He built the house because he had six children, and those six children needed a lot of room to grow. He "planned well" as six more children were born in the home making them a family of 14.
As with many families of the time, once sickness and disease enter the home they didn't discriminate against their victims. Only a few of his 12 children made it to adulthood.
The Williamson family purchased the home and property in 1882 from John's son, John B.P. Macdonell. They made several changes to the home over the years, and the descendants maintained the property until it was expropriated for the Quebec Hydro project at Carillon in 1961.
Friends of the Macdonell-Williamson House Inc. were appointed custodians of this National Historic Site in 1997, and they continue to open the house on summer weekends as a cultural, historical and tourist center.
There has been no confirmed instances of apparitions or spirits, but several volunteers over the years have stated that there is a ghost in the house. Reports of unexplained air-currents, strange noises, and just a general feeling of unease when left alone in the house have attributed to the feelings of a possible haunting.
OPRI has been granted permission to be the first paranormal group with access to the house for an investigation, which will happen in the coming months. We look forward to investigating this historical landmark. Check back for the results of our investigation.