• Origins and Evolution of the Charlottetown City Plan – Part 1

    Charlottetown, on the ground, or from the air, is a perfect and intact model of Eighteenth-Century British colonial town planning that is the pride of Prince Edward Island, and in its details, unique in the whole of Canada. I am inserting into my blog at this time all the material I could find on the origins and evolution of the city of Charlottetown. It is a big and very difficult subject. While most of this material has been used by researchers, and some of it even published, there is to my knowledge no catalogue of these maps, nor any attempt to establish an analytical chronology. I hope to begin to remedy…

  • The Central Chimney Braced Frame House – Part 3

    The Morrison House at Flat River and the Charlottetown House at 222 Sydney Street. This is the third and last post in my survey of central chimney houses on the Island. It is not a big sample – I am sure there are dozens I don’t know about – but it is a good representation of chronology, technology and evolution in style. It may happen that these posts will inspire readers to reveal more central chimney treasures with special attributes that cry out to be included. It may be that in the weeks ahead notes on more central chimney houses will be inserted into the narrative I have developed. In…

  • 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,…