In 1830, Thomas Speight of Yorkshire, England, established a wagon manufacturing facility in the village of Markham. The operations grew on Main Street Markham. Some parts of the wagon builder were located on the west side of Main Street north of Highway 7, just south of the St. Andrew's United Church and later on the east side of Main Street (20 Main Street). James Speight, son of Thomas, continued the family business in Markham and was the first reeve of Markham Village in 1873.
Speight also operated a planing mill and sash-and-door factory near the wagon works.
The Markham factory remained in operation until November 1917, likely due to the decline in use of wagons and sleighs with use of the automobiles.
One office building near 20 Main Street became Beare Sons & Clayton General Motors dealership and in 1921 as Markham Garage. The factory buildings and the garage burned down in 1922. Today the site of the old factory and garage has been replaced with several businesses fronting Main Street and a condo in the rear. The company had a warehouse at 102 Front Street East in Toronto.
The Speights and some of their employees had homes along Main Street. Some of the homes survive today, such as 40–44 Main Street North. James Speight built his home at 73 Main Street, now the Wedding Cake House.
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