This house has a long history dating back to 1860, when it was originally built. It features a gable roof with dormers, two-storey veranda and gingerbread. The Italianate style house belonged to David Reesor, the son of Christopher Reesor and Margaret Armstrong.
(TWP: I believe the farm originally belonged to David’s father, Christopher and later passed onto David.)
David and his brother Robert owned numerous properties in the southern Ontario area.
The David Reesor property became known as the Silver Spring Farm. Mr. Reesor bred horses and cattle in Manitoba which they imported from overseas. They held livestock auctions at the farm dating back to at least 1872.
The eight acre property was the site of some huge social gatherings. In 1886, a Monster Social was held with over 5,000 people attending. The Monster Social was hosted by members of the Zion Presbyterian Church. The Ontario and Quebec railroad lines ran eight rail cars from Toronto to the Silver Spring Farm for the event. The trains would then wait at the siding at Locust Hill to return the visitors home. A stage coach ran every 20 minutes from Markham Village to take passengers to the social event.
Hundreds of attendees arrived in vehicles in addition to those who arrived by train. There were tables set up across the vast property and Chinese lanterns hanging from the trees. The Massey band, a concertina band and bagpipes played at the event.
Some of the money raised at the social was used to fund the construction of a new brick church.
The house was used for a film location in the movie Funeral Home (1980). It’s difficult for me to determine if the interior of the house was used for the entire movie. There are distinctive scenes where you can match the doors and hallways but the interior of some rooms appear quite different. Also I don’t believe there was a large basement with an exterior cellar door. Then again I didn’t check the basement.
Production of the movie took place between July 23, 1979 to September 12, 1979. The front of the house is without the additional porch extension.
The house was used for an episode of the 1990’s Canadian-American horror series, Goosebumps for the “Night of the Living Dummy III” episode.
The house was purchased by a numbered company in November of 2022 for $11 million dollars. This almost guarantees that the house will be demolished and new housing taking it’s place. The previous owner was Merle Highcock whose name was added to the title in 1995, likely a transfer from within the family. There is zero online presence for Mr. Highcock.
The house was last occupied by the Pilkington family. It still has working electricity and has been quite active in the urbex circuit. The property is listed in the Municipal Register of properties with potential heritage value however it doesn’t appear to have official heritage designation to protect it from demolition.
There’s an active farm on the property which sells fresh fruits and vegetables.
Cell Phone Photography