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Just south of the old town of Niagara on the Lake along the Niagara Parkway (River Road) sits one of the oldest buildings in the Niagara Region.
McFarland House was built by John McFarland, a widower who emigrated from Scotland with his family. He married a local woman from Newark and together they had five more children before her untimely death.
The McFarland House is part of McFarland Park, a beautiful park located along the Niagara River a few kms south of the old town of Niagara-on-the Lake. The park has walking trails, a playground and pavilion.
The McFarland House is an excellent example of Colonial life in Upper Canada around the year 1800. The house itself sits atop a steep embankment along the Niagara River a few kms inland from Lake Ontario and Fort Niagara.
An inscription on a plaque outside the McFarland House reads:
"This Georgian style house was built in 1800 by John McFarland (1757-1815) and his sons, on land granted by the Crown. It is one of the oldest surviving structures in the Niagara district. During the War of 1812 it was used as a hospital by both British and American forces and a British battery, located behind the house, protected the river. In 1813, John McFarland was taken prisoner by the Americans following their capture of Fort George. When he returned in 1815, much of his property had been destroyed and the house badly damaged. The home was repaired and remained in the McFarland family for several generations."
An inscription on a tombstone in St. Mark’s courtyard reads:
“Sacred to the memory of John McFarland, a native of Paisley, Scotland. He was taken prisoner at the capture of Fort George and escaped from Green Bush, NY, at the close of the war, 1815. He returned to his place, Niagara, and finding his property burnt up and destroyed by the enemy it enervated him so much that he died in a few months after, in the 64th year of his age."