Sunday, January 30, 2011

My House

I bought this house in the summer of 1996 - newly painted stark white!
The home was known as the George Earl Smith house - he and his wife moved in to Hunter River in the 1950s from New Glasgow, PEI.  George operated a blacksmith adjacent to the property.  They lived here till the 1980s after which time the house was rented until I purchased it.  Here they are standing to the front right of the house.
The house is a rare cross-gable style house and built around 1905 according to mortgage deed research.  My research, of which information is sketchy, has led me to believe the building/house was the mill office for the grist and saw mills and electric light plant operations at the dam below.  Lefuta Wood bought the property and mills in the 1920s - he lived nearby in Breadalbane.  During my renovations (of which nothing could have been achieved without the dedicated work of Arnold Smith) I discovered a few clues - the date 1937 written on a roof rafter; a 1937 car license plate found between the walls; evidence a stove with chimney once sat where my stair and landing are now; the living room has horizontal hardwood around the walls but stops 18" above the floor - possibly there was a built-in bench here and removed when the walls were gyproced.  The entire upstairs is sheathed with boards (he owned the saw mill), no plaster at all, wallpaper was applied to the raw wood.  Interesting and mysterious! 
View from the rear. 
 Front - Winter 2011
 Rear - photo taken from below at the bridge dam.
 The original front door and my newly renovated porch.
 Stair landing - to the left was a chimney hole through the wall.
My renovated kitchen cupboards - I had my brother cut holes in the basic flat plywood doors and put in wainscotting (glass in shorter units) all complete with new door pulls.  I struggled with choosing a colour to paint them - I didn't want white, green beige, yellow - an interior design friend suggested "light pumpkin" - so it was trimmed with Island red clay coloured countertop and large new crown moulding.  The backsplash tile and new flooring is to come.

Historic MacCallum House, Brackley Beach, PEI

MacCallum House.  Photo taken February 24th, 2010
 "The MacCallum house in Brackley Beach was built before the middle of the nineteenth century by two itinerant Scottish masons for Captain James MacCallum, whose father, Duncan immigrated to PEI from Scotland in 1770. "Linden Cottage" underwent a rather drastic renovation in the early 1950s, at which time a kitchen wing was demolished and the rear shed dormer added.  The three frontal shed dormers were built in the 1930s.  There is a feeling the stability and permanence about this house.  The stones have been cut with precision and laid with great skill and care, because the walls are still straight and true.  It stands in a lovely pastoral setting surrounded by linden trees imported from Scotland."
cf. The Historic Houses of Prince Edward Island by H.M. Scott Smith.  Pg. 36.  ISBN 1-55046-024-2
 The linden trees guard over this historic property.
 The following two photos taken March 29, 2010 - what has happened?
 Restoration or Renovation?
 The results - photos taken January 28, 2011
 The lindens remain.
The stream flowing to the mill pond beyond - note the kingfisher on the bridge rail.
 A quintessential Canadian winter scene - pond hockey.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

St. James Anglican Church, Porthill

As I was leaving Porthill I met the Rector-in-Charge, Rev. Andrew Mortimer - he was just arriving.  I commented that I had never been inside the "new" St. James Church - here's a few photos.  I was told recently that the ceiling at St. James as built like the hull of a ship - this would make sense, as you can see, the Parish was the home church of James Yeo, well-known ship builder who lived nearby.
This church opened for service on September 20, 1885.  Parishioners were honoured with the visit of the Archbishop of Cantebury on June 11, 1939.
 Beautiful woodwork and detailing.
 South side stained glass window.

 Looking westward to the rear of the church.

The beauty of Rural Prince Edward Island in Winter!

I was to Porthill today.  There was a light snowfall last night and with the bright sunshine today the snow covered landscape literally sparkled!  Here's a farmstead near Porthill. 

Below is the Anglican Parish of Porthill.  To the left was the first church of this parish, built in 1841 and currently being restored; later in the century a new church (center) was built across the road; and in the early 1900s the rectory, built large in the fox-style.
As I left Porthill I stayed along the shore road and took this photo of a farmstead in Lot 16 - behind is the Grand River.

More of my favourite barns...

This barn is located near Alberton - it retains much of its original detail.  So often these old barns have their doorways, windows and hatches boarded up for modern use.  The owners continue to care for, and keep up maintenance on this barn as it hasn't been used for livestock in years.
And yet another of my favourite barns - located on the former Currie homestead on the Western Road in Alma, down the hill from Holy Trinity Alma Anglican Church (see below).  This barn also hasn't been used in years.
Below is Holy Trinity Anglican Church, consecrated on October 20, 1890.  The first warden was my great-great-grandfather Stephen E. Jeffery.  The land for this church was donated by the Currie family.  The church is well maintained and used seasonally for special services.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Speaking of Barns

This is one of my favourite Island barns, located at Toombs Corner in Rusticoville.
 It retains many of its original components.
 Old doors and old shingles!
 The barn still has its original sandstone foundations.
 On the whimsical side - my brother Kerras just made these folkart cows.
 Note the cow horns made of construction re-bar.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Heritage Design P.E.I.: Homes Inns & Cottages

For Sale $19.95 plus shipping & taxes.
     We published this book in 1993.  
Preface: The Cavendish Collection of Heritage Designs offers a wide range of home building plans that have been studied and presented with three things in mind: first, to illustrate to the public a collection of the unique architectureal styles and traditions of Prince Edward Island Architecture; second, to create a structure which will be aesthetically pleasing and architecturally correct for its period to the Island; and third, to present these designs in a format of maximum clarity; with sufficient detail to ensure the project is satisfactory implemented.

     The first home illustrated in the book - scroll down this blog to see the actual central sandstone fireplace and chimney of this house.

See also:

Newel Post and Detail

Here's a newel post from a mid-nineteen century Prince Edward Island house - very typical to an 1850's house.
 Detailing on the Stair's Carriage (or Stringer)

Murray River Resoration

My friend Greg is restoring his heritage house in eastern Prince Edward Island - checkout his blog

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Restored Doucet House

     The above aerial photo of the Doucet House site was taken by Paul Blacquiere.  As part of the restoration project the site was developed to reflect the period of the homestead complete with a pole fence was placed around the site.  The house is situated in the middle of the site with a kitchen garden directly to the south in front of the house; adjacent to the house to the right/east a clay bread oven was built; to the far left/west a new small log barn was built with a garden to the south of it.  To the rear/northwest corner is a hen house and behind an outhouse.  Behind the house to the east is a small orchard of period apple trees; and to the rear/north, in the field is flax and buckwheat - crops typical to the period.

     The Restored Doucet House.  When the house was built the logs were exposed to the weather for a few years, this is evident in the logs wood grain, and to keep the drafts from blowing through vertical boards were applied to the exterior.  This is the period in which it was decided to interpret the house, about 1800, the restored vertical boards protect the original logs from exposure to the weather.  Note the hand-split cedar shingle roof.  The windows were made locally using period bulls-eye glass.

     Doucet House property view of the site from the northwest corner from behind the henhouse - note the ladder on the side of the house and the water wellhouse.
     Inside Doucet House.  Note the log wall, wood floor with wood nails pegs; two board front door and the interpreter in period costume.  One of the skirts worn by one of the interpreters was locally woven to match a scrap of woven material found in the logs chinking - the original dye colours and pattern were still evident after all this time - see below.
     Scrap of hand-woven material found amoungst the log walls moss chinking at Doucet House.
     Inside Doucet House.  The central island sandstone fireplace and chimeny.   The house had three rooms on the main floor.  Standing at the front door looking in as you enter is the large kitchen with fireplace and stairs to loft above; behind the fireplace is a large bedroom and in the back corner a small room often used for storage.  The loft above would have been used for storage and often in spring and fall, when the temperature was moderate, the older children would sleep up there.
The large fireplace with wrought iron crane.
     The kitchen table, an artifact from Rustico with chairs also original to the period.
     The clay bread oven.  The oven was made from birck clay, sand and marsh grass.  References to Island Acadians using such bread ovens have been found in the Mont Carmel area and as late as the summer of 1859 in the Little Tignish area.
     To prepare the bread oven for use a fire is built inside the oven to heat up the ovens clay walls - when the oven is heated to the right temperature the coals are removed, the food is placed inside and the door placed to keep the heat in.
      The new log barn built of logs in the same dove-tailed style as the house.  The hinges on the wood door (same on the house) were built by a local blacksmith to suite the period.
     The Doucet House is situated overlooking Rustico Bay where spectacular sunrises and sunsets can be observed.  This location is similar to the house's original location, a short distance from here, around the point at Grand Pere Point.  The Acadians built their homes close to water for both fishing and transportation.
     For more information about the Doucet House and Farmers Bank of Rustico, refer to their website at