Nice Idea HISTORIC AUCHMAR circa 1854

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Former house of the Honourable Isaac Buchanan and a major monument to the financial, cultural, and architectural historical past of Canada.

Auchmar is acknowledged by the Ontario Heritage Trust as having important historic worth and is presently owned by the residents of Hamilton.

Preservation and public vs. developer possession are presently in debate. Citizens of Hamilton and anybody who has visited the grounds or stepped contained in the constructing comes away saying, we should save this heritage.  Is Hamilton a metropolis with a teardown mentality or one with a imaginative and prescient for restoration? Now is the opportune time for the residents of Hamilton and particularly residents of the Mountain to face up and communicate loudly for preservation of the Auchmar property.
Read the Spectator article HERE



Auchmar was inbuilt 1854 on land that Buchanan had bought two years beforehand. Its title was taken from the Auchmar property on Loch Lomond, Scotland, which Buchanan’s household had owned.


Over the years the magnificent home was visited by such notables as Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Allan MacNab, Pope John Paul II (when he was Cardinal) and the Prince of Wales throughout an 1860 Royal go to. Auchmar nonetheless stands on 10 acres of an eighty-six acre unfold that Buchanan referred to as Claremont Park. It was thought of a sublime instance of gothic revival structure with its arched home windows, eleven chimneys, gables, and French doorways.

In July 1936, Isaac Buchanan’s daughter Elsie shared her reminiscences of Auchmar’s early years with a reporter for the Spectator. She stated that the household’s unique intention was to reside on the Mountain solely throughout the summer time months, as they maintained a winter residence on Henry (now Cannon) Street. Buchanan, nevertheless, was so enamoured of the Mountain location and views that he resolved to make Auchmar his full-time abode. The Spectator article famous, “Isaac Buchanan stated that the primary time he climbed the Mountain and noticed the view, he felt like operating down and asking folks why they did not construct up there. His enthusiasm grew with the years and he was ever an advocate of the concept the city must be constructed on high and never beneath the hill.”

Elsie Buchanan stated that there have been initially glass-enclosed verandahs operating the size of the home’s back and front, as Isaac was decided to expertise the well being advantages of the sunshine even when it was too chilly to step outdoors. Years later this ‘indoor publicity’ observe was used to fight tuberculosis, prompting Miss Buchanan to level out with pleasure that her father was a thinker forward of his time.

Auchmar’s inside was completed in superbly grained delicate wooden, and nearly all the within partitions had been brick, making the home almost fireproof. 10 fireplaces had been on the bottom flooring. A protracted corridor within the form of a Roman cross occupied the principle flooring, and stairways with vivid, giant home windows ascended from every finish, permitting free circulation of air. At the west finish, midway up the steps, was a distinct segment within the wall containing a French bronze statue referred to as ‘Night’. Plans to have a corresponding statue within the east window referred to as ‘Morning’ by no means got here to fruition.


Miss Buchanan stated that from its earliest days, Auchmar had a rest room and a furnace, each options not present in too many residences throughout the 1850s. “Another proof that my father was ahead of his time,” she stated in 1936.

The builders initially deliberate to make the bottom flooring consist of 4 giant rooms with similar dimensions of 18 x 20 ft. Then it was determined, in all probability on the suggestion of Mrs. Buchanan, that the eating room be extra beneficiant in dimension, so as to accommodate the lavish events that the Buchanans meant to carry for presidency officers and political associates. There was additionally a music room with cane lined partitions (just like the underside of a chair), through which Mrs. Buchanan, an achieved singer, gave recitals. The distinctive wall overlaying improved the tone and resonance of all sounds.

Mrs. Dick-Lauder, writer of Wentworth Landmarks (1897), visited Auchmar within the 1890s and vividly recorded her impressions. “From a distance it gives the impression of a little walled fort,” she wrote. “…the eastern entrance to the house is next to the conservatory, and the visitor is at once ushered into a most cathedral-like main hallway running the full length of the house…. The hall is cathedral-like because its ceiling is Gothic. Nor is it gloomy, as one might imagine. The effect is not gloom; it is something different- a dim, religious light.”

Most dignitaries and political figures visited Auchmar each time they handed by way of Hamilton. Elsie Buchanan recalled how the home was as soon as crammed to overflowing with the entourage accompanying Sir John Young (later Lord Lisgar). Lord and Lady Dufferin, Sir John A. Macdonald, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) additionally loved the Buchanans’ hospitality.


When Isaac Buchanan died in 1883 on the age of 73, Auchmar was offered to Captain Trigg, a army man from India. In 1900 James Buchanan, Isaac’s fourth son, purchased the property again. Some of his sisters, Elsie amongst them, lived there for years afterward. In 1926 the household offered Auchmar to A.V. Young, who lived there along with his household till September 1943, when it was rented to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a rehabilitation centre. The Hungarian Sisters of Social Service purchased the mansion and land in 1945 and retained possession till 1999, when Auchmar was acquired by the City of Hamilton.

Check it out for your self. Doors Open Hamilton usually hosts excursions yearly in May.


This gate lodge was constructed for the Hon. Isaac Buchannan (1810-1883) who was born in Glasgow. He emigrated to Toronto in 1830, grew to become a profitable wholesale service provider, represented Toronto within the first Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, 1841-44, and moved to Hamilton about 1850. He purchased property right here, named it the Claremont Estate in 1852, and in 1855 constructed the lodge and the principle home, now situated at 88 Fennell West. Buchanan subdivided the property and renamed the principle home “Auchmar” after the Buchanan property on Loch Lomond, Scotland. He grew to become Member for Hamilton, 1857-67, and served as President of the Executive Council within the 1864 Tache-Macdonald administration. He died in Hamilton in 1883.

Located on the southeast nook of Claremont Drive and Arcade Crescent

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