At one time, Whitehern was the home of Thomas McQuesten. His historic downtown family home was willed to the City of Hamilton, after the death of the last of his five unmarried siblings in 1968. It is situated on the corner of Jackson Street West and MacNab Street South, just east of the Hamilton City Hall and behind the Canadian Football Hall of Fame museum. After its restoration was complete in 1971, Whitehern has been open as a civic museum and has occasionally served as a period film location. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1962. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected by the province to commemorate Whitehern's role in Ontario's heritage.
Among the many Hamilton civic leaders and boosters, McQuesten helped encourage McMaster University to relocate from downtown Toronto to west Hamilton in 1930, and was instrumental in the creation of the Royal Botanical Gardens.