Built in 1800, John McFarland and his descendants called this house home for over 140 years. McFarland, a widower and Scottish imigrant came to Canada with his four children in the 1790s. King George III granted McFarland 608 acres of land for his services as boat builder. After settling in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) he married a neighbour, Margaret Wilson, and they had 5 more children before her death in 1809.The home is of particular historical significance because it survived the burning of Newark.When the American forces occupying Fort George retreated from the area in December 1813, they burnt the town. This makes McFarland House one of the oldest structures in Niagara-on-the-Lake, as well as the oldest building owned by The Niagara Parks Commission.During the War of 1812, McFarland House was used as a hospital by both the British and the American armies. Later, a gun battery was added to the property to help guard the Niagara River. The British raid and capture of Fort Niagara on December 18, 1813 was launched from the ravine behind the home. John McFarland was taken prisoner during the war and sent to Greenbush, New York. When he returned after the war, he found his house in dis repair, with windows, doors and mantels missing. Since John McFarland and his sons built the house themselves from bricks made in a kiln on the property, McFarland became so heartbroken over this damage that he took ill in the spring of 1815, and passed away shortly after. He is buried at St. Mark's Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Now the McFarland House is maintained by the Niagara Parks Commission.Visitors can enjoy guided tours by costumed “interpreters” and visit the McFarland House Conservatory tea room throughout the spring and summer, and on weekends in the fall.