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You could live at Willistead Manor

The City of Windsor is searching for a new live-in heritage custodian and maintenance attendant at Willistead Manor.

The successful applicant(s) will play a key role in maintaining and showcasing the treasured Tudor-Jacobean style English Manor House that serves as a present-day museum and special events centre, while living rent-free inside.

“I think it would be a fantastic job,” exclaimed Walkerville Publishing urban historian Chris Edwards. “You get the whole third floor, which is an apartment that was built for staff,” Edwards explained.

Built in 1906 by Detroit architect Albert Kahn, Willistead Manor is a 36-room mansion that sits within a 15-acre park. The Manor was briefly the home of Edward Chandler Walker and his wife, Mary, and is today considered a cultural gem for its location for weddings, receptions, meetings and other special events.

“It's truly an architectural gem. It harkens back to an era when we had these mighty industrial capitalists,” Edwards explained. “Hiram Walker was a world class leader. He built a world-class whiskey, Canadian Club, famous throughout the world. And this is an example of the riches that were gained from being successful at that time and we're very fortunate that it's been preserved and it's run by the city.”

Willistead Manor, seen on Sept. 28, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

The opportunity is listed for individuals or families, however pets are not permitted, the city said in the post seeking submissions.

“The only downside to that might be that we've heard stories of a ghost that moves throughout the place,” Edwards said.

He continued, “There's been lots of sightings throughout the years, strange happenings, things moved around. I don't know if they have the portrait in there where the eyes follow you wherever you go, like in all the horror movies, but it does have that feeling of a great setting that would be for a horror movie.”

Edwards told CTV News he believes the home to be Windsor’s most precious residence, which once faced demolition, noting the building comes complete with secret passageways previous staff would use years ago.

“Somebody who has an appreciation for local history would really benefit from living in the place. Just the opportunity is phenomenal to be part of something so historic and to walk the rooms every day and walk the grounds and look out the windows. There's got to be some great views up there.”

The application deadline is Oct. 16, 2023.

Willistead Manor, seen on Sept. 28, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor) Top Stories

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