John and Ellen's youngest son William (1855-1922) married Clara U. Frost (1858-1945) and took over the homestead around 1871 following his fathers death and the 600-acre farm was divided into six farms each given to a son. Clara said she was 18 years old when the house (above) was built - 1876. William operated a sawmill at the back of the property. Another brother, Patrick, lived next door - his son Erkton *Erk* and grandson Jimmy were building haulers. William and Clara's daughter Lucetta married Daniel McDowell, when Lucetta was pregnant with her sixth child, Roy, she contracted TB and died 6 months later. Roy was left to be raised by his Silliker grandparents on this farm while his father remarried and moved to Ayre, Mass, USA. When Roy was 12-years-old his grandfather William died and left him, a boy, to care for his grandmother and the farm. Roy married on March 2, 1936 to Empress MacNevin of Milo, they raised their three daughters on this farm.
This center gable styled house had a simple floor plan. To the left/east side was a large kitchen with a 5' pantry across the back, next to the porch - in the back corner of the kitchen, near the middle of the house, was a steep set of winding stairs going up - there were three steps in the kitchen then the door to the stairs. On the left/west at the front, with the offset front door, was the parlour with a small bedroom behind (part of this space was occupied by the stairs going up from the kitchen). There was no plaster on the main floor - the walls were covered with vertical wood wainscoting on the bottom and horizontal wainscoting on the top and the same wood on the ceiling. When i was a child the walls were covered with wallpaper. There was a back porch where the milk was separated, carried in from the barn, a great distance from the house. The second floor plan had the stairs coming up in the middle of the house, there was a railing on three sides of the small stairwell opening, which measured near 44"x78". The stair placement is non-typical for this style of house but similar to earlier central chimney style houses, but in a different location. When came to the top of the stairs you facing the back sloping wall of the house - there was no window. To the right/west side of the house were two bedrooms and on the front a bedroom in the gable - this room was finished better than any other room in the house with a plaster ceiling medallion. To the left/east was a large bedroom with a small room off towards the front of the house - when i was a child this space was called "the junk room" - there was a bed in there and boxes all over the place and the small room held all my grandmother's fabric - she was a sewer and quilter.
Above: Daniel *Roy* McDowell with his team of horses. c. 1926
The photo above of my mother Verna (right) and her two older sisters Millie and Elsie. The view of the house is from the southeast corner - note all the wood shingles - walls and roof. The second floor windows on the east/right were of the Junk Room and Fabric Room.
The Photo below is of my grandfather Daniel *Roy* McDowell on his tractor with my cousin Glenda Brown. Note the barns in the background - we have very few photos of the barns on this homestead - they were arranged/built in a straight line from the house - starting at the house was a wood house, then a chicken house, a pig house, a machine barn, then the big L-shaped barn - it was quite a distance from the house - my grandmother use to say she didn't mind taking the milk to the house porch to be separated in winter as when you stopped for a break you didn't have as far to sit down the buckets of milk as you could rest them on the snow on each side of the path. They gave up farming in 1967 following my grandfather's fall on the ice, breaking his shoulder. They sold the farm to a neighbour cousin, keeping the house and lot.
Below: Summer 1976. My grandparents Roy and Empress standing in front of their house.
In 1983 my brother Kerras bought the house - some of his renovations to the exterior walls revealed the house structure to be studded with 6"x6" posts. Kerras sold the house in 1988 - it's changed hands twice since.