kolbe 1939-1975
Carl Frederick Kolbe purchased the house in 1939 as a family homestead. Prominent Port Doverites, the Kolbe Family ran a fishing business in the community dating back to the mid-1800s. Carl expanded the business beyond commercial fishing to poultry, frozen vegetables and fish-based animal feeds. He employed 250 workers at the height of its operation.

Originally, the front door to Millar House was oriented towards Silver Lake. Now the main entrance to the home faces Prospect Street, which explains why the grand entrance with double doors and transom and main staircase is currently at the back of the house.

Last sold (2017) $850,000

Since then, Millar House has been updated from top-to-bottom with meticulous attention to detail using the finest local craftspeople.












>> Follow the journey here on Instagram:

More Before Pictures

93 Prospect Street, Port Dover, ON circa 1863

Six years, and architectural variance, makes all the difference when it comes to this Gothic Revival home with traces of Georgian and Neo-Classical details. Completely different from Millar House down the street, but equally beautiful!

Originally built for a wealthy farmer, Arthur Battersby, in 1863.  It was the home of John S. Martin, politician, entrepreneur, breeder and one of the most respected gentleman of Norfolk County at the turn of the century.  Only a handful of owners have called this grand country residence home.  Now you can be the next.

>> Download historical research HERE

Battersby house boasts nearly 6,000 square feet, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and parking for 10 cars!

Moreover, there is a 6,000 square foot board-and-batten barn.  The barn – original to the home – once housed the Battersby’s horse and carriages, and matches the Gothic Revival aesthetic.

The two parlour rooms (used as a Family Room and Living Room) at the front of the house feature amazing tin mouldings, arches, bay windows and a black marble and white marble fireplace.  These two Neo-Classical fireplaces are original to the home and were brought by boat overseas from England.

Designed in February of 1862 by Dales and Benjamin architects in Hamilton, Ontario,

Offered at 1,689,000
View full details HERE:

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