Description of Historic Place
The square proportioned Colonial Revival style two-storey house at 112 Summer Street is located on a corner lot at the intersection with Notre Dame Street. The wood clapboard and shingle cladding is painted red and the trim is off white. The hipped roof is black asphalt shingle and the east elevation features a central vestibule flanked by corner stacked bay windows.
The residence at 112 Summer Street is valuable to the community not only because of its handsome appearance and architectural integrity, but also because of its connection to two of its early owners, Bannerman W. Tanton and J. Edward Gallant.
It was constructed in 1910 for Summerside lawyer Bannerman Warburton Tanton. A son of Benjamin Tanton and Eliza Darby of St. Eleanors, he studied law for five years with attorney and politician John H. Bell before being called to the Bar in 1907. The following year, he married Matilda (Tillie) Ross. B.W. Tanton had a twenty-year partnership with Mr. Bell in the law firm of Bell and Tanton. After the firm was dissolved in 1927, the Tanton couple and their children left Prince Edward Island and Mr. Tanton died in British Columbia in 1936.
During the occupancy of the Tanton family, the house was visited by a PEI celebrity. According to the PEI Agriculturalist of May 27, 1911: "Miss L.M. Montgomery, the author of "Anne of Green Gables" and other popular books, was in Summerside a few days this week, the guest of Mrs. B.W. Tanton." The connection between Miss Montgomery and Tillie Tanton is unknown.
The property was acquired in the fall of 1928 by well-known druggist, J. Edward Gallant. He was about 56 years of age when he moved into the house with his wife, Gertrude Doyle, and two grown children. Mary Ruth (b. 1902) was assisting her father in his business and Edward Lloyd (b. 1904) was studying law with the firm of McQuarrie and Mathieson. John Edward Gallant was a native of Tignish and started as an apprentice in the drugstore of J.A. Gourlie of Summerside. He later operated a drugstore in Tignish, but returned in 1915 to Summerside to buy the Red Cross Drugstore of the late Dr. A.A. McLellan, which he renamed the Gallant Drug Store. In 1919, he and H.R. Crockett put up the structure at 281 Water Street that became known as the Crockett-Gallant building.
After the death of Mr. Gallant in 1930, his two children carried on the business until 1949 when they sold it to Roy Boates. Ruth had married local dentist Ralph Noonan in 1940 and moved to the house at 203 Fitzroy Street. Lloyd, who changed his career path to pharmacy by taking a course at Dalhousie University, had married Hester Cushing in 1944 and had taken over the house after the death of his mother in 1945.
Shortly thereafter, the main stairway in the residence was enclosed to provide entry into separate living quarters on the second level. The upstairs apartment was rented out until 1967 when Ruth Noonan, now widowed, moved into the lower level of the house. Her sister-in-law, Hester, a widow since 1959, moved to the upper level. The living arrangement continued until the death of Mrs. Noonan in 1978. She left the property to Hester Gallant who moved back to the ground floor and rented the second floor apartment. When she sold the residence to the current owners, they continued to rent out the upstairs unit for another two years before changing the house back to a single dwelling with four bedrooms on the second level.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the B.W. Tanton House at 112 Summer Street is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the square form and wood-frame construction
- the symmetrical double stacked bay windows with wide eaves on the corners, east elevation
- the symmetrical window arrangement of the facade
- the east side central vestibule with a hipped roof over the entrance and a hipped roof dormer on top
- the flared shingles between the stacked bays
- the hipped roof dormers on the north and east elevations
- the wooden clapboard on main part of house, wooden shingle on bays
- the entablature with dentilation under the wide overhanging roof is repeated on the vestibule
- the two brick chimneys
- the three transom windows in the vestibule
- the side windows in entryway are two-over-two
- the single Doric columns on each side of the entryway