(1809-1863), an early Port Hope builder, constructed the house located
at 36 North Street circa 1856. Jane also constructed a neighbouring
house and other significant buildings in the Port Hope area. The house
was constructed in two phases, with a two storey addition added to the
north elevation circa 1873 when the ownership of the property transferred
to Bennett Jane's son, John Henry Jane, who was also a carpenter.
The house located at 36 North Street does not appear on the 1853 Wall
and Forrest Map of Port Hope, however the neighbouring two-storey house
a southerly siting near the corner of North and Pine Streets (now 59
Pine Street North) is one of the few houses recorded in the area.
Bennett Jane constructed 59 Pine Street North (photo
left) in 1852, upon his arrival in Port Hope. In 1856, he constructed
a similar house at 36 North Street. The houses are both two storeys
high with hipped roofs and the main doors have the same transom and
sidelights although 59 Pine Street North has a deeper set doorway surround
and eared trim. On the front façade of both houses, the upper
floor windows are slightly smaller than the first floor windows. The
original six over six sash has been replaced with two over two. The
porch and bay window on 59 Pine Street were certainly a later Victorian
Both houses have a southerly siting and were originally clad in wood
with an ashlar finish. Another unique feature of both houses is the
slightly irregular shaped rectangular plan. 36 North Street has a non-conforming
south east corner which creates a trapezoidal angle of 45 degrees at
the corner of North and Seymour Street. 59 Pine Street has a similar
non-conforming south west corner. Constuction of this angled corner
posed a significant framing challenge.
Built in the mid 1850s, 36 North Street incorporates
a vernacular or regional design, the creation of a local builder improvising
on tradition and his area's tastes instead of a specific formal style.
Because 36 North Street has been altered and extended throughout its
history, the house displays elements of architectural styles popular
during the two principle phases; the Georgian and Italianate.
Georgian houses were typically symmetrical, well proportioned
and rectangular in shape. Houses were often situated close to the street
or sidewalk and designed to fit the shape of the lot, often assuming
a trapezoidal shape on irregular shaped lots.
The entrance doorway was the chief feature of the front façade.
Windows were evenly spaced and directly in line with each other and
the doorway adding to the symmetry of the facade. The windows were usually
double hung with six panes per sash. Doors were often topped with a
rectangular transom light or a more elaborate decorative fanlight arch.
Shutters, usually louvered, further embellished the windows. The standard
room placement in Georgian houses is four rooms to a floor, "four
over four", opening off a central hall, with interior chimneys
at each end of the house. Two story wings were commonly added to the
rear, creating an L or T in the floor plan.
The main section of 36 North Street incorporates many Georgian features;
a well proportioned symmetrical façade incorporating a significant
entrance doorway with sidelights and transom. Alterations made to 36
North Street in the 1870s significantly changed the original plan and
appearance incorporating prominent Italianate features.
Between 1850 and 1880, the Italianate style reached its height of popularity
in North America. In Port Hope, many houses reflect the popular style.
By 1862, the neighbourhood included a very prominent mid-Victorian house
with Italianate styling. 42 Bedford Street (photo
left), the residence of local businessman
William Craig, had a commanding presence when viewed from Seymour Street.
Other Italianate styled houses include 78 Augusta Street built in 1875;
180 Dorset Street East, originally a modest house built in the 1840's,
had it's Italinate features added circa 1879. The decorative brackets
that adorn the eaves of Italianate houses either singularly or in pairs
immediately identify the style. Other distinguishing features are red
brick cladding, shallow pitched roofs with broad overhang, tall windows,
prominent crown moulding, round arched or semi-elliptical windows, verandahs,
towers and projecting bay windows. Often these attributes were added
to older houses to give them a stylish uplift.
The earliest mention of Bennett Jane appears in the Evening Guide in
October 1852 indicating the Jane family had now settled in Port Hope.
His family included his wife Sophia, and adult sons Bennett
Robert Jane and John Henry Jane and daughter Sophia. County directories
confirm that the senior Bennett Janes lived on Pine Street. Bennett
Jane may also have constructed another house on Seymour Street.
In the early part of the century, several skilled tradesmen and carpenters
including William and Richard Trick, Richard Coffin and Bennett Jane
emigrated from the Cornwall area to Port Hope and were responsible for
building several significant buildings in the area. Among his accomplishments,
Bennett Jane tendered the lowest bid among eight builders for another
local heritage building. He constructed the Wesleyville Church (photo
left) (2082 Lakeshore Road) circa 1860 for £599.
As the significant residential neighbourhood around North Street began
to expand, other building types were established nearby; two schools
and three churches including the Model School across the street at the
corner of North and Pine built circa 1867 (photo
lower left); the "Old Kirk" located on Brown Street
at North Street erected in 1860 and later used as the High School in
January 1872 (photo lower right); the
Methodist Church erected on the northwest corner of Brown and South
Street in 1874; St. John's Church (1869)
and St. John School (1873), on Pine Street between North and South Streets.
The Bennett Jane House displays notable attributes of the Georgian and
Italianate styles popular during both phases. As mentioned above, features
inspired by the Georgian style are the 2-storey plan with hipped roof
and the well proportioned symmetrical three bay façade incorporating
a significant entrance doorway with sidelights and transom. Contributing
Italianate elements are the red brick cladding, extended eaves with
paired decorative brackets, projecting one-storey bay window, flat headed
door and window openings embellished with pairs of shutters, horizontally
aligned wooden lintels embellished with a decorative element resembling
a central keystone, round arched window, stained glass and replacement
of six over six sash with two over two.