"Haunted House" as featured on Creepy Canada television series!
The Mathers-Walls House Strange events are witnessed by those who work at this once industrious Mill in Kenora, Ontario. At the turn of the century, businessman John Mathers brought industry to the township of Kenora, Ontario which included a flour mill and a saw Mill. During the operation of the mills, many employees lived in a near-by housing unit. Soon an illness spread throughout the mill, infecting employees and their families. Some even died in each other’s arms. Today, tour groups walk the mill and its residence, and some people have witnessed paranormal activity. A woman noticed a rocking chair mysteriously moving back and forth. A painter, while restoring one of the rooms, had his tools, suddenly, thrown against a wall. Considering the many former residents, and the hardships they endured, , its no wonder the building still has its ghostly residents.
116 Ottawa Street, Keewatin
Open in summer only
The Mather-Walls House in Keewatin (now part of Kenora) reflects the vision of one man – John Mather.
Mather, a native of Scotland who emigrated to Canada in 1857, became Keewatins first postmaster and school board chairman. A shrewd businessman, he acquired the lumber rights to an area around Lake of the Woods at a time when railway construction dominated the local economy. Mather formed the Keewatin Lumbering and Manufacturing Company and hired workers from as far away as Scotland.
In 1889, Mather built three almost identical houses for his employees. The first and third have undergone significant alterations over the years. The second, originally the residence of Mathers son David, is now known as the Mather-Walls House.
Preserved by the Foundation, the Mather-Walls House is a conservative wooden version of the exuberant Queen Anne style, designed by Winnipeg architect George Browne. It has a picturesque roof line, verandas, fine interior wood trim and hardware, and windows in a variety of shapes and forms decorated with panes of coloured glass. In 1906 the house was purchased by John Walls, foreman at the mill. Located on a hill, it originally overlooked the lumber and flour mills across the bay. Today it is home to the Lake of the Woods Historical Society. The house features furnishings from the era of the Walls family, as well as an interpretive display highlighting the Mather family and their significant impact on the development of the area.
The Foundation purchased the Mather-Walls House in 1975. Between 1975 and 1984, it conducted extensive research, then undertook a complete restoration of the site.
The Lake of the Woods Historical Society has operated the Mather-Walls House, since it opened in 1985, under an agreement with the Foundation. The Society holds its meetings and hosts community events on the premises, and in the summer months conducts public tours.
Today, the house contains an interpretive display highlighting the significant impact of the Mather family on the development of the area.
Restoration of the Mather-Walls House began in 1978. By 1981, reconstruction of the outbuildings and exterior details, such as the verandah, had been completed. In 1984 a two year interior restoration was undertaken.
The Mather-Walls House has been the subject of archaeological, architectural and historical studies. Artifacts such as ceramics and glass bottles were unearthed in an excavation, revealing a wealth of information about the lifestyles of the families who lived here over the past one hundred years.
Come and Visit!
The Society provides public tours of this historic Queen Anne style Victorian home located at 1116 Ottawa Street in Keewatin. Furnished with many of the original fixtures, tour guides will take you back 105 years for a look at lifestyles our forefathers knew. Special exhibits are on display throughout the year.
Tours are offered May - September 1, six days a week (closed Mondays).
The house is also available for private and public function rentals.