Tuesday, September 3, 2013

St. Charles Borromeo, Summerside

     I came across the following information about the Catholic congregation in Summerside.
     "By the 1840's  a few Catholic families lived here and in 1853 they moved the vacated Indian River church to Summerside, placing it under the patronage of St. Charles Borromeo."  cf.  A Faith Walk: Diocese of Charlottetown by Revd. Art O'Shea. Page 91.

    Also the following information comes from pages 109-110 of Down at the Shore: A History of Summerside, Prince Edward Island (1751-1945) by Robert Alan Rankin
     ""The first church building erected in the village was St. Charles Roman Catholic church, brought from Indian River during the summer of 1853 and raised on the west side of Summer just above First Street.  It had been the original parish church at Indian River.  The priest there, Reverend James MacDonald, frequently passed through Greens Shore on the way to missions at Grand River and Seven Mile Bay, and he saw the prospects of yet another Catholic community.  Actually moving the church was "a great undertaking for the time," requiring a large crew of workmen to pull it down, haul it, then put it in good repair again.
     St. Charles church was dedicated on October 19,1853, by Bishop MacDonald.  Services took place once every four weeks in the beginning; however, by 1865 the parish had grown remarkably and plans were made to built a large brick church on Central Street.  It was commenced in 1869 and after serveral delays finally dedicated as St. Pauls in 1877...A convent was also built, in 1868, on the Northeast corner of the new church lot, and a parochial house moved to Summerside from Fifteen Point (Mont Carmel) on the ice in the winter of 1871.  The old St. Charles mission church was purchased by a local shoemaker and the original parochial house , put up alongside about 1860, became part of the R.T. Holman's residence.""

    The following information comes from Historic Places website about the R.T. Holman house... http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=16273
R.T. Holman House - front.  Photo by Carter Jeffery.
     The house is valued for its well preserved architectural elements; its historical association with the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Summerside; the history of the family of R.T. Holman; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
     Robert Tinson Holman (1833-1906) acquired the land as three separate parcels. The first one purchased was the lot and house sold to him in 1870 by Rev. James MacDonald, a Roman Catholic priest. The Lake Map of 1863 clearly shows a Roman Catholic Parsonage on the lot and historians believe that this building became the home of the Holman family.

     The second parcel of land purchased by R.T. Holman was also obtained from Rev. James MacDonald. Acquired in 1875, it was the adjacent lot running 50 feet along Fitzroy and 116 feet along Summer Street and was the former site of the Roman Catholic chapel, which had been brought to Summerside from Indian River in 1853. The chapel faced Summer Street and was used as a place of worship until 1874.
     The third parcel that makes up the property of the Holman Homestead was acquired by Mr. Holman from Daniel H. MacDonald of Bedeque in 1885. It was located on the west side of the house and measured 45 feet along Fitzroy Street and 100 feet in depth. The 1878 Ruger's Map shows the Holman house with the large ell attached, but with a one storey wing on the east side. Conjecture is that this wing was enlarged sometime after 1880.
R.T. Holman House - rear.  Photo by Carter Jeffery.

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