Doan House

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The Doan House, built in 1819 and brought to this Site in 1958, was built and used as the home of the Temple’s Master Builder Ebenezer Doan. Unlike many settler families of the time, the Doans were quite wealthy, and this is reflected in the style and size of their house.

 

The Doan House is a large one for the time period, and it is built in a British/German square style imported from Pennsylvania, similar to what Ebenezer Doan would have grown up with. Upon opening the door, the home immediately opens up into the kitchen, placing it as the heart of the home, and opening their house up to family and friends. Along with the kitchen, the main floor consists of a parlour, study, scullery and pantry. The upstairs features three bedrooms and a spinning loft with access to an attic. Throughout the home, evidence of Ebenezer Doan's carpentry skills can be easily found.  

 

Ebenezer Doan was born in 1772 in Buck's County, Pennsylvania to a Quaker family with building and carpentry skills. At a young age, Ebenezer apprenticed under his older brother Jonathan, a Master Builder who is known for the New Jersey State Prison, among other projects. After completing his apprenticeship, he moved to Georgia to continue his trade. There he married Sabra Frey in 1795, although their marriage ended a year later with her untimely death. He returned to Pennsylvania, where he married Elizabeth Paxton and bought a farm near the rest of his family. Eventually, they migrated to Upper Canada along with their parents and extended family in search of religious freedom and more room to house their rapidly-expanding family. Together, Ebenezer and Elizabeth would have seven children.

 

Although Ebenezer Doan ultimately became a significant figure in the Children of Peace, he was not the first Doan to join. Ebenezer followed the example of his siblings Martha and John in 1813. Ebenezer built not only the Temple, but both Meeting Houses as well. He also built homes for his children who were scattered around Sharon, some of which still exist today.

 

Although the Doans, and especially Ebenezer, are a large part of the Children of Peace, this did not last forever. Splitting off from his family for the first time, Ebenezer resigned from the Children of Peace in 1840, likely due to the sect's involvement with the Rebellion of 1837. Curiously, Elizabeth would remain as a member. Ebenezer’s resignation ended his involvement with the Sharon Temple for the remainder of his life. He died on his homestead in Sharon some years later on February 3, 1866. He is buried in the nearby Sharon Burying Ground alongside Elizabeth and with some of their children. 

© Sharon Temple Museum Society

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