Description of Historic Place
This two-and-one-half storey wood shingled house is located on Richmond Street in Georgetown. It has a gable roof and decorative eave bracketting. The upstairs windows of the facade have bracketted hood mouldings.
The house is valued for its remaining Gothic Revival style elements and for its association with the Dicks and MacDonald families of Georgetown.
Around 1888, Captain Henry Dicks (1839-1904) came to Georgetown from Burgeo, Newfoundland. The 1901 Census indicates he was then residing in Georgetown with his wife, five sons, a niece, a granddaughter, and a grandson. Tragically, Captain Henry Dicks lost his life in 1904 when his dory flipped over in a storm near Labrador.
It is unclear when the current house was constructed. Meacham's 1880 Atlas of PEI indicates the property was originally owned by John Murphy. Around 1900 it was owned by Elizabeth Smith. In 1904, she sold it to Captain John Dicks (1874-1966), one of Henry's sons. He and his brothers, Edward and Nelson Dicks, all worked as seacaptains, engaging in coastal trade especially in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Captain John had been born in Labrador and earned his captain's papers at a young age. During his many years at sea, he commanded a variety of ships from three-masted schooners to large steamships. He was commander of one of the Royal Canadian Navy's drifter ships during World War I. These were used during naval convoys and took him to the Straits of Gibraltar.
During the Prohibition years, when rumrunning between PEI and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon occurred, John and his brother Edward, acted as captains of one of the most famous vessels involved, the Nellie J. Banks.
When the first ferry, the Charles A. Dunning, was established in 1941 between Wood Islands, PEI and Caribou, NS, Captain John was in charge. Later that year, he survived the attempt by a German U-boat to torpedo the S.S. Prince Edward Island ferry between New Brunswick and PEI during World War II.
During its history, the house was also the residence of Donald "The Piper" MacDonald, a talented bagpiper in the area. He added the decorative verandah which once extended along the facade.
The Sully family purchased the home from the Dicks Estate and the current owner purchased it in 2004 and has begun renovating the property. It was in a state of disrepair after being vacant for a number of years.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/TR3
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 shingle cladding
- the gable roof
- the roof dormer
- the small gable roofed entrance porch on the side of the house
- the original fenestration of two-over-two windows (some are vinyl replacements)
- the decorative eave bracketting
- the bracketted hood moulding above the second storey windows of the facade