The History of Malcolm Place
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We invite you to enjoy our warm hospitality as you enter this gracious heritage mansion. Step back in time on gleaming oak floors and take a tour of the grand history that surrounds Malcolm Place.

The physical structure stands as a monument to days long past with decorative awnings and elaborate framed windows. The porch spanning the front of the house is supported by beautifully carved posts, giving the house a majestic presence. The tower standing  above the third floor houses the Widows Watch, a unique room all on it's own. Yet one cannot appreciate the true magnificence of Malcolm Place without stepping inside.

The spacious basement is divided into small functional cellars. Among these are a locker room, root, wine and fruit cellars, a vault, furnace room, coal cellar and other rooms for storage. The massive oil furnace resembles a boiler from a ships engine room. The snaking pipes and numerous nuts and bolts are a wonder to see.

The front foyer holds the grand staircase which spans all floors leading to the elegant stained glass ceiling on the third floor. Solid oak doors with ornate brass hinges and antique door knobs line the hallways. The many windows provide a great deal of natural light which gives the house a warm atmosphere. Complementing the fifteen foot ceilings is an intricate wainscoting that draws one's eye about the room. Each room houses a once functional fireplace which would  have been handy during these cold Kincardine winters.

Wallpaper, creative colours and elegant draperies work well together to accent the ambiance of the house.

Situated one block from Lake Huron , Malcolm Place offers a birds' eye view of the breathtaking Kincardine sunsets. The best vantage point is from the Widow's Watch, the small room atop the tower. 

 A winding staircase leads from the third floor to the glass room. From this point one can view the surrounding neighborhood and the lake. The Widow's Watch is named for the wives of sailor's who would sit and wait and watch for their husbands to return home from the sea. Should the weather take a turn for the worse and the sailor be lost, his wife would inevitably become a widow. Fortunately with today's technology, tragedies like this can be averted and as such the room is now used as a lookout point for aspiring artists wishing to capture nature's beauty.

 The house was purchased in 1923 by James Malcolm, Chairman of the Andrew Malcolm Furniture Company. Many of the items of furniture found in the Residence today are period pieces that provide a beautiful ambience and atmosphere in the home. In 1988 the house was purchased by Heritage Living Centres for use as a Retirement Residence. They refurbished the original home and built the addition on the north side. 


The Hon. James Malcolm:
Kincardine's Most Illustrious Son  

James Malcom, M.P. and Minister of Trade and  Commerce, was born in Kincardine  on July 14 1889, son of the late Andrew Malcolm and Annie Robertson. His early education was gained in Kincardine Public School and later at Upper Canada College. He became Chairman of the family furniture company of which his father was the founder. On June  28th, 1905 he married Ethel A Swan and lived most of his life in his home town.

Malcolm purchased the property at 255 Durham Street in the early 1920's. He had the sun porch added to the east side. The house became a showcase home for the elegant, masterly crafted Malcolm furniture.

Aside from his local fame, James Malcolm also has a place in Canadian history. He was first to make a public address by Trans-Atlantic telephone in 1928. Malcolm spoke clearly for 12 minutes to a cheering crowd of 10,000 at the Empire Exhibition at Cardiff, Wales, 3,000 miles away. The cost of the call was $15 a minute. His words traveled by wire from Ottawa to Montreal thence by radio to Cupar, Scotland and to London and Cardiff  by wire.


Levi Rightmeyer:
The Builder of
255 Durham St.

Originally from Philadelphia Levi Rightmeyer was attracted to Kincardine by the prospect of making money from a salt well. He was married to Elizabeth Scott and persuaded her brother, John, to invest in the project. The pair were successful and with his new found fortune, Rightmeyer built the structure at 255 Durham Street circa 1875, the house that became Malcolm Place.

The house has been claimed as :
"a neo classic loyalist American interpretation of British style, and is of superb architectural value both inside and out. The workmanship in all trades on this house is a tribute to the craftsmen and a reminder of the art that will never return." C.R. Merrit, Clerk - Treas. of the town of Kincardine, circa 1974.


Madam Josephine Gualco:
Kincardine's Generous Benefactress

In 1905, Madame Josephine Gualco, a Polish woman of extensive financial means, bought the house. Her giving nature is most exemplified in the many gifts she gave to the town of Kincardine. At the time the town did not have a hospital, Madame Gualco, purchased a farmhouse and donated it, along with a substantial gift of money, for use at Kincardine's General Hospital. The golf course is yet another of her outright gifts. Many needy individuals and families were helped by this very generous woman.

Unfortunately Madame Gualco made some poor investments with finances and lost most of her money. A consequence of this misfortune was the selling of her home, 255 Durham St. to the town for $700 in back taxes. She relocated to Montreal. As such Kincardine lost a very generous benefactress.
How it started
Malcolm Place
c. 1875