Old Newspaper StoriesOld PhotographsWindsor

Moy Hall

What once once farm lots 92 & 93 were owned by former Windsor Mayor John Davis. John Davis served five terms as mayor from 1897-1901. In four of the five elections he stood for mayor in (there were one year terms back then…) he was acclaimed.

The Davis farm, followed the old French ribbon farm system, and the property ran from the river as far south as where the Essex Terminal Railway ran, just north of Hanna Street.[according to “Garden Gateway to Canada”] the southern boundary was Tecumseh Road. It ran from the alley on the west side of Hall to the alley on the east side of Moy.

The size of the property is staggering by today’s standards….

The property that once was the Davis Farm, is today marked by the two fieldstone gates along Riverside Drive. You’ve probably buzzed past them hundred of times, but have you ever stopped to read the bronze plaque on them?

Despite there having been such a prominent landmark on the site, I went though every issue of the paper from November, 1912 looking for news about the demolition, only to come up empty…

Above is a photo that ran in the paper in 1917 on the occasion of Windsor’s 25th anniversary as a City.

This old mansion stood, until three or four years ago, on Sandwich Street, between Moy and Gladstone, being torn down by the syndicate that purchased the Davis form (sic) for a residential subdivision. It was known as “Moy House”, and was over 100 years old, having been built about 1796, and occupied by Angus Macintosh, factor of the Hudson Bay Company. The lumber was of the choicest walnut, having been secured from the virgin forest, and sawn by hand. It was here that Angus Mackintosh brought his young wife, a pretty French girl names Archange St. Martin. It was here also that the Indians brough their furs and made their barter. When Angus Macintosh was recalled to Scotland to take possession of the Moy estate left by his father, the laird of Moy, he sold the property to William Hall, then a government clerk. From him the property was bequeathed to his ward, who married the late John Davis.

The house that was once known as Moy Hall gave its name to the two streets that would run through the property upon laying out the subdivision in 1912… Moy Ave. & Hall Ave.

The two houses pictured above are the first houses on both the east and west side of Moy Avenue, and likely date to 1912. On Hall & Riverside is the former Danny’s, behind the low slung part, there is a very old house. In the old articles I’ve read, Moy Hall was located “Just a few rods east of the beautiful residence of John Davis, on Sandwich Street”. I wonder if the old Danny’s was the Davis house?

The above article ran in the paper on October 12, 1912, talking about the rate in which new houses were going up on the old Davis Farm.

The syndicate that bought the Davis Farm was comprised of Barrister A.F. Healy, Leo Page, E. Morton and Albert Chappus. They bought the farm for $80,000 (about $1.5 million today), and in a year had sold all 608 lots in the first phase of the subdivision, netting about $200,000 (about $3.8 million today). A decent profit for 18 months work.

You may remember Misters Healy, Page and Chappus from March. Not sure why E. Morton didn’t stick with the real estate speculation, as Healy, Page and Chappus, went on to make a ton of cash over the next few years….

The 1923 directory lists an E. Mercer Morton as being with the R.M. Morton Co., who were insurance underwriters.

Another part of Windsor’s largely forgotten past.

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