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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 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