Description of Historic Place
This Maritime Vernacular style home features a symmetrical facade with central entrance featuring sidelights and transom light. A large central dormer with eave returns dominates the gable roof. A decorative verandah covers the entire facade.
The house is valued for its Maritime Vernacular architectural style and for its association with Major John Picton Beete and Edward Kelly.
Major John Picton Beete (1797-1887) was one of the first settlers in the community of what is now the Town of Stratford. He was a retired Major in the British 21st and 54th Regiments. Around 1860, he bought 200 acres in Lot 48 calling his property "Mill Brook Farm". He built his house in the Maritime Vernacular style.
He developed a reputation for being an eccentric. He payed half the land taxes in the area and wanted to pay for the building of a new school if the community's name was officially changed from Southport to Stratford. However, this did not happen until the late 20th century. Beete was appointed to the Legislative Council by the Lieutenant Governor in 1852 and he was an early advocate of the idea of Canadian confederation, signing his name to a Pro-Confederation Petition to the House of Assembly in 1866.
When his wife, Lucy Jeffery Beete, passed away in 1878, Major Beete decided to sell his property and return to Britain. In 1880, it was purchased by Edward Kelly, who had come to the Island from County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1845. Originally settling at Lake Verde where he worked as a farmer and brickmaker, Kelly became a successful land developer after moving to his new property. He became known by the nickname, "Yankee Ned". His son, Joseph Kelly, inherited the property in 1906.
Meanwhile, Major Beete inherited a substantial estate in Wales from his cousin, Dr. John Picton. Their uncle, Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1815) was a hero of the Battle of Waterloo where he was Wellington's second in command. The Iscoed estate in Carmarthenshire, Wales, was the ancestral home of the Picton family until it was sold in 1917. Today, it is in a derelict state and concerned citizens are trying to restore it in time for the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo in 2015.
It is one of history's ironies that Major Beete's humble Island house is today well maintained, while his former Welsh estate is in disrepair.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/S21
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the original sandstone foundation
- the two-and-one-half storey wood frame construction
- the gable roof with eave returns
- the brick chimney
- the large central dormer with eave returns
- the six-over-six windows
- the central entrance door with transom and sidelights
- the decorative verandah across the front facade