Description of Historic Place
The house at 325 Central Street is a one-and-one half storey craftsman bungalow style home. It is located on the east side of the street at the intersection with Maple Avenue. It features a long sloping roof over a verandah with small front lawn facing Central Street. It is clad in narrow beige vinyl with brown trim. The registration includes the parcel and the building.
The one-and-one-half storey house at 325 Central Street has heritage value as an example of a mail order house from the Aladdin Company of Canada. It was built for Ernest Walker in 1922 on his property on Victoria Road and moved to its current location in 1934.
The Aladdin Company was originally the North American Construction Company founded in 1906 by brothers O.E. and W.J. Sovereign of Michigan. After they decided to expand their pre-cut boat building operation to include cottages, the company expanded rapidly into providing plans and materials for houses. By 1915, their catalogue included 101 "Aladdin Ready-Cut Houses" and the business name was changed to The Aladdin Company around 1917. The Canadian Aladdin Company Limited had its head office in Toronto and branch offices in Saint John, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Customers would make their selection from a catalogue and then order the house, receiving the blueprints by mail. The pre-cut lumber for the chosen house would be shipped by railway and on arrival be put together by any competent carpenter.
The house was built in the design known as the "Brunswick style" from the No. 14 Catalogue. The foundation as well as plumbing, electricity and heating would have been the responsibility of the homeowner. Naturally, the acquisition of land on which to build was the initial step. Ernest Leslie Walker had acquired a sizable piece of land east of Granville Street and north of Victoria Road on which to establish a farm and fox ranch. In January 1922, at age 22, he married Minnie Sophia Carruthers and selected his mail order house. By August of that year, the local reporter for the Guardian newspaper stated: "Mr. Ernest Walker is completing the erection of a residence and fox ranch at the farther end of Granville Street..."
The young couple settled into their new home and started a family. Mr. Walker, a son of well-known businessman George P. Walker, was engaged in fox ranching and dairy farming for many years. After he and his wife decided to build a larger residence in 1934, their original house was moved off its foundation and lived in while the new two-storey structure was erected.
The Aladdin house was sold and moved to its new location on the corner of two acres owned by Peter and Annie White. After the former Walker house was placed on its new foundation, Mr. and Mrs. White moved in. Peter White was appointed as Summerside's police chief in 1937 and held the position for many years. He sold the house in September 1936 to Elmer Burt and his wife Margaret Jane (Janie) Cole. Mr. Burt worked for many years as a carpenter and was a member of the Summerside fire department for 25 years. The couple stayed only a short time in the house, selling it in December 1937 to Theodore B. Gallant.
Ted Gallant and his wife Jackie Arsenault moved to Summerside where Mr. Gallant worked for almost thirty years as a biological technician at the federal government Experimental Fox Ranch. He died suddenly in 1967. When his widow passed away at Summerset Manor in 1979, the house was occupied by her daughter Rita and her husband Dillon McNally, who had moved to Summerside from Ontario around 1974. The McNally family lived at 325 Central Street until 1996.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house at 325 Central Street is expressed by the following character-defining elements:
- the small one-and-one half storey massing with long sloping low pitched gable roof
- the concrete foundation and square footprint
- the sloping roof on the west elevation over a verandah with square wooden pillars, railing and steps
- the two sets of three windows, one under the verandah roof, west elevation, and one on the south elevation in a raised projection
- the hipped roof and shed roofed dormers
- the two brick chimneys, one at the centre of the house and the other on the exterior south elevation
- the contribution of the house to the Central Street and Maple Avenue streetscapes