A Storefront in Kingston, Ontario


I posted this photo of a storefront on my Instagram account about a week ago. The storefront in located at 168 Princess Street in Kingston, Ontario where my dad lives. Since posting the photos,  I’ve done a little more research into the old Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers, the shop name seen above the doorway.

It seems like the building at 168 Princess Street in Kingston was once the home to Kinnear d’Esterre, a jewelry shop, that closed down in 2004. The jewelry shop was opened in 1906, according to an advertisement from 1969.i

Advertisement for Kinnear d’Esterre Jewellers found on page 38 in Physics in Canada, the Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Physicists Vol. 25, No. 6 from 1969.

In Kingston’s directories, the shop doesn’t show up in the 1906-1907 Directory but Kinnear d’Esterre shows up in the 1907-1908 Directory.ii It’s very possible the shop opened after the 1906 directory was printed.

The shop originally was located at 100 Princess Street and was opened by J. C. D. D’Esterre (John Charles Duncan), who may have been a colonel in the Canadian Army during World War 1.iii D’Esterre moved to Kingston from Toronto and shortly after moving to Kingston he opened up the jewelry business. The business eventually passed to his son, John Kinnear D’Esterre, who was very well known both in Kingston and the Thousand Island region- the family also was known for boat building and John Kinnear owned a home on Garden Island.iv As already stated the shop closed in 2004 and John Kinnear passed away in 2012.

While researching the business, I found a lot of other current jewelry and appraisal shops in Kingston, seem to have connections to Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers. For example, “Paul-Randolph Jewelers”, which opened in 1976 by W. H. Smith, is currently owned and operated by Brain Smith (son to W. H. Smith) and his son, Jeffrey. Brain Smith worked as an apprentice goldsmith with Kinnear d’Esterre when he was 18! Another shop, “Kimberly Appraisal,” is the business of Florence Kimberly, who worked at Kinnear d’Esterre from 1973 to 2004. When the shop closed, Kimberly decided to continue the “tradition of jewelry appraisal” services in Kingston that she had done while employed at Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers.v

So while the shop of Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers closed a few years ago, its legacy still lives on with other businesses in the Kingston area. The building luckily isn’t being demolished and is going to be the future home of Graham’s Pharmacy, a business local to Kingston, Ontario. The following is their website: http://www.grahamspharmacy.ca/about-us.php and this is a news article about the pharmacy when it first opened : http://www.thewhig.com/2015/06/26/cures-endure-at-museum.

Another view of Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers. Information on the windows show that this building is going to be the future location of another Graham’s Pharmacy.

Further Reading:

If you have access to Ancestry.com, you can access this page and see a bunch of info on D’Esterre- there are photos! http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=vvQ46&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&uidh=000&rank=1&new=1&msT=1&gsln=D%27esterre&MSAV=1&cp=0&cpxt=0&catBucket=rstp&db=mediaphotopublic&sbo=t&gsbco=Sweden&noredir=true&gss=angs-d&gl=&gst=

From 1962-1963, the Advanced News, a newspaper based in Ogdensburg, N.Y. ran a number of advertisements for shops in Kingston, Ontario including Kinnear D’Esterre Jewelers:




i  Physics in Canada, The Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Physicists 25, No. 6 (1969): 38, https://www.cap.ca/onlineforms/temp_PiC_archive/1969-v25-n6.pdf, accessed 12/18.

ii Kingston Directories can be accessed at this website: http://www.digitalkingston.ca/presents-from-the-past/2013/05/15/a-present-from-the-past-city-directories. The 1906-1907 Directory: http://archive.org/stream/kingstoncitydi190607guil#page/n1/mode/2up. The 1907-1908 Directory: Kingston City Directory, July 1907 to July 1908, Leman A. Guild and George Hanson, Publishers (Kingston, Ont., 1907), 51; http://archive.org/stream/kingstoncitydir190708guil#page/50/mode/2up/search/kinnear, accessed 12/18.

iii The following website describes a boat that was owed by D’Esterre and indicates that the gentleman was a colonel in the Canadian Infantry during WW1: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?178039-BROTM-of-June-Peter-Malcolm-Jardine-Congratulations.

iv This is a link to an obituary for John Kinnear D’Esterre, written in 2012. Tori Stafford, “Remembering a Real Gem,” The Whig, February 12, 2012, http://www.thewhig.com/2012/02/12/remembering-a-real-gem, accessed 12/15.

v The following are websites to Paul-Randolph Jewelers and Kimberly Appraisal: http://www.paulrandolph.ca/about.htm and http://www.kimberleyappraisal.com/about.html.


What is this Jargon in Austria!?!?! Hallstatt Edition

It’s taken me a few days to collect my thoughts and ideas on how to share the history and photographs I took on the second leg of the trip in Austria. After spending two full days in Vienna, I hopped on a train and headed to Hallstatt, which is located in the Salzkammergut region of the Eastern Alps!

The next post I’ll go into more detail about the train traveling from Vienna, arriving in Hallstatt, and some of the attractions in the picturesque village. This post I just wanted to use, as a way to broaden everyone’s architectural terminology knowledge and give a glimpse of what I saw in Hallstatt!

So today is brought to you by the letter “J,” as in “jerkinhead roof.”

So you’re probably thinking: “WTF is a jerkinhead roof”…. “This sounds made up!”…. “Who comes up with these things!?!?!?!”

It’s not a made up term.

It seems to have been around for a long time though the exact origins of the roof style are not clear. In 1902, the definition for the roof went like this, “A ridge roof of which the ridge is shorter than the eaves, having with a single slope from the wall of the clear story outwards.”i Let’s be honest, I have no idea what that actually means. It’s confusing. My trusty, Guide to Vermont Architecture, gives the following, clearer definition, “A gable roof in which the gable peaks are clipped off and inclined backward.”ii That makes a little more sense.

Here’s a photo that helps show what we’re talking about:

Jerkinhead Roof
This is a building that was located behind the inn I was staying at, Gasthof Bergfried. Behind the building in this image is the Salt Mine Museum.

This type of roof is also occasionally called, “half-hipped” and “clipped gable” or even “jerkin-head roof.”

As already mentioned, there seems to be no clear indication on where this type of roof originated from. The one source I found that gave some idea of the roof’s origins was Early American Architecture: From the First Colonial Settlements to the National Period written in 1952 by Hugh Morrison. Morrison makes the suggestion that the style, during the medieval period, may have helped protect the gable-ends of walls that were built of wattle and daub.iii The roof style can be seen in many European countries such as England, Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, and obviously Austria. The roof is typical in timber-framed buildings and historically would have been seen on thatch-roofed houses.

Hallstatt Roofs
There are a number of jerkinhead roofs in this image.
Old Town Market
So many colors and jerkinhead roofs! The Cafe Derbl, the yellow building on the right, has a very long history and apparently has been in existence since the 15th century when it was a bakery.
Row of Jerkinhead Roofs
Another close-up of some of the buildings around the Old Market Square of Hallstatt. The history seems a little unclear, but a fire in the 1700’s destroyed much of Hallstatt, resulting in most of the town being rebuilt during the Baroque era. There are some buildings that survived the fire, not sure if these are some of those earlier buildings from the 15th century or from a later date.
Cafe Derbl
Another view of the Old Market Square.
Rooftops of Hallstatt
This image was taken from the Catholic Church located above the Old Market Square. Some of the brightly colored buildings in this image are seen close-up in following image; they surround the Old Market Square. The Church in this picture is the Protestant Church,
Close-Up of Bright Colored Buildings
Theses are those brightly-colored buildings seen in one in the previous image.

Since I’m still focusing on my trip to Austria, I shared a lot of images of jerkinhead roofs from Hallstatt. In my adventures around Northern New York, I don’t recall seeing these types of roofs but I know I now will keep a lookout for them! Do you have any examples in your neighborhood, if you do, share your examples in the comment section below!

Now with your new knowledge of Jerkinhead Roofs…can you spot that type of roof in this image. There are a couple of them!

Thanks for reading 🙂


i  A Dictionary of Architecture and Building: Biographical, Historical, and Descriptive, Russell Sturgis, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1902), 359-360. https://books.google.com/books?id=J58aAAAAYAAJ&num=5

ii  The Historical Architecture of Vermont: Guide to Vermont Architecture, Curtis B. Johnson, editor and Elsa Gilbertson, Prinicpal Author, (Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1996), 26.

iii  Early American Architecture: From the First Colonial Settlements to the National Period, Hugh Morrison (New York: Dover Publications, 1987), 143. https://books.google.com/books?id=Dk1qhPyIPfQC&pg=PA625&dq=early+american+architecture&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEyf28g-XQAhXG6iYKHezRDFMQ6AEIJzAC#v=onepage&q&f=false