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Name McLean, Elizabeth
Othernames nee Blythe
Born June 4, 1838
Birthplace Cincinnati, United States
Places of residence Cincinnati, United States
Owen Sound, Upper Canada
Scrope Street and Bay Street
37 High Street (later 1663 5th Ave. East, Owen Sound)
Princess Street West, Owen Sound (1901 census)
Titles & honors In 2016, Grey Roots Museum displayed the "Extraordinary Tree" exhibit, and one panel shows the large Cucumber Magnolia tree that was likely planted around the time that the McLean residence was built (c. 1863).
Father John Blythe (Blyth)
Mother Alice Blythe (nee Smith)
Nationality American-born
Notes Mrs. McLean was Elizabeth Blythe (Blyth) and was born on June 4, 1838 at Cincinnati. In 1840, the Blythe family moved to Toronto. In 1844, Mr. Blyth visited the new settlement at Owen's Sound. He brought his family there in 1846. Elizabeth arrived at Owen Sound (then known as the village of Sydenham, Upper Canada), in 1846 as a child with her family. At the time of their arrival, there were only twelve families in the village. It had taken the Blythe family ten days to travel from Toronto, first by stage to Holland Landing, across Lake Simcoe, another stage to Coldwater, and finally by the steamer CALULA to Sydenham. They landed at Boyd's Wharf, where they stayed the night, as there was then no transportation in to the settlement after dark. The next day, they travelled via a man-hauled batteau up the Sydenham River to the site of what is now the present-day Owen Sound City Hall and market square area, and were housed at the log Government building there that was provided as a shelter for incoming settlers. There is a folk art model of this Government House in the Grey Roots Museum collection. Elizabeth's father was a tailor, and he opened up a tailor shop in part of W. C. Boyd's log house. The Blythes built a log house for their family along Scrope Street. Mr. Blythe, in addition to his tailoring work, also served as the first Tax Collector in the village, and also was the inspector of weights and measures. He also was a Justice of the Peace? as an 1863 publication described him as a "Collector, and J.P" (the 1863 POETICAL DIRECTORY OF OWEN SOUND).

On November 18, 1858, Elizabeth's eldest sister, Miss Mary Ann Blythe, married William Henry Tucker, a Confectioner. In 1858, the John Blythe family resided along Bay Street.

Elizabeth recalled in later years how passenger pigeons used to flock along the east side of Owen Sound.

Prior to the 1857 removal of the Newash Ojibwa people from the west shore area, Elizabeth acquired a beaded Anishnaabe pouch from someone there. It is now 1959.016.012 at Grey Roots Museum.

In 1862, Elizabeth married a Scotsman, John McLean (1816-1900), who had moved from Toronto and settled in Owen Sound in 1860. He had emigrated in 1837. Between 1838-1857, he was in a partnership in a gentleman's furnishings business at Toronto, until he retired. Elizabeth and John resided at 37 High Street, a house that was built between 1862-1864.

In 1872, their daughter Jane died. In 1875, their son George died, age two.

In the 1881 and 1891 censuses, there was a "son" named John Gifelin McLean, b. Jan. 16, 1867, who resided in the McLean household. He had his own household at the time of the 1901 census.

Mrs. McLean was widowed in 1900. The former McLean residence at 37 High Street became known as 1663 5th Ave. East in 1909. In 1915, during the First World War, Mrs. McLean lost another son, William H. McLean. In 1919, another son, Robert B. McLean died of _____________.

Miss Mary McLean was born in Owen Sound on May 18, 1878, and died on Dec. 11, 1967. She was a music teacher.

In the 1901 census, Mrs. McLean and her daughters Grace and Mary resided at Princess Street West in Owen Sound.

Elizabeth McLean was a Christadelphian in her religion, but attended Division Street Presbyterian Church. She died in January, 1921, at the age of 83.

Archival Items:
1962.039.002 Daugerrotype photograph of Elizabeth and John McLean (early 1860s)
1962.039.005 Photograph of Mrs. Blythe (Elizabeth's mother)
1962.039.006 Photograph of Elizabeth McLean in the 1860s, by W. C. Adams
1962.039.007 Photograph of John McLean in the 1860s, by W. C. Adams of Owen Sound
1984.011.001 Land grant document for John Blythe of the Village of Sydenham (later Owen Sound), 1847.
Occupation Homemaker / Housewife
Publications Cathcart, Ruth, HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION (re architecture of the McLean residence)
Obituary for Mrs. McLean (January, 1921)
"Early County Settlers Came up Garafraxa Road, From East Via St. Vincent", THE OWEN SOUND SUN TIMES, Mon. June 6, 1960, p. 10 (re Blyth family)
"Couple Renovates Unique Old Wooden House, Solid Despite 100 Years of Age", THE OWEN SOUND SUN TIMES, Oct. 17, 1964 (house built by John McLean)
Marsh, E. L., A HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF GREY, 1931, p. 311
Relationships Sister: Mary Ann Blythe (m. William Henry Tucker, a Confectioner, Nov. 18, 1858)
Brother: Alex Blythe (Blyth) of Toronto. There was an advertisement for a plain and ornamental plasterer named Alexander Blyth c. Jan. 1857, in an Owen Sound newspaper (THE OWEN SOUND TIMES, Oct. 23, 1857, p. 1). Is this the same fellow?
Role Homemaker
Spouse John McLean, m. October 23, 1862
Children 7 children
Grace Ann McLean (1864-1931)
Jane McLean (1864- 1872) need to verify her dates yet
William H. McLean (1868-1915)
Robert B. McLean (1870-1919)
George McLean (1873-1875)
Alexander McLean (1875-1897)
Mary Ann Alice McLean (1878-1967)

Also John Gilfelin McLean (b. 1867) resided with them, considered a son?

Associated Records

Image of 1968.014.004ab - Jar, Cosmetic

1968.014.004ab - Jar, Cosmetic

Ceramic pot (round) with transfer-printed lid (for hair lotion or a paste). The transfer printing is of a castle scene, with people walking over a bridge in the foreground.

Image of 1968.014.002 - Pitcher

1968.014.002 - Pitcher

Brass ewer-style pitcher or measure, 19th-c. Function: For pouring liquids, possibly hot water? No maker's identification. It only has the numeral "3" impressed on the underside. The underside is recessed. Has a long, curved pouring lip. Has a long brass handle. The base of the pitcher is round and has the widest diameter, then the walls taper towards the top. If it was a measure, it might have once had matching items of different sizes, and measures usually have wider mouths. Some collectors call items like this "Hot Water Jugs" (ewers).

Image of 1961.003.004ab - Clock, Wall

1961.003.004ab - Clock, Wall

Brewster & Ingraham wall clock, 19th-c. The clock (a) has a wooden case which is shaped like a Gothic arch. The wood has a brown stain finish. There is a circular glass dial cover and a square frosted glass lenticle in the door on the front of the clock. The mechanism is an anchor-escapement eight-day spring movement. It strikes on the hour and the alarm mechanism has its own power source. The pendulum has a brass-coloured circular bob. There is a Directions label present: "Directions for setting the clock running. Place the clock in a perpendicular positon, oil the pallets or ends of the part commonly called the verge, the pin on which the verge plays and the wire which carries the pendul

Image of 1975.061.001 - Quilt, Bed

1975.061.001 - Quilt, Bed

St. Mary's Church fund-raising embroidered signature quilt / name quilt, 1909 in white cotton ground with red embroidery. The center of the quilt has an embroidered illustration of the church structure of St. Mary's Church at Owen Sound. Title area reads: "Tuesday July 6, 1909, St. Mary's Church, Owen Sound". Block numbers go in order of images. Very narrow white binding and no quilting other than separation of the square blocks. There are 785 names on the quilt. Block 1: Miss Fleda Ayerst, Mrs. George Bartlet, Mr. Michael Carroll, Mrs. McLean, Miss Kate Hatton, Miss Minnie Hatton, Miss Grace McLean, Miss Margaret McDonald, Mrs. Robert Hatton, Mrs. May Rossiter, Mrs. J. Robinson, Miss A

Image of 1961.043.008 - Hatpin

1961.043.008 - Hatpin

A hatpin with a gold head that has a red ruby gem.

Image of 1960.013.008ab - Jar, Pickle

1960.013.008ab - Jar, Pickle

Dark-brown glazed pickle jar (crockery jar), 19th-c, maybe c. 1860? glazed earthenware (the lift knob of the lid is un-glazed). The jar (A) has a smooth, dark-brown glaze over all surfaces except for the underside. This bottom is rough. No pottery identification is present on it. The lid (B) has a lift handle that is "button-shaped". The rest of the lid has a large, circular ridge and there is a dark-brown glaze to match the jar.

Image of 1961.043.009 - Hairpin

1961.043.009 - Hairpin

Tortoiseshell hairpin with gold pique decoration at the top closed end. It is a Victorian item.

Image of 1959.061.012 - Pouch

1959.061.012 - Pouch

Beaded floral First Nations (Ojibwa) pouch, 19th-c. This heavily beaded floral pouch has a rounded shape and is piped around the edge with red cloth. The body of the pouch is made of dark brown or black velvet, which is lined with dark brown linen. The beading is raised Iroquois-style, but has Ojibwa patterning, with floral motifs. There are three sizes of opaque white beads used, as well as teal/turquoise blue, darker blue, yellow, orange, dusty pink, red, silvery and amber-coloured beads. The flaps are edged with alternating horizontal and vertical large white beads. The pouch is beaded on both sides. There are flat brass sequins placed near the floral designs.

Image of 1963.059.005 - Cup, Invalid

1963.059.005 - Cup, Invalid

Ceramic (glazed white chinaware) invalid's feeding cup (which has a spout). It is predominately white, but also has a red-printed Red Cross symbol inside two round margin lines on the top area.

Image of 1960.013.006 - Purse, Change

1960.013.006 - Purse, Change

A coin purse with silver medallion-like lid to it. The purse has a compact-like silver lid and rim, which springs open when a tab at the front is pushed in. Perhaps it was called a snap closure? The lid has an embossed design with coin-like decoration and the portrait of an Ancient Greek man. There is a small mesh sack made out of brown/ecru-coloured crochet thread. Woven into the bag are pointed patterns of silver-coloured, metallic beads (at the bottom of the bag only). The purse design was patented on March 25, 1890.

Image of 1961.043.002 - Buttonhook

1961.043.002 - Buttonhook

A glove button hook with pendant. The pendant has a relief design of a helmeted female or young man looking leftwards. This classical image perhaps depicts Minerva or Athena or Hector. It is made of brass and steel. Joined to the implement is a steel chain that has fourteen links to it. Each link is a piece of metal that has been made into a triangular form. There is no maker's identification present.

Image of 1961.003.002 - Ring, Napkin

1961.003.002 - Ring, Napkin

Silver-plated fancy napkin ring. It is about 3.3 cm wide and has a diameter of approx. 4.3 cm. It has a beaded, linear decoration, and a textured mid-region with an engraving area that has "P.? L.? Beith" on it. The mid-region is also decorated with cut-like engraving.

Image of 1961.003.001abc - Inkwell

1961.003.001abc - Inkwell

Glass inkwell (a), metal stand (b), and lid (c). The glass is opaque, likely clouded due to age. The inkwell has a square base, expands upwards, and eventually tapers to the circular opening. The brass lid is circular, designed to fit over the inkwell's opening. The lid is decorated with three white concentric circles and topped with a small nub. The brass stand has a square base, with a square section outlined on the top in which the inkwell can sit. It is supported by four circular legs, flattened at the bottom for stability. The stand also has a circular, patterned finger loop handle at one end and two arms on the other side (the curved areas are for for holding pens or quills horizontall

Image of 1961.003.013 - Ring, Napkin

1961.003.013 - Ring, Napkin

Silver plated napkin ring with an embossed bird design in two places and plain ends. The initials "L. Mc" are engraved with little arrowhead-like marks around them.

Image of 1961.003.014 - Ring, Napkin

1961.003.014 - Ring, Napkin

Silver plated, Victorian napkin ring engraved with "G Mc" (= Miss Grace McLean of Owen Sound, Ont.). Its pattern has small, repeated quatrefoil flower and fern motifs. The ends are slightly concave.

Image of 1961.003.015 - Ring, Napkin

1961.003.015 - Ring, Napkin

Silver plated, Victorian napkin ring with a pinched-style center and symmetrical ends. There is a wave and dot design and threaded edges. "M Mc" [=Miss Mary McLean of Owen Sound, Ontario] is engraved on it. Mary was born in 1878 and died in 1967. All of her parent's family had personalized napkin rings (see RELATED items).

Image of 1961.003.016 - Ring, Napkin

1961.003.016 - Ring, Napkin

Silver plated napkin ring. It is a solid, cylindrically-shaped band, with an exterior that has an impressed floral and butterfly pattern.

Image of 1959.061.002 - Cape

1959.061.002 - Cape

Woman's black dolman, with chenille and jet bead construction and trim which closes at the front of the neck via a black metal hook and eye fastener. The dolman is thigh-length at the back and has long scarf ends hanging in the front to knee level or beyond. The neck has a solid cottn band, and there is also a fringe at the neck.

Image of 1961.043.003 - Pencil

1961.043.003 - Pencil

An old English silver pencil that has topaz inlayed on the non-lead end.

Image of 1961.043.011 - Doily

1961.043.011 - Doily

Small, square, ecru-coloured doily is an example of extremely fine tatted work. The square is formed of nine rough circles (three per row), which in turn are comprised of many smaller circular forms. Some small rust-coloured spots are present on the article.