Sunday, March 9, 2014

West End House, Charlottetown

     West End House (18 West Street) was built in 1839-40 by David Wilson, a Charlottetown merchant.  The house was originally built at 1 Kent Street where Beaconsfield presently stands.  James Peake and his family moved to West End House in the mid 1870's then decided to build a new house on the site.  Before he could build his new house (Beaconsfield designed by Wm. C. Harris), the old mansion had to be sold and moved.  Professor Samuel Earle (organist at St. Paul's Anglican Church) bought the house and moved it across the street to the east side of West Street where it remains today.
     Architecturally, West End House holds significant historic detailing which has long since disappeared from Charlottetown.   The exterior fabric of the house was rusticated to look like cut stones by using wide wooden boards with gaps to replicate mortar joints.  The boards were then painted using paint with sand added to give it a stone-like texture.  See my photo below of West End House exterior - note the wall and large corner boards.  
     In 1834 Government House (Fanningbank) was built with the same exterior detailing, however, it was covered with cedar shingles in the summer of  1860 in advance of Prince Albert's Royal Visi.
 Above/Below are photos I took of West End House 11 years ago on March 10, 2003.
     The two water colour images below come from Vintage Charlottetown on Facebook - there are no references to the source.
Above: cf.
Above: cf.

         The following information and photo comes from Historic Places Website:
   "The West End House was built in 1839-1840, on the site where Beaconsfield now stands, by merchant David Wilson. Though some windows and the front door have been changed, the house retains its original plank siding and its satisfying proportions. Throughout the years it has had many prominent residents. While still owned by David Wilson, these were the Hon. William Swabey, Chief Justice Jarvis, and Capt. Beazeley. At that period, the advertisement referred to it as "that pleasantly situated mansion in the vicinity of Government House.....consisting of 21 highly finished apartments." Its attractions included a flower garden and a pure water spring on the property. John Lawson, in Letters of Prince Edward Island (1851), reveals that there was a drawing room, dining room, and study on the first floor and five or six bedrooms on the second, as well as servants' room, nursery, and kitchens. Other owners or occupants were Stephen Swabey, J.S. Carvell, James Peake, and Mayor Thomas H. Haviland. Although large and well built, West End House was not fashionable enough for James Peake's standing. He offered it for sale and it was moved to the east side of West Street. West End House on its present site will long be remembered as the home of the musical Earle family. Professor Samuel Earle was organist at St. Paul's church and his eight children inherited his artistic talent. Ernest played the coronet, Lillian played the piano and they all sang beautifully. "It was about the happiest home in Charlottetown," remembered a family friend. Visitors were greeted with welcoming sounds of laughter and music. [1] Local telephone directories list S.N. Earle at this address in 1922, 1928 and 1935." 1. Irene Rogers, Charlotteotown: The Life in its Buildings, pp. 320,321
Photo by Barb Morgan
Above: Beaconsfield - note West End House in background.
Image cf.

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