Early records are not very clear, but it is known that the Ashlea House was built in 1886 for either Otto Cosseman or George Geldert. Otto Cosseman was a General Grocer who established his business on Lincoln Street in 1881. George Geldert was a Dry Goods Merchant whose store was established at 126 Montague street. George also represented the Luneburg County as a MLA from 1855 to 1859.
The first existing record, shows that the house was sold by George Geldert to William N Zwicker in 1890 for the sum of 5000 dollars, a very high value for the times. William N Zwicker was a prominent member of Zwicker and Company as well as a merchant of Fry and Fancy Goods. The property remained in the Zwicker family until 1965 when it was sold and converted into apartments. In the late 1980’s the house was returned to a private residence.
The house itself is still large and imposing and quite suggestive of its former grandeur. It has two and a half storeys and a “T” shaped roof configuration which presents gables on all four elevations. Each gable has fancy gingerbread along its verges and wide, bracketed returned eaves. The wide fascia board is decorated with mouldings in a rectangular pattern and beneath it there is a course of decorative shingles. The bay window on the main facade has a large pedimented, gable roof and is tied in with an open veranda which extends around the side of the house.