Historical Plaque Properties


D. Alfred McCloy - Builder & Contractor
45 Front Street
Stratford, ON

The grandparents of Alfred McCloy who built 45 Front Street, Alexander and Margaret, left County Antrim, Ireland in 1847 during the great famine. They were planning to join relatives who had earlier settled in Seaforth. Alexander was a stone mason and member of the Freemasons.
The journey across the Atlantic took six weeks. The conditions were harsh and one of their sons died on the voyage. As they travelled up the Ottawa River and down the Rideau Canal to Kingston another son, their youngest, died enroute.
Alexander also became ill and by the time they reached Preston (Cambridge), he was suffering from pneumonia. The Freemasons in the town helped the family and when Alexander died they provided his funeral. Another son died shortly afterwards. Of the seven children who left Ireland only four remained.
Joseph Erb gave Margaret a house and homes were found for a daughter and the two oldest boys. Margaret who kept her youngest son with her remarried a number of years later.
Alfred McCloy’s father, David, went to work for a farmer. He had a number of farm jobs over the next ten years. With the financial help of his stepfather David bought a farm in Hesson, Mornington Township which he farmed but later turned to carpentry to earn a living for his family. In 1847 he married Annie Byrens. They eventually had eight children. David Alfred, commonly known as Alfred, who was born in 1875 was their sixth child and second son.
Alfred left home in 1898 to take a business course in Stratford and made it his home for the rest of his life. Rather than following a conventional business path, he followed his father into the carpentry trade then later as a building contractor and erected over 50 houses in Stratford. He was an innovative man whose inventions soon claimed his entire time. He established the Dominion Works Specialty and built a factory at 39 William Street where he manufactured and marketed inventions such as the Summer Camp on Wheels. He later moved to 15 Ontario Street.
Alfred married Isabella (Belle) Gibson in 1901. The couple had three daughters and one son before Belle died in 1911. He later married Isabel Matheson in 1915. The couple had one son. Isabel died in 1940. D. Alfred McCloy lived with his son on St. David Street until his death in 1963. He was survived by two sons and two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. David Alfred McCloy is buried in Avondale Cemetery.