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A 200 year old home that was built by United Empire Loyalist Michael Carman II after his service in the war of 1812 and as part of the creation of the initial St. Lawrence shipping routes.
Why vote for us?
Your vote for Forward House as the Next Great Save will help us protect this 200+ year old home from demolition and repurpose it as a unique community venue inspired by history.
Given its advanced age and lack of care over the years, Forward house was in dire need of an overhaul when, in 2017, the Municipality decided to demolish the building and replace it with a new one. The Historical Society of South Dundas (HSSD) and the community reacted by stepping up to save this heritage jewel. HSSD successfully negotiated an agreement with the municipality to become stewards of the house, obtained charitable status and has been working hard to garner support and funds to complete remediation work and make repairs to the structure and roof. Funds from The Next Great Save will go a long way towards ensuring that the house is protected, safe and structurally sound. Our dedicated volunteers can then begin work rehabilitating the house for future public use and enjoyment.
The plan of the Historical Society of South Dundas is to convert the first floor into a community centered social space & tourist center, and the second floor into a home for the historical society and the artefacts that have been accumulated.
The region lacks a social space with local history at the core. The local archives, the legions, even Upper Canada Village, which is a living museum of the period, all are available but they all serve different purposes. This would be a community space for all ages with access to robust and interesting documents, information, and artefacts. The Historical Society of South Dundas has been operating out of basements & dining rooms for many years. In order to leverage the energy and skills of the members we need the opportunity to have a dedicated and functional space to call home. This space will include a meeting room, some shared office space, and ideally an archive quality clean room to house and safeguard our materials, some of which are well over a century old. We strongly believe in the power of history to build community. Saving Forward House will empower us to share the history of South Dundas.
About this place
This house is one of 3 remaining original structures that pre-date the moving of several villages (Iroquois, Morrisburg) and the loss of others in what is now South Dundas Township. The structure sits on the original foundation build around 1815 on the property granted to United Empire Loyalist Michael Carman. This became the home of six generations of the Carman family and was gifted by Michael to his grand-daughter for her wedding to John Forward.
This house has stood as a testament to the industrious pioneers who settled this land which was very difficult to access before St. Lawrence river was tamed. It bore witness to the evolution from farm life to light industry and the earliest development of Upper Canada. The house sits on the north-west corner of the Iroquois Waterfront Park which is a recreational space which includes the beach, campground, and the airfield. The park is protected as a recreational space as part of the agreement to move the village of Iroquois for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway & Locks. Once slated for demolition, there is a new spirit to try to save this structure and help it stand another 2 centuries.
Bearing witness to the results of remediation.
Kitchen after initial remediation
Walls stripped back to reveal original wallpaper on stone
An original window boarded up on second floor
Asbestos filled coal furnace
Ecclesiastical Insurance is deeply committed to protecting the needs of organizations that enrich the lives of others; to preserving Canada’s distinct communities, cultures and history; and to supporting initiatives that help improve the lives of people in need. The National Trust for Canada has a long-standing relationship with Ecclesiastical Insurance – our most faithful sponsor – and we are excited to work with them to help fund the Next Great Save!