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The Hermitage (Hamilton, Ontario) facts for kids

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The Hermitage and Gatehouse Museum
Ruins of The Hermitage in October 2020
Established 1830
Location Ancaster, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Type historic house museum

The Hermitage was a large residence situated in Ancaster, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which now exists as ruins and is part of The Hermitage and Gatehouse Museum maintained by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. The location is a popular destination for hikers and people interested in the paranormal.


The Hermitage was originally built in 1830 by the Reverend George Sheed. The property is about two miles west of Ancaster, in the Dundas Valley.

Otto Ives (1804–1835) was the third land owner. He was an English officer who had fought in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. He met Magdalene Diamanti, a daughter of the Governor of an Aegean island. They married in Corfu in 1824, and had arrived in Ancaster by 1833. They brought her sister or niece with them to act as a companion for Mrs Ives. It was here that Otto Ives purchased the Hermitage from the heirs of the Rev. George Sheed. Ives had hired a coachman by the name of William Black. Although it is said that Black was also a tutor in the English language, evidence exists that this post was filled by Mary Rosebeury (later Mrs Peter Filman of Hamilton).

In 1853, the Hermitage was purchased by George Gordon Browne Leith (1812–1887) and his wife Eleanor Ferrier (1814–1900). Over the next several years, a large stone house, attendant outbuildings, a farmhouse, barns, and entrance lodge were constructed.

After Mrs Leith's death, the property was purchased by her youngest daughter, Eleanor Alma Dick Lauder (1854–1942). She lived here until the house was destroyed by fire in 1934, and afterwards, in a small house constructed inside the ruins.


The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

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