City Landmarks Vol II

The Meagher House
If you ask someone where the old brewery’s are in Kingston, chances are they’d point you towards the Kingston Brewing Company. Touché, but did you know that well over a century ago, Kingston was home to many well renowned brew masters. The Bajus Brewery was established in the 1820’s by a father and his two sons who emigrated to the Limestone City from Germany. This building is now part of the Bajus condominium development on Wellington Street, and unfortunately it no longer produces fine ales. Later on, James Morton founded Morton’s Distillery, which operated until the early 1900’s. However it only exists in the history books nowadays.

Although both Morton and the Bajus deserve recognition as pioneers of the pint, they weren’t the most famous distillers to have lived in the city.

That title is saved for the Meagher brothers, who started out in Kingston, and went on to build their famous empire dans la belle province. Their family house is located just down from where the Bajus operated, and is now disguised as a Doctor’s office. For a look at this house, which you’ve probably passed 100 times, take a look at the Flickr set featuring city landmarks.

The plaque on the exterior of this quaint home, reads: John Meagher (1816-1978), third son of Major James Meagher of Tipperary, Ireland, built this stone residence on Lot E, Barrack at Wellington Streets, in 1855. A produce agent and wine merchant he was a partner with his brothers, Jeremiah and James, M.D., in Meagher’s Distillery of neighbouring Napanee, 1862-63. Five of his thirteen children were pioneer figure skaters and won gold medals for performances throughout North America and Europe. John, Jr. (1847-1909) and Joeseph G.C. (1849-1911) moved to Montreal in 1873 and established Meagher Brothers Distillery, which became Meagher’s Distillery Limited, Canada’s largest producer of fine liqueurs, and marketers of other spirits. From 1876 to 1982 the House was owned by Samuel Anglin (1843-1920) and S. Anglin and Co. Kingston.

Isn’t history fun? Got a landmark you think we should write about? Be sure to let us know.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

One thought on “City Landmarks Vol II

  • Very informative Harvey, as a collector of early brewing and distilling artifacts from Kingston I can tell you that items from Kingston's fledgling brewing industry are a rare article indeed. I just acquired an embossed bottle from Philip Bajus a couple weeks ago. I have been searching for this item for over 30 years. The brewery at Portsmouth has an interesting history as well. Thanks.

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