Friday, December 12, 2014

Leard's Grist Mill, Coleman - storm flooding!

     These images were taken at Leard's Grist Mill and Pond yesterday morning by CBC PEI's Steve Bruce.  Photos cf. CBC PEI Facebook page.
     The structure was strongly built - I'm confident it will withstand the flood waters as it has so many times before!


     Leard's Grist Mill was built in 1888 by James Barclay of O'Leary.  In the late 1890's Peter Warren Leard purchased the mill.  Three generations of the Leard family operated the mill including Peter's sons Waldron and Albert and his grandson Warren, who closed it in 2002 after working here for more than 50 years.  
     The mill belongs to The Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary. 
Below are a few photos I took of Leard's Grist Mill this fall.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Corner of Haviland & Water Streets, Charlottetown

     Last Friday I was in Charlottetown and took these photos of the two historic buildings at the corner of Haviland and Water Streets.
     The large white house at 2 Haviland Street was finished in 1869 for the Lowden family - at the time local papers described it as "an architectural gem."  The house was used as the American Consul for PEI in the early twentieth century - today it is "The Haviland Club" (associated with the United Services Officer's Club) with memberships open to the public.
     The large yellow building on the right is "Owen Terrace" at 2-6 Water Street and built in 1889 by the estate of Owen Connolly as a rental building overlooking Charlottetown Harbour.  In 1990 Owen Terrace was designated a National Historic Site describing it as a rare example of Queen Anne Revival architecture.  (information cf. www.historicplaces.ca)
 The following  about "Haviland Club" comes from the Historic Places website.
     "The Haviland Club's heritage value lies in its association with the Lowden family, its association with the American Consulate and its grand architecture.  Esther Lowden, the widow of former tobacco merchant, George Fish Crow Lowden, built this home after the Great Fire of 1866 destroyed her home on Water Street. The home was rumored to be designed by Halifax architect, David Stirling, who favored the Italianate style of architecture. After her death in 1896, Lowden's son in law, LL Beer applied for authority to administer the estate, hence the home stayed in the Lowden and Beer families. 
Soon after Lowden’s death, the home was leased to the American Consul for Prince Edward Island, Delmer J Vail. The home served as the American Consulate for many years. At one point in time, the American flag was likely to be the first flag seen upon entering the Charlottetown harbor. It flew from a thirty-foot flagpole set atop the belvedere. Following the closure of the Consulate, the home was rented to various tenants. However, in 1944, the residence was bought by the Army and Navy Club, later the United Services Officers' Club, to be used as a club. Since then, the club has been renamed the Haviland Club and has opened its membership to the public.
 The Italianate style, former residence is one of the grandest in Charlottetown. The home was built in the fashionable area of the time, called Dundas Esplanade. By 1869, the local papers were describing the home as an architectural gem."
 The following  about "Owen Terrace" comes from the Historic Places website.
     “The heritage value of Dundas Terrace lies in its Queen Anne Revival style architecture, its association with the estate of merchant, Owen Connolly (1820-1887) and its importance in supporting the Water Street streetscape.  Owen Connolly was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the late 1800s. His varied business interests left him a very wealthy man. Connolly was born in Ireland in 1820 but immigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1839, where he worked for the Smallwood Family as a farm laborer. Connolly eventually bought a farm of his own and soon after, opened a country store. His businesses multiplied and diversified making him one of the most successful businessmen in Prince Edward Island.  The Owen Connolly Estate executors were instructed to devote the remainder of Connolly’s estate “for the purpose of educating or assisting poor children, resident in Prince Edward Island, who are Irish, or the sons of Irish fathers...” The Estate was worth approximately 250 000 dollars. The Connolly Estate was involved in a number of investments including the construction and rental of buildings to provide continuing funding so that the Estate could carry on its charitable efforts. They have been very successful, as the Estate continues to offer awards each year. The Connolly Estate commissioned prominent local architect, William Critchlow Harris, to design Dundas Terrace. Unfortunately, there is some confusion as to who built the impressive structure. Records have survived showing tender bids were received from H. and S. Lowe, John Fennel and William Harper, however a hand written contract does exist stating that the work was to be done by H and S Lowe.  Dundas Terrace was built in the Queen Anne Revival style, a style that was somewhat subdued in Charlottetown compared to other provinces. The Queen Anne Revival style was popular in the late Victorian era. Richard N. Shaw (1831-1912), a British architect, created the style that incorporated some of the classical motifs popular during Queen Anne’s reign (1702-1714). Some distinctive features of the style include, very large asymmetrical designs, a variety of rooflines and complex detailing, all of which have been incorporated into the design of Dundas Terrace. The building is a rare example of a Queen Anne Revival style apartment building constructed of wood and was recognized for its uniqueness in 1990 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The beautiful Queen Anne Revival inspired tenement has been extremely well maintained and its interesting cladding, which includes board and batten, shiplap and clapboard, have been restored.  The impressive building was originally named Dundas Terrace after Dundas Esplanade, a popular promenade that stretched along the breakwater to the west. It was also a fashionable building area of the 1870s with many large homes erected by the City’s more affluent citizens. The name Dundas came from the popular Lieutenant Governor, Hon. George Dundas (1819-1880). Dundas Terrace has more recently been named Dundas Esplanade in honour of the neighborhood and the promenade.  Some of the building’s more prominent tenants, according to McAlpine’s Prince Edward Island Directory, included the Father of Confederation, Senator and Lieutenant Governor, Hon. A.A. Macdonald (1829-1912), as well as druggist and composer of the music to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Island Hymn”, Lawrence W. Watson (1860-1925).  A huge presence on the west end of Water Street, the building is a very impressive sight.  Built on the waterfront, Dundas Terrace is vital to the Water Street streetscape and an important part, not only of Charlottetown's built heritage, but also the nation's."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Former Hunter River United Church Manse for Sale

     A few weeks ago the Smith's listed their home for sale - it's located in the Village of Hunter River on Bagnall's Pond.
     Here's the real estate listing...
      In 2007 I carried out a historic documentation project in Hunter River & Hazel Grove whereby I researched 14 historic properties registered on Historic Places
(http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=10381).  Here's the information on the former doctor's home and United Church Manse.
Photo by Margaret Smith, 1970's
     The following character-defining elements illustrate this Island-ell style house - it features a 2-storey belted tower with steep-pitched roof; the Doctor’s Office has a parapet façade heavily decorated with wood trim and brackets; cedar shingle siding; hooded windows with gingerbread brackets; patterned shingles in the gables; bay window with mansard roof and decorative brackets; a sunporch with 4-over-3 window panes; and gable dormer with roundtop window and detailing.
I took these photos in 2007.
     The house was built by local carpenter, David Silliphant and sold to Edward Woolner, “plot with dwelling,” on 22-Aug-1902 for the sum of  $1,250.  In 1912 the property was sold to Dr. Rodgerson who built on the doctors office on the right and lived here until  1929.  He was a successful doctor and his wife an accomplished and talented musician who played the organ at the Presbyterian Church for many years. 
     Dr. Barrett bought the property in 1929 and lived here till 1945 - he operated his dental office from the house.  
     In the January 1945 the house was purchased by the Hunter River United Church for their manse.  One couple married here in the parlour that year was George Smith and Dorothy Weeks of Pleaseant Valley on November 2, 1945.  
     In 1979 the United Church wanted a manse closer to the church and put the house up for sale - it was bought by the present owners Gordon and Margaret Smith for their family home.
     ( The above information comes from: interview with the owners; the Goad Insurance Plan of PEI; the Lands Record Office PEI Govt; and the History of Hunter River 1767-1967 )

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Easton-Mahar House, Georgetown

     I just came across this house for sale in Georgetown.  Here's the listing below.  Noted as being one of ten classified heritage houses in Georgetown.
     The following information and close-up photo can be found on the Canada's Historic Places website...
     The house is valued for its Gothic Revival style elements and for its association with the family of James Easton.  James Easton was one of the earliest educators in eastern Prince Edward Island. He was a teacher at the "Infant School" in Georgetown's Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church Hall. In 1866, he was one of only six individuals who received funding from the Assembly "for Education". He received the largest sum at 30 Pounds, ten Pounds more than what was allocated for Charlottetown's "Bog School." James Easton was married to Ellen Sanderson, the daughter of William Sanderson, one of Georgetown's earliest merchants. In addition to teaching, James also worked with his father-in-law in this mercantile business. Later, James became a full partner with his son, William Sanderson Easton, who had inherited his grandfather's property and business. In 1880, Meacham's Atlas featured an engraving of the property as one of Georgetown's landmarks. The current house was likely constructed in the 1860s. It was deeded to James Easton in 1867 from the Lieutenant Governor. William Sanderson Easton inherited it in 1886 and it remained in the Easton family until 1944. The McKenna family owned the property for the next thirty years, when it returned to the Easton family in 1974. The current residents have owned it since 1992. The house has had some renovations in recent years such as a new foundation and altered front entrance. However, many of its Gothic Revival elements remain including the fine example of a Gothic Revival window in the centre gable.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Moore Farmstead, Milton

     Two weeks ago I photographed this old house when I heard of the passing of 89-year-old John Milton Moore on Halloween day.  He was born in 1925 and the son of Henry "Harry" and Annie (Munroe) Moore.  
    The property is located in Lot 32 in Milton on the Malpeque Road (Rte.2) between the Rustico Road (Rte.7) and the North Yorke River Road (Rte.148).
    The house sits very close to the highway and faces north.  The style is "center dormer" popular in the mid-1800's here on the Island.  An uncommon feature of this house is that it has another center dormer on the rear facing south.

     The Cumin's 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows Harry Moore living here with the following children: Marjorie, Russell, Robert, Wesley and John.  It shows the farm with 62 acres.
    The Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows Geo. Moore living here with 62 acres.
     Near a decade ago two ladies recorded a mini documentary about this place which aired on CBC Radio's program Outfront ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outfront ).  The ladies interviewed Mr. Moore first asking him if they could paint his barns - he replied, "oh dear, I don't know if I want my barns painted."  He  misunderstood the ladies, they wanted to do an artists interpretation of the old weathered buildings - he thought they wanted to physically paint them.  I forget much of the rest of the 15-minute show, but it was fun to listen to a story about a place here on Prince Edward Island.
     Tomorrow, November 15, 2014 an auction will be held at the homestead by Roberts Auctioneering - see their website for photographs of items for auction - I've included a few here.
Above: An aerial photo of the farmstead.
Below: today the machinery was all outside for the auction tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Parish House, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, 1903

     The following is further information to the previous post about the parish house at Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel.   Thanks to Georges Arsenault for the sending along the following article published in 1903.  He notes the house has been vacant now for a number of years and its future uncertain.


"Échos de Mont-Carmel"
published 9 July 1903 in the Moncton newspaper L'Évangéline
Après la magnifique église en brique qui a été bâtie comme par enchantement, le Père Arsenault a fait bâtir un presbytère qui est sans contredit  le plus magnifique de ce genre qu'il y ait dans tout le diocèse. Cette structure en brique est de 45 x 40 pieds, à deux étages. La façade offre un coup d'oeil des plus charmants. On arrive à la porte principale en franchissant plusieurs degrés. En entrant on trouve, à la droite, une magnifique chambre finie dans les derniers goûts. Cet appartement occupe la moitié du premier étage. À gauche se trouvent une autre chambre spacieuse et la salle à manger.

Arrivé au second étage on rencontre un corridor qui traverse la bâtisse d'un côté à l'autre. Du côté qui donne sur le détroit est la chambre épiscopale. Un balcon érigé en dehors s'élève jusqu'au 2me étage, d'où l'on obtient un magnifique coup-d'oeil sur le détroit et les rives opposées.

Deux tourelles, une chaque côté de la porte d'entrée, s'élèvent à la hauteur du toit. Entre ces deux tourelles est un balcon, ainsi qu'un autre qui est plus spacieux du côté qui donne sur l'église.

Le presbytère est chauffé à la vapeur et contient tous les appareils en usage selon le système moderne. De tout en tout, le presbytère et l'église de Mont-Carmel sont des monuments qui font honnneur à l'énergique pasteur et aux braves paroisisens. 
 Presbytère Mont-Carmel, vers 1903
( The Acadian Museum has the original framed picture of the presbytery - this image
was scanned from the 1998 publication for the 100th anniversary of the church. )
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     The following is a translation to English of the above article by Google Translate...
"Échos de Mont-Carmel"
July 9, 1903 L'Évangéline, Moncton
     After the beautiful brick church was built as if by magic, Father Arsenault has built a rectory which is arguably the most beautiful of its kind there throughout the diocese. This brick structure is 45 x 40 feet, with two floors. The front offers a look more charming. We arrive at the main gate by crossing several degrees. On entering there is to the right, a beautiful finished room in the latest tastes. This apartment occupies half of the first floor. At left is another spacious room and dining room. 
     Arriving on the second floor a corridor through the building from one side to the other are encountered. Side overlooking the strait is the Episcopal room. Balcony erected outside rises to 2nd floor, where a magnificent sight obtained of the strait and opposite sides. 
     Two towers, one on each side of the front door, stood at the height of the roof. Between these two towers is a balcony, and another that is larger on the side that faces the church. 
     The rectory is steamed and contains all devices in use according to the modern system. All in all, the rectory and the church of Mount Carmel are monuments that honor the energetic pastor and brave parishioners. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     Here also is a picture of father Pierre-Paul Arsenault (1867-1927) who had the church and the presbytery built at Mont-Carmel.
( thanks Georges Arsenault for this information )
      ARSENAULT, PIERRE-PAUL (baptized PeterArseneaux), Roman Catholic priest, educator, farmer, and folklorist; b. 18 May 1867 in Tignish, P.E.I., son of Sylvain Arsenault and Tharsile Bernard, d. 22 Nov. 1927 in Mont-Carmel, P.E.I.
     Pierre-Paul Arsenault was one of the prime movers of the Acadian community in Prince Edward Island early in the 20th century. One of ten children in a family of modest means, he grew up on a small farm and attended the local school. In 1884, through a bursary established in 1877 by Father Sylvain-Éphrem Perrey*, he was able to enrol at the Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, N.B. While there, he distinguished himself not only by academic brilliance, but also by participation in sports and cultural activities. He was in turn treasurer, president, and secretary of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which promoted French language and culture within the bilingual institution. Having completed the classical program in 1889, he stayed on at the college, teaching and studying theology. He finished his theological course at the Grand Séminaire de Québec, where he was ordained on 5 Nov. 1893.
     Immediately after his ordination, Arsenault returned to his native parish, where he remained for nearly a year as assistant priest. He then moved to St Dunstan’s parish in Charlottetown; his service as assistant priest there lasted until October 1896, when he was appointed curé of the small Acadian parish of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel. He held this charge for the rest of his life. Because of his appealing and dynamic personality, he soon succeeded in bringing the parishioners together and carrying out major projects, including the erection of one of the most remarkable churches in the province, a neo-gothic structure designed by Quebec architect René-Pamphile Lemay.
     Like many parish priests of the day, Arsenault worked a farm where he put into practice the best techniques of the day, and it served as a model for the farmers of his parish. To promote the agricultural movement, Arsenault also took part in local organizations. He played a key role, for example, in setting up the Prince Edward Island Co-operative Egg and Poultry Association in 1914, and was its first president. This cooperative, which brought together the many Egg Circles throughout the Island, sought to maintain the quality of the produce and to obtain a good price for its members, for whom the sale of eggs represented an important supplementary income.
     The causes dearest to Father Arsenault’s heart were education for Acadians and promotion of the French language. At the local level, he ensured that the schools were well run and he personally helped the most promising students prepare for the provincial Board of Education examinations and continue their studies at college. In 1900 he set up a library of French books and, in order to emphasize the importance of speaking the language well, he produced plays.
     Arsenault also was active as an educator within the Association des Instituteurs Acadiens de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard [see Joseph-OctaveArsenault*]. From 1897 to 1927 he took part in its annual conventions, in particular by giving lectures on teaching methods, the benefits of reading, the art of public speaking, and the importance of having a thorough grasp of Acadian and Canadian history. Several times he served on its committee for choosing school textbooks in French, which then had to be submitted to the Board of Education for approval.
     Father Arsenault is said to have been the chief founder of the Société Saint-Thomas d’Aquin, which was established in 1919 on the occasion of the annual convention of the Association des Instituteurs Acadiens. The new organization’s primary aim was to raise money for promising candidates to study at college or university. Arsenault served as vice-president (1919–20) and president (1920–25) of this society, which played a preponderant role for the Island’s Acadian and francophone community, becoming its chief institutional voice.
     As a student at the Collège Saint-Joseph, Arsenault had associated with a few professors who were trying to make the history of the Acadians better known and who advocated the preservation of their oral and material heritage. One of these was Father Philéas-Frédéric Bourgeois*. It was probably through his influence that Father Arsenault, with the help of Father Théodore Gallant, a musician, collected traditional songs from older people in the Acadian community, including versions from the French repertoire as well as local compositions. These 130 pieces constitute the earliest collection of Acadian folksongs. In 1924 Senator Pascal Poirier*, to whom Arsenault had given his collection, turned it over to Marius Barbeau* of the Victoria Memorial Museum in Ottawa.
     Arsenault also drew up the genealogies of the founding families of the parish of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel and published them in 1912. He preserved a number of farm implements and domestic appliances which are now part of the collection of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island at Miscouche.
     Pierre-Paul Arsenault’s health had been deteriorating for several years and he died at the age of 60. An enlightened leader and pragmatist with widely varied interests, he was one of the outstanding leaders of the Acadian community in Prince Edward Island. With his engaging personality, he was able to win the respect and admiration not only of his compatriots, but of all Islanders. The Summerside Pioneer, announcing his death on its front page, commented, “The whole province has sustained a heavy loss.” In the Mount Carmel cemetery, where he was buried, parishioners erected a magnificent monument in the form of a chapel, a fitting memorial for this man “of far-ranging and lofty ideas.”

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel Rectory

     Further to my previous post of Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel Parish Church, here are photos of the Parish Rectory, designed by arhitect R.P. Lemay in 1902 ( cf. Historic Houses of P.E.I. by H.M.Scott Smith, page 158 ).
     Top: Front view facing north and Route 11 - see the Northumberland Strait in the background.
     Above: this photo of the front of the rectory reminds me very much of French architecture - too bad about the modern french door.