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Thomas Carruthers House

136 Spring Street, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/12/21

Showing southeast elevation; City of Summerside, 2009
Showing southeast elevation
Showing northwest elevation; City of Summerside, 2009
Showing northwest elevation
Showing north elevation; City of Summerside, 2009
Showing north elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The large one-and-one-half storey house at 136 Spring Street is on the west side of Spring Street at the corner of Convent Street. It has a steeply pitched gable roof with black asphalt shingles and is clad in white vinyl. The front entrance is through a sunporch on the gable end facing Spring Street. The rectangular footprint extends along Convent Street. The registration includes the parcel and the building.

Heritage Value

The residence at 136 Spring Street has an interesting history owing to the fact that it stood in two other locations before being brought to its current site in 1899. The house also has historical significance as the home of three prominent businessmen: H.C. Mills, D.J. McMurdo and T.D. Carruthers.

Holden C. Mills (b. 1853) purchased a lot on the north side of Notre Dame Street in 1878 and presumably had the house constructed prior to his marriage in 1881 to Catherine Green, daughter of Harry C. Green. In 1885, Mr. Mills purchased a lot at 168 Central Street and had his residence moved to the new location by James Linkletter who was referred to as "a boss engineer at that kind of a job." The house was moved once again in 1899 after it was purchased by D.J. McMurdo. He had it taken along Convent Street to the southwest corner of the intersection of that street with Spring. After its removal, Mr. Mills instigated the construction of the substantial dwelling that now occupies 168 Central Street.

Daniel J. McMurdo (b. 1858) was a well known local businessman who had come to Summerside from Kelvin as a young man. In 1885, he entered the mercantile firm of Warren, Hicks and McMurdo Brothers with his brother William, the two of them later forming the company known as McMurdo Brothers. Daniel and Bertha McMurdo left their Spring Street home around 1905 and moved in with her widowed father, Henry Walker, on Central Street. They rented the house at 136 Spring Street to Murdock Gillis, a journeyman tailor who had learned his trade with John McKenzie. Mr. Gillis and his wife had to find another place to live when the property was sold to T.D. Carruthers in 1909.

Thomas Dawson Carruthers was born in Borden in 1875 and after coming to Summerside worked for many years as an employee of the retail firms of R.T. Holman Limited and Brace, McKay Company Limited. His experience with the Summerside Ranching Company led to his employment as an inspector for the Canadian National Silver Fox Breeders Association. He became secretary of the association in 1938 and held the position until his retirement in 1953. He also served for several terms on the town council.

T.D. Carruthers and his wife had married in 1898 and raised three children. When the family moved into their new home on Spring Street, Mrs. Carruthers parents, Mr. and Mrs. Neil McFadyen lived with them. Mrs. Carruthers died in February 1930 aged 53 years.

In 1935, Mr. Carruthers remarried. His second wife was Etta Jean Walker, who coincidentally was the first cousin of Bertha Walker, who had lived in the house years before with her husband D.J. McMurdo. The couple lived together in the house until Mr. Carruther's death in 1956. Following the passing of Etta Carruthers in 1971, the property was sold by the executor of the estate. The house has been owned and occupied by at least seven families since that time.

Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the massing and form of this house with rectangular footprint and several extensions
- the steeply pitched gable roof with asphalt shingles
- the brick chimney
- the large gable dormer centred on the south elevation of the main section
- the location and fenestration of the various rectangular windows including the small window in the gable
- the hipped roofed sunporch with wood elements visible running the width of the east elevation



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Summerside

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place (Summerside)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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