Monday, January 30, 2012

Carriage House, Blue Shank Rd, Kelvin Grove

     I had planned to photograph this property last fall and a lovely big old gambrel roof barn - but I missed it!  In a big wind storm in November the middle part of the barn roof blew in and within a few weeks the entire barn was demolished.  Note the barns foundation seen here to the front and left in front of the carriage house.
     This Cairns Farmstead hadn't been used for farming in quite a few years.  The only other farm building, besides the house, is this great building.  I'm calling it a carriage house - it was likely used as a workshop too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Parochial House for Sale, St. Anne's Parish, Emyvale

     The Parochial House at St. Anne's Parish in Emyvale is for sale to be moved.  Here's the link to the Real Estate page and photos from the site:

TO BE MOVED! The magnificent Manse of St. Anne’s Parish in Emyvale is looking for a new home and a new function. An imposing 2 and ½ stories high, the front main structure measures approx. 36’x26’ and features 4 rooms each on the main and 2nd. floor which includes the corner ‘tower’ rooms, as well as 3 more rooms on the 3rd. level. Original flooring throughout 3 levels appear to be hardwood, some covered with later additions such as carpet, linoleum tile, and laminate. Back structure is approx. 16’x22’ and has a back-staircase to the 2nd. floor. The main level of the back section features the eat-in kitchen and the pantry kitchen with a connecting cloakroom to the main building and the 2nd. floor back section has a bedroom and a bathroom. This is historic William Harris architecture with solid woodwork, doors, trim, balusters, banisters, and treads. Note: Vacant 1 acre Kingston Road lot available for relocation; systems in place to assist with the relocation; all measurements approx.

From North River, travelling West on Kington Road Rte. 235 to corner of Kingston & Peters at St. Anne's Church in Emyvale.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Summer Street, Summerside

     We were out to Beaconsfield again last Monday evening to the lecture series put on by the Institute of Architecture and Conservation at Beaconsfield Carriage House.  The guest speaker was Faye Pound, she gave an excellent presentation about Summer Street in Summerside.  She illustrated that when you learn the history behind the houses and buildings on that one street you learn about the development of the town/city through its history. 
     When the great fire of 1906 leveled near 150 buildings not only were new buildings constructed but other buildings were moved in from outside of town to fill in the empty spaces.  One such building was Fernwood  - moved to the corner of Church and Summer Streets by William Henry Pope from where the GST Tax Center stands today.
Image cf.
Heritage Walking Tour, Summerside, Prince Edward Island
( research & text by Faye Pound )
     One of Faye's favourite Summerside houses is the M.F. Schurman House at 156 Summer Street - it also has a great old garage behind it.
Image cf. Wyatt Heritage Properties: Walking Tour website:

William Schurman House

    I was looking for a Schurman house in Summerside and came across this blog entry.  Check it out:
William Schurman House
( Wm. built after the fire destroyed the cabin -  it’s also gone now )
...So we set about researching the William Schurman family history which turned out to be quite easy since a two volume set had been published in the 1970′s that traced most of the more than 15 thousand descendants of William and his 11 children. Linda Schurman is descended from William’s son Isaac so it was his line we were most interested in seeing if we could find locations…houses, graveyards, etc related to him.
     The first thing we went looking for was the site of William Schurman’s original log cabin. According to the Descendants book it was located on the Dunk River in Bedeque. With a little digging we learned it was on the farm now owned by Sydney Green so I went to visit Sydney who took me down as close as he could to where he said the log cabin had been located. I had to struggle through waist high weeds growing between a canola field and the trees lining the bank of the river. It was a very hot July day and I was wearing shorts….not a good decision because I got my legs all scratched and bloody from the rose briars. Of course the blood just sent the mosquitoes into a feeding frenzy. I got the where Sydney said the log cabin had been located….There’s nothing there now although Sydney said at one time when he was clearing land he found some old charred timbers which he figured belonged to the cabin after it burned down.
      It was obvious I was not going to be able to bring Linda and her family back to the log cabin site this way. Then I came up with what I thought was a great idea. What if we came in by water….just the way William would have. I called my neighbour, Brian Lewis who is an oyster fisher and asked him if he would take me up the Dunk to see if we could get to the site of the log cabin. I had the GPS coordinates so we would just use them to lead us to the location.
     When Brian and I went to scout out the location to make sure we could find it, we discovered a little channel just wide enough for our dory to go through that led in from the river right to where the log cabin had been built. Brian figured it was probably a lot wider 200 years ago which is likely why William built the cabin there…he could get his boat right up to the site. We both kind of got goosebumps thinking we were actually following a route used more than two centuries ago...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Arnold's Kitchen

    We were to Arnold's the other evening for a birthday party when I took these photos of his country kitchen - he has a great kitchen.  When he restored the house he intentionally didn't put light switches in the kitchen, all switches are beside the doorways/openings in adjacent rooms.
     Here he is busily working in his kitchen/pantry.  Note the anitque clay coloured upper cabinet to the left - many of the details on this cabinet were used in the new cupboards.  He and I built the clay coloured base cabinet to match a hutch he has.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Toronto Star talks about our Lighthouse Predicament

     Thanks to Mark for making me aware of this article which appeared last week on the Toronto Sun's website.  Here's the link and the story below:

 Preservation advocates battle to save more than 500 ‘surplus’ lighthouses
 Published On Fri Jan 20, 2012 - Alyshah Hasham, Staff Reporter 
Covehead Lighthouse
     Since 1967, Covehead lighthouse has been a beacon of hope on the coast of Prince Edward Island.
     A plaque on its side is dedicated to the hundreds of lives lost in a surprise 1851 gale, when waves wrecked nearly 100 boats along the then mostly unlit northern coast of the Island.
     The worst disaster in the Island’s history, it led to the creation of more lighthouses — guiding countless mariners to safety.
     But Covehead, directly north of Charlottetown and just down the road from Green Gables, is on what lighthouse preservation advocates call “The Doomsday List.” Along with more than 500 others, it is threatened with being sold off or torn down unless communities step in to save them.
     “Losing a lighthouse is like losing part of what makes us who we are,” said Carol Livingstone, the 69-year-old president of the P.E.I. Lighthouse Preservation Society, fondly known as the “Lighthouse Lady.”
     “Here in Canada our built history is so young compared to that found in other parts of the world,” she said. “Many of our buildings, especially here on P.E.I., are made of wood. If we don’t look after them now, they will not be here for future generations.”
     Eighteen months ago, the government designated 541 lighthouses across the country as “surplus to operations,” and a May deadline looms for communities to bid to take them over so that Ottawa will no longer have to maintain them.
     The process starts with “friends” of any lighthouse nominating it for heritage status by May, and then finding someone willing to care for it by 2015.
     Those left unclaimed will be sold to the highest bidder or torn down — a consequence that has lighthouse and heritage advocates concerned.
     By last month 87 lighthousesout of 541 had been nominated, but only 22 ownership applications had been submitted for consideration.
     Covehead lighthousehas a willing foster family led by Keith and Pat Notman, residents of the nearby town of Stanhope.
     If they hadn’t stepped in, Suzanne Bouchard might have. The lighthouse is where she had her wedding in 2008.
     “It’s the heart of the harbour,” she said. Bouchard and her husband Lester Gonek live north of Montreal, but fell in love with P.E.I. and own a vacation house near Covehead.
     “I couldn’t imagine the island without its lighthouses,” she said.
     Nova Scotia’s famous Peggy’s Cove lighthousemay be adopted by the province.
     And the Strawberry Island lighthouse and another two around Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron are being taken on by the community.
     “These are not peripheral buildings,” said Joe Chapman, mayor of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands. “They are part of our history. . . they have been here since the inception of these towns.”
Chapman’s family goes back eight generations on the island, including some lighthouse keepers — and his story isn’t unique.
     While the lighthouses are no longer necessary for commercial ships, recreational boaters use them as a comforting landmark in the night, he said.
     “We’ll do whatever it takes to protect them,” said Chapman, adding that with dedicated community care the buildings will be better for it.
     But not all of the lighthouses are so lucky.
     Take the Sambro lighthouse. It’s the oldest working lighthouse in North America, built in 1758 to guide people into Halifax Harbour, said Barry Macdonald, president of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society. But the 42-metre-tall structure is just too costly for a community group to maintain.
     It’s one of several iconic lighthouses that haven’t made it onto the heritage designation list yet.
Community awareness is another barrier, and Macdonald, with Parks Canada, will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick in the coming months to rally communities.
     Marc Seguin’s chosen charges are the three “surplus” lighthouses in Prince Edward County, Ont., including the isolated Main Duck Island lighthouse, a reinforced concrete behemoth at the entrance to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
     “No one will be able to afford to take it over,” he said. “It will be left to fall down.”
Still, he is working on a business plan to save the lighthouses, “visual connections to our history.”
     Macdonald says the federal government should offer to partner with communities to maintain some of the most important lighthouses — though they’ve told him it’s not their mandate to look after heritage buildings.
     Indeed, Ottawa has distorted the purpose of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, claims the Heritage Canada Foundation.
     “Ironically, the Act was put into place to protect Canadian heritage,” said Natalie Bull, executive director of the foundation.
     They expected a shortlist of surplus lighthouses to be released for community groups to consider — the list from the department of fisheries and oceans turned out to be near 1,000. It was later cut down to about half that in March.
     A Senate report on the implementation of the Act concludes that Canada’s historic lighthouses remain at risk, in particular larger lighthouses. It recommends a national lighthouse organization be set up to care for historic lighthouses with funding from the federal government and donations.
     Carol Livingstone agrees that community stewardship will serve the lighthouses best.
She led a group to take over their town’s West Point lighthouse in the 1990s. It’s now a model for other communities, operating as a small inn and museum.
     All 47 surplus lighthouses on P.E.I. will also be saved, she believes. Only five heritage applications have been sent in so far but more are on their way as the urgency kicks in.
     “For more than a century, the lighthouses have looked after us as a country. It is now time for us, as the people of this country, to look after our lighthouses,” she said.
Surplus lighthouses as of December
Total surplus: 541 (472 active, 69 inactive)
Heritage designated: 87
Newfoundland and Labrador: 45 (all active), three nominated
Nova Scotia: 133 (119 active, 14 inactive), 13 nominated
P.E.I.: 47 (42 active, five inactive), five nominated
NB: 54 (42 active, 12 inactive), two nominated
Quebec: 121 (91 active, 30 inactive), 13 nominated
Ontario: 122 (115 active, seven inactive), 35 nominated
Manitoba: three (all active)
B.C.: 16 (15 active, one inactive), 16 nominated
Courtesy of Parks Canada

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Anniversary of this Blog

     It's been one year since I started this blog about Prince Edward Island Heritage Buildings and so far have more than 190 posts. 
     As I look back through the postings I realize many are of rural Island buildings.  This wasn't intentional but it's where I spend most of my time.  Its important to document these buildings as many rural communities (moreso in Prince & Kings counties) are emptying of their residents and the old buildings are being neglected.  Last winter saw many old farm barns blow over in wind storms and with new rules in some churches that a minister can't serve more than two churches, some are being sold or demolished.
     I grew up in Alma, a small rural farming community in western P.E.I.   On our road were eight family farms (dairy & potato) in a stretch of a mile and a half - today there are two farmers - one a dairy-potato operation and the other solely potato  It's a changing community with fewer farmers everywhere.  In the 1970s the community of Alma had a country store; a post office (in a home); a school; a Baptist Church; an Anglican Church; a little train station depot - today the only public building left is the Anglican Church, used seasonally.  What will the community look like in another generation?
     OK OK!!  It's time to be positive.  There are many, many successful restoration projects carried out throughout the Island all the time - such as the New London farmhouse...
     Our two Island cities have strong heritage boards and have well documented and protect their heritage buildings, however, you can never let your guard down.  Check out their websites:
     I plan to continue blogging about all Island architecture and in the year ahead hope to spend more time going through my collection of old photos and articles and scanning them for posting.
     Thanks to all who follow this blog and care deeply for the built heritage of Prince Edward Island.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Charlottetown moves to take over Lighthouse

     Here's information about the Brighton Beach Range Light in today's Guardian Newspaper Website:
Published on January 20, 2012  - Dave Stewart 
The City of Charlottetown is stepping in to save its lighthouse. City council recently passed a resolution to proceed with negotiations and finalize agreements with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans over the Brighton Beach Range Light at Victoria Park.
“We have a draft contribution agreement whereby the federal government will pay for major structural upgrades and protection of the lighthouse as well as an agreement to transfer ownership once that is done,’’ said Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of planning and the councillor who represents the area. He said DFO has threatened more than once to either replace the lighthouse with a steel tower or make major changes that are not in keeping with its status as a designated heritage resource in the city’s bylaw.
Lantz grew up in the area and still remembers shimmying around the edge of the lighthouse foundation at high tide.
“I still remember when the Brighton shore around the lighthouse was lined with small summer cottages.’’
The lighthouse suffered extensive damage to the exterior walls from a storm in 2000.
There was a big public outcry when DFO talked of moving the lighthouse. The feds backed off and agreed to repair it.
Since then, Lantz has witnessed, as a member of planning (now the chair), continued DFO threats that the lighthouse may still be replaced with a simple pole.
The concrete foundation is badly deteriorating and the walls suffered more structural damage from ice in recent years.
Last year, DFO declared the lighthouse as surplus yet still active, meaning it is still a required navigational aid.
“(That’s) a polite way of saying ‘that’s it, the building is too much trouble but we still need the light’.’’
The deadline for declaring an interest in surplus lighthouses is approaching and groups from communities across the Island are beginning to come forward.
Lantz said he sent DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard a letter last summer. Late in the fall, senior city staff held discussions with federal counterparts which resulted in a draft agreement for the transfer of ownership of the lighthouse and a contribution agreement by which Ottawa will pay up to $120,000 to repair and reinforce the walls, construct a new concrete base and surround the foundation with a wide radius of protective armour stone. 
Earlier this month, council agreed in principle to enter into these agreements pending final negotiations. 
Lantz said if all goes well, the work should be complete by early summer.

More P.E.I. United Churches for Sale

     St. James United Church in Souris, part of the Kings Pastoral Charge, along with the Annandale United Church buildings are for sale.
     Here's the listing:
Below/Above: St. James United Church, 14 Hebrews Street, Souris.  Photos cf. Google Images.
     Here's some information about St. James from Waldron Leards Website:
     In 1925, the United Church of Canada was formed. In Souris the Presbyterian and Methodist church members came together. A decision was made to use the larger Presbyterian building as the main church, and to develop the Methodist church as a church hall and community gathering place. Many events were held here, including fundraising teas for the church and the new Souris Hospital, constructed in the mid 1940's. Wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations, graduation banquets were hosted here. St. James Church Sunday School Christmas concerts entertained full houses each year.

     Below: Annandale United Church, located at Annondale Wharf, PEI. Photos cf. Google Images.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Historic Enterprise Fawcett Foundary burns in N.B.

     There was a great fire last evening in Sackville, New Brunswick at the Enterprise Fawcett Foundary - they produced cast iron cookstoves and furnaces.  These stoves were found in many, many homes of the Maritimes - a 160 year old legacy.

Historic Sackville foundry in flames

Flames seen shooting 10 metres out of Enterprise Foundry

Flames could be seen shooting 10 metres out of the Enterprise Foundry in Sackville, N.B.
(Submitted by Heather Reid)
     A historic foundry in Sackville, N.B., burst into flames following two apparent explosions on Wednesday evening.
     Police said they were unsure if anyone was inside the Enterprise Fawcett, which employs around 60 people, although they said it's unlikely given that the fire started in the evening.
     Fire Chief Craig Bowser said the department was called around 6:30 p.m. after the two explosions were heard. He said he immediately called in help.
     Firefighters from several nearby regions converged to fight the flames, which could be seen shooting 10 metres out of the top of the building, and police have cordoned off the area.
Police say they do not know what caused the explosion.
     There is not much left to the historic building, which is owned by Enterprise Fawcett.
     The Office of the Fire Marshal will be at the fire scene on Thursday trying to discover what caused the fire at the historic site.
     The Enterprise Foundry dates back to 1852. It was rebuilt in 1908 after a devastating blaze.
Mathew Johnston said he considers the building as part of the town’s history.
     “My grandfather, he worked here when he was my age. So it's a pretty big place for this town,” he said.
     The loss was being felt immediately in the community.
Greg Hicks ran a small engine repair shop in the building and he said he lost everything in the fire.
     “It's not very good, doesn't feel very good but there's nothing I can do about it,” he said.
     “I can't change it so ... [it’s a] shame and I don't have insurance either.”
      Hicks said his son, Jordan, said when they arrived to the fire, the flames were towering over the building.
     “They were shooting right out of the building probably some of them 50 feet,” he said.
     The Enterprise Fawcett fire is the latest in a series of recent fires that have destroyed important local buildings in New Brunswick.
     A one-storey building containing the municipal hall, fire station and RCMP offices in Rogersville were destroyed in a fire on Jan. 9.
     Another fire destroyed the historic Inn on the Cove and Spa in Saint John.
     As well, the Waterside Baptist Church, which is near Riverside-Albert, was destroyed by a fire after being hit by lightning on Jan. 13.
Here's the Enterprise Fawcett website:

' Cast Iron Quality Since 1852 '
     Located in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, the present day Enterprise Fawcett is the product of a small beginning that started back in 1852 by Mr. R.M. Dixon and a number of leading farmers under the name Dominion Foundry Company. It is believed thats some of the early work produced by the foundry was made to supply the sailing ships of the era. However, the main products have always been cast iron cookstoves and furnaces.
     The foundry was built near the Sackville wharves as the heavy, brittle castings required special consideration for transporting. Later, the railroad established a station nearby which enabled the plant to continue to transport its products.Over the years the foundry prospered and employed more than 400 workers.
     At one time Enterprise was the only company in the world manufacturing a complete line of cooking products using wood, coal, oil, gas, electricity and microwave energy all in one factory.
     Enterprise assets were sold in the early 1980s to Enheat Inc., also of Sackville. It then amalgamated its Fawcett Division with Enterprise to form Enterprise Fawcett Limited.
     Enterprise Fawcett has been passed down from Grandfather to Grandson to Brother and is now owned by Darren Wheaton, a long time veteran of the company.
     Here the skills of generations of craftsmen came together in the production of the world's finest cookstoves. The original molds, made from wooden patterns carved by hand, inspired the Legacy Series. The Monarch, King, Savoy Oil and Savoy Wood cookstoves combine authentic styling with today's standards. Our craftsmen still manufacture the cookstoves the way they did more than a century ago, however today these cookstoves are either CSA or ULC listed, with the exception of the Queen, Woodsman and Little Cod. We also manufacture furnaces and heaters on site.
     Enterprise Fawcett is one of the few remaining foundries in the world.

Here are some of the products they still have for sale today:

Enterprise Fawcett Cookstoves

The Legacy Series
Enterprise Fawcett Monarch cookstoveEnterprise Fawcett King cookstoveEnterprise Fawcett Savoy Wood cookstoveEnterprise Fawcett Savoy Oil cookstove

Other Wood Cookstoves

Enterprise Fawcett Queen Cook wood cookstoveEnterprise Fawcett Woodsman camp range
     I'll have to go out to the barn tomorrow and see if it's an Enterprise Fawcett.

The Anglican Church on Prince Edward Island

Here's another brochure outlining information about all the Anglican Churches on P.E.I. and a bit of their history.