Description of Historic Place
The one-and-one-half storey Gable Ell style house at 210 Notre Dame Street is on the south side of the street, painted light brown with white trim. A gable roofed wall dormer on the north elevation faces Notre Dame Street. It also features a bay window and an enclosed glazed porch.
The house is valued for its well preserved Gable Ell style; for its historical association with George Callbeck and other residents of Summerside; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
The dwelling was built around 1891 for retired farmer and bachelor John Thomson who had previously built and lived in the house at 74 Granville Street. He bought the lot on Notre Dame in the summer of 1890 from William S. Green and probably built the house shortly thereafter. His unmarried sister, Elizabeth, lived with him up until about 1900 when they moved back to the family homestead in Malpeque.
The house was presumably rented for the next few years. By 1904, the tenants were Mr. and Mrs. W.D. McIntyre. He was a native of New Perth, PEI and had taught school in several communities before being appointed in 1899 as Inspector for Prince County Schools. He died suddenly in February 1905 at age 46. His widow was able to purchase the house in April 1906 from the estate of Mr. Thomson who had passed away in 1905. By 1911, Mrs. McIntyre was living in Charlottetown. It is believed that she may have rented the house on Notre Dame Street as early as 1909 to George P. Walker, who lived in it until around 1913 or 1914 when Mr. Walker built and moved into a new residence at 227 Notre Dame.
The purchaser of the house and the 66 x 127 foot lot in March 1914 was Mrs. Bessie Wood. She was the widow of Robert J. Wood and the daughter of William A. Leard who had moved into Summerside in 1910 to conduct a thriving cannery business. After his death in 1913, his daughter Bessie took charge and in 1919 built a factory for Leard's Canning Company on Water Street opposite the Railway Station. When she bought the house on Notre Dame Street, she shared it with her unmarried sisters Minnie and Hannah. The house was sold in July 1921 and Mrs. Wood later married Horace Lyle.
The new owner of the property was George A. Callbeck, who moved into Summerside from Sherbrooke with his wife, the former Viola Farquharson. The couple raised three daughters and two sons in the house. After the death of Mrs. Callbeck in 1959, their daughter Jean, with her husband and children, moved in with Mr. Callbeck.
George Albert Callbeck (b. 1894) was very prominent in the silver fox industry, having begun with his father Joseph W. Callbeck. He went on to partner with others in fox ranches until 1926 when he established the Royal Ranch at Summerside. From that year until 1962 he raised very fine foxes and won many prizes for live animals and pelts. He was a charter member of the Canadian National Silver Fox Breeders' Association in 1920 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 1925. Until his retirement from the association in 1964, he held many offices including president and chief inspector.
Mr. Callbeck was also very well known in the harness racing industry. He acquired his first race horse in 1916 and for the rest of his life continued his association with the sport as an owner, breeder, trainer and driver. In 1934, he helped organize the PEI Harness Racing Club and in 1946 purchased an interest in the Charlottetown Driving Park. He was well known for the high quality of his horses and did all his own training and harness driving. In 1962, he became a director of the United States Trotting Association and was attending a meeting in Ohio when he died suddenly in 1971. The PEI Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame have recognized his valuable contribution to harness racing.
His residential property was sold in 1972 and has had several owners since that time, the current owners having acquired the house in 1998.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the one-and-one-half storey massing with Gable Ell footprint
- the steeply pitched gable roof with asphalt shingles
- the brick chimney
- the original placement and symmetrical arrangement of windows
- the window caps, trim under eaves and above bay window
- the bay window on the west elevation of the main section
- the hipped roofed vestibule with glazing and pilasters on the east elevation
- the gable roofed wall dormer on the north elevation of the house