Doors to be Open More Often at Duff-Baby House


The oldest building in Windsor may soon get the attention it deserves.

In an effort to give the public more access to the Duff-Baby House, the city will soon begin negotiations with the Ontario Heritage Trust to gain access to the first floor of the historic home in Sandwich Town.

David Garlick is the vice president of Les Amis Duff-Baby and says this is a big step forward for the house which is currently only open to the public four or five times a year.

He says anytime the doors are open people turn out in big numbers.

"Every time that we open the building up to give tours we have between 100 and 300 people through the building, many of them saying they've never been in the building before. So if we can commit to, say, being open every Sunday in the summer then we'll be there every Sunday and we'll know that people will be coming into the building."

Garlick says the home has an important historical significance to the area.

"Incredibly important with respect to the War of 1812. It's the last place Tecumseh ate a comfortable meal. It's an incredibly important building for the War of 1812, but after the War of 1812 it also becomes important for the underground railroad, it becomes important for the history of Sandwich."

He says they'd also like to decorate the interior to match the time period.

"Main floor is completely empty, second floor is office space, third floor is completely empty. We want the opportunity to open it up more often on a regular basis and have the opportunity to raise some money so that we can make the building look, inside, like it did in, say, 1813."

Built in 1798, the Duff-Baby House was a meeting place for Chief Tecumseh and the headquarters for General Isaac Brock and Henry Harrison during the War of 1812.

The home is the oldest building in Canada west of Toronto.