Lachlan McCallum House, Stromness
Lachlan McCallum (1823-1903) was a Canadian politician who served as a Member of Parliament and Senator. He represented Monck which was comprised of townships from Welland, Lincoln, and Haldimand Counties. Prior to his career in politics, McCallum was a businessman who built vessels for the Great Lakes and used them for freight carrying business. He also founded and was Captain of the Dunnville Naval Brigade. In this capacity, he was involved in defending against the Fenian attack on Fort Erie in June 1866.
McCallum served in the House of Commons from 1874 to 1887. At that time, he was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister John A. MacDonald. During his political career, McCallum was a vocal advocate for the enlargement of the canals, the building of an all-Canadian railway, and a supporter of the National Policy. He corresponded regularly with John A. MacDonald about various political matters and was particularly vocal about his concerns that the Welland Canal was being mismanaged. These concerns prompted MacDonald to order an investigation into the matter. It was determined that there were no significant issues with the management of the canal. This result left McCallum frustrated and dissatisfied. For many years, he continued to pursue the matter with the government.
Lachlan McCallum died at his home in Stromness in 1903. He was predeceased by his wife, Priscilla Thewlis, and four of their eight children. It was written in his obituary that "his place in the Parliament and Senate of our country was...the great triumph of his life. From a humble position...he rose by dogged perseverence and native talent...to command the attention and respect of his peers when he chose to speak on the floor of Parliament or Senate".