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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 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 1959.061.003 - 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 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 1959.061.013 - Ball, Musket

1959.061.013 - Ball, Musket

A steel ball from a gun used in the Riel Rebellion (Northwest Rebellion, 1885).

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 1960.013.003 - 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 1961.003.004ab - 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 1961.003.007 - 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 1961.003.009ab - Pin, Military

1961.003.009ab - Pin, Military

Military insignia piece, that is a brass shoulder epaulette badge or collar badge (a&b). There is a convex circular part that is plain, and then a flame-like shape. Note that the top is the flame. The round part symbolizes a grenade. The reverse side has two eyes for a cotter pin (split pin) to secure it. Split pins were used for rapid removal (for brass-cleaning purposes so that the man's uniform would not be stained during cleaning). The badge belonged to Captain Howard, who served in the Riel Rebellion. 3.5 cm long and approx. 2 cm wide. It was accompanied with an autograph of Captain Howard (a small slip of paper, that has been displayed on a cardboard piece with the badge for ma