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  Fairholme Recollections of the Gurd Mansion
1874 1964

The idea of a book on Fairholme, The Gurd Masion, which was located in Sarnia, Ontario, started with an email from Jessie Gurd Griffith, the great granddaughter of Robert S. Gurd, the original owner of the mansion. In that email of January 04, 2015, Jessie Griifith inquired about the possibility of a ballroom being located on the third floor of Fairholme. Since my grandfather, Fraser Heartwell, had bought the mansion in the mid 1940's, and I spent my childhood living there, I was an obvious source of information on Fairholme. I had no knowledge of a ballroom so I began some extensive web searches and discovered that the original design drawings of Fairholme were held at the Univeristy Library, located only a few blocks from my home. Thus began my journey into original research and authorship.

Originally, I had planned on a book about 60 to 80 pages that would focus on the design of the mansion and surrounding neighbourhood. However, as I continued to discuss the matter with Jessie Griffith, she revealed that she had in her possession the Gurd Family Photo Albums and the Gurd Family Scrapbook. Well as things go, the story line of the Gurd Family was vast, interesting with amazing connections, and more importantly well documented. The book grew in depth and scope, and now two years later, the book is over 500 pages long and has 350 illustrations. The following outline provides a glimpse into the world of Fairholme, and as I enter my third year of work on this project, I am now exploring the world of publication.


Table of Contents


Robert Sinclair Gurd

The Robert S. Gurd Family

Robert S. Gurd's
Children & Families

Robert S. Gurd's
Grand Children

Other Notable Members
Of The Gurd Family

Christina Street
From Russell's Lane
To London Road

Images Of Fairholme

The Architects

Fairholme In The 1950's
& 60's

Christina Street
How I Remember It

Artifacts From Fairholme

Family Albums

The Sarnia Art Movement

A Time Line of Fairholme

And In Conclusion
Some Personal Thoughts


List of Illustrations





Fairholme - Recollections of the Gurd Mansion 1894 - 1964
  Talking Points

An Acroterium

Dinosaurs in Alberta

A Hollywood Movie

The Old Mill in Toronto

The Oil Industry in Ontario

The Group of Seven

Walt Whitman

The London Insane Asylum

Carnegie Libraries

The Temperance Movement

The Stanley Cup

The Sarnia Art Movement

Stone Masons and Church Building

A Measle Epidemic


Children should be see
but not heard

Canada's Second Prime Minister

The Fenian Raids

The Gurd Gusher

Ice Harvesting


A Flying Wheel of Cheese

A Royal Wedding
A Royal Visit


The 1950's


Photograph Courtesy of Jessie Gurd Griffith


The Families

Robert Sinclair Gurd
Sarah Johnson

• Their Children •
Mabel Gertrude Gurd
Norman St. Clair Gurd
Mary (Maizie) Adelaide Grace Gurd
Jessie Talfourd Gurd
Robert Douglas MacDonald Gurd

Lionel Fraser Heartwell
Hattie May Gray

• Their Children •
Keith Heartwell
Doris Heartwell
Robert John Heartwell


The Architects

William Stibbs Architect
William Tyrrell
And Then
B. Napier Simpson Architect


Fairholme - Back Cover



Photograph Courtesy of
The Lambton County Archives
Wyoming, Ontario