Potter's Folly.
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Posted by Ian Lusk, 1 February 2019 at 13:31

Good Day,

I am in a position to give you some insight into how Potter's Folly came to acquire the name. I am the GGG grandson of John Potter. My family lineage beginning with myself is.... Ian Lusk, Charles H. Lusk, Charles E. Stafford Lusk, Dr. Charles Potter Lusk, Dr. Charles Horace Lusk. Dr. Charles Horace married Jerusha Ann Potter, the daughter of John Potter and Elizabeth Jeffery on Aug. 1, 1867, thus explaining my connection to the Potters.

The story that was passed on down through the generations in our family is that John Potter agreed to back a $14,000 loan for a relative in the early 1860s. The relative was unable to make the payment schedule on the loan and so John Potter ensured the loan was paid by building the house and selling it so as to cover the principal of the loan and ensure that it was repaid.

This story was written down by my great grandfather Dr. Charles P. Lusk many years ago.

I hope that this helps to clarify the story of Potter's Folly.

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Potter's Folly.

This is a photo of a home at 271 Trafalgar Road that for more than 50 years was the manse for the minister of Knox Presbyterian Church. In 1927 it was purchased by the family of Walter Adamson who later became the Clerk of Session for Knox. Mr. Adamson was 14 when his father, Robert and mother Ethel, moved here from Toronto and bought the home from the church. Walter's father, Robert, renovated it, raising the kitchen roof and put in a coal-fired kitchen stove. The basement had a furnace and coal room. The house was originally built in the early 1860s by shipwright John Potter of Nova Scotia, who never lived in the building and died in 1908 at the age of 92. After being built, the house was rented early in the 1870s to the church and in 1881 was purchased by the congregation. With its distinctive bell tower, it is the only example of Italianate Villa architecture in Oakville. The tower balconies, visible in the photo, are now gone. Exactly why it came to be known among Oakville residents as Potter's Folly is uncertain according to Suzanne and David Peacock of our congregation.