In the year 1903, Gilbert Ganong purchased the Porter home from Bessie and Annie Porte, daughters of the original owners.The original Porter house was built in 1841 by James Porter. It was a white clap-board home with the front entry facing the St. Croix River. James and Marie (Christie) Porter had eleven children, and the youngest daughter, Annie Porter, was one of the first guests to take up residence when it became the Old Folks Home, continuing to live in the home until her death in 1944.
Mr. Ganong was particularly interested in developing the grounds around the home and his favourite shrub was the honeysuckle. The name Lonicera is derived from the botanical name for the honeysuckle, and was suggested to Mr. Ganong by his friend James Vroom. Since the house had been built so many years before, the outlook from its windows had changed and the spacious front lawns were now enclosed by the back of Water Street (now Milltown Boulevard) buildings. Mr. Ganong found the foundation timbers were still in fine condition and he had the house turned completely around. Also he added the verandahs, front gables, corner tower and bay windows.
Although there have been numerous upgrades over the years, Lonicera has been ushered into the modern era while still respecting its distinct character.