Monday, August 7, 2017

Sharkey House, Corraville - 1923

    I came across this great photo of a rural farm in Corraville on the Facebook page of the "Cardigan Heritage Centre".  Corraville is bordered by the communities of Martinvale, Cardross, Primrose, Southampton, Milburn, Stratcona - more easily described as between Cardigan and St. Peter's on Route 313 in Kings County.

Friday, August 4, 2017

William Hyde Sr.'s Octagonal House, Meadowbank

     I recently picked-up a copy of "Our West River Heritage" by Violet MacEachern & Arlene MacDougall (January 1993) and was interested to read about an octagonal house built here on Prince Edward Island.  The following is from page 20.
     "It is interesting to learn that William Hyde, Sr., built a large, two-storied, eight sided house which contained a ballroom on the second floor.  This house was a social centre where Members of Parliament were often entertained.  (He was an M.P. for two terms (1812, 1818 & 1825?)).  This fine home was destroyed by fire, about the year 1857, when two Hyde sisters were the only occupants.  Two valuable pieces of furniture were saved from the flames: an antique grandfather's clock, and a sixteen-legged table made of black birch.  All the correspondence with relatives in the old country, England and Ireland, was destroyed severing family connections."  
     William Hyde Sr. was born in 1763 in County Clare, Ireland.  His occupation was listed as militia, farmer and politician.  In 1787 he married Christina Simpson of Cavendish - they had ten children.  William was a member of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Legislature.  William died on October 23, 1831.  ( Info cf. )
Will of William Hyde the Elder of Elliott River Settlement On Township Number 32, Esquire. /// Liber 2 Folio 187 /// To my dearly beloved wife Christiana for life, the House I now reside in with the furniture and 90 acres or therabouts adjoining, with the Barn, and one half of the Stock, Crop, etc., she to allow her daughters, Ellen, Jannett, Mary, and Sarah to live with her as heretofore until they may be married, then to receive one milk cow and six breeding ewes. They may remain on said land after mother's land if unmarried or widows; lands to go eventually to sons James and John equally. / To son William, Freehold farm he now occupies of 110 acres "and forming a point or peninsula fronting on Elliott River and Mill Creek". / Freehold Farm of 110 acres occupied by late son, Thomas (description given), to his widow, Caroline, and children "born and to be born," till the eldest son is 21, he then to take a double portion and to give his brothers and sisters an equal portion (etc.). / To my son, James the remainder of the freehold whereon I at present reside, etc. of 110 acres. / To son John, the leasehold farm called the Mill Farm, on 100 acres, with Mills, etc, but sons James and John to have equal shares in the Mills, etc. (Plan of farms, all on Lot 32, attached.) John to have one half of the upland hay. To James, lot No. 31 in 2nd Hundred in Charlotte Town. To son, John, Lot No. 32, in 2nd hundred of lots, in Ch'Town. To son John and James the other half of the Stock, Crop, and Farming Utensils in my possession, equally, and all other Personal estate not before mentioned, they to pay just debts, and Funeral expenses. / All children directed to continue dutiful and obedient to their mother. / Having equal regard for all my children, I do not omit to notice my daughters Margaret, the wife of Mr. Thomas Tod, and Anne, the wife of Mr. John Cameron (who received portions at marriage). / Sons James and John Executors. Dated 25 Aug. 1831. / William Hyde, L.S. / Witnesses:  John Crosby, James Crosby, Chas. Binns. / Probate granted 9 Jan., 1832. (Reg of Probate, #18).  Above cf.
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     The 8-sided house was a phenomenon created in the mid-nineteenth century by Orson S. Fowler, an American, who published "The Octagonal House: A Home for All" in 1848. Fowler was an amateur architect and lifestyle pundit and a proponent of the octagonal house (cf. wikipedia).  This would not apply to the  Hyde House as it was built prior to the death of Mr. Hyde in 1831. 
     I do not know of any 8-sided houses built on Prince Edward Island, however, there have been a few barns.  Below is the Capt. George Anderson's 2-storey octagonal house in Sackville, New Brunswick - built in 1855.  In the mid twenthieth-century the house was used for many years by the Enterprise Foundry Company.  In 1989 the Town of Sackville purchased, moved and restored the house - today it's a Visitor Information Center.  ( )