|The Duchess of Wellington|
|About The House|
|A home at the corner of Wellington and West was first subdivided and occupied in 1844 by Alexander McLean, the first Mayor of Chatham (1855-57), and stayed in his family until wire magnate Charles Greening built a new Queen Anne Revival structure here in 1896. It was sold to William Ryan, the manager of an oil pipeline company, for $5,750 in 1912, and the house did not change ownership again until Mrs. Ryan passed in 1950.It has been modified many times, especially during the Great Depression. Recent owners have been de-renovating the building to more closely match what the house was like at the beginning of the 20th century.|
A lot of the original features....stained glass windows, curving staircase, oak floors, moldings and paneling ...survived, and have been augmented with vintage lighting and furniture, period fabrics, and paint from the Victorian-Edwardian palette. Landscaping has been undertaken with a view to providing an all-season space for quests to stroll through; heritage Maples and tall Black Walnuts provide a cooling canopy. The original carriage house features a slate roof, and the driveway and garden entrance ornate wrought iron fences. The house has been the recipient of Preservation Awards from the Mayor and the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) , and is on the list of sites that are of significant historic value in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
Most of the ground and second floors of The Duchess are given over to exclusive use of our quests. The ground floor includes foyer, dining room, formal music room with an antique piano and hundreds of books, and a more relaxed parlor with chintz sofas, TV and DVD.
The second floor has three guest suites, each with its own character and features. All are expansive, with queen beds, armoires, airy windows with relaxing views, and ensuite, private baths.
The King-Wellington area of Chatham was popular as a prestigious residential area a hundred years ago, and the reasons still hold today....the architecture of the surrounding homes, easy walking distance to downtime businesses, hospitals, churches and government offices, and close proximity to a variety of central restaurants and entertainment.
Chatham is the perfect home-base for visits to any of three provincial parks and Point Pelee National Park within an hour's drive. It's the central point for tours of the historic escape route of former slaves to Canada, and the battles up the Thames River Valley during the War of 1812. Within short driving distance are championship golf courses, award winning restaurants, dealers offering early Ontario antiques, and a half-dozen startlingly excellent Lake Erie wineries.