Oak Hall

Address: 7400 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, ON.
Tel: 905-358-6418

Called Niagara’s “Castle on the Hill”, this historical mansion sits on a cliff overlooking picturesque Dufferin Islands. This stately mansion was the former home of several prominent Niagara Falls residents. The earliest known occupant of the home was Colonel Thomas Clark, a commander in the Second Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812. He obtained the home in 1816 and called it Clark Hill. Upon his death in 1837 the home was passed to Thomas Clark Street. Street rebuilt the home in 1850 incorporating part of the old house in the new design. Street’s nephew Sutherland Macklem inherited the home from his uncle where he lived until his death in 1898. In August of 1898 the property was sold to James R. Smith of Tonawanda New York. Smith was a wealthy lumber merchant and he lived in the home until his death. The home was then passed on to his daughter Grace in 1904. Grace was married to Dr. Harry Grant a Buffalo oculist, and they resided in the home until they sold it in 1916 to Walter Schoellkopf. Schoellkopf came from a prominent Niagara Fall’s New York family, who was associated with the development of hydro electric power in the Niagara Falls, New York area. The mining millionaire Sir Harry Oakes, bought the mansion in 1924 from Shoellkopf, and renamed it Oak Hall. He had the mansion renovated which took four years, adding an entire wing. Oakes made his fortune when he found a gold mine in Kirkland Lake Ontario. He lived in the stately home for six years with his family until he moved back to England and later to Nassau in the Bahamas. The home currently serves as the offices for the Niagara Parks Commission, which purchased the home in 1959. Several rooms have been preserved to their original splendour and are open to the public. There is also a par-three golf course on the grounds, which is open to the public.