As you stand on the oldest street in town and dream of days early in its history, the features of this building take one’s breath away.
While looking at the structure, you notice many of the details. The foundation has squared granite fieldstone which shows the high level of craftsmanship. The deep red brickwork has features that show skill in the work done by having brick banding and corbelling around the windows. The front entrance is a bold statement.
As you approach the home, a double story with a roofed porch is highly decorated with gingerbread and sculptured boards for railing. The George Street side veranda has the same theme with gingerbread and sloped roof. The large gable dormers capped off with detail gingerbread finish the bay projections. The window designs carry the theme of elliptical transom lights with stain glass and side lights the same way. These would allow much daylight in from all sides.
This home was built in 1893 for Samuel Burkholder on Plan 58, Lot five, six and seven. The plan was originally registered by Richard Barnes on September 25, 1885, which was the beginning of the development of Church Street. The year previous, the Methodist Church was just completed (1892) by the same builder, Nathan Forsyth.
Samuel was the son of Jacob Burkholder and Sarah (Sally) Barkey. He was the second eldest son in a family of ten. He was born May 3, 1836, on the farm, 102 acres just south of Lemonville. His older brother Jacob was a third generation Jacob Burkholder. When the brothers left home they lived in the Altona community. The families were pioneers at the Christian Church in Altona, including Samuel and Marieda Burkholder, Jacob Burkholder and their sister Annie. The church started April 22, 1872.
Jacob and Samuel opened a furniture business, which included undertaking, in Stouffville Village. They had a store with two showrooms on Main Street and the second floor was utilized for storing choice and durable pieces made of modern and unique designs. Jacob retired in October 1889, having spent thirteen years assisting his brother. Samuel bought him out and covered all outstanding debts. A few years later Nelson, son of Samuel, was brought on to assist with the running of the store.
The Burkholder home was on the corner of George Street and Church Street. Being set back from the corner, the large front lawn gave space to the largest home on the street for that time. Living here was Samuel and his wife Marieda (Fockler), his older brother Jacob and two children Nelson John and Lily May. They resided here through the passing of Samuel in 1907. Jacob lived until 1914 a few years past Samuel. S. Burkholder (Marieda) lived here until 1926 with her sister Rachel (Fockler) Brown and daughter A.H. Lawson, (Lily May) and her husband Harvey Lawson.
This home remained in the Burkholder family from 1893 until 1926, a legacy of longtime residents and village pioneers.