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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 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 1959.061.004 - List, Attendance

1959.061.004 - List, Attendance

A signed item (various autographs) of New Year's Day callers who visited a recent bride, Elizabeth McLean (nee Blythe) at Owen Sound, Canada West, on January 1, 1863. Her own name "Mrs. McLean" is in a central rectangle. The signatures are in rectangular margin spaces that were hand drawn on an eight inch square cardboard piece that has clipped corners. It lists various merchants or professional men, including Henry and Frederick LePan, W. H. Carney, John G. Francis, James Buchan, E. W. Bishop, Michael Forhan, Mr. Pottenger, Jno. Tucker, Henry Macpherson, Alfred Frost, George Brodie, etc.

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 1960.013.003 - Doily

1960.013.003 - Doily

An all-white, hand-made Battenburg Lace doily. It has a six scalloped centre ground, and a needle-made tape lace border that has six more scalloped trefoil designs formed. The filling stitches include picots, darned spiders, and mesh-like patterns. There is also a border of filling stitches that outlines the scalloped ground.

Image of 1960.013.004 - Handkerchief

1960.013.004 - Handkerchief

White cotton handkerchief with tulle edging. The solid squarish ground is separated visually from an outer solid margin of white, by means of a decorative drawnwork (needle-made) border. The corners of this drawnwork border are needle-filled with a quatrefoil motif. There is another openwork border just before the edging as well. The border is a ruffled fine net.

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 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 1960.013.013ab - Jabot

1960.013.013ab - Jabot

A two piece jabot butterfly bow with fall made of net with ribbon lace edging trim. a) would appear to be the jabot. a) has a small rectangular piece of fabric that the rest of the item is gathered into. The main portion of the jabot is made up of two layers, both of net. The lower edge of the top layer is decorated with a band of embroidery. b) Lace bow.

Image of 1960.013.014 - Doily

1960.013.014 - Doily

One square white cutwork linen doily with alternating flower and leaf yellow embroidery border. Each side has three flowers and two leaves.

Image of 1960.013.015 - Lace

1960.013.015 - Lace

White crochet and openwork lace trim with short sleeves (armholes). Probably meant for a bed jacket or bodice that was never finished. The ribbon runs through the lace, and is also formed into a couple of bows.

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 1961.003.002 - 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 1961.003.004ab - 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 1961.003.005 - Box, Needlework

1961.003.005 - Box, Needlework

This is a Victorian woman's workbox. It is a rectangular and hinge-lidded wooden box. It has brass hinging and a lockplate. The exterior has a dark brown finish, and the top surface has an oval-shaped mother of pearl inlay piece, and another one is present at the front as the keyhole escutcheon. The interior of the lid has a bright pinkish-purple, puffy silk lining. The box has silver paper-covered compartments and removable pinkish-purple silk-covered covers for some of the compartments. One of the covers has an opaque white blown glass ball for its lift knob. The largest cover has a stitched purple lift ribbon. There is also a lift-out tray with silver paper covering. The tray has fi

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 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 1961.043.001ab - Button

1961.043.001ab - Button

One pair of hand-painted ceramic buttons. There is a short post in the back which allows the buttons to be attached. The image on the buttons is two pink and one red rose with greenery on the outside.

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.