Historical Plaque Properties


Douglass McTavish - Teacher
225 Cobourg Street
Stratford, ON


Douglass McTavish was a school teacher from North Easthope. His parents, Charles McTavish and Janet Fraser, and several of his older siblings had emigrated from Scotland to Canada in August of 1841. According to the 1841 Scotland census, the family had been living in Kenmore, Perthshire where Charles was a millwright. By 1851 they were farming in Easthope, in an area where three other McTavish families were also situated. Here their son, Douglass, had been born on October 14, 1845.


Douglass McTavish graduated from Toronto Normal School at seventeen and began his career as a teacher in No.2 School House, Concession 2, North Easthope, the school from which he had first graduated.


On the 26th of December 1867, Douglass McTavish married 20 year old Annie McGregor, the daughter of William McGregor a local weaver. Ann, like Douglass’s older siblings had been born in Scotland. Their young family started to grow and by the taking of the 1871 South Easthope census they had two sons, Charles, two, and William, one. Douglass continued to earn his living as a school teacher.


In 1874, Douglass McTavish bought a half acre lot, number 17, part of James McCulloch’s original survey. By 1876, an Ontario House built in the Gothic Revival style was completed on part of the lot. Today this house is known as 225 Cobourg Street. Douglass taught school in Stratford for five years.


The 1881 census finds Douglass employed as a teacher in Fullarton about 12 km from Stratford. His family has grown and now he and Annie are parents of five boys and a baby girl. In 1882, Jessie Christina was born in Fullarton.


In 1885, Annie McTavish died “in confinement” in the Stratford Hospital while giving birth to Georgina Isabella. Annie was buried in Stratford’s Avondale Cemetery.

In 1891, Douglass was teaching in Toronto. He was a teacher and principal in Ontario for more than thirty years before deciding to go west where he continued to follow his profession for another fifteen years.


Mr. McTavish died February 8, 1920 in Edmonton at the age of seventy-five in the home of his son, Lorne, pastor of the MacDougall Methodist Church. His funeral was held from the home of his daughter, Georgina Johnson, in Stratford. He is buried in the Avondale Cemetery beside his wife, Annie, who predeceased him by thirty-four years.