The Farquharson Family was well represented on Upper Prince Street in the late 19th century. The family built no less than three, quite grand, Second Empire style homes on the west side of the street. The house at 77 Upper Prince Street was the property of Hon. Donald Farquharson. Farquharson began his career as a teacher and became a successful merchant and politician. He was also part owner of the Patriot newspaper.
In 1876 he entered politics representing 2nd Queens and continued to serve in the legislature until 1901. In 1898, he became Premier after Hon. Alexander B. Warburton was appointed a judge of the court of Kings County.
Known as the Prohibition Premier, Farquharson passed the Prohibition Act of 1900, the first of its kind in post Confederation Canada. That same year he resigned his post as Premier and ran successfully for a federal seat in West Queens in the by-election of 15 January 1902. Sadly Farquharson died the next year on 26 June 1903.
Unfortunately, some of the details of Faquharson’s will proved difficult to carry out but the estate was eventually sold with John “Klondike” MacLeod purchasing 77 Upper Prince Street. It is unknown where MacLeod received his nickname but it might be due to his participation in the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896. Alternatively, he might have received the moniker from his association with an area near Kilmuir that was referred to locally as “the Klondike” due to its remoteness. In any case, this is not the first elegant home that MacLeod is listed as owning, as he held the title to a large Queen Anne style home off the North River Road at 6 Sunset Drive.
MacLeod and the Farquharsons also had the house next door at 83 Upper Prince Street in common. Originally, a single family dwelling, the house would later be converted to an apartment building. The Balmoral Apartments pictured above in 1947 would be renamed the Kennedy Arms Apartment Building.
One important feature that makes Upper Prince Street special is the presence of large trees. The trees can be seen in the 1947 image above lining both sides of the street.