Former Profit Harness Shop
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Known locally as "The Profit Building", this two storey rectangular commercial style building is located on the northeast corner of Main and Poplar streets in the centre of the Alberton business district. The wood shingled facade features large storefront windows. The roof is flat with a low pitch to the east. The south elevation features a mural depicting the interior of the former Profit Harness Shop.
The building is valued for its commercial architectural style and for its association with the Profit family of Alberton.
John T. Profit (1846-1931) and his son, Charles, were harness makers who developed the renowned "Profit Collar" for horses. It had an innovative design and was comfortable for the animal to wear. John T. Profit also served as the local undertaker for more than thirty years. When automobiles began to replace horses as a means of transportation, he had the first gasoline tanks in Alberton. He also sold car accessories, carriages, gramophones and radio records. He was a member of the Board of Trade founded in 1903. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Order. Active in local politics, he served as a town councillor from 1915-1920 and was Mayor of Alberton from 1920 to 1921.
In 1919, his business suffered a devastating fire which destroyed the original two-storey gable roofed building. He soon rebuilt with the help of local builder, George Gard. In 1945, part of the building was converted into a liquor store. By 1961, Bill Profit, the grandson of John T., renovated the building and added two apartments to the second floor. His brother, Jim Profit, operated an electronics business named "J-PRO" until the 1980s.
In 1985, the West Prince Industrial Commission purchased the building. Since then it has been the home to a variety of businesses, including a clothing store, taxation centre, furniture store, and a florist and gift shop.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/A33
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood frame construction
- the two-storey massing
- the wood shingle cladding
- the flat roof with low pitch
- the large commercial storefront windows of the west facade
- the decorative moulding across the middle of the west facade
- the brackets on the corners of the west facade
- the mural on the south elevation
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Machinery or Other Equipment Manufacturing Facility
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/A33
Cross-Reference to Collection