Description of Historic Place
This late Victorian Queen Anne and Italianate influenced grey two-storey residence is on the north side of Belmont Street at Granville. It features paired stacked bay windows with conical roofs on the south elevation. It was built in 1889 by Major Schurman, a local carpenter-builder and partner in the "Schurman, Lefurgey and Clark Company," the sawmill and lumber supply business that eventually became M. F. Schurman Company Limited. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The house at 185 Belmont Street has historical significance as the home of Major Schurman, one of the founders of the M.F. Schurman Company Limited, which became one of the largest building supply firms in the Maritime Provinces. It draws further heritage value from its Queen Anne and Italianate influenced architectural elements such as the stacked bays - an identifiable architectural feature of Summerside homes - and the paired round arch windows in the peaks. The home has a prominent place in the historic streetscape that began as a residential area populated by several prominent citizens.
Major Schurman, a descendant of United Empire Loyalist, William Schurman, established a career as a builder and contractor in Kensington, and later moved to Summerside. In the spring of 1889, he purchased the 58 by 140 foot lot on Belmont Street and proceeded to build a two-storey home for his family. A local newspaper described the construction and opined that the dwelling should "rank among the best in Summerside."
In 1900, Mr. Schurman entered into partnership with his younger brother, Maynard, to form M. F. Schurman and Company. Incorporated in 1907, it became a highly successful construction and building supply firm in eastern Canada over the next century. In 1909, Major sold his shares and went to Winnipeg to work as a contractor, while his family continued to reside in Summerside. He returned in 1914 and then left again, coming back to the Island to erect a large brick building in 1917 for the mercantile firm of Sinclair and Stewart. On later business trips to the Canadian West, he constructed buildings in Calgary and Edmonton. After his death in 1933, the house remained in the family until his daughter Bertha passed away in 1954.
The house has supplementary historical value as the home for twenty years of Claude Ives, president of the well-known mercantile firm of Brace and McKay Limited. Born in Montague in 1911, Mr. Ives joined the Royal Canadian Artillery during the Second World War and continued with a military career, serving with the United Nations for five years in India and Pakistan. After his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1954, he came to Summerside where he entered into a partnership with Brace and McKay Limited, serving as president and managing director for many years.
Although the original cladding has been covered in vinyl on parts of the house, it still retains significant architectural features and continues to contribute to the streetscape.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The character-defining elements of this large distinguished Italianate and Queen Anne influenced house include:
- the massing and form of the two-and-one-half storey building
- the steeply pitched gable roof on the main house and the one-and-one-half storey north wing with long sloping gable roof
- the bargeboard trim on the eaves
- the two brick chimneys
- the symmetrical Queen Anne influenced double set of stacked bay windows on the south façade featuring segmented conical roofs and double bracketing
- the Italianate influenced paired round headed windows with hood moulding in the peaks of the east and west elevations, and hood mouldings repeat on all original windows on east and west elevations
- the variety of windows including the two-over-two bays, the transoms in the porch and west façade of the rear section, and the narrow twinned one-over-one on the west and east elevations.
- the beltcourse of moulding delineating the second and first floors and extending around west, south and east elevations of the main house
- the home's prominent place in the historic streetscape