Description of Historic Place
This Georgian style home has a symmetrical facade, gable roof with eave returns, and corner pilasters. An extension at the back of the house is surrounded by a verandah.
The house is valued for its Georgian architectural style and for its association with the history of shipbuilding and tourism in the province.
The property was originally owned by Major Alexander MacDonnell from 1804 to 1838. They named it Keppoch Farm after their ancestral lands in Scotland. It was sold in 1838 to Andrew and James Duncan, two of the Island's foremost shipbuilders at the time. The Duncan brothers built the current house around 1840. They also constructed a hotel in Charlottetown on the corner of Prince and Water Streets. This Lennox Hotel had the same Georgian style as the house at Keppoch Farm.
In 1854, the house was sold to Dr. Henry Hillcoat. He originally lived at 132 Nelson Street in Victoria, but when his wife died in 1854, he moved with his family to Keppoch and purchased this house. Mrs. Hillcoat was interred at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church near Crapaud. Only four years later, he exchanged the house for a ship which had been built at Vernon River by Charles Welsh (1796-1873). Tragically, on the return trip to England, Hillcoat's son fell overboard and in an attempt to rescue him, Hillcoat also lost his life.
Welsh's daughter, Hetty Barker, was the next person to own the property. Her brother, William Welsh, purchased it from her in 1873. William Welsh (1822-1905) was a prominent merchant, shipbuilder, and politician. He was in business with his brother-in-law, Lemuel C. Owen, who was also a PEI premier.
In 1905, the property went to William Owen, Welsh's nephew. In 1922, it was sold to W.H.V. Dunbar who operated the property as a summer resort. In 1947, it was sold to Roland Paton, Frank MacPhee, and Charles Trainor who continued to operate it as a resort until 1965.
The house remained abandoned for many years until 1973, when Thomas and Charles McMillan purchased it. They moved it to its current location about one half mile northwest of its original location and saved it from demolition. The current owners have continued to maintain and enhance the historic character of the house.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/S20
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-and-one-half storey wood frame construction
- the wood clapboard cladding
- the gable roofline with eave returns
- the corner pilasters
- the brick chimneys
- the symmetrical facade
- the multi-paned windows
- the bay window
- the extensions at the back of the house