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Willistead Manor was built in 1906 for Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker, founder of the world-renowned distillery.

Willistead is the creation of Albert Kahn, a noted Detroit architect of the day. Kahn built three buildings on the 15-acre estate: the manor house, the coach house and the gatehouse. Designed in the 16th century Tudor-Jacobean style of an English Manor House, the main building was begun in 1904.

No expense was spared in the materials or labour used. The exterior of gray limestone, quarried in Amherstburg, was hand cut at the Willistead work site by Scottish stonemasons specifically imported for the project.