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The building that would become known as Whitehern was built between 1848 and 1850 for city clerk and attorney Richard Duggan.1 It was originally named Willowbank.
Dr. Calvin McQuesten, an American from New Hampshire, came to Hamilton in 18352 to open a foundry with his cousin John Fisher. McQuesten prospered in business and in 1852 he was able to purchase Willowbank from Duggan for 800 pounds. The property would eventually be named Whitehern. It remained in the hands of the McQuesten family for 116 years. Three generations of McQuestens lived in the house from 1852 until the house was bequeathed to the City of Hamilton in 1968.
1 Ontario Heritage Foundation Plaque
2 Foley, Doug. The McQuesten legacy. The Hamilton Spectator 19 July 2008