Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cajetan Arsenault House, St. Chrysostome

I visited this house on July 20th, 2009 and met the owners, Gavin and Irene Arsenault, who had lived here since the early 1960's - they sold the house this past summer.  The property is located at 59 Gavin Arsenault Road, just off the Harmony Road (Rte. 128/Rte.11) in St. Chrysostome.  When Gavin and Irene bought the house it was in very poor shape and was used seasonally by fishermen from western Prince Edward Island who came to fish the local waters.
Father Albin Arsenault (currently Priest at St. John the Baptist Parish, Miscouche) filled me in on some of the history of this house as it was the home of his maternal great-grandparents.  Father Albin, son of Joseph D. Arsenault and Aline Arsenault (dtr of Denis & Melani Arsenault), grew up next door to here.  The house was owned by Cajetan and Veronique Arsenault and was built sometime between 1834 and 1838 - the house is known locally as one of the oldest in the area.  Cajetan and Veronique raised 18 children in this house.  For more information about the Cajetan family see:
Above:  I drew out the asfound floor plans and elevations for this house.  To the left, the kitchen and porch were later additions to the house along with the front/south steep gable dormer.  This house would likely have looked much like the Doucet House in Rustico.
Above: Front/South view of Arsenault House / Below: Front view of Doucet House.
 Below: Rear/North view of Arsenault House.
 Below: End/West view of Arsenault House.
In all the years I've been investigated historic Prince Edward Island homes I've never seen a main floor framed in the way this floor is framed.  There are main floor beams spanning the main floor, north-south, and spaced about 24" and filled-in with short, half logs with the tops squared to make a smooth floor to walk on.
Below: A section of the main floor with later board framing.  There was likely a center fireplace and chimney in this house, however, there is no evidence of this other than a section of the main floor filled-in with boards.  The house has a poured concrete foundation which erased the original foundation, etc.
Below:  The end of the short, half logs have their ends cut flat to set on top of floor beams.
As often said about Prince Edward Island and it's people - when something happens around the world there's a connection to the Island.  Well, the oldest person in the USA and the second oldest person in the world, Mary Josephine (Arsenault) Ray, who died on March 7th, 2010 at the age of 114 years and 294 days, was born on May 17th, 1895 in Bloomfield, P.E.I. and the daughter of Sabin and Lydia Anne (Blanchard) Arsenualt.  Mary Ray's father, Sabin Arsenault, was a brother of Veronique Arsenault (children of Fidele Arsenault and Agnes Arsenault).  When Mary was 3-years-old her parents moved to the USA.

For more information about Mary Ray refer to the following:
Above: Mary Josephine Ray during her 111th birthday party in Westmoreland, N.H.


  1. I just LOVE your blog! Thanks for sharing all of PEI's wonder with the world. Like so many other Islanders who live away from's a source of great comfort to read and see things from our fair isle. I often check the listings for sale on your blog and dream a little buying one and coming home to PEI. Happy New Year from Kitchener Ontario.

  2. Well documented and great photos!

    I would like to make a correction concerning Josephine Ray's father, Sabin Arsenault. He was not the son of Cajétan and Véronique Arsenault. However, he was the brother of Véronique. Their parents were Fidèle Arsenault and Agnès Arsenault

    Georges Arsenault

  3. could you tell me if the Cajetan in question had a daughter, Annie (Evelyne Ane?)

  4. Not this Cajétan. But a Cajétan Arsenault from Mont-Carmel, married to Émilienne Arsenault, had a daughter baptized under the name Évéline Anne.

  5. Love the photos. Looks alot like our beams in our house located in Cape Egmont. Origionally built in 1905.

  6. Love the photos. Looks alot like our beams in our house located in Cape Egmont. Origionally built in 1905.