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Auchmar Mansion | How it’s the Dundurn Castle of Hamilton Mountain

The lord of Auchmar was the Honourable Isaac Buchanan, who in turn had run-ins with Sir Allan MacNab (of Dundurn).

From friendly encounters in both stately homes. To competitive face offs over the love of Hamilton’s people. And one very public battle.

Like MacNab, Buchanan was a businessman. He successfully proved wholesale was a thing, became rich and opening in Toronto, London and Hamilton. Hamilton as in the middle and a perfect home.

Two houses were built. A row house on James St S in the core (now Radius Restaurant), and his summer home… Auchmar Mansion, still located at the corner of Fennell Ave and West 5th on Hamilton Mountain.

Auchmar Mansion Hamilton Mountain - Historic Drawing
Historic Depiction on Hamilton Mountain

With money to burn, Isaac saw value in the emerging railway. Investment yielded more money to his family. His confidence at an all-time high, which could have been his downfall.

Isaac Buchanan vs Sir Allan MacNab

Something forced Isaac to seek new challenges. Next in line was politics.

He’d run against a long-time adversary… Sir Allan MacNab of Dundurn Castle. Many thought Buchanan would be embarrassed. Nobody at all expected him to win.

They were wrong. Isaac won by a landslide.

Auchmar - Isaac Buchanan and Sir Allan MacNab
Auchmar’s Isaac Buchanan vs. Sir Allan MacNab of Dundurn Castle

Do you agree a person can make many great decisions in life, then a few wrong ones come along to ruin it all?

Both Men Failed – Here’s Isaac’s

Isaac would tempt fate with new railway investment. East-to-west worked. Made him a fortune. So why not south, with a line running into the United States.

Along the way, he made poor wholesale business decisions and focused on unpopular political ventures. Customers and supporters turned away. Then the Southern Railway died and took Isaac’s multiple investments with it.

In 1865 he resigned from office. Just 2 years later his business failed.

Isaac sold off his beloved Auchmar and move into the James Street South row house full time.

Shamed, he’d live out the rest of his days in obscurity. Died in that row house on Monday, October 1, 1883, at 73 years old.

Inside the House

Opened for Doors Open Hamilton. Here’s a quick clip walking the second floor inside Auchmar…

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