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Name McLean, John
Born 1816
Birthplace Wiston, Scotland
Places of residence 37 High St., Owen Sound, Canada West (later called 1663 5th Ave. East, Owen Sound, Ontario)
Titles & honors Won a goblet-like trophy for marksmanship (it is now at Grey Roots Museum)
Father Thomas McLean
Mother Jean Gilfillan
Nationality Scottish
Notes There are a number of artifacts and photographs in the Grey Roots Collection that formerly belonged to Mr. and Mrs. McLean and their children.

When they married at Owen Sound on October 23, 1862, John McLean was 46 years old. His bride was 24 years old. John's parents were recorded as Thomas McLean and Jean Gilfillan, while her parents were recorded as John Blythe and Alice Smith.

Mr. John McLean also was a signatory on a listing of Owen Sound men (see 1974.079.370).

Mrs. McLean nee Elizabeth Blyth(e), was born on June 4, 1838, at Cincinnati. She arrived in Owen Sound in 1846 (another source says 1843) as a child with her family, at a time when there were only 12 families in the Village of Sydenham. It had taken the Blythe family 10 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 no transportation in to the settlement after dark. The next day they travelled by a man-hauled batteau up the Sydenham River to the site of the present Owen Sound City Hall, and were housed at the Government building near there. Her father, John Blythe, was a tailor, and opened a tailor shop in part of W. C.Boyd's house. The Blythes built a log house on Scrope Street.

In the early 1860s (1862), Elizabeth married John McLean (1816-1900), and they lived at what is now known as 1663 5th Ave. East, Owen Sound. She was a Christadelphian in religion, and attended Division St. Presbyterian Church. She died in January, 1921, at the age of 83. There is an ambrotype (photograph) of Mrs. McLean (see 1962.039.002), and there are also images of her parents (1969.039.005&006).

Mr. John McLean was born on Sept. 19, 1816, at Roberton Parish, Wiston, Scotland. Reportedly he came to Canada in 1837 and was drafted in Montreal into a regiment that was needed to suppress the rebellion. After the rebellion, he moved to Toronto in 1838. There he went into a partnership in a gentleman's furnishings business, and retired in 1857. In 1860, he moved to Owen Sound, Canada West.

Mr. McLean liked to collect interesting objects, and he also won a prize for his marksmanship. The archives has an image of him in shooting position with other gentlemen at a rifle range in the 1860s (see 1965.046.005/1969.088.010/1968.061.049).

After he died in 1900, his widow, Elizabeth, and two of the daughters, Grace and Mary, resided at Princess St. West, Owen Sound, according to the 1901 census. The census provides Mrs. McLean's birthdate as June 4, 1838, age 62, and states that she emigrated from the U.S. in 1843. Grace McLean was born Dec 19, 1864, and Mary A. A. McLean was born May 18, 1878.

Elizabeth McLean passed away in 1921.

In 2014, "McLean House" in Owen Sound was offered for sale.
Occupation Collector
Marksman
1837 Rebellion Veteran
Publications Cathcart, Ruth, HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION, 1996 (a book about architecture, includes the McLean residence).

"Couple Renovates Unique Old Wooden House, Solid Despite 100 Years of Age", THE OWEN SOUND SUN TIMES, Oct. 17, 1864 (re the McLean residence).
Role Business person
Spouse Elizabeth Blyth (or Blythe) b. 1838-d. 1921
Married Oct. 23, 1862
Children Grace Ann McLean (1864-1931)
Mary Ann Alice McLean (1878-1967)
Alexander McLean (1875-1897)
Robert B. McLean (1870-1919)
William H. McLean (1868-1915)
Jane McLean (1864-1872)
George McLean (1873-1875)

In 1998, Mr. Ralf Guminski emailed the museum to let us know that there is a "son" named John Gilfelin McLean (b. Jan. 16, 1867), who is listed in the 1881 and 1891 census under the McLean household. He had his own household in the 1901 census.

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 1968.014.006ab - Jar, Cosmetic

1968.014.006ab - Jar, Cosmetic

Ceramic pot (a), with a transfer-printed lid (b) of a country scene with some cows in the foreground, "The Red Bull" pub and a couple in the background.

Image of 1968.014.001abc - Teakettle

1968.014.001abc - Teakettle

Brass (gold coloured) teakettle (a) and lid (b), and trivet (c). The tea kettle has a bent brass rod lift handle. The pouring spout has an angled-upwards, straight-looking shape. The lid has a black-finished wooden grip at its top. The tea pot stand (trivet) is a three-legged one, with decorative piercing to allow the heat to dissipate. The underside of the trivet has a whitish-looking British registry mark with RD? 388047 (likely dates it to c. 1902-1903) and "MADE IN ENGLAND / J. S. & S / --------"

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 1968.014.003 - Kettle, Preserving

1968.014.003 - Kettle, Preserving

Brass, pail-like-shaped preserving kettle from the 19th-century. This kettle is all-brass, and is designed without feet. It has a bail-style handle. There is a maker's mark stamped inside the kettle (need to look into it). We are not sure yet if it is British or North American in its manufacture. It belonged to a 19th-century family in Owen Sound, Ontario. There is a black & white photograph of this kettle in a display binder from the previous museum. Note: At the previous museum site, the small kettle was used in the Log Cabin building for occasional dyeing demonstrations. We could not find the kettle in 2012 and needed a brass kettle for this demo, so if another one is offered, pl

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 1961.003.004ab - 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 1961.043.008 - 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 1963.059.002ab - Balance

1963.059.002ab - Balance

Small, brass pan apothecary-style (druggist-style hanging-style) weigh scales(a), 19th-c in age, and the wooden hinged box in which they are kept (b). The bottom of the box is lined with red coloured cloth. Also, there are six gold coloured coin-like items (drams and part drams) all of different sizes, that were used for counter weights, and six square brass pieces of metal, probably used for minute weights. All of the coins and metal pieces are unnumbered due to the lack of surface area to add a number. The set has a maker's mark with "From the Manufactory of W. & H. Hutchinson, Sheffield, Surgical Instrument Makers to the Royal Navy".

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 1960.013.001 - Doily

1960.013.001 - Doily

Hand-embroidered doily, with fuschia flowers (probably bleeding hearts) hand-worked in silk threads, on a round white ground. It has a scalloped perimeter (with scallops of different sizes) and the edge is finished with white silk thread. The silk thread embroidery is present in three groups of fuschias and leaves. The flowers are pink and white, with orange pistils.

Image of 1960.013.002 - Doily

1960.013.002 - Doily

Hand-embroidered doily, decorated with pink silk roses, and a scalloped perimeter, that was made by Grace A. McLean of Owen Sound. It has a white linen ground, with silk thread embroidery. The perimeter has round scallops whipped with white embroidery thread. The embroidery design has four pink roses and two rosebuds in a ring around the centre. The roses have been shaded, as have the leaves.

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 1959.061.003 - Goblet

1959.061.003 - Goblet

Silver-plated trophy goblet from 1869. There is a classical design depicting Mercury (he has a winged helmet) with designs engraved into the cup around it. On the opposite side, it has been engraved with "1st PRIZE WON BY J.McLEAN JULY 1869". This is also surrounded by an engraved design. The bottom of base reads "MERIDEN BRITA COMPANY" in raised lettering. This goblet also has engraving re the "C.R.C." [Canadian Rifle Club]. Mr. John McLean of Owen Sound, Ont. won this goblet in a marksmanship contest.

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 1961.003.007 - Club

1961.003.007 - Club

A carved, wooden "Indian War Club" that was presented to/given to the late John McLean by Chief Waubyuk of Orillia in the 19th-century. The war club head is effigy-style, shaped like a male's head, with inset lead eyes, and is dull red [perhaps ochre?] and black in colour.

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.