Description of Historic Place
The John Grady House at 103 Summer Street is a one-and-one-half storey building with an asymmetrical steeply pitched gable roofline. Located on the northeast corner of the Winter and Summer Street intersection, it sits within a few feet of the sidewalk on Summer Street, but is placed far back from Winter Street leaving a sizeable lawn area. A gable roof dormer is located above a ground level bay window on the west elevation.
The property is valued for its early construction period, which is estimated to date from approximately 1869. It has been owned by several well-known Summerside families and has historical significance for that reason.
Thomas Brewer Hall and his wife Agnes Glover purchased the lot from John and Ann Green in November 1868. T.B. Hall, as he was known, was a merchant in the early town of Summerside. His store on Water Street, which was operating as early as 1867, carried groceries, hardware and dry goods. He was active in the community, acting as secretary-treasurer for the Presbyterian congregation and serving as a town warden. In 1872, he traded his property on Summer Street for two acres of land owned by William J. Kennedy at the east end of town. The grand residence he built there became a well-known landmark. He died in Wyoming in 1891.
William Jamieson Kennedy, the new owner of 103 Summer Street, was a sea captain. He and his wife, Eliza Green, the daughter of George Green, had married in 1859. Whether they lived in the house is not known because Mr. Kennedy owned various parcels of real estate. After her husband's death in 1876, Mrs. Kennedy sold the property to George L. MacNutt, a local merchant, whose business, known as the Corner Grocery, was started in 1870. When he became disabled in 1881, he and his wife, Eliza McNeill, and their three young children moved to Kensington where George died in 1884.
When the mortgage on the house went into default, the property was put up for auction. It was purchased in September 1882 by William Schurman Green. He was the son of John Green and Ann Schurman and the great grandson of Daniel Green, the United Empire Loyalist who had settled the area. When he acquired the house, he and his wife, the former Mary Frances Watts, were both about 27 years of age. Five years later, William S. Green sold the house to his cousins Alexander and Charlotte Kennedy. They took possession of the house just a few months after the death of their mother in June 1887. The next year, Alexander Kennedy entered a business college in New York state and his sister married Herbert Pope Green.
The new owner of the house in November 1888 was John Grady, son of David and Margaret Grady. He was employed for about thirty years as chief accountant with the mercantile firm of David Rogers and Sons. In his later years, he was a partner in the produce business of Edgett, Grady and Company and ended his career as manager of Gunn, Langlois and Company. He was a prominent Mason, a member of the Board of School Trustees, and served on the Summerside Town Council for approximately thirty years. John Grady and his wife Margaret Hibbett raised three children in the house. A year before his death, in April 1927, Mr. Grady sold the property.
The purchaser was C. Edward Strong and his wife, the former Davis Ellison. Mr. Strong, the son of the Hon. W. G. Strong, spent his life working in the mercantile firm of F. W. Strong and Company. In 1926, Edward and his wife would have been 74 and 67 respectively. Mrs. Strong passed away in 1938 after a lengthy illness. In 1943, J. Hale Strong retired as a bank manager in Ontario and moved back to Summerside to live with his elderly father. From that date until 1952 he served in the civic position of Town Clerk. His father died in 1947 at age 95. Around 1953, Hale Strong went to live with his sister Helen Archibald, in Melrose, Massachusetts where he died in 1970.
In 1954, Alvin and Jennie MacLean began to rent the house and a decade later they purchased it. They had married in 1930 and lived in Birch Hill before moving to Summerside. He was the son of Leslie and Ella MacLean and earned his living as a carpenter. Alvin MacLean died in 1984 and his widow passed away in July 2000 at age 94. Shortly after her death the property was sold. Today, it is a rental property.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the one-and-one-half storey massing
- the stone foundation
- the wood frame and wood shingle cladding
- the steeply pitched asymmetrical gable roofline with asphalt shingles
- the two brick chimneys
- the square bay on the west elevation topped off with a gabled dormer
- the central gabled dormer on the south elevation and a narrow gable dormer on the north
- the small shed roof dormer on the east elevation
- the small shed roofed vestibule on the south elevation
- the narrow corner boards and window trim, with some surviving window cap moulding