185 North Main Street
This home was constructed by Dr. David V. Yerex during the Victorian Period (1837-1901) and reflects the revival of Gothic Style architecture. This style is commonly referred to as Carpenter Gothic and the house adapts the Gothic element of steep gables. Carpenter Gothic is characterized by its profusion of jig-sawn details, whose craftsmen-designers were free to experiment with elaborate forms by the invention of the steam-powered scroll saw. The stained glass transom over the front door contains the word “Yerex.” The house for many years was divided into two apartments and fortunately the elaborate grand staircase was never painted over and was easily restored. The current owners completed major restoration of the entire home back to its elegant style in about 2009. They rebuilt the original wraparound porch and built a carriage house in the rear of the home.
Dr. Yerex was born in Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario, on April 21, 1845. He came to this vicinity about 1860 and for a time was employed by his uncle, James Harrington, who kept the Imlay Hotel on South Blacks Corners Road. In 1864 he went to Toronto, where he attended the normal training school for a year, then he entered the medical university of Toronto, remaining two years, after which he went to Bellevue Hospital, New York City where he graduated at the end of a year.
In 1869 he came back to the Blacks Corners area and began his practice there. In 1874 a settlement called Yerex Corners was being developed at the intersection of Armstrong and Blacks Corners Road, near Dr. Yerex’ farm. He moved to the Imlay village some time around 1877. He served as superintendent of the county poor house, as village president, and as moderator of the school board. He had large land holdings and farms in Goodland and Imlay townships. One of the early settlements in Goodland Township was named Yerex Corners, which was at the corner of Armstrong and Blacks Corners roads, near Dr. Yerex farm.
He died in August 27. 1906 at Harper Hospital, from shock, an hour after an operation for removal of a cancer of the colon. His wife, Minnie (Burghardt) Yerex died one year later on February 3, 1907. Their son, Hugh, was sent to Boston to live with an uncle. Dr. Yerex’s obituary states, “A widow and one son, Hugh aged about 15 years, survive him and are left in comfortable financial circumstances.”
185 North Main Street