Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stewart Hall

The snow that fell yesterday and the day before is gone. There's a good chill in the air, but the scoot commute is back on.

Today's photo stop offers views of Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire.
Stewart Hall is a stately mansion designed by Robert Finlay, a Scottish architect, on a commission from General Charles Wesley McLean. Finlay also designed many of Montreal's great mansions for the city's elite, that are, for the most part, situated on the slopes of Mount Royal, and particularly in the downtown area north of Sherbrooke street known as the Golden Mile.

The mansion was completed in 1916 and originally named Mull Hall. The hall was saved from demolition by Mrs. May Beatrice Stewart who donated it to the City of Pointe Claire.
Stewart Hall serves as the City of Pointe Claire's cultural centre.

One of the many attractive features of the stately home is the western portico that offers a beautiful view of the lake.
On the technical side of things, I'm wondering about whether a windscreen would be a good addition for the Vespa. There's the choice of low, medium or high windshields. I've yet to read anything convincing on the Modern Vespa forum one way or the other, other than some people swear by them.

I am also increasingly tempted by the thought of installing heated hand grips. Thoroughly chilled hands is the usual outcome by the time I get to work. In the evening the ride is much warmer and even with lighter gloves, I don't get chilled.

Cold weather issues will be gone soon enough, and I'll have plenty of time to mull it over before the fall. I'm anxious to see what riding in warm weather will be like.

Hmmm... you write about the history of Mull Hall and before you know it, you're mulling things over.


Anonymous said...

MacLean was never a general. His highest rank was Lt.-Col.

David Masse said...


I wondered how I got that wrong. Silly me, I trusted the City of Pointe Claire's web site.

Poking around a little, I found this account that bears out Mr. McLean's highest rank as Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. McLean served as a major in the Scottish Light Dragoons in World War I. Like many WWI servicemen, including my maternal grandfather, he brought home a British war bride.

History is important, and it's important to get it right.

Thanks for the contribution Anonymous, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

The 13th Scottish Light Dragoons never went overseas in WW1; they became a home guard unit.
In autumn 1914, MacLean and fellow SLD officer Harry Stewart organized a remount unit, No. 2 Reserve Park, CASC, reaching England in May 1915 with the 2nd contingent, and le Havre Sept. 1915. After 3 weeks transitioning to northwest France, Major Maclean returned to Le Havre to instruct troops for 2 months, then sailed for Canada to recruit his second unit, the 207th Ottawa-Carleton battalion.
The 207th sailed for England in June 1917; Lieut.-Col Maclean married his 2nd wife, Doris Thornton Aldous of Winnipeg, in London, Dec. 1917.

Anonymous said...

David: All credit to you for printing my two comments. Many bloggers wouldn't have had the integrity to do that.
The info is solid. MacLean's 13 SLD OC, Lt-Col G.H. Baker, federal MP for Brome, raised a cavalry unit to go overseas with the 2nd contingent, the 5th Cdn Mtd Rifles.
They were converted to infantry overseas. Col Baker was killed leading his men in June 1916, the only federal MP to die in action in WW1. Many of Baker's colleagues from 13 SLD joined his unit. MacLean made a different decision, and raised a remount unit.

David Masse said...

My pleasure.

Thanks for contributing the history of Stewart Hall.

I certainly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

David: There is a new series of 9 short videos on Stewart Hall consisting of still photos & narration. The first video covers a history of the Crane/MacLean property.
It is more factualy accurate than the Stewart Hall website account, but contains several errors.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.