Use file > print in the menu bar to print this page.

VIEW-15338.0
© McCord Museum
Photograph
Harrison Stephens' house and orchard, Dorchester Street, Montreal, QC, 1850-60
Anonyme - Anonymous
Copied in 1915, 20th century
Silver salts on glass ? - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
VIEW-15338.0
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The Victorian home was a haven from the chaotic public world of politics and business. Houses were given names that suggested a retreat, such as Homestead. Women who could afford to do so created a series of barriers that separated the cosy domestic interior from the harsh public world. Ideally, a house was set back from the street by a garden or lawn. Front steps led to a veranda; the door opened onto an entrance hall. Only carefully screened members of the public were admitted to the parlour to meet with the family. Inside, soft furnishings created a nest. Doorways were hung with portières, windows with heavy drapes; plush fabrics, patterned wallpapers and elaborate furnishings cocooned the inhabitants.

What:

This Italianate house was built of local limestone. Homestead was the first Montreal house to have a smoking room--a masculine retreat from feminine domesticity.

Where:

In the midcentury, Dorchester Avenue (now René Lévesque Boulevard) was the most prestigious of addresses for the merchant princes of Montreal.

When:

The house was built in the late 1850s and torn down in 1929 to make way for Canadian National Railway developments.

Who:

American-born Harrison Stephens built Homestead. Stephens was a wealthy tobacco and tea importer who was able to retire at the age of 40.

© Musée McCord Museum