There is a mystery in regard to this house. How close to the building date can we close in on? The land ownership date is different than the date the actual structure was erected. Plan 35 was first registered in 1875, just after the Toronto Nipissing Rail Road (TNRR) came to town. The properties west of the tracks very quickly became prime lots for sale. A few years after that, the lands north of Second St. were registered in Plan 59.
Joseph Park, co-owner of the planing mill (now Schell Lumber), purchased the property. He was known to have rented a house to James Minns. The difficult part is the fire map of 1910 shows only a rear yard ice house. There is no house shown. The next fire map for this area of Stouffville Village was 1924. At that time, the lot shows a two-and-a-half story home facing west and fronting onto Albert St.
The next clue was to check other properties surrounding this one. Land records for Lot 19 and Lot 20 were reviewed. Yes, there is much similar. Joseph Park joined with George McDowell to purchase and develop the lots. The house on Second St. was built first. After some court judgements, the land goes to Jemima Park who then sells to Joseph Park. The next sale was from Joseph to James H. Ratcliff in 1909. Ratcliff took out a mortgage and that was likely, given a year or so, when the home was built. James Ratcliff sold to Stewart Stouffer, who moved in 1945 from the farm.
Stewart Stouffer was the son of Wellington Stouffer, who farmed just north of Ringwood on the west side of Highway 48. Stewart was born Oct. 10, 1904 on the farm. He attended Continuation School in 1919 and his marks were published in the local paper. He grew up learning farming and the maintenance of the homestead. In 1940, both Stewart and his brother Bruce were married. Shortly after, they both farmed up Highway 48, one on the west side and the other across the street on the east. Stewart later accepted a position at Hendrick’s Hardware, which later became Card’s Hardware. The store was located downtown on the north side of Main St. in the core area. Mr. Stouffer was on staff for 34 years before retiring.
By 1945, Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer moved to Albert St. Stewart was a long serving member of the Stouffville United Church and served there for 30 years. He was also the Sunday school superintendent. He was a faithful and caring Christian man.
He lived there the rest of his life, for 43 years in one location. After Stewart passed away, his wife Jean (Grove) and their daughter Joanne remained there. Mrs. Stouffer lived another 22 years in the house.