Visit Niagara Parks' Oldest Property Grounds McFarland House.
For more than two centuries McFarland House has stood as a monument to the impeccable manners, good taste and gracious living that epitomizes Niagara-on-the-Lake. Visit us and experience a taste of Georgian style and pace. Qualified costumed interpreters provide guided tours of this historic home throughout the day.
Located in a picturesque park setting with playground facilities and a baseball diamond, the House is adjacent to the Niagara River Recreation Trail. McFarland Park also offers a covered picnic pavilion which seats approximately 250 people, with water and washroom facilities nearby. In preparation for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 McFarland House has undergone some much needed renovations. This is the first occasion that such large scale improvements have been made to the property. The house was last renovated in 1955 before the site opened to the public in the spring of 1959. We are very proud of these enhancements to our facilities which will allow us to better serve our guests. We have built a new historically inspired conservatory, created modern washrooms, and drastically renovated the interior spaces within the back wing of the home to make the property more accessible and welcoming for all who come to visit.
McFarland House Facts & Figures:
Built in 1800 by John McFarland and his sons, on land granted to him by King George III, this iso ne of the few buildings in Niagara-on-the-Lake which pre-dates the War of 1812.
Used as a hospital and headquarters for both the British and American armies during the War of 1812.
It was also the location of a cannon battery created to protect the Niagara River Built on a ravine that was used as the launch point for the British attack on Fort Niagara in 1813.
History- This historic Georgian structure was the home of John McFarland and his descendants for some 140 years. McFarland, a widower with four children, emigrated from Paisley, Scotland in the 1790s. He was granted 608 acres of land by the British Crown in return for his services as boat builder to King George III. Upon settling in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) he married Margaret Wilson, a neighbour, and before her death in 1809 five additional children were welcomed into the family. The home is of particular historical significance as it survived the burning of Newark, a tragedy which took place when the American forces occupying Fort George retreated from the area in December 1813. This makes McFarland House one of the oldest structures in Niagara-on-the-Lake, as well as the oldest building owned by The Niagara Parks Commission. John McFarland and his sons built the house in 1800 from bricks made in a kiln on the property. A back wing was added later in the nineteenth century in order to accommodate the needs of this growing family. During the War of 1812 McFarland House was used as a hospital by both the British and the American armies and a gun battery was situated on the property to help guard the Niagara River. Further, due to its strategic location, the British raid and capture of Fort Niagara on December 18, 1813 was launched from the ravine behind the home.Interior of the McFarland House John McFarland was taken prisoner during the war and sent to Greenbush, New York. When he returned after the conclusion of the conflict he found his house rather worse for wear, with windows, doors and mantels missing. McFarland was heartbroken over this damage and took ill in the spring of 1815, passing away soon thereafter. He rests at St. Mark's Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, where his tombstone bears an inscription listing these lamentable woes. The garden at McFarland House is illustrative of a typical mid 19th century door yard garden. Gardens located in the door yard (typically defined as the area between the house and the nearby kitchen or barn) were usually used for both culinary and decorative purposes. McFarland House thanks the Garden Club of Niagara for their planning and upkeep of the garden. Restored by The Niagara Parks Commission in 1959, McFarland House is furnished in the Empire style and portrays life in Niagara between 1800 and 1830.
Adults $5, Children (6 to 12 years) $3.75 (Canadian $ before taxes). Children 5 years and under admitted for Free at all Niagara Parks attractions!
Guided tours of the home are available from mid May until Labour Day.