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Alexander Grady House

81 Granville Street, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/12/21

Showing southwest elevation; City of Summerside, 2007
Showing southwest elevation
Showing northwest elevation; City of Summerside, 2007
Showing northwest elevation
Showing southwest elevation; Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, 1971
Showing southwest elevation

Other Name(s)

Alexander Grady House
Minto House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Maritime Vernacular centre gable wood framed house at 81 Granville Street is red with white trim and is located on the east side of Granville where it meets Prince Street. It is one-and-one-half storeys with a gable roof and large centre gable dormer on the front elevation. The registration includes the parcel and the building.

Heritage Value

This heritage home at 81 Granville Street has value as one of the oldest buildings on one of the oldest streets in the City of Summerside. Its Maritime Vernacular centre gable style was a popular choice of builders in the 1860s. It dates from approximately 1862 and has been the home of several notable citizens beginning with a shipwright.

The house was built and occupied by Alexander Grady and his wife Flora, who had married prior to 1861. It is assumed that he built the house himself, either in 1862 when he purchased the land or the following year. Mr. Grady was a shipwright and built sailing vessels for James C. Pope and James L. Holman in the 1860s. In May 1867, he left PEI and the 24 by 36 foot dwelling was sold at auction.

Thomas Crabbe was the purchaser of the house. He came to Summerside around 1855, serving as a postmaster and conducting a hotel business in addition to farming. It is assumed that the house was a rental property until 1886 when his son, George Giles (b. 1862), moved in after his marriage to Jessamine Schurman. Giles, as he was commonly known, farmed on various parcels of land around town until he decided to seek his fortune in western Canada. In October 1906, his wife Jessie, the daughter of Elijah Schurman of Sherbrooke, left Summerside with their seven children to join him. Giles Crabbe died in Calgary in 1922 and his widow and descendants remained in the west. It was probably during the residency of the Crabbe family that the house was enlarged by the addition of an ell on the north side.

The sale of the house by Jessie Crabbe was made one week after the Great Fire of 1906, which left much of the residential area in ashes. William Kennedy, druggist, was the purchaser and provided the use of the property to Mr. and Mrs. Charles McKinnon and Mrs. Arch McDonald who had been burned out of their homes. In November 1907, Mr. Kennedy sold the house and left the province for western Canada. He had been the founder and owner of the Red Cross Drug Store, which was renamed the Gallant Drug Store in 1915.

The Granville Street property was conveyed to local merchant William Stewart, but it was William Minto who moved into the house. The two men had become business partners with Neil Sinclair in 1874 in the firm of Sinclair, Minto and Stewart. Mr. Minto withdrew from their business venture in 1885 and moved to Cardigan where he carried on a mercantile and shipping trade for several years before returning to Summerside. William Minto and his second wife, Sarah E. Woodside, resided in the house until his death in 1915. Mr. Stewart sold the property to Sarah Minto and her sister, Lois Woodside and the two women resided together until 1925 when Lois passed away. During many of the years of Minto occupancy, the house was also home to a series of boarders.

The property was then bought by Albert Edward Woodside. Mr. Woodside was well established in the town of Summerside as a blacksmith. Mrs. Woodside passed away in 1952 and Mr. Woodside in 1957.

Raymond Costain, a carpenter, became the next owner of the property. He grew up in Miminegash and came to Summerside as a widower to live with his only child, Helen, and her husband, Sydney Currie. When he bought the house on Granville Street he was approaching retirement. He divided the building into four apartments and took the unit at the back of the second level for his own use. Upon the death of Mr. Costain in 1981, his daughter inherited the property and continued to rent out the apartments until 1984, after which the building had other owners and gradually fell into a state of disrepair.

Some major changes to the property took place in 2006. The renovations included a new roof, chimney, siding, and windows, and new wiring and plumbing. With this extensive work, the old structure once considered derelict, has received rejuvenation.

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 one-and-one-half storey massing
- the symmetrical facade and central entrance
- the steeply pitched gable roof with asphalt shingles
- the eave returns, moulded entablature, and window caps
- the original placement and symmetrical arrangement of windows with the exception of the removal of the attic window on the south elevation
- the Gothic centre gable with decorative bargeboard on the west elevation
- the wood cladding



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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