Lee Family Party, 1895 (erland and janet circled)

Squires Hall, 1960, site of first WI meeting in 1897

25th anniversary of WI, Battlefield Park

Janet Lee & 2 Dogs, 1930

Lee Home, 1972

   James & Hannah (Corman) Lee came to Upper Canada following the American Revolutionary War and settled on Concession 4 Lots 20 & 21 in Saltfleet Township (present-day Stoney Creek) in 1792. When James died in a construction accident, Hannah moved in with their son John and his family; she was the first of six generation of Lees to live at Edgemont Farm. John and his wife Mary (Moore) Lee built a log cabin home on Mary's family land at Concession 4 Lot 17 in 1808. Through six generations, the Lee's added to and renovated their family home, resulting in the stunning example of Carpenter Gothic Revival architecture it is today.

   You can learn more about the architecture of the home through our self-guided architecture tour brochures, located in the Blue Box by the National Historic Site plaque or just inside the Gift Shop entrance.

Use the button below to explore the Lee family tree

Family Trees


Click the link above to see a map of Lee family land in 1859.

    On February 12, 1897, Erland Lee (great-grandson of James & Hannah Lee) and his wife, Janet (Chisholm) Lee, invited Adelaide Hunter Hoodless to speak at a Lady’s Night meeting of the South Wentworth Farmer’s Institute at Squires Hall in Stoney Creek. Encouraged by her speech and determined to bring her message to more women, they invited her back one week later on February 19, 1897. Erland & Janet travelled around town in their cutter sleigh, hand delivering invitations to Hoodless' second speaking engagement to every woman they knew.

    Based on Hoodless' suggestion, a group of women, and a few politically involved husbands, came together after the meeting to put their inspiration into action. Janet Lee penned the constitution for their new organization - the Women's Institute. The first official meeting of the Women's Institute was held in Squires Hall on February 25, 1897.  Christina (Armstrong) Smith, wife of E.D. Smith, served as the first president of the WI.

    Learn more about the Women's Institute on our site's home page and see what exciting things FWIO is doing for their 125th anniversary in 2022.

At the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead in St. George Ontario you can learn about the life and contributions to one of the founding voices behind the Women'd Institute movement.  This museum, owned, maintained and operated by the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada (FWIC) enhances the story told by the Erland Lee (Museum) Home by speaking about the remarkable woman that inspired Janet, and Erland Lee with Christina Smith to found what is now an international organization for enhancing the knowledge of rural women.

Visit the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead and learn the whole story

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

    In 1972, the Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) opened the Erland Lee (Museum) Home to the public after purchasing it directly from the Lee family. The Museum will celebrate it's 50th anniversary in 2022.

    The home and its grounds are preserved as a memorial to the birthplace of the Women's Institutes (WI) and feature the rural, upper-middle-class Victorian lifestyle of the Lee family. The FWIO and a team of dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to restore the exterior and the 1873 addition to their 1897 beauty, with the 1860 addition serving as living space for the Museum's live-in hostess & her family until the mid-1990's. Now, the FWIO operates its provincial office out of this 1860 southern addition.

    The white board-and-batten home contains artifacts and furniture dating from the 1790s through 1930s. Many of the artifacts are original to the six generations of the Lee family who lived in the home between 1808 and 1971. These artifacts and archives help tell the story of the Lee family, the Women's Institute, and the community of Stoney Creek.

    One of the three original Lee building on the once 100-acre fruit & dairy farm is the 1930 chicken coop. This building has housed chickens and even a farm labourer, and now serves as garden storage. The chicken coop was carefully renovated in 2017 thanks to the generous donation of Hollie & Marlene Archer.

    The 1873 Carriage House, once called the Drive Shed, is the third & final of the three original buildings on the property. It features displays on farming, Stoney Creek history, assorted artifacts donated from the community, and other special exhibits. The Carriage House also displays a rotating selection of the museum's stunning quilt collection, with a mix of traditional and modern patterns and techniques, many quilted by members of the Women's Institutes for various milestones and fundraisers.

    2022 saw the the Lee celebrate its 50th Anniversary of working with the community.  Visit the Events & Workshops page to see the selecton of activities we have lined up for Autumn of 2023.  

Follow our Facebook and Instagram for the latest on all our events, workshops, and activities.