Friday, February 25, 2011

Jeffery Cottage, Isle of Wight, England

The English Cottage below was home to the Jeffery family between 1756-1809 - located in the small village of Brook, Isle of Wight, England.  Stephen Jeffery purchased interest in this cottage and passed it onto his son James.  In 1809 James (and his four children) sold their interest in the cottage in preparation for emigration to Prince Edward Island.
The house is very small, two rooms on the main floor and two on the second with the hall and stairs in the middle - it has only four windows (on the front) and a front door.  Today the house is used a self-catering cottage.   I visited here in 1987 and again in 2005.
I have a bible that belonged to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Stephen Jeffery, it was printed in Oxford in 1752, four years before Stephen moved in to this cottage.  In the Bible he recorded the dates and times of the children's births, along with family marriages and deaths.  He left the Bible to his son James, then James' left it to his son Stephen who wrote in the Bible, "I came to this Country, Left England Augt 14, 1810 - Landed Novr 5, 1810 in Charlotte Town"  Stephen left the bible to his nephew and Godson Stephen E. Jeffery where it remained with him in a truck on the family homestead in Alma, the home in which I was raised.  My parents gave the Bible to me in the early 1980's. 
We have confidently traced the Jeffery family back to 1638 with the birth of Richard Jeffery on the Isle of Wight - the Jeffery name appears in the Islands public records as early as 1327.
Above:  looking at the side of the front entry to the Jeffery Cottage, note the slate roof - also note the garden shed at the left corner of the Cottage.  Below is a close look at the front right corner.

Below: to the left is the rear of the Jeffery Cottage, to the right is Chine Cottage - no windows or openings in the walls.
Below:  The grey house is called Chine Cottage - the Jeffery Cottage is directly behind it.  The road is in front of Chine Cottage, left leading to the highway, to the right leading to the beach.
Below: Brook, Isle of Wight - the Jeffery Cottage is in the middle with the red roof, behind Chine Cottage.  The house to the far right was featured in the book, Family Houses by the Sea.   The beach is to the right.
Below:  the beach at Brook, Isle of Wight.  The white cliffs in the far distance is Tennyson Downs, home of Alfred Lord Tennyson - see below.
Below: Tennyson Downs - the home and property of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate of England. The house, called Farringford, is down the hill behind the trees and today a hotel.  The Tennyson's purchased the property in 1853 and made it their home for the next 40 years.  At the highest point of the cliff is a Celtic cross in memorial to Tennyson.  Brook and Tennyson Downs are located on the southwest side of the Isle of Wight.  This small Island measures 155 square miles in area.  The Island is much like Prince Edward Island in that it's the summer playground and sunshine capital of the British Isles.
Below:  On the north side of the Isle of Wight is Osborne House- the summer home of Queen Victoria and her family.  The house was designed by her husband Prince Albert and built in the 1840's - the house is in the Italianate style.  Queen Victoria died here in 1901, shortly afterwards her son King Edward VII donated the property to the people of Great Britain - today it's a museum.

"Contributions to P.E.I. heritage honoured"

"Edouard Blanchard named Volunteer of the Year, one of 22 awards handed out at Heritage Week ceremony at Beaconsfield." 
General Awards -
  • George Arsenault and Sally Ross for Acadian Mi-Careme;
  • John Brehault for The Life and Times of Daniel J. MacDonald;
  • Roy Campbell and Robert Gelineau for Searletown Road farmhouse restoration;
  • Lorena Gillis Cardwell for Lorena's Notebook: A Family Memoir;
  • Clyde River Women's Institute for Clyde River Historical Homes and Buildings calendar;
  • Delores Griffin for A  P.E.I. Mother's Legacy of Love;
  • Dr. A.E. Bud Ings for Vet Behind the Ears;
  • Heather Irving for writing the book Andy's;
  • Wayne MacKinnon for a historical book on Holland College;
  • Summerside and Area Historical Society for holding Heritage Circles;
  • Summerside Lest We Forget Committee for worn on Gathering Stories from Veterans;
  • Stratford for featuring War Veterans on Bus Shelters;
  • George Wright for The Surviving Wrights of P.E.I.;
  • Wyatt Heritage Properties for its Open Suitcase Education Program;
  • Isaac Stewart for his Dedication to Island History.
Special Awards-
  • Natural History Activity:  Diane Griffin;
  • Volunteer of the Year:  Edouard Blanchard;
  • Publication of the Year:  Rusty Bitterman for Sailor's Hope;
  • Mary Cornfoot Brehaut: Jean Bernard;
  • Irene Rogers Award:  Bonshaw Hall Co-operative for Bonshaw United Church Restoration;
  • Wendell Boyle Award:  Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival;
  • Award of Honour:  Gilbert Clements.
Congratulations recipients!! 
c.f.  The Guardian Newspaper, Feb. 24, 2011, page A3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Georgetown, PEI

This historic church located in Georgetown's town square is under threat of being lost.  This church would be amoung the 10 oldest churches on the Island.  The church has been closed for a number of years, the basement is damp and mouldy and in general, neglected.  However, there's a group of concerned citizens in the community, throughout the Island and within North America who are keen to see this historic building saved - see their facebook page.

Information about the church from H.M.Scott Smith's 1986 book, "The Historic Churches of Prince Edward Island".  page 58.  "Holy Trinity Church, on Kent Square in Georgetown, was completed in 1842.  Its battlemented square tower with corner finials is typical of early Anglican churches in the Maritimes.  The church was enlarged in the 1860's and the nave windows with perpendicular Gothic tracery were added at this time.  In 1982, the exterior was completely repainted a deep ochre but the white trim was retained, a rich and satisfying colour.  Despite a period of decay and disuse, the building was restored and its neat and dignified front elevation is an historic landmark in a town with a fascinating architectural heritage."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Westmoreland Homestead, PEI

I photographed this abandoned family farm on April 15, 1989 - it was located on the Inkerman Road (Rte. 231) just after you cross over Route 225 in Rose Valley going south towards Crapaud.  If I recall correctly the property was destroyed by fire later that year - it might have been at Halloween.

Below: A closer look at the right/east gable.
Below: This building was likely a blacksmith shop - it was located between the house and barn (unseen in top photo).  I photographed it for the detail of the chimney and the composition of the textures.

Munn's Road House

This house was located on Munn's Road (Rte. 301) in eastern Prince Edward Island.  We photographed this house in the spring of 1993 and included this house in our Heritage Designs PEI book.
Below:  A page from the Heritage Designs PEI book.
This gable-styled house has great proportions and detail with the double square bays on the front of the house and a traditional style bay window on the south side in the dining room.
I love these photos as they display great textures of cedar shingles and clapboard siding.
This simple house displays many beautiful details including a multi-paned gable window.
Below:  This photo was taken from the parlour looking towards the front hall.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Steam Powered Woodworking Mill, Knutsford, PEI

This was a Steam Powered Woodworking Mill located on the O'Leary Road in Knutsford.  My grandfather told me about this mill (the site was in ruins) when I was a kid in the early 1970s.  I was always curious about this building my grandfather told me it had been a house hauled here from Duvar by William P. Meggison and converted in to a woodworking/saw mill - he said it was one of three such houses built by the same carpenter (unknown).
Note on Photo: Steam Powered Woodworking Mill shortly after Smoke Stack was erected.  Located in Knutsford, PEI. Owner- William P. Meggison.
In 1924. This structure was moved from Howlan Mill Pond (Hector Richard) moved to Knutsford for the Meggisons.  The house was a 2-1/2 Storey, symmetrical Georgian Style house with six-over-six windows.
Note on Photo: Crew of men required to erect smoke stack at Woodworking Mill.
In the photo:  Rear L-R: Bill Berry, Pete Deroche, John Harris,George Meggison, Roy McDowell, Will Meggison (George's father). Front Seated L-R. Murray Sweet, ? , Guy Harris, George MacAulay. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Silliker-McDowell Homestead, Knutsford, PEI

This old homestead was settled by Captain John Silliker (1811-1871), son of United Empire Loyalists Strang Silliker and Elizabeth Waugh - they were  my great-great-grandparents.  Capt. John was born in Bedeque.  He married Ellen Duggan (1811-1899) on February 5, 1833.  They moved to Knutsford in 1855 and settled a 600-acre block of land which extended from the O'Leary Road back to the Boulter Road.  John was amoung the first crew of men to cut the O'Leary Road through the wilderness.  John and Ellen had six sons and six daughters.  It was said the house before this one had split shingles and wooden pegs to hold together the roof rafters.  Recently my grandmother told me there was a saw pit where they hand sawed the boards for the first house - its location was were the present driveway is.  The Sillikers donated land and lumber for the Methodist Church in Knutsford (later moved to O'Leary to became the Catholic Mission Church and today is part of the O'Leary Potato Museum site) and also the first Knutsford school.  My grandmother also told of an old log cabin in the back field that had been occupied by the Mi'kmaq - there was also evidence of a camp in the front corner of the property close to the O'Leary Road - the details of this have been lost to history.
John and Ellen's youngest son William (1855-1922) married Clara U. Frost (1858-1945) and took over the homestead around 1871 following his fathers death and the 600-acre farm was divided into six farms each given to a son.  Clara said she was 18 years old when the house (above) was built - 1876.    William operated a sawmill at the back of the property.  Another brother, Patrick, lived next door - his son Erkton *Erk* and grandson Jimmy were building haulers.  William and Clara's daughter Lucetta married Daniel McDowell, when Lucetta was pregnant with her sixth child, Roy, she contracted TB and died 6 months later.   Roy was left to be raised by his Silliker grandparents on this farm while his father remarried and moved to Ayre, Mass, USA.  When Roy was 12-years-old his grandfather William died and left him, a boy, to care for his grandmother and the farm.  Roy married on March 2, 1936 to Empress MacNevin of Milo, they raised their three daughters on this farm. 
This center gable styled house had a simple floor plan.  To the left/east side was a large kitchen with a 5' pantry across the back, next to the porch - in the back corner of the kitchen, near the middle of the house, was a steep set of winding stairs going up - there were three steps in the kitchen then the door to the stairs.  On the left/west at the front, with the offset front door, was the parlour with a small bedroom behind (part of this space was occupied by the stairs going up from the kitchen).  There was no plaster on the main floor - the walls were covered with vertical wood wainscoting on the bottom and horizontal wainscoting on the top and the same wood on the ceiling.  When i was a child the walls were covered with wallpaper.  There was a back porch where the milk was separated, carried in from the barn, a great distance from the house.  The second floor plan had the stairs coming up in the middle of the house, there was a railing on three sides of the small stairwell opening, which measured near 44"x78".  The stair placement is non-typical for this style of house  but similar to earlier central chimney style houses, but in a different location.  When came to the top of the stairs you facing the back sloping wall of the house - there was no window.  To the right/west side of the house were two bedrooms and on the front a bedroom in the gable - this room was finished better than any other room in the house with a plaster ceiling medallion.  To the left/east was a large bedroom with a small room off towards the front of the house - when i was a child this space was called "the junk room" - there was a bed in there and boxes all over the place and the small room held all my grandmother's fabric - she was a sewer and quilter. 
Above: Daniel *Roy* McDowell with his team of horses.  c. 1926
The photo above of my mother Verna (right) and her two older sisters Millie and Elsie.  The view of the house is from the southeast corner - note all the wood shingles - walls and roof.  The second floor windows on the east/right were of the Junk Room and Fabric Room.

The Photo below is of my grandfather Daniel *Roy* McDowell on his tractor with my cousin Glenda Brown.  Note the barns in the background - we have very few photos of the barns on this homestead - they were arranged/built in a straight line from the house - starting at the house was a wood house, then a chicken house, a pig house, a machine barn, then the big L-shaped barn - it was quite a distance from the house - my grandmother use to say she didn't mind taking the milk to the house porch to be separated in winter as when you stopped for a break you didn't have as far to sit down the buckets of milk as you could rest them on the snow on each side of the path.  They gave up farming in 1967 following my grandfather's fall on the ice, breaking his shoulder.  They sold the farm to a neighbour cousin, keeping the house and lot.
Below: Summer 1976.  My grandparents Roy and Empress standing in front of their house.

In 1983 my brother Kerras bought the house - some of his renovations to the exterior walls revealed the house structure to be studded with 6"x6" posts.  Kerras sold the house in 1988 - it's changed hands twice since.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meggison House, Knutsford, PEI

This 2-storey house with hip roof is located on the north side of the O'Leary Road in Knutsford - across the road from my grandparents Roy and Empress McDowell (who moved away in 1983).  The house was expanded by Wm. P. Meggison in 1924-25.  The photos were given to me by William's grandson Bill. 
Note on Back:
Remodeling Meggison Home, Knutsford, PEI.  Wm. P. Meggison & Son. 
It appears the old small house was to the left.
As a child my mother recalls going to this house to visit Mrs. Meggison and was uncomfortable to see a casket in the sunroom - it was for Mr. Meggison.  He was a carpenter and had made it for himself - it was stored there ready to go when the time came.
The Meggison House.  The floor plan was described to me as follows: the sunroom was across the south front from side-to-side; the parlour was in the front of the main house from side-to-side, taking up half of the new main floor plan; on the back right corner was a large hall with the stairs in the northeast corner; on the back left corner was the dining room (later the "inner kitchen"); to the rear in the old section was the "back kitchen".  The second floor had four bedrooms, one in each corner.  The bedroom in the back right was smaller with the stairs coming up against the back north wall; there was a central hall with stairs to the attic.
Meggison Home - 2001

Murray Harbour North

I was in eastern PEI for meetings yesterday afternoon - here's a few photos i took in Murray Harbour North.  This house has an old store adjacent.

The Murray Harbour North Presbyterian Church.
Panmure Island Lighthouse. 

Point Pleasant House

This house is featured in our book, Heritage Designs PEI, page 16.  Point Pleasant, 1892.  I first photographed this house in 1992 - it was abandoned then.
 Many of these old homesteads have large old trees.
 This is a two-storey projecting dormer.
 The front door retains a hint of its' original colour.
Note the gingerbread eave corner brackets
Below: I took this photo of the above house in 1993.

Another favourite barn

This barn is located between Montague and Lower Montague and belongs to the MacKenzie family - it too is unused and abandoned.
 The weather yesterday was springlight with bright sunshine!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The house across the Pond

The view from my backyard - the house is always spot lit.  Some nights the water on the pond is so still it casts a perfect reflection of the historic Patterson Farmhouse - the Patterson family has been gone for near 40 years.  The Pattersons were amoung the first settlers to Hunter River and built and operated Pattersons saw and grist mills.  The house was built as a Central Dormer Style and later the rear kitchen wing was added giving it the look of the typical Island-ell style.
Here's an old photo taken from the east, pondside.

Abandoned PEI Homestead

This lonesome homestead is in the Glenwilliam area.
The house is an "Island-ell" style farmhouse - very typical of the style with the larger main house and the smaller side wing which held the kitchen.  The kitchen section being smaller it would have windows on two or three sides making the space most desirable as that's where the family would spend most of their time and would have easy views of the farmyard.

The barns feature steep gabled roofs and cedar shingle siding.