Samuel Flint House
We are often asked about the history of our heritage building. Thanks to assistance provided by the Brockville Historical Society we have compiled some backgound about the long established Brockville residence occupied by Irvine Funeral Home.
Since 1857, the stately home of entrepreneur Samuel Flint has graced the crest of the hill at the corner of James Street and Victoria Avenue in the heart of Brockville. Mr. Flint was the son of Billa and Sally Flint, who came to Brockville from the United States in 1811. Billa Flint was a merchant and amassed a sizeable estate including vast real estate holdings.
Samuel Flint was born in Brockville, in a St. Andrew Street home in 1827. He married Laura Huntingdon of Canton, New York in 1851 and following his father’s demise in 1852, he took control of his estate which he managed throughout his life.
By today’s standards, Samuel Flint would be considered a property developer, and is responsible for the construction of a number of valued buildings in the city. His obituary stated “During his lifetime he has erected many new buildings, which will stand for years as monuments to his memory.” It is suspected that Benjamin Chaffey was the builder of 4 James Street East. Several architectural aspects of the home are found in other Brockville residences that Mr. Chaffey built.
Samuel Flint’s family owned the home for over a century. His wife Laura predeceased him in 1891. In 1894 he married Grace Unsworth and together they had a daughter, May Unsworth Flint.
The December 9, 1905 Brockville Recorder issued the news of the death of Samuel Flint and stated that with his passing, “the last member of one of the pioneer families of Brockville is gone.” A funeral service was conducted from the residence on December 11th, 1905 and Mr. Flint was laid to rest at the Brockville Cemetery.
Following Mr. Flint’s death, Mrs. Flint married Edwin Weatherhead. She remained at 4 James Street East until her death in 1956, having over many years shared the residence with her daughter, May. After becoming widowed at a young age, May McArthur returned to 4 James Street East. Her husband John S. McArthur had operated an early Brockville industry, the McArthur Beltworks. He died accidentally in 1936.
Mrs. McArthur was known in the community for her entertaining and had hosted art classes in her home given by Mario Aromi. There are many stories about her very conversational parakeet, which occupied the sunroom in the north west corner of the home.
Following Mrs. McArthur’s death in 1960, Brockville lawyer John Corbett purchased the house. It was in this home that Mr. Corbett and his wife Betty raised their six children. Mr. & Mrs. Corbett were active in the political life of Leeds & Grenville and on one occasion entertained the Right Honorable John Diefenbaker in their home.
Then, in 1973, Brent Irvine purchased the property in which he established Irvine Funeral Home. Although no longer a private residence, we have endeavored to respect the heritage and character of the home in any modifications that have been made. We are pleased to do our part in preserving a piece of Brockville's history.