Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Clifton Farm House is a one-and-one-half storey wood shingled house with a gambrel roof. The facade features a pair of roof dormers, corner pilasters, a central entrance door with sidelights and pediment above. The windows of the facade have decorative hood moulding.
The house is valued for its Maritime vernacular style elements and for its association with the Mason family of Stratford.
The patriarch of the family, William Mason, was born on November 13, 1786 in Yorkshire, England. In the early 19th Century, he emigrated to Prince Edward Island and settled in the Bunbury area - across the harbour from Charlottetown, the Island's capital. His wife was Barbara Stagman (1796-1880). They were members of the local Methodist Church. He died on October 21, 1864 and rests in the Clifton United cemetery.
At first, around 1821, William constructed a log cabin near the river. The current house dates from the early 1850s when William and his son, George (1823-1897) debated on where to construct a new house. William wanted to build on the same spot as the cabin, but George wanted to put the home on the Bunbury Road, which was the main road in the settlement. In a compromise, the house was situated half way up what is now the Mason Road.
George married Sophia Mutch (1831-1878) at this time and took over the farm operation. Meacham's 1880 Atlas shows him as owning 142 acres - one of the largest farms in the area. An engraving of the property shows that the house originally had a gable roof and two dormers - one large and a smaller one to the right of it. The house has retained other elements shown in the engraving such as the hood mouldings above the windows of the facade and the pediment above the front entrance door.
George and Sophia had six sons. The oldest of these, James Oliver Mason (1855-1907) had his own farm on the upper Mason Road. He died tragically of exposure after becoming caught in a snowstorm in March of 1907. His youngest brother, Herbert Mason (1871-1953) inherited the original Clifton Farm. His descendents still own the property today.
The house is a landmark in Stratford due to its long association with the Mason family and because it represents one of the earliest homes built in the community.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/S17
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the original brick foundation
- the one-and-one-half storey wood frame construction
- the wood shingle cladding
- the corner pilasters
- the gambrel roof (originally gable)
- the brick chimneys
- the central entrance door with sidelights and pediment
- the windows of the facade with hood moulding
- the two roof dormers with decorative shingle pattern in their gables
- the addition at the back of the house
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/S17
Cross-Reference to Collection