Address: 196 Niagara St.
Built: c. 1855
By-law Number: 2003-116
Reason for Designation
This small, one and one half story house of post and beam construction has both Italianate and Classic Revival features. Centred in the projecting frontispiece are two sets of Italianate style double front doors with glass upper panels, flanked by classical pilasters. The panes of the inner doors have segmentally arched tops. This same type of arch is echoed in the window under the roof peak above. Double hung windows throughout the house have their original glass with new glazing bars. A wrap around verandah of Queen Anne inspiration with classical posts and spindles and a small porch above the front door were likely built a few decades after the construction of the house.
The house was built circa 1855 for Scottish born William Thomson, who also built the flour mill on the north bank of the Welland River at North Main (Niagara) Street later known as the Welland Flouring Mills. In 1865 it was purchased by Welland village councillor and lumber merchant Ozial H. Rounds, a native of New York State, owner of the original Seely and Dunlop sawmill on the river across from the flour mill. The house was subsequently owned by retired farmer Abner O. Stringer, then William and Mary Page, before passing in 1892 to Allen E. Taylor and later his brother John B. Taylor, owners of the firm Taylor and Crow. Allen Taylor served as town councillor from 1891-93, deputy reeve in 1894 and reeve in 1895-96. John Taylor became the proprietor of J. B. Taylor & Co., grocery and general store on West Main Street. From 1937 to 1977 this was the home of the Hignell family. Dr. Charles R. Hignell was a physician and surgeon with offices on East Main Street. In addition he served as jail physician, Michigan Central Railway doctor and D.V.A. doctor for the Welland District. The house is currently owned by Anthony Mateka and is known as Twin Gates.