Description of Historic Place
The foursquare Colonial Revival style house at 89 Granville Street is situated on the east side of Granville at Cambridge Street. It is a basic square footprint, but with extensions on all sides including a partly enclosed verandah facing Granville and a single storey sunporch on the south elevation. The two storey house is clad in white vinyl siding with a black asphalt shingle hipped roof. The registration includes the parcel and the building.
This large two storey dwelling at 89 Granville Street has heritage value as the former home of Louis B. Hunt, one of Summerside's early Postmasters, and also as the home of Dr. Archie MacMurdo, a 1902 dental graduate who practised in his hometown until 1958. The house remained in his family until his son, Dr. William MacMurdo, another well-known dentist, sold it in 2000.
The house was built around 1911 for Louis Brenton Hunt, who had taken the position as Summerside Postmaster around 1892. He was a son of prominent citizen Richard Hunt, who had served the town as Postmaster, Town Chairman, and United States Consular Agent. After the death of his father in 1907, Louis Hunt became head of the house at the family residence at 193 Fitzroy Street. He moved out in 1911 after he married Edna Sinclair, leaving two of his unmarried sisters, Mary and Flora, with the Hunt family home.
Mr. and Mrs. Hunt were 39 and 34 years of age at the time of their marriage. Edna was the daughter of Neil Sinclair, who was an owner of the mercantile firm of Sinclair and Stewart and served as United States Consular Agent after Richard Hunt. The couple's only child, William Sinclair, was born in December 1912. He was only twelve years old when his father, L.B. Hunt, died of pneumonia at the age of 52 in May 1924. William later received an engineering degree from McGill and obtained the rank of Major during his service overseas in the Second World War.
Mrs. Hunt advertised the house for sale in the spring of 1925. The ad said: "This house has all the modern conveniences and is in exceptional good order. A large garden lot is conveniently situated at the rear of the house. This is an opportunity to secure a desirable home in one of the best locations in the town." The house was sold in 1926 and a large auction took place in September of that year to dispose of much of the household furniture of the Hunt family.
The purchaser of the residence was well known Summerside native, James Archibald MacMurdo, son of William MacMurdo who was an owner of the mercantile firm of MacMurdo Brothers. Archie, as he was known, graduated from the Baltimore School of Dentistry in 1902 and set up dental parlours in Summerside. In 1905, he established a partnership with Dr. A.W. Leard and a third dentist, Arthur A. Lockhart, joined them around 1915. By mutual consent the firm of Leard, MacMurdo and Lockhart was dissolved in 1922 and Dr. MacMurdo continued on his own. When fire destroyed his offices in the Brace and McKay building in 1958 he decided to retire.
In 1913, Dr. MacMurdo had married Genevieve McLeod of Summerside, the daughter of Mrs. James McLeod. When they bought the L.B. Hunt House in 1926 they had three young children, Hildred (b. 1916), and twins, Elizabeth and William (b. 1924). Shortly after they took up occupancy, Dr. MacMurdo added the sunporch to the south side of the residence.
William Archibald MacMurdo grew up to be a dentist, like his father. He graduated from Dalhousie University, Halifax in 1948 and practised for 22 years in O'Leary, PEI before moving back to Summerside to live in his parents' home on Granville Street. He had married Marion Luella Ellis in 1955 and the couple had four children. His father, Dr. Archie MacMurdo, passed away at home in 1978 at the age of 100 years and his mother died in 1981. He resided in the house until the year 2000.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the brick foundation
- the two storey massing
- the large hipped roof with wide eaves
- the hipped roof dormers
- the two large brick chimneys
- the two storey rectangular projections with gable roofs and eave returns
- the beltcourse dividing the two storeys
- the ionic columns and wood paneling and dentilation on the verandah of the west elevation
- the railed balcony above the verandah
- the original fenestration of the windows and doors