The McFarland House in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a wonderful Georgian structure that is a must-visit if you love history and scenic places. Built in 1800, it is one of the oldest buildings in Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers visitors a guided tour of the house with guides wearing period costumes. The picturesque house, spacious grounds, pretty garden, park with playground facilities and a picnic pavilion is a great way to spend a lovely day out. Adjacent to the house is the Niagara River Recreation Trail.
It was once the home of John McFarland, his family and descendants who lived there for almost 140 years. He emigrated from Scotland and settled in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake). He was gifted 608 acres of land by the British Crown in exchange for his service as a boat builder to King George III. The house was built by McFarland along with his sons from bricks made on his property, and a back wing was added later on. The McFarland House was put into great use during the War of 1812 when it served as a hospital for both British and American troops. The ravine located behind the house was the spot from where the Britishers launched their raid and capture of Fort Niagara in 1813. Farms and houses in Newark were burned when the American troops retreated from the area. McFarland was taken captive and sent to New York. His house was one of the few that survived the burning but was in bad shape. When McFarland returned after the conflict, he was heartbroken to see the house in disrepair, became ill in 1815 and died soon after.
Many years later, the house was renovated and opened its doors to visitors in 1959. Some major renovations were carried out in the days leading up to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 recently. As a result, McFarland House has a lot to offer visitors in terms of historic information as well as recreational facilities. Renovated interior spaces, conservatory tea room, playground facilities, a covered picnic pavilion that can accommodate up to 250 people and modern washrooms await the visitor.
The McFarland House Tea Room is a splendid place where you can enjoy a lovely luncheon, sip on an amazing selection of teas or grab a cup of coffee along with some wonderful treats. Sandwiches, scones, ice creams and other goodies are available here. Savour a range of fine VQA wines from the Niagara region as well as beer. You can also carry light lunches or ice cream from the tea room and enjoy it in the park.
The place is open all days of the week from May to September. So do visit McFarland House–it is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day.
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