Ough, Richard

OUGH, Richard (1841-1920) was born in East Gwillimbury Twp., York County, Ontario, on 24 October 1841 where he was the uncle of John Ough, a local builder and hotelkeeper at Newmarket. He left Canada at an early age and moved to California in 1868 to work as a builder, and may have been related to Joseph Ough (1841-1897), another Canadian-born architect and builder who was active in Sacramento, Calif. during this period. In 1875 he opened a business operation of a woodwork planing mill in partnership with William Power, as Power & Ough, and became one of largest and most successful suppliers of finished carpentry to leading architects such as the Newsom Brothers of San Francisco. A detailed architectural description of their mill operation was published in the Oakland Tribune, 1 December 1876, 3. They expanded their business to include building and contracting, and offered services to both design and build residential, commercial and institutional projects in the Bay Area.

Ough left California and returned to Canada in 1884 or early 1885. He opened an office in Toronto in late 1885 and soon after was commissioned by an American developer John Wilkie to plan the Long Branch Grove resort on the Lake Promenade in Etobicoke, a scheme of 250 wooded villa lots adjacent to a new hotel and and tract of private residences designed by Ough. His best known work in Toronto is that of the Masonic Hall, Yonge Street at Gloucester Street, 1888, a substantial Romanesque Revival landmark restored in 1972. In a biographical advertisement published in 1890, Richard Ough was described as 'a gentleman in middle life, a native of Canada [who was] previously in California for seventeen years' (biography in Illustrated Toronto, 1890, 159). For unknown reasons, Ough left Toronto in late 1892 and moved to the area around Washington, D.C., and spent the next twenty years working there as an architect and builder.

By 1914 he was again living and working in California. Near the end of his career, an interview with the architect, together with an engraved portrait, was published in the Oakland Tribune, 22 Oct. 1916, 5, entitled "The Man Who Built Oakland of Yesterday". Ough died at Fruitvale, Alameda County, Calif on 20 January 1920 (obituary with biography, Oakland Tribune, 21 January 1920, 3; inf. from Mrs. E. H. Lee, Rexdale, Ont.; Mr. Oscar Ough, Spokane, Wash.)

(works in Toronto and region)

ETOBICOKE, ONT., Long Branch Grove Summer Resort, Lake Promenade at Long Branch Avenue, 1885-86, including designs for a railway station, a summer hotel, a park pavilion, and houses for George Farquhar, R.B. Ellis, T.J. Wilkie, C.S. Gzowski Jr., and H.P. Dwight, 1885 (Derek Hayes, Historical Atlas of Toronto, 2008, 96-7, illus.; signed broadsheet drawings at the Etobicoke Civic Centre)
ETOBICOKE, ONT., residence for the architect, 35th Street at Lake Promenade, 1885 (inf. from Joel Rice, Long Branch Historical Society)
ETOBICOKE, ONT., hotel at Long Branch for John Wilkie, 1886 (Telegram [Toronto], 12 May 1886, 2, t.c.)
BRITISH HOTEL, King Street West at Simcoe Street, 1887 (Telegram [Toronto], 19 Sept. 1887, 3, t.c.)
MASONIC BLOCK, Yonge Street at Gloucester Street, a row of seven stores, apartments and Masonic Hall for Alex Patterson, now called Gloucester Mews, 1888; renovated and restored 1972 (Telegram [Toronto], 26 April 1888, 2, t.c.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., Anderson's Bank, for Cyrus W. Anderson, Lakeshore Road East, 1888 (Telegram [Toronto], 31 Aug. 1888, 1, t.c.)
SHANNON STREET, residences for Mrs. Jane Prittie, 1889 (dwgs. at OA, unaccessioned)
CROMPTON CORSET CO., York Street near King Street West, factory, 1889; demol. (Architectural Era [Syracuse], iii, March 1889, 75)

(works in Washington, D.C.)

CONDUIT ROAD, near the old Drover's Rest, a pair of houses for J.C. Hurst, 1892 (Evening Star [Washington], 6 Aug. 1892, 12, descrip.)
33rd STREET N.W., at Prospect Avenue, six houses on land owned by Richard Ough, 1905 (Evening Star [Washington], 21 Feb. 1905, 8)
33rd STREET N.W., three brick houses for George E. Howard, 1906 (Evening Star [Washington], 3 April 1906, 7)
PROSPECT AVENUE, row of four brick houses for an unnamed client, 1906 (Evening Star [Washington], 3 April 1906, 7)
PROSPECT AVENUE, at 33rd Street N.W., a row of eight houses for George E. Howard, 1906 (Evening Star [Washington], 16 June 1906, 18)
GEORGETOWN, residence and retail store for Henry Copperthite, O Street N.W., 1908 (Washington Herald, 29 March 1908, Section Three, p. 1)
WINDOM PLACE N.W., eight brick houses "being built for investment purposes" 1910 (Washington Times, 23 July 1910, 5)
POTOMAC STREET N.W., residence for Vivian Shull, 1911 (Washington Post, 17 Sept. 1911, Real Estate Section, 3)
GEORGETOWN, Connecticut Copperthite Pie Co., 32nd Street N.W. at P Street, factory and bakery, 1914 (Washington Post, 14 Feb. 1914, 9)