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THE MARCH HOUSE
A long-time local landmark that illustrates the early history of March Township and the type of dwelling built by more prosperous settlers. The March House is a rectangular, one-and-a-half storey, gable roofed structure constructed of rough-cut stone laid in irregular courses. Its gable end faces March Road includes a centrally placed door flanked by large windows, gabled dormer windows and a recent addition. The original rectangular windows remain, although the original two- over- two sash windows have been replaced with one-over-one windows. “Ghosting” on the brick and an historical photograph indicate that it had a shed roofed veranda on its north and west facades in the 19th century.
 
The building was built in the 1850s as a private house at a time when most settlers were building crude log structures. Its original owner is unknown but it was occupied by the McMurtry family, a prominent March Township family, from the 1850s until the 1890s. During the family’s ownership it remained a private house. In 1897, it was sold to the Gow family, who operated it as a General Store and Post Office until 1938. As a grocery store, it was a hub in the small hamlet of March’s Corners. From the late 1930s it served a number of functions, ending up as a restaurant in the 1980s. It was purchased by the City of Ottawa to accommodate the widening of March Road in 2003.

The above picture of the March House was part of the report prepared by the City of Ottawa's Development Services Department for heritage designation by the City of Ottawa's LACAC (Local Architectual Conservation Advisory Committee). The March House received Heritage Designation by City Council on October 22, 2003. It however is still at risk due to City budget pressures, the requirement to relocate it and public apathy regarding its destruction.
(by: Bob Gregory)


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