When one walks by 37 Charles Street in the heritage neighbourhood north of Main St. The shutters are sure to be noticed. They have cut into them a large “N”. This would mark the long-time home of Norman Nigh.

This history of this building goes back to the expansion of the plans west of the tracks. This is part of Plan 59 Lot 64. The first transaction was with William Somerville sold to W.B. Sanders as a future land development a larger parcel of land of which this was part of. That was back on April 20, 1886, for the sum of $1,000.00. Later that fall on Oct. 23, 1886, W. B. Sanders sold to Eliza Showers lot 64 for the amount of $90.00. This was likely when the home was built.

Eliza Showers was married to Gilbert Showers who came from the Brantford area in the South Dumfries County. As a farmer he relocated in 1880s to Mussleman’s Lake to farmland there. His family include his wife Eliza (Cropp) and two daughters, Annie and Margaret. The family retired to Charles St. Sometime later Eliza Draper a Salvation Army adherent and widow was living with them. Gilbert passed away Dec. 20, 1895 and Eliza Showers lived there a few more years till her passing in 1895. Dr. S. L. Freel was an executor who ran an advertisement to rent the home for $4.00 in 1898.

The home was sold to Catherine Johnson of Goodwood. She and her two daughters moved in Aug. 1898. Her daughters were Edith and Elsie. Mrs. Johnson was an outstanding church worker and a faithful Christian. To her honour the mission band in the United Church was named now called the Catherine Johnson Mission Band. Edith and Elsie shared in the estate of $5,362.00. Elsie continued to live in the house. Edith moved to Toronto likely for work. Elsie would close the home up and live each winter with her sister in Toronto. In 1949 Elsie rented the house to Cliff Barkey.

The next owner was Norman Nigh who bought it just after he married Helen (Fockler) on Sept. 1, 1951. He has lived there for over 60 years. Many memories of good times in this neighbourhood come to mind. Nigh was a long-time member of the Stouffville Christian Church, and he enjoyed the Stouffville Lawn Bowling Club. It is good to know this was his first home as a married man and he remained there the whole time. Not many can say they lived that long in the same home.

 

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