In 1889, Francis Henry Penniston and his brothers Samuel, Albert Edward and Charles Wilkes, purchased 108 arpents of land located opposite the Lachine Rapids, a property owned by a certain Mr. Duff. There they built a family home. The Penniston's land was located in the eastern part of the municipality of the Parish of Lachine, near the limits of Verdun. From 1893 to 1933, the brothers operated a dairy farm called the Penniston Brothers, which served the neighbouring cities, and Westmount in particular.
Then in 1893, Samuel died and in 1901, Albert, discontent over how the business was being run, moved to Manitoba. However in 1931, the company capital was estimated at close to $50,000, which was huge at that time.
Francis Henry Penniston was elected City Councillor in 1913, at the same time as Cecil Platt Newman became Mayor, and both for a two-year term of office. In particular, Penniston voted in favour of the acquisition, in 1914, of Maison Brunning, in order to set up the City Hall of the new city of LaSalle. In 1928, the Pennistons sold a parcel of their property to the City of Montréal, which wanted to facilitate the drinking water supply. The $87,618 price obtained for the transaction proved to be more than reasonable.