Description of Historic Place
The Foursquare style house at the top of Spring Street in Summerside was originally constructed in the small rural community of Union Corner and in the winter of 1908 moved across the ice to Summerside where it was placed on a stone and terra cotta foundation. In 1917, it became the home of Summerside School principal and highly respected citizen, C.B. Jelly, who resided there until 1974. Features of the house include its two-storey square configuration, the hipped roof, and the hipped roof dormer.
The house at 181 Spring Street is valued as representative of the common activity in the early part of the twentieth century of moving buildings from one location to another. The residence is also significant because it was the home for more than five decades of C.B. Jelly, long-time principal of the Summerside School. The Foursquare style elements of the house also contribute to its heritage value.
The dwelling was constructed in the coastal community of Union Corner in southwestern PEI and moved across the ice to Summerside in March 1908 with the use of fifteen teams of horses. The man in charge of the undertaking was Summerside resident, Patrick Ryan, who had carved out a profession as a mover of buildings.
The house belonged to William Wesley Allen, son of Benjamin Allen, a well-known farmer in St. Nicholas. Wesley Allen was a carpenter, so it is possible that he may have constructed the house himself in Union Corner and then decided to have it moved to Summerside when he purchased the 60 x 120 foot corner lot. Mr. and Mrs. Allen left Summerside around 1915 to move to western Canada.
The residence was left to Mr. Allen's brother, Lucas, who was vice-president of the firm of Brace, MacKay & Company. He sold it in October 1917 to C. Braden Jelly who had moved to Summerside to become principal of the Summerside School at the top of Summer Street in close proximity to his home. In 1942, he moved into the next phase of his career as School Inspector for the area of East Prince and West Queens counties. He retired in 1959 with a reputation for excellence as a teacher and administrator.
Mr. Jelly lived in the house for fifty-seven years. After the death of his first wife, Aldabert Curtis in 1967, he divided the house into upper and lower apartments, and lived on the first level. He died in 1974, leaving the property to his widow and second wife, Orinda Milligan. The current owners purchased the residence in 1985 and changed it back to a single dwelling.
The style of the architecture is considered to be influenced by the Foursquare or Prairie style. According to an early insurance map, the house was originally a one-and-one-half storey structure. This supports anecdotal information that the roof was raised to change the house to a two-storey dwelling. This alteration likely took place in 1929 when the local press reported that Mr. and Mrs. Jelly were making extensive renovations to their residence. The kitchen extension would probably have been constructed during the same renovation. The Foursquare or Prairie style was at the height of fashion in the late 1920s.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-storey elevation and square configuration
- the hipped roof with hipped roof dormer
- the brick chimneys, one of which is for a fireplace
- the beltcourse dividing the two storeys
- the cedar shingles and clapboard siding
- the sunporch extending almost across the west elevation
- the pedimented gable above the front entrance
- the fenestration of the windows and doors
- the stone and terra cotta foundation
- the continuing contribution of the house to the streetscape