Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This Colonial Revival style home is a one-and-one-half storey gable roofed wood framed house with wood shingle and clapboard cladding. Scalloped shingles are used in the peak of the west gable. The south elevation features a decorative verandah with scrolled brackets.
The house is valued for its Colonial Revival architectural elements and for its historical association with the MacKenzie, Clements, and Knox families.
Meacham's Atlas shows the property where this house is now located as being part of Mount Pleasant Farm which was owned by Donald Campbell in 1880. Campbell operated a grist mill on the farm, on the north side of the Montague River. This mill was later sold to Charles Keith, who would sell it on March 2, 1901 to Donald MacKenzie. It was MacKenzie who constructed the current house. He also secured water rights from the surrounding land owners and dammed the river. By 1907, he sold the house to the Montague Electric Company, which generated hydroelectricity.
Electricity was originally only generated for half day periods, but this would eventually expand to provide service for full days. The house was used as the dwelling of the hydroelectric dam supervisor and his family. In 1917, the supervisor was Robert Clements. His son, Gilbert, would go on to become an MLA for the area and also serve as PEI's Lieutenant Governor. An interesting photo from this period shows the house in the background and a Chautauqua group in the foreground. The Chautauqua movement came to Canada in 1917 and lasted until the Great Depression. It consisted of a travelling group of entertainers who provided cultural experiences such as music, drama, etc. to rural communities in the days before radio and mass-media communications. This group shows two people dressed as clowns and standing on a wagon pulled by a small pony wearing a hat! Two boys hold up a sign advertising the Montague Chautauqua.
In 1939, William Knox succeeded Clements as supervisor and he remained in this role until the dam ceased to be used for hydroelectricity in 1955. The following year, Knox purchased the home and land from the Maritime Electric Company Limited. It remains in the Knox family today and is operated as the Knox's Dam Bed and Breakfast.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/TR29
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood frame and one-and-one-half storey massing
- the gable roof
- the brick chimney
- the clapboard and wood shingle cladding with scalloped shingles in gable
- the original fenestration and shutters
- the verandah with decorative brackets
- the brackets on the eave boards
- the octagonal room extending off the west side of the house
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/TR29
Cross-Reference to Collection