Saturday, January 4, 2014

Abandoned House and Barn, Dundas

      I took these photos in May 2009.  The house and barn are located in Dundas at #4371  Annandale Road (Rte. 310) not far from the side road, Dundas Farms Road.  
     Years ago there was a large farm in this area - something to do with PEI Government and an experimental farm.  I don't know more than that.  
     The house style is unusual for a rural setting.  It's an asymmetric, confused Queen Anne-like style with many additions and detailing.  It features three bay windows - on the left the bay has a square projecting dormer above; on the right a simple bay window with hipped roof; and on the front a 2-storey bay appearing as a set-in tower with a bell roof.  The house has a trapezoid gable/attic window and much gingerbread from eave brackets to verandah detailing.  The shed roof porch on the right front and side was likely once an open verandah.
     Here's a link to a 360 degree view of the large room on the main floor, left side of the house.   It looks like alot of files, file cabinet, etc. - must have been used as an office? Interesting!
     Here's one of the barns on the property - there are 5 or 6 more - I just photographed the older barn.  All is abandoned!


  1. I remember seeing that on random drives and ya it seems very odd that a house that looks pretty expensive to build at the time, and to be a decently sized estate is basically been left to rot. Should be restored.

  2. Are you aware of any resources or information on how to purchase these abandoned properties? It seems a shame to let them rot away. We have the same problem here in NB.


    1. No, nothing like that exists here on the Island. Sad!

    2. A friend of mine thinks this property belonged to the Webster family who became partners with Charles Best (son of Dr. Best, of Banting and Best, developers of insulin) I need to do more research, however, here's an article I found online - the text appears to have been transcribed by computer. Interesting!
      OTTAWA JOURNAL - October 27, 1973 - Page 86.

      In a special divided barn as many as 15 pedigree calves are born in one day (weeding stations. The most important discovery on which they base their approach to breeding is that of "hybrid vigor". This means that when one breed of cattle is crossed with an-. other, the offspring are generally- more vigorous in both growth and health. : This doesn't necessarily mean that you end up with herds of "mongrel'; cattle, because with a careful breeding program it is possible to bring the better of the breeds back to virtual purity (with all the vigorous improvements) In five generations. V: ' Normally such a cycle of interbreeding would take 10 years. Artificial insemination, a scientific advance now accepted generally by cattlemen, makes it possible to start such cycles in hundreds of cows from the of one pedigree bull. A new and even more revolutionary advance in breeding, called embryo transplanting, is r, now being tested. This Involves inn planting, the ova from a valuable pedigree cow and the semen from a pedigree bull in the womb of a sturdier less valuable "hostess" cow, a -process that could be repeated a . . dozen times in different cows in one -year, vastly speeding up the production of high-grade pedigree beef. . ' i-'What gives a special impetus to pioneer Canadian breeders of exotic ; pedigree cattle like Sandy Best and R. Howard Webster, the many-sided' Canadian industrialist who actively- 'supported and funded the Dundas Farm venture are the unique export prospects south of the border m the ' LIS. Unlike Canada, the US government has never set tip quarantine stations for cattle. And to, apart from a ... few Charolais and Brahman cattle that "somehow" got across the border from Mexico in the 1940s, there have been no direct Imports of exotic cattle from Europe or elsewhere. Since the mid-1960s, however, the American authorities have been allowing the import of small quotas of exotic stock that has been already quarantined in Canada. And in addition they have allowed the import of frozen semen "'. from quarantined Canadian bulls. Suddenly the tag "Exportable" on a salable pedigree bull or cow can add thousands of dollars to its price. This is the kind of cattle talk that preoccupies the three men as they wait Tor dinner. When she has set the meal on the table, Laurie Best joins .' in too. She it a versatile woman who r has learned to fly and regularly pilots ' her husband on business trips from an . airstrip on the farm. She's teamed a , ' lot about pedigree cattle since she married Sandy Best Although their , -. program k essentially to produce ' breeding stock, they occasionally kiU an animal for their own use. She tells how recently she went down to the local meat-packing plant to learn how C they dealt with the carcass of a Charolais they had slaughtered. Jt was the -first of the breed the packers had ever v , 18' AST, rw - - w o yt! Top:

    3. Part -2
      Best's latest acquisitions are these Chianina bulls from Italy, one of oldest known breeds, used as sacrificial beasts by the Romans. .v Below: another exotic Imported breed, the Simmental from Switzerland. handled. They were astounded by the size of the carcass, had never seen such enormous steaks and of such fine quality, with so little waste fat and bone. Sandy Best listens with a smile of satisfaction. - -V- -; He begins to explain to Happy Teggart how he started the farm on the Island in 1966, contrary to the advice offered at the time in a report by the Atlantic economic Council, which suggested that the Maritime in general and PEI m particular were unsuitable for the large-scale raising of cattle. From an initial 1,000 acres, supporting 100 cattle, mostly Hereford and Charolais, he has expanded the farm to its present 7.000 acres, sup-- porting a herd of 2300 consisting of ' five exotic breeds. Much of the land; had been bush, but by systematically bulldozing and burning he has converted large areas of It into prime grazing land. v' ' ' . . , The following morning he takes Happy Teggart out to see round the . range, a Happy Teggart still slightly skeptical at the idea of ranching down East He shows him the huge barns and deep silage pits that he has constructed, including the special divided barn where as many as IS pedigree calves are born in a day, and explains ' the mechanized system for feeding the cattle.' Me points out the hundreds of pale-skinned Charolais, heavy with good meat, a heaviness derived from the original use of the breed in France as draught animals. He shows off the later exotic breeds he imported to improve on the Charolais the Maine-Anjou from Britanny, with its red coat patched by white, the largest French breed; and the Limousin, also from France, with its coat of soft loose wheat-colored hair; the Simmental from Switzerland, big again, a yellowish-brown or red with large white patches. . For the end of the tour he saves his latest acquisitions, the Chianina cattle from Italy, one of the oldest known breeds, used as sacrificial beasts by the Romans; praised by the poet Virgil, featured in ancient. sculpture, and still splendid animals, bred hardily on the ' western foothills of the Appennlnes to resist weather and disease, with Its supple porcelain-white skin and soulful black-rimmed And best of ill. Its-ability to grow by as much as three beefy pounds a day.. , The - Westerner ends, up Impressed and convinced; which is more than can be said for -most Prince Edward Islanders, for them, Dundas Farm and its great herds of odd-looking cattle is an awesome; almost unnatural deviation from Island ways, Th-ir idea of a farm runs more to a few hundred acres at most with a few milking cows and plenty of space for the potato crop. Sandy Best has managed so far to convince a couple of dozen Islanders that cattle breeding is ;rious full-time .work, for additional help, of which he Is always fit need, he has to compete against the lobster, the potato crop, the trotting races, and similar noble distractions. But most of all he has been in need of an experienced herdsman..

    4. Part - 3
      That is why Happy Teggart has been lured all .the way from 'Alberta. Because he needs a herdsman right away to prepare for the Great Day; - 1 . ("; . -: The Great Day was September 1st And Happy Teggart was back there for it, with his family, his saddles and his belongings. It was a great day, for him, but most of all for Sandy Best and Howard Webster, for it was the day when they put 250 of Dundas Farm's finest pedigree cattle, the pick of the five exotic breeds,' on the auction block for the first time. Full-color ads in the leading cattle journals across the continent caught cattlemen's attention. The novelty of PEI as cattle country intrigued them. The offer of accommodation, the promise of tuna and trout fishing and of lavish spreads of lobsters and steaks and baked PEI potato attracted them. But what sold them on the trip was the range of exotic cattle, painstakingly photographed by Walt Brow-amy, that was on offer. - , And they came. From all over Canada and the southern US,' including inevitably, Texas. Because of the rail strike, only one ferry was running from the mainland. Many buyers had to be brought in on. a Jight-plane shuttle service organized by Laurie Best But they bought They bought nearly every beast on offer for a gross of $857,950, $250,000 more than Sandy Best expected. And a Simmental cow and calf brought an all-time record price of $38,000..- ' ;.. But all the hard bidding and sizing up didn't mean that there wasn't time for fishing . and Tiding and eating. Everybody enjoyed themselves and the commonest question from, the visitors as they left was. "Will ye be holding a sale at Dundas Farm every year. ... -,. ; Sandy Best hasn't decided yet "t if he does, and if It turns out as great a day as his first sale, he may have to send Happy Teggart for trip out West to tell his friends there about the great future in potato growing.
      More interesting Reading...

    5. Hi there, the best approach is to contact a Realtor like me, we have access to property information and could very well be able to help you get in contact with owners who may want to sell.. My name is Brigitte Fuller and I work with Century 21 902.940.9112,, There are many a bank sale and abandoned property that could be available for sale.. Give me a call more than happy to help..anytime..

  3. It's sad to see this house in such a derelict state. This was the main office of a very large farm called Dundas Farms. I worked there during the summer in my teenage years and My father and Uncle worked there for many years before it closed back in the 90's. The 2 large farms that you passed when you turned off the main road at Campbells Irving in Dundas (on the left and at he bottom of the hill on the right) also belonged to Dundas farms as well as a few other properties scattered around the Dundas/Annandale area

  4. Anyone know if this place is currently owned by anyone? It looks like it would be pretty cool to go explore

  5. Anonymous......Sad to say the house was torn down and burned in June 2014. What a shame!!!

  6. My Grandfather on mother's side, James MacDonald, owned this before it was sold to Dundas Farms in the 1960s. I remember going there in my preteen years, Oil Lamps and an outhouse by the garage. Lights and if I recall correctly running water was installed a couple of years before it was sold. It was a really nice house back then, full of nice furniture and marble top tables and the like. If it still exists CBC, or it might have been CFCY TV back then, had some film of the day the farm and house contents were sold at auction.

  7. I was talking with my mother that grew up in the house in the 1930s and 40s. She said the house was originally built for or by a Jim Morrison; not sure of the date but I think around 1900. James MacDonald was knownin the neighbourhood as James Jim Morrison after he bought the place from the original

  8. Fire Dept burned it down(wasn't torn down first, burned while standing), all that was living in it was a raccoon that escaped injury.