Thursday, April 25, 2013

Looking at Meacham's 1880 PEI Atlas - lecture by Reg Porter

Meacham’s Atlas of Prince Edward Island, fondly known as “the Old Atlas” was published in 1880 and is one of the most valuable sources of topographical information about the Island available. It is filled with lot and community maps, pictures of the celebrities of the day and about 175 fine very attractive lithographs of houses and businesses across the Island. In this three-lecture series, heritage consultant Reg Porter, using new digital photographs of all the illustrations, will explore the Atlas to identify what it contains and also trace a number of aspects of Island architectural history.

Lecture 1 – Introduction to Meacham’s 1880 Atlas
Monday April 29 at 7:30 PM, Carriage House at Beaconsfield
Meacham’s Atlas is a huge folio volume of nearly 200 pages, packed full of maps and various illustrations. In this lecture Reg Porter will explore the contents of the Atlas and with illustrations identify many of the varied ways the volume can be used to study PEI history and the evolution of its topography. The nature of the 67 Lot maps will be explored to show the vast amount of information they contain about individual properties, harbours, railways, schools and churches.
Image cf.

Lecture 2 – Studying PEI Architectural History in Meacham’s Atlas.
Monday May 13 at 7:30 PM, Carriage House at Beaconsfield
There are over 125 fine lithographic prints, often in bird’s-eye view format, of homes, both urban and rural, across the Island. These pictures are not only of interest as works of art but they also contain a vast amount of information about the evolution of domestic architecture on the Island as well as the physical arrangement of many kinds of farms scattered throughout the countryside. Using these lithographs and supplementing them with modern photos of the buildings that still exist, the lecturer will trace the evolution of architecture on the island from colonial times to 1880.
Sample image from inside Altas.

Lecture 3 – The Church Illustrations in Meacham’s Atlas.
Monday May 27 at 7:30 PM, Carriage House at Beaconsfield
Among the nearly 150 illustrations of buildings found in Meacham’s Atlas only seven of them are churches and this presents something of an enigma. Why are all of them Catholic churches and why is one of them not yet constructed? Why are they all in the remote countryside and why are a number of very fine urban churches ignored? Using the lithographs from Meacham Reg Porter will identify these churches, discuss their significance and show contemporary photos of those buildings that yet remain.
Sample map from inside Atlas - Lots 17

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stanhope-by-the-Sea Resort destoyed by fire!!

     The resort caught on fire while staff were getting it ready to open next week.  Here's an article and photographs from the CBC PEI website.
April 23, 2013, 8:01pm
     Firefighters remain at the scene of a fire at the Stanhope Beach Resort and Conference Centre on Prince Edward Island's north shore.
     Four buildings were destroyed including the main building and conference centre. The main building included the kitchen, dining room and guest rooms. Some smaller buildings are still standing.
     Fire Marshal Dave Rossiter said the resort doesn't have sprinkler system.
     Owner Danny Murphy and his brother Kevin Murphy were on the scene.
     People were working inside the lodge when the fire broke out, but everyone got out safely. Many staff remained on site, milling around in disbelief as the fire consumed one of the oldest resorts on P.E.I.
     Five fire departments were called to the blaze.
     There is no word on the cause and crews said they expect to be dousing the flames overnight.
     The resort was supposed to open May 3 for the season.
    Police are asking any non-essential traffic to stay away from the area.

Below are photos from Historic PEI on Facebook - no source was noted.

Stanhope by the Sea is a registered property with P.E.I. Historic Place
Above image - cf. Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island
      Stanhope by the Sea is valued for its association with the development of the tourism industry in PEI; for the Gable-Ell style construction of the original house; and for its contribution to the surrounding community of Stanhope. The first building to be on the site was a crude log house constructed in 1789 by Cornelius and Isabelle Higgins.
     In 1855, the property was owned by Angus MacMillan who built a new house on the site which he called "Pleasant View". MacMillan incorporated the former Higgins' log cabin into his new structure. An 1880 engraving of the property shows the architectural style as an extended Gable-Ell design. MacMillan opened his home as the Point Pleasant Hotel in June 1878. The Charlottetown Patriot newspaper said his hotel could "board some 25 people" who could enjoy "surf bathing, fishing and shooting... unequalled in the Dominion" all at moderate prices. This was one of the first resort hotels in the province which promoted these activities to tourists.
     By the 1920s, the hotel was known as Stanhope by the Sea and it now had been expanded to include a ball room, billiard room, smoking room, sitting room, and tennis courts. Guests often arrived by train at York station and took a horse and buggy, and later a car, to the hotel.
     Today, the original MacMillan hotel has been modified with many additions, as the resort complex has many guest rooms with modern amenities.
     Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files
front page of The Guardian, April 24, 2013
Below c.f. Facebook:
Another view posted of Stanhope Resort Complex in Stanhope, PEI burning April 23, 2013
— Photo credit Janice B. Burrows.

Monday, April 22, 2013

MacDonald House, O'Leary

     I took these photos of the MacDonald House at 478 O'Leary Road in the Village of O'Leary on April 29, 2010.  It was demolished in the summer of 2010.
     The little gabled house had many nice features from the square bay with narrow, paired, single-hung windows; to the matching roof over the front door /w transom; to the gable window with peaked top trim.
Note the eave bracket trim.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cornish Farmstead, Carleton

     I've been meaning to photograph this old farmstead for the past year - with the recent clearing of the woodlot next to the property I took time yesterday to take these photographs.
     This was the childhood homestead of my friend Judy's grandmother Ruth Cornish Adams.  Ruth's younger brother Russell farmed here after their parents were gone.  Following the death of Ruth's husband she moved back to the homestead to help her brother with house-keeping.
     Following Russell's death a family member now owns the property - the house has been vacant now for near 10 years.
     The farmstead is a long way from the road, especially this time of year, mud season!  I would liked to have gone in to get some closer photographs but I was just as happy to stay at the road and use my zoom lens!
     The farmstead is located on the east side of the Western Road (Route. 2) in Carleton (between Coleman Corner and O'Leary Corner).
     In Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island this 100-acre farm belonged to Jno. Beaton.

     In Cummins 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island show this 100-acre farm belonging to William Cornish.  It lists him as being married to Jennie ? (born in Maine, USA) with the following children: Eurilla, Earl, Alfred, Russell, Samuel and Ruth. 
     The old barn seems to be in reasonably good condition.  It's quite old and features few windows, no eave boards, and has the classic arrangement of small doors and large barn door on the front facing south wall.
     The forest that's being cut to the right doesn't belong to this farm.  Always when I drove by this farmstead I would look in to see it, it seemed like it was carved out of the forest and the farm set far into the woods.   But not now!  The old house and barns seem to have been exposed after all those years.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Haslam House, Springfield

     This old center-gable style house has been vacant for the past few years.  The farm barns to the left are still used by a local farmer who can be found there daily.
     I recall in the late 1990's the retired gentleman who lived here made whirligigs and birdhouses and had them for sale at the end of his driveway.
     The house is starting to settle, including the verandah which is starting to fail.  The house features nice detailing, from the running gingerbread barge board trim to the nicely proportioned and positioned verandah; to the elaborate top detailing above of the second floor paired-window in the gable.  
     This house would likely have been built in the 1870's.  There's also a kitchen wing to the rear with an east facing verandah.
The front of the house faces north, towards the highway, Route 2.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Murphy-Henderson House - its owners had political success

     This article appeared in the West Prince Graphic ( newspaper on June 6, 2007.  Page 2.
Robbie Henderson latest MLA to find political success in historic home
by Wayne Young for the Graphic
     If houses could talk what a political take the 200-year-old Henderson homestead on the Murray Road (in Lot 11) here could spin.
     Joseph Murphy, whose father built the house in the early 1800's, was born here and lived in the home while he represented the old district of First Prince in the P.E.I. legislature from 1882 through 1893.  
     In 1935, another future MLA for the district was born in the same house.
     George Henderson, was first elected to the Island legislature in 1874 i the district then known as Second Prince.  After gaining re-election in 1978, he switched to federal politics where he served as the Member of Parliament for Egmont from 1980 until he retired in 1988.
     And last week, the old house welcomed its latest MLA, George's son, Robbie, who has been living there with his wife and two daughters since 1983.
     Robbie won the seat in the district now called O'Leary-Inverness in the May 28 election.
     All three MLAs ran under the Liberal banner.
     "Maybe there's something in these walls," Robbie smiled,  "It's contributed significantly to the political life of this district for a long while now."
     In the kitchen of the old home, the Hendersons sat down recently to talk about their lives in politics, George with more than 14 years to draw from and Robbie less than a week into his new job...
For more information about MLA George Henderson, see
Served during the following dates: 1974-04-29; 1978-04-24; 1979-04-23
     HENDERSON, GEORGE ROLAND, electrician and shellfish technician; b. 10 November 1935 in Freeland, son of R Edgar Henderson and Hazel Edna Hardy; m. 27 August 1960 Brenda Lue Matthews, and they had three children. Robert, Holly, and Jason; Presbyterian.        Henderson, a Liberal, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1974 for 2nd Prince. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1978 and 1979. From 1974 to 1978, he served as Minister of Fisheries and Minister of Labour. Henderson was Minister of Highways and Minister of Public Works from 1978 to 1979. On 3 January 1980, he resigned his seat in the Legislature to run in the federal election of that year. Henderson was elected to the House of Commons for Egmont and was re-elected in 1984. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in March 1980 and remained in this position for two years. From 1982 to 1984, he served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. While in Opposition, Henderson was the fisheries critic.  Henderson received his early education at the Freeland Public School. From 1950 to 1953, he attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. He was president and general manager of Malpeque Oyster Cultures Incorporated and also worked as a shellfish technician. In 1988 he was appointed to the Canadian Pension Commission, a board that adjudicates pension claims for death and disability from service in the Canadian Armed Forces. George Henderson is retired and lives with his wife in Freeland. Brenda Henderson is the daughter of Lowell Matthews and Olive Keefe. - References: CPG 1979, 1988; WWPEI p. 56; Guardian 6 January 1988; Journal-Pioneer 12 August 1988; Questionnaire to Former MLAs.