City of Markham    
Markham Register of Property of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
Address: 4176 19TH AVE
Original Address: 4176 19th Avenue
Property Legal Description: CON 5 PT LOT 31
Historical Name: Almira Mill Workers Cottage
Heritage Conservation District:
Ward: 6
Year Built: c.1845
Architect Style: Georgian Tradition, Vernacular
Heritage Status of Property: Listed
Designation Bylaw:
Heritage Easement Agreement: No
History Description
The Almira Mill Worker’s Cottage is part of a historical grouping of buildings associated with the Almira Mill and the historic hamlet. Although it has been altered by modern renovations, the building retains evidence of its 19th century form and remains recognizable as an early structure and therefore contributes to the character of the Almira community as one of Markham’s historic hamlets In 1850, Benjamin Bowman received the Crown patent for the west 40 acres of the east half of Lot 31, later adding to his holdings by receiving the Crown patent for the east 50 acres of the west half of Lot 31 in 1862. Bruce Creek, a tributary of the Rouge River, runs through the 40 acre parcel, which created an opportunity for the development of a mill in that location. The traditional date of construction of the Almira grist and woollen mills is 1844, with Benjamin Bowman credited as the builder. A remnant of the mill, which was heavily damaged by fire in 1943 and rebuilt in recent times, stands next door to the west of 4176 Nineteenth Avenue. The 1861 census lists four residences on the Bowman property: a 2 storey brick house occupied by Benjamin Bowman, by that time a merchant and local Postmaster, and three frame houses, one occupied by Scott Bowman, a farmer, another occupied by John Bowman, a clothier, and the last occupied by Joseph Cook, also a clothier. The house at 4176 Nineteenth Avenue, based on its type of construction, style and age, was likely one of the frame dwellings listed in the census. It was typical to have a miller’s residence, and also mill worker’s cottages for the employees, in connection with milling operations in the historical development of Ontario communities. From an examination of the interior, it appears as though the house was built in two stages. The eastern two thirds has the older-looking hewn sills and heavy joists. The western third also has very early structural material but the wood is not as darkened with age. Since the western section has four, independent heavy timber sills, and the floor levels are higher in that part, it may be that this was originally a separate structure moved up against the eastern section of the house to enlarge it, or create a double house. In its original form, the Almira Mill Worker’s Cottage was a simple, utilitarian building designed to meet the modest needs of its occupants. Like many similar houses built in the early to mid19th century, it was designed in the Georgian architectural tradition, with a rectangular plan, a gable roof, a most probably a front door centred on the façade, with an equal number of identical windows on either side of the door. The original ordering of door and window openings has been modified by later alterations.
Contemporary Photograph Heritage Photograph
Key Map
Please note that the yellow polygon symbol is not indicative of the actual heritage area and is only meant to highlight the property the heritage building(s) is located at. For a complete description of the actual heritage property please refer to the Designation Bylaw found above.

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