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History of the Knoll, Inglewood

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1982 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: Graham
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An excerpt from Graham, Thomas D. 1982. A Family History of The Grahams. Decendants of Robert Graham (1800 - 1847) and Isabella Wilson (1801 - 1885). Converted to a WikiTree Thing by Stuart McCormick in October 2020.


After their marriage in 1860, David Graham and his wife, Margaret, first lived in her father's old place near the millrace, above the mill. It wasn't until their two children were grown, in 1886, that David chose the higher ground, partway up the hill, as the site for their new home, the Knoll. Unlike many other Inglewood homes, it was built of brick.

Nan Graham, who still lives at the Knoll today, describes it this way:

"It seemed like a big building: front and back parlours, kitchen, diningroom, and four bedrooms . Also a small sewing room and a bathroom with built-in bath.

"The house was too small, however, as the family came into existence. Grandma and Grandpa (David) had a room (also a balcony looking toward town) ; Mother and Father ( T .H.) had a room; one was kept as a spare and always ready for guests; and one toward the back of the house, for the hired girl.

"So, with four children, and after managing to fit them in for some years, they decided to raise the roof. This was around 1910 or before. They used jacks and pushed the roof up enough above the attic to make three rooms and a hall: one bedroom for Annie, one big one for the three boys, and one storeroom."

In 1975, longtime resident and carpenter Edgar Ireland recalled the day they jacked the roof up on the Knoll:

"I remember I helped raise the roof on that house, from a two-storey to a three-storey. That was awhile ago. It was a real windy day, and we'd got the whole roof up about four feet with all the supports braced like this and like this to keep from twisting and blowing over. We had to work fast 'cause every now and then it would gust and the jacks would be leaning like crazy and we'd all jump out of the way ... there was some excitement up there that day

Some rather less exciting changes went on inside. Nan's mother, Isabelle (Scott) Graham, had arthritis, and they put a bathroom between the front and back parlours, and made a bedroom and dining room there, changing the former dining room on the west side into a living room. When the house was built, it was not the 'fashion' to have fireplaces, and so the one there today was added later, and built of the brick obtained from T.H.'s brick works, in Inglewood.

There have been more changes in the verandah. Nan recalls:

"When I was small there was a small, square, glassed-in entrance to the front door and a rather narrow verandah along the west side with an entrance to the dining room. As a result, everyone used the dining room door. Then they added a round section to join the two parts. There was a lovely gunrack trimming around the edges! (1905—1910?)

"This all lasted until around 1930 ( ?) , when Father had it taken down and a new verandah, tiled, built with a top which could be walked on. This was along the west side.

"Now, in 1982, we have a totally new verandah, the same distance in length, but half again as wide. It has casement all around, with screens, and a Franklin stove, making it a very adequate living room for adults and children.

Today, Nan shares the Knoll with her niece, Sheila Robertson, (Da241), and her family, visit frequently from Toronto.

Although the woolen mill owned by David Graham was, and is, very much a part of Inglewood's history, the Knoll itself is much more a part of family history than any thing else. Over the years, descendants of nearly all David's brothers and sisters have made a special point of remembering the family homestead. Cousins from across the country have stopped by to see the place where countless happy hours of their younger years were spent.

Why ?

Possibly because it stands as a permanent fixture in our heritage, a picture of stable roots in a moving world of change - changing jobs, changing addresses.

Possibly because it represents a stalwart effort on the part of our ancestors, a striking achievement in the face of their early odds upon arriving in this country. As David Graham put it, in 1926, just before he died: "I commenced with nothing and by the blessing of God I have a comfortable home, and many kind friends who respect me, and wish me well."

It could go back even further. The Graham Clan may not have been the most popular clan around, but they stuck together the hardest, and remained loyal to one another when things got tough, even when their branches spread through Scotland, Northern England, and Northern Ireland.

It could be we all share a deep-rooted sensitivity to the same family beginning. There's a reason why the Graham motto is "Forget Not ".

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