North Yorkshire, England
|Death: ||Jan. 6, 1878|
Brant County Municipality
Richard Tennant was a shoemaker; he had a boot and shoe shop. He and his brother John Tennant came to Canada at the same time, from England, in 1838 [?]. They married sisters, the Misses Caroline and Amelia Heaton. They settled near Brantford, Ontario, at Mt. Pleasant. Richard built an octagonal house (1840-1850) in Mount Pleasant, Ontario.
Ontario Directory of 1851 - Mount Pleasant
[Note: townships in 1851 have moved from one county to another as the boundaries changed. Brant County was not officially formed until 1852.]
A village in the Township of Brantford and United Counties of Wentworth and Halton, C.W., --- distant from Brantford, 5 miles--usual stage fare, 1s. 3d. --- distant from Hamilton, 30 miles --- usual stage fare, 6s. 3d. Population about 200.
Alphabetical list of professions, trades, &c.
Cook, Abraham, J.P., postmaster and produce merchant
Cook, Alexander, J.D., physician and surgeon
Jones, W. L. general merchant
Biggar, H., deputy township reeve
Bingham, J., innkeeper
Brice, G., blacksmith
Bryning, Rev. J., Church of Scotland
Chapman, G. W., boots and shoes
Collett, C., tailor
Ellis, J., cabinetmaker
Foster, Francis, merchant
Hargrave, A., boots and shoes
Haight, E., fuller
M'Ewen, A., merchant
Skay, George, boots and shoes
Soules, J., cabinetmaker
Sturgeis, William, carpenter
Tennent [sic], J., tailor
Tennent [sic], R., boots and shoes
Townsend, A., carriage factory
Article from "Heritage Fare" dated Dec 1990, page 6:
The "Grey Gables" of Mount Pleasant
by Elisabeth Leiss McKellar
Just a few miles south of Brantford, nestled in rolling hills, is the lovely village of Mount Pleasant. The village was settled in the very early part of the nineteenth century. By mid-century substantial homes were being build of stone, brick and stucco. One of the most impressive and unusual of these homes is today known as The Heritage Inn.
This house was built in the early 1840s, by a Scottish shoemaker, Richard Tennant. The original parcel of land was bought from Henry Ellis who subdivided and sold a parcel to Henry Yeoward. Tennant purchased a one acre site and set about building his home. I'm quite certain his neighbors and townfolk must have been shocked to see a strange foundation being constructed. Instead of the quite conservative and conventional centre-hall plans, which were the cornerstone of the Greek Revival, Tennant built an eight-sided foundation. He went on to add a ground floor, complete with six enormous windows, each set in its own wall, and a door facing west and due east. The house was in the shape of an octagon! This style had been used previously, in Ontario and the United States, but it was, and still remains, quite a novelty in the Brant area. The house had a second storey added above the first floor with much smaller gothic windows above each of the main floor windows and doors. The entire structure is topped by a gabled belvedere of sorts. Gothic windows, similar to the second storey, but much smaller, almost touch each other in an eight-sided steeple-like cap on the roof.
The first storey is well above the ground level, so a set of stairs was built, which stretched across the front wall of the home. Because the basement was partially above grade, large windows were included and made what was normally a dark, dank space into a quite pleasant and thoroughly useable spot. The ground floor contained a kitchen and eating area, wine cellar and quarters for the servants. The unique home had features any environmentally conscious buyer would look for today. The roof-line is pleated like a fan or an accordion with each of the eight sides forming a deep gutter. Where each of the valleys meet water was diverted into a water tank, over three feet high and found in the floor of the second storey. This water would have been clean and pure and was used throughout the household. The house was heated with back to back fireplaces, one of which is still in operation to the delight of diners all winter long.
Octagon houses are not unheard of in Ontario, but they are rare. Some of those which were constructed have been lost due to disrepair and neglect.
Caroline Elizabeth Heaton Tennant (1820 - 1898)
William Crosley Tennant (1850 - 1896)*
In memory of
Jan 6th 1878
aged 53 years
Native of Yorkshire
All Saints Anglican Church Cemetery
Brant County Municipality
Created by: Richard Rhode
Record added: Jan 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33370092