Description of Historic Place
The Peter G. Clark house at 122 Spring Street is located on the northwest corner of the Spring and Notre Dame intersection. It is a two-storey Colonial Revival influenced house with white trim, green asphalt shingles, and a hipped roof. It also features stacked bays with broken pediment roofs, each with half moon windows in the peak. The main entrance is on the southeast corner of the wrap-around verandah which opens onto the street and is obscured by a low hedge.
This large residence at 122 Spring Street has historical significance as the home of Peter G. Clark (1881-1960) and his descendents. Clark was a leader in the fox fur business, holding several key positions that contributed to the expansion and development of the industry. Its key location on the intersection of Spring and Notre Dame Streets contributes to the historic residential streetscape of the area.
Mr. Clark purchased the lot with an existing house from the estate of Miss Mary A. Bowness in 1913. Two years later, the building was sold and removed. By November 1915, the new house at 122 Spring, as well as the one for Lucas Allen at 115 Spring, were nearing completion. The press reported that the houses, built from the same design plans, were "modern and the workmanship of a high order." Peter G. Clark was a successful builder, a trade he had learned from his father, Summerside contractor, John M. Clark. P.G. Clark was one of the main contractors who rebuilt Summerside after the disasterous 1906 fire.
Mr. Clark also had a keen interest in foxes and organized the Pure Canadian Fox Company Limited in 1912. He later became a founder of the Canadian National Silver Fox Breeders Association and also was instrumental in establishing the Prince Edward Island Fur Pool Limited. The latter was formed in 1930 to act as an agency for the pelting, storage and marketing of fox furs. The quality of the foxes he raised was recognized when he won the World Grand Championship Trophy for best adult fox in 1928.
Peter Gordon Clark married Harriet Sophia Carruthers of North Bedeque in 1904. Their first child, Robert, was a baby when they moved into their new home. James was born three years later in 1918 and as an adult settled in Edmundston, NB after graduating from McGill University. Robert returned to Summerside after attending Acadia University and worked for many years in his father's construction and fox ranching businesses.
P.G. Clark remained active in the fur industry until his death in 1960. He passed away suddenly at age 80 in his office at the PEI Fur Pool building on Water Street. Around 1965, Robert Clark and his wife, the former Mary Nicholson, moved into 122 Spring Street, where they cared for his mother until her death in 1966. In 1968, the couple sold the residence to their son Reagh and his wife Claudia. Renovations were carried out to provide separate living quarters for the elder Clark couple on the second level.
Reagh and Claudia Clark moved to Charlottetown in 1982, and his brother James Clark and wife Natalie assumed ownership of the house. After Robert C. Clark passed away in 1987, the house was converted back to a single residence. In 1994, it passed out of the family.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-storey massing
- the corner pilasters and narrow wood clapboard cladding
- the hipped roof
- the brick chimney
- the broken pedimented gable roofs over the stacked bay windows
- the wrap-around verandah with Doric columns and pedimented gable over the corner entrance
- the hipped roof extension on the north section of the house
- the shed roof porch of the east elevation
- the original window fenestration is intact, including the half moon windows of the pedimented gables