• The Central Chimney Braced Frame House – Part 2

    The Lyle and Dingwell Houses, 1836 and 1838. In my previous post I introduced you to the braced frame central chimney house brought to Canada by the Scottish Catholic Colonial settlers in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century. In this post I want to examine two more Island houses with a central chimney, both built more than a generation later, one built by a Devonshire settler and the other by a Scottish Presbyterian. They are nearly 100 miles apart, one in Lot 16 on Malpeque Bay and the other at the eastern extremity of the Island, at Howe Point, down the coast from Souris and Fortune Bridge. Of course,…

  • The Central Chimney Braced Frame House – Part 1

    The MacDonald House at Monticello, and the house at Rock Barra, circa 1795 Two central chimney houses used to stand along the north shore of Lots 42 and 46 where Scottish Catholics settled at the end of the Eighteenth Century, east of the larger settlement at Tracadie founded in 1772. They were located at Monticello and Rock Barra before they rotted into the ground in the 1980s and’90s. This detail from Meacham’s Atlas of 1880 shows the locations of the houses I want to discuss. Monticello is a modern name for that area just inside the east border of Lot 42 on where a MacDonald family settled. On Meacham’s map…

  • The Log House on Prince Edward Island

    Prologue – Memories of Student Days This Bartlett print caught my attention when I was a student, and I set out to obtain a copy for my collection of pictures. The mystery of the deep forest with its crude log house assembled to supply shelter for British colonists caught my imagination, and I fantasied about their struggle.   “A first Settlement,” from Canadian Scenery, Illustrated from drawings by William. H. Bartlett, engraved by J. C. Bentley, with text by Nathaniel Parker Willis, in 2 volumes, with a total of 117 steel plate engravings. London, Virtue & Co., City Road and Ivy Lane, 1842. While I was hunting for this Bartlett print,…

  • The PEI Museum recognises my Heritage Blog

    Many of us who love to explore the history of the heritage of our Island, work in isolation, sharing our enthusiastic findings when and how we can. In two days will be the third anniversary of my first blog post, followed by over fifty bursts of enthusiasm in the succeeding 36 months. In my posts I wrote about a series of subjects, starting 20,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers and coming of the first indigenous peoples. For the past year and a half I have concentrated on the emergence of the Island on European maps and its successive blossoming into the catographic treasures of the late Nineteenth…

  • French and Acadian Domestic Architecture: Part IV – Beaubassin and Beausejour

    There are places in the world where the genius loci or spirit of the place is powerfully present to the point where your perception is deeply affected and your spirit, perhaps, is taken over by the landscape. Cumberland Basin, where the seventy-foot tidal excesses of the ninety-mile-long Bay of Fundy exhaust themselves, is such a place. Beaubassin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaubassin The French, who came up from Port Royal in the 1670s called it Beaubassin. As they come and go the Bay of Fundy tides create a roundish basin, with steep sloping sides composed entirely of deep greasy organic silt. Establishing landing places is almost impossible. Here is the southern face of the…