Monday, December 30, 2013

Gordon-Barbour House, Montrose

     I was out to Montrose the other day and took these photos of the Jack & Kay Barbour home.  The house is located on Rte. 152 leaving Alberton, between Huntley and the Montrose Bridge.
     This large "Fox House" (more commonly known as "Four-Square" style) was built in 1914 for Robert Hudson Gordon, one of the local pioneers of the fox farming industry on Prince Edward Island.  The carpenter was Robert Rankin.  
     The very large (one of the largest in western PEI) 2-1/2 storeys house has a hipped roof complete with large dormers on each side.  There are shallow bay windows and a partial wrap-around verandah with round columns.  This house always been well maintained and today is in excellent condition.
     During the 1930's the house came up for offer and was purchased by Roy Barbour and his family - Roy's son Jack and his family remain here today. 
     The large barn and out-buildings are also in very good condition - always well maintained.  The property is large with mature trees all around.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beaton House, Summerside

     I also took a few photos of this house today at 27 Granville Street in Summerside. It has impressive detailing, influenced by Gothic Revival and Queen Anne architectural styles.
     The house was originally owned by M.F. Schurman and located on Eustane Street - it was moved to the corner of Granville and Hanover Streets in 1907.  Most of the homes in this area had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1906.  Mr. Schurman engaged "a small army of carpenters, masons and labourers to carry out the reconstruction".  Mr. Schurman and his family lived here from 1908-1916.   The house changed hands a few times until 1941 when Samuel and Linnie Beaton purchased the house and lived here for more than 40 years.
     For more information refer to the historic places website...
 Above/Below: West front of house, facing Granville Street.

Calhoun House, Summerside

    This house is located at 39 Eustane Street in Summerside.  I took these photos this afternoon.  I always found this house an interesting old design, however, it dates to about 1870.  Here's a link to more information...
 Front of the house, facing south, a couple of streets back from Water Street.
The house as described in the late 1800's...
     'The advertisement for the house had stated: "The Dwelling contains eight Bedrooms, besides Parlor, Sitting, Dining and Bath Rooms, inside and outside Kitchens... The cellar is stone and brick and frost proof... The grounds are large and very suitable for a Hotel... There is a large Barn and Hennery on the premises. The east, west and south sides are surrounded by Elms, Maple, Lilac and Fruit trees, which gives the premises a rustic appearance." The purchaser of the property was Harry T. Holman, well known as one of the owners of the large mercantile firm of R.T. Holman Limited. Mr. Holman was married to Constance Eva, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wright. He resold the Eustane Street property to local bakery owner, H.H. Lefurgey.'
 Above: East side of the house.
 Above: Rear, northeast view.
 This side of the house faces west on to Eustane Street.  Note the old elm tree stumps.

Friday, December 13, 2013

today is "Acadian Remembrance Day" - Dec. 13

     I received this email from Georges Arsenault this morning complete with links to further information!
      On this December 13, Acadian Remembrance Day, I am sending you this article on Noël Doiron who was drowned when the ship Duke William sank on December 13, 1758, during the Acadian Deportation. He died with almost all the members of his family and hundreds of others. This Doiron family, originally from Nova Scotia, lived at Eldon which was called at the time Pointe-Prime.
      Article :
     You can also see a short video on Noël Doiron and wife Marie about when they were living in Nova Scotia in a village now called Noel.
      Video :
     The article and the video are the work of two brothers from Nova Scotia, Todd and Shane Scott. They have greatly contributed to make known the story of the Doirons and of the sinking of the Duke William.
     You can also listen to a CBC Radio Documentary entitled "Noel Doiron and the Wreck of the Duke William"  -
    A ceremony on this Acadian Remembrance Day will be held at noon today at the Port-la-Joye -- Fort Amherst Historical Site. All are welcomed.
     Noël Doiron (Port-Royal, 1684 – December 13, 1758) was a leader of the Acadians, renown for the decisions he made during the Deportation of the Acadians.[1] Doiron was deported on a vessel named the Duke William (1758). The sinking of the Duke William was one of the worst marine disasters in Canadian history. The captain of the Duke William, William Nichols, described Noel Doiron as the "head prisoner" on board the ship and as the "father" to all the Acadians on Ile St. Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island).[2]
     Second only to Evangeline, the most well known Acadian story of the Victorian era was that of Noel Doiron (1684-1758). For his "noble resignation" and self-sacrifice aboard the Duke William, Doiron was celebrated in popular print throughout the 19th century in England and America.[3] Doiron also is the namesake of the village Noel, Nova Scotia and the surrounding communities of Noel Shore, East Noel (also known as Densmore Mills), Noel Road and North Noel Road.
     Early in 1750, Noel Doiron and his family joined the Acadian Exodus and left mainland Nova Scotia for Pointe Prime, Ile St. Jean (present day Eldon, Prince Edward Island).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

P.E.I.'s oldest tree falls - a sapling when Cartier visited 1534

     After standing tall for near 500 years, the large american white elm tree in eastern Prince Edward Island fell during a recent wind storm.  The tree was thought to be the oldest and tallest on the Island.
     Quite a few years ago a bore sample was taken to determine its age  - it was estimated to have been a young sapling when Jacques Cartier visited the Island in 1534.  It's amazing how the tree survived the great forest clearing of the 1800s when the vast majority of the Island's forest was cleared and harvested for farming and shipbuilding.

An ancient P.E.I. tree was knocked down during a recent wind storm on the Dixon property in East Baltic. - Submitted photo to the Guardian.
The following article appeared on the Guardian newspaper's website today...
Wind takes down 500-year-old tree
by Steve Sharratt, Dec. 10, 2013 
SOURIS — The recent wind storm that blew record speeds at East Point brought down a tree that was a mere sapling when Jacques Cartier first visited P.E.I. in 1534.  The “Big Tree” is an American White Elm located in Glencordale and was nearing 500 yeas of age. It was located on property owned by the Dixon family of East Baltic.  According to the Souris and Area Wildlife Federation, which announced the find, the tree was approximately 18 feet in circumference and withstood fires and natural disasters over the years. One resident estimated is easily hovered over 40 metres (130 feet) high .  "It was visited by many on an annual basis as folks wanted to admire this enormous tree," the federation says, noting that North Lake resident Melissa MacInnis, who was visiting the site, delivered the news.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

St. George's Cheese Factory 1893-1971

     Here's a little book I have in my collection of Island books.  It's called, "St. George's Cheese Factory:  A Brief History", written by George MacDonald, 1995.
     The cheese factory was built in 1893 and operated until 1907 when it was closed.  In 1915 Duncan MacDonald bought the building and moved it to his farm - the building saw its end when it was destroyed by vandal's fire on Halloween 1971.
     Below are a few pages from the book.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1950s House, Kingsboro

     This great little 1950's house is located on the East Point Road (Route 16) in Kingsboro, just after the turn off to Basin Head Fisheries Museum and Beach.  The house overlooks the Northumberland Strait to the south, from the rear of the house.
     Yet another abandoned Island home!  This house has nice detailing, especially with the pitched roof, side square bay, roof dormer and the multi-window north-facing sunporch.
Immediately beside the house, to the west, is the Singing Sands Inn...

Eastern Kings Consolidated School 1974-2011

    Eastern Kings Community Center, mentioned in the previous post, is a newer building, built on the site of the former Eastern Kings Consolidated School which was built in 1974 and demolished in 2011 - the site is green space today.  Here's an image of the school and excerpt from the following website
     “Eastern Kings Consolidated School is located on Munn’s Road. The land for the school was purchased from Mrs. James Jardine in 1969 and the new school was built in 1974-1975.  The school was a prominent symbol in Eastern Kings for 34 years, until it was closed by the Eastern School Board, in 2009 because of the small number of students then attending.  The school was later demolished in 2010/2011.  The first year the school opened the student number started off at 175 and slowly went to down to 55 students in its last year of operation. During the entirety if its running it was not only a used as a school but; it housed the local Community School classes, it was used as the Eastern Kings Cap Site, it held many extra curricular activities including; sports, concerts, pot luck dinners, meet and greet sessions, and much more.  The school was known on the island as “small school”, with few students, but, many believe this to be the reason for the excess of school spirit and closeness felt by not only the students and staff, but by everyone in the community of Eastern Kings.  The land was donated back to the community and the existing students moved to Souris Consolidated School, to continue their studies.”
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     On June 20th, 1994, the annual dinner and awards presentation of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation was held at this school on Munn's Road.   Arnold Smith and I were recipients of a Publishing Award from the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation for the book, Heritage Designs: Homes, Inns & Cottages of Prince Edward Islandpresented by the Hon. Marion Reid, Lt. Governor of Prince Edward Island.  
     Below is a photo of the presentation.  L-R: Ed MacDonald, Lt. Governor Reid, Arnold and myself (Carter).
     Below is the award citation by Dr. Ed MacDonald, Curator of History, PEIMHF:
     "Over the past few decades, the single greatest factor in shaping the Island's landscape has been modern house construction.  Unfortunately, mass-produced, "off-the-shelf" house plans are unsympathetic to the historic landscape.  Those wanting to build a house base on an authentic Island model have had to commission expensive custom designs.  
     Until now.
     Carter Jeffery and Arnold Smith investigated a number of historic Island houses, both existing and vanished.  They have published their findings in a small, well researched, lovingly assembled publication called Heritage Designs, which also serves as a guide to ordering full building plans.
     In plans ranging from the modest to the magnificent, Jeffery and Smith are seeking to preserve and enhance the Island's evocative landscape by encouraging new construction sympathetic to historic models."

Barn on Munn's Road

     I was also up to Kingsboro yesterday as I traveled around eastern Prince Edward Island. Just opposite Eastern Kings Community Center, on Munn's Road, is this old barn - probably not long for this world!  So many of these old barns are falling out of use by farmers these days.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Souris Second-Empire House Demolished

   I was in the Souris area today to see a client - a friend came along with me.  While in the Town of Souris I took him up to the corner of High and Prince Streets to show him this amazing second empire style house.  It was gone - wow!  I couldn't believe it!!  I had been recently demolished - with my smart phone I photographed the vacant lot!
After!  December 3rd, 2013 /  Before: October 6th, 2012
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Last fall I posted a few photos of this house - here's the link...
Before and After from the front.
Before and After from the rear!

Such a loss!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Breadalbane School - 1959

     Below is an image posted on Facebook's site HISTORIC PEI of Breadalbane School, 1959, posted by Cornelius Van Ewyk.  Comments noted some of the following facts: the teacher was wearing slacks; the tall girl on the left is Elsie MacDonald; 3rd in from right on front is Marian Macdonald Cutcliffe; the spelling of Breadalbane is missing an "e".
Above image cf.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Epworth Hall (town's 1st Protestant Church), Summerside

     I found this great old building posted on Historic PEI on Facebook.
     It appears the church is under construction - an amazing photo to say the least.  I see lots of interesting details - from the brick foundation (brick above, cut sandstones below grade) to the three left second floor windows yet to receive their sashes - from the gables featuring gothic style palladian windows to the braces and ladders for shingling the roof.  I speculate the men shown here just finished the chimneys - you can see a pile of brick way in front of them and the barrels likely held mortar mix, etc.
Here are comments on Facebook about the building...
D.MacE. - Epworth Hall across from Trinity United Church. They tore it down to build a parking lot and added the new hall onto the church. There is a cairn there with the following inscription:  "Site of the first Protestant Church in Summerside, later known as Epworth Hall, 1860-1983."
L.L. - I| went to United Church Youth group there every Friday in the late '70s...Me, Nelson Snow, Kevin Murphy, Mary MacLeod...the pastor's name was Gary something. He was great. Anyone else remember that? There was a back room on the second floor where we met.
     Also, this house is listed with Historic Places - see website...,Spring,Street%20(4)
Southeast elevation of former Epworth Hall, 1982
Above: Southeast Elevation.  Photo taken 1982.  Demolished in 1983.
Below info cf. Historic Places website.
            This site located on the northwest corner of Spring and Winter Streets is the former site of the Epworth Hall. It is now a parking lot for the nearby Trinity United Church. The site of the former hall is commemorated in a small grassed area with two maple trees and a sandstone cairn with flowers in front. A plaque on the cairn faces the intersection. Its inscription reads: "Site of the first Protestant Church in Summerside, later known as Epworth Hall, 1860-1983."
            A very large Greek Revival influenced wooden structure known as Epworth Hall once stood on the northwest corner of Spring and Winter Streets. When it was torn down in 1983 its historical significance was commemorated with a stone cairn facing the intersection.
            The Methodist Church originally was opened on the north side of First Street in 1860 on land donated by Joseph Green. This is shown in an 1887 engraving from the Journal Pioneer newspaper. Around 1871, another Methodist group - the Bible Christians - decided to erect another building on Spring Street. This was a group which had emerged from the Methodist Church. The 30 by 50 foot church was constructed in 1874 and may have been built by John Cudmore, one of the leading members of the congregation. It was one of eight churches in the town at the time. In 1884, the Bible Christians and three branches of Methodism in Canada came together to form the Methodist Church in Canada. The local congregations thus combined under one minister and the building henceforth became known as the Summerside Methodist Church.
            In 1894, the congregation opened a new church (now known as Trinity United) on the opposite corner to the south and the earlier structure was converted into a meeting hall and Sunday School classrooms. In the fall of 1894, the building formally became known as Epworth Hall. A branch of the Epworth League had been organized in Summerside in January 1890. This was a youth organization which began in Cleveland, Ohio in May 1889. An 1891 newspaper, described the League as "a temperance and literary organization, with a course of lectures and entertainments."
            Major repairs and alterations were made to the building in 1914. An addition on the west side provided for a kitchen, ladies parlour, and extra classrooms. Another renovation was carried out in the summer of 1928 when an addition was built on the north end of the hall. This provided space for a stage as well as for three classrooms on the level above. The stage became a popular feature, allowing the congregation to host lectures, plays, and many concerts over the years. 

            The next significant change to the building occurred in 1951. Under the supervision of contractor, J. Harold MacLennan, the old kitchen extension was taken down and replaced with a two-story 33 by 25 foot annex to house a modern kitchen. The second floor was designed as the church parlor and the basement was made into a recreational lounge. The original part of the building was converted into a gymnasium on the main floor and a large youth group area on the second floor, the Sunday School classrooms having been moved to the basement of the church.

            Over the next three decades, the hall continued to be used for a wide variety of congregational purposes, including as the Trinity Credit Union from 1949 to 1968. In its history, the hall was also used by the wider community. Following the Great Fire of 1906, it served as the meeting place of the congregations of the Baptist and Christian Baptist churches after their buildings were destroyed. In 1916 and perhaps in other years, the hall was used for the graduation exercises of the nurses of Prince County Hospital. In the fall of 1935, the first six grades of the Summerside School and Academy occupied the hall while repairs and rebuilding were carried out after a serious fire at the school.
            When parking space became necessary for automobiles, the congregation purchased and demolished two houses to the north and one to the west of Epworth Hall. One of those homes had served as the Methodist Church parsonage before it was purchased by the Pridham family in 1910. After a very large extension to the adjacent Trinity United Church in 1982, the hall was no longer needed. It was demolished in 1983 and increased the size of the church's parking lot.

Notre Dame Convent, Charlottetown to close after 155 years

     The following is an image of Notre Dame Convent at 246 Sydney Street comes from Historic Places website.  The convent faces northward over Hillsborough Public Square.  The convent will close in January 2014.
     The large convent was opened on July 5th, 1870, design by Architect John Corbett.   Notre Dame Academy operated her until 1971.  Below is an image of it today.
Below is an article from the Journal-Pioneer newspaper website:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Notre Dame Convent in Charlottetown to close in January
Special Celebration Planned for Tuesday, November 26th
CHARLOTTETOWN - After 155 years of commitment Notre Dame Convent in Charlottetown is closing its doors.
     Sr. Elizabeth Dunn stands outside Notre Dame Convent in Charlottetown.  A special service of thanksgiving will be given at St. Dunstans Bascillica at 2pm on Tuesday, November 26th, followed by an open house, refreshments and a closing ritual at Notre Dame Convent.
      “The convent leaves a lasting legacy, but it is time to embrace change,” says Sister Joan Marie Chaisson, community leader. “Daring to listen to the challenges of today, the sisters of Notre Dame Convent have arranged for an outside agency to provide health care for the sisters … They do so with a sense of loss but knowing there is newness in the life before them and their mission continues no matter where their home may be.”
            To give thanks for all that Notre Dame has been to so many people through the year, a mass of thanksgiving will be celebrated at St. Dunstan Basilica at 2 p.m. on Nov. 26, followed by an open house, refreshments and a closing ritual at Notre Dame Convent.
            “As we reflect on history, we see people who had a dream, a vision and a conviction that led them to invite others to help them achieve this goal,” says Chaisson as she looks back at the convent’s history which had its start in the middle decades of the 19th century.
            At the time, Dan Brennan, a local resident of Charlottetown, and Monsignor Bernard MacDonald, bishop of Charlottetown, were acutely aware of the call to further the education of young women. Brennan donated two lots of land and a dwelling at the corner of Weymouth and Sydney streets for a school, and MacDonald asked the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal for sisters to staff this school. On Sept. 25, 1857, four sisters arrived in Charlottetown. Within a month, the first students were welcomed to St. Anne's School, which later became known as Notre Dame Academy.
            This was the beginning of the Congregation of Notre Dame's legacy of education in the province which spread to all parts of Prince Edward Island
            The annals of the convent's beginning reads like an evolving story of the joys and accomplishments in education. Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, courses were provided in music, singing, piano lessons, art and home economics. The spiritual needs of the students were met with retreats, eucharistic celebrations and other parish activities.
            Throughout the history of Notre Dame Convent, annals also tell of the generosity of the people. Many Islanders helped maintain the school in its first years of growth through tea parties, bazaars, gifts and volunteer services.
            The student population grew rapidly and in 1870, a five-storey building, the present Notre Dame Convent, was opened. In 1911 the interior of St. Anne's School was renovated and incorporated into a new brick wing.
            With this new addition it was possible to accommodate students who attended Prince of Wales College. Thus, another chapter had begun in serving and furthering the education needs of young women. These women came from all parts of P.E.I. and many returned to teach in the rural schools.
            With an increase of high school students, a modern and well-equipped high school wing was added in the spring of 1955.
            “When a new approach to public education on P.E.I. met the needs of the young people, the sisters decided to phase out the school,” says Chaisson. “In June 1971, the last 28 graduates of Notre Dame received their diplomas. Some of the sisters remained in the field of education accepting teaching positions in the public schools throughout the province.”
            True to the spirit of the foundress, Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, several sisters engaged in an outreach to the broader community offering their gifts in various ministries such as religious instructions, retreat work, visitation of the sick and shut-ins, counselling, pastoral ministry and volunteer and tutorial in schools. The sisters continue to respond to proclaim the Gospel in our contemporary church and world.
            As time went on, it became evident that the need for health care for the sisters was necessary. Changes were made to the facility, and in time, part of the house became a health-care facility for the sisters under the efficient care of a nursing staff.
            “The dream, which began with four sisters and 15 students, expanded to include hundreds of sisters and many, many students,” says Chaisson. “The sisters of Notre Dame Convent School leave a legacy that will continue to live on in the people of Prince Edward Island for many years to come.”
            A decision as to the future of the building will be determined by the Congregation Leadership Team in Bedford, N.S.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Are there new attitudes in saving built heritage - Murray River residents demand old train station be destroyed!

     It amazes me when I read news articles about a local group in Murray River attempting to save their abandoned train station and most of the community crying out to tear it down!  
     I'm not picking on Murray River, however, its citizens and council have been in the news alot over the past few months.  The times and politics of this small rural community are no different than any other rural community on Prince Edward Island where many of the young people are leaving, property values are slack and traditions are changing from schools to churches, rinks to fire halls.
      Despite having had many of their old main street buildings demolished in recent years they still want to get rid of their 1904 station.  Ownership of the station belongs to the community and council seems willing to go along with the restoration, however, many vocal residents don't want a nickle spent on its restoration - they want it demolished.
      In this Guardian Newspaper video clip of this week's public meeting in Murray River, I'm struck by all the seniors in the crowd - most of whom are against the restoration project.  As I get older (now 52) I sometimes forget that these seniors aren't the seniors of my grandparents era.  It makes me wonder if this generation of seniors / baby-boomers are/will respect and cherish our Island's built heritage as earlier generations.  Are we seeing a generational change where it's, "out with old and in with the new?"  I don't know.
     I'm surprised to see the backlash from this small rural community where, one of  the major / visible community buildings is the the service station/convenience store, picturesquely located by the waters edge near the bridge.  The community has lost many of its old buildings in preparation for the Provincial Artefactory, however, when provincial politics changed, the project was cancelled leaving big gaps in the community's street scape.
     On a more positive note.  Not all is lost in Murray River - many, many Islanders and tourists flock to the Olde General Store to shop and experience this beautifully maintained historic building along with their good collection of crafts and gifts.
     When a local sawmill was destroyed by a vandal's fire the community rallied to raise funds and hold an old fashioned barn-raising to help out.
     Murray River is also a golf destination in Eagle's View Golf Course for Islanders and tourist to enjoy.
    Also, there's local folks, like my friends the Munn's, who care greatly about their heritage properties.  The family has owned this former Lowe home since WWII and have recently restored it, maintaining its original details, character and charm.
     In conclusion, and trying to make some sense of this whole thing, this is as much a story about community politics than saving an old building.   
     Enough said! 
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Greg has a nice walk through Murray River - see his blog post...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chelton Saltbox House

     This is the last posting from my tour around the Chelton and Fernwood area.  
     This very old house at 48 McCardle Road caught my eye!  It would date to the mid 1800's - seemingly a saltbox style house with a center dormer on the east front.  The kitchen wing off the west would likely have been added later.  Not many saltbox houses remain on the Island - today a few remain can be found in Charlottetown's old downtown. 
     The three photos below were taken from the Campbell Road, the next road up, paralell to the McCardle Road.  
     Sorry, the photos are a bit blurry!   That's the Confederation Bridge in the background.
     The following four photos were taken from McCardle Road.  Also, there's an old barn/shed (possibly an old house from the size of the windows) to the rear of the property.
     This house is For Sale through Century 21.  The old house has had many "not so sympathetic" updates including new windows and vinyl siding.  
     The real estate listing describes the house as  “Spacious century old farm with a million dollar view...great multi-family home...”   It also notes the house having 5 bedrooms in 2,500 sq.ft. on a 1-acre lot.  
     Here’s the link to Century 21
     The following photos are from the real estate listing.
* * * * * * * * * * *
      The 1863 Lake Map (below cf. shows P. Callbeck at this location with Wm. Wright as a neighbour ( this is possibly P. Callbeck, president of Legislative Council in 1774, 1786, /  Philipps Callbeck, Attorney General 1770 cf. ).
 Below:  close-up look.
     According to Meachams 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island, this property belonged to Wm. Lowther with 39 acres and 23.5 acres across the road along with two other parcels of 25 and 78 acres, northward up the Chelton Road.  
     In Cumin’s 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows Fred Murphy owning this property.