In 1948, Tom and Doris Farmer built a Tudor-style English cottage on seven acres of farmland overlooking the main street of Ancaster. They named their estate Fieldcote after a family property in England of the same name. Tom was editor-in-chief of the Hamilton Spectator from 1966 to 1969 as well as an avid historian and community supporter.
From their participation in the Ancaster Township Historical Society he and his wife knew that a venue was needed in the village as a focal point for the expression of Ancaster’s Heritage. After Tom’s death in 1976, Doris arranged in her will to bequeath Fieldcote and its property to Ancaster through the Conservation Foundation of the Hamilton Region and the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. After Doris’ death in 1983 her wishes were put into action.
Under the direction of the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority, the community planned and raised funds for the new facility. A devastating fire, set by an arsonist, caused more than $120,000 in damage and delayed the opening for a year.
Thanks to the support of the community of Ancaster, the building was restored and Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum was officially opened to the public in 1988. Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum is the fulfillment of a dream for Doris Farmer, the Ancaster Township Historical Society, and the people of Ancaster. For more on the museum and its events see www.hamilton.ca/museums/fieldcote or call (905) 648-8144.