Description of Historic Place
The house at 221 Notre Dame Street was the home of prominent tailor, Colin Milligan and two generations of his descendants. It is a one-and-one-half storey Gothic Revival vernacular Island Ell style house. It is clad in white vinyl with a hipped roof verandah and is located on the north side of the street. For more than a century, the house has formed an integral part of the historic Notre Dame streetscape between Spring and Granville Streets.
The home is valued for its Gothic Revival Gable Ell architectural style; for its association with the Milligan family; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
The early history of the property is uncertain. A building appears in this location in Meacham's Atlas of 1880. At that time Alexander Lefurgey, a prominent farmer who lived in North Bedeque, owned the land, having purchased it in 1878 from Edmund Craswell. In 1886, the property, measuring 66 and one half feet along Notre Dame and 115 feet back, was sold to Mary Ann Monkley, a seamstress. She was the unmarried daughter of George Monkley, Sr. who had come to PEI from Bideford, England in 1842. The house, which was recorded in the 1891 census as a one-and-one-half storey with seven rooms, was sold by her in 1894 to Colin Milligan.
Colin G. Milligan (b. 1867) was the son of Robert Milligan and was born at Sherbrooke, PEI. As a young man he went to New York where he graduated from the Mitchell Tailoring and Cutting School. In the spring of 1892, he opened a tailoring establishment in Summerside and carried on his business for forty years. A newspaper described him as "one of our best cutters, and consequently A1 in workmanship, finish and style..."
In 1895, Mr. Milligan married Ida G. Baker, a teacher at the Summerside High School. An account of the wedding stated: "The happy event took place at the residence of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Baker... When the evening was spent... the happy couple with some of their friends drove to their new home on Notre Dame Street, where in future they will reside..." It is probable that the "new home" was the same one occupied by Miss Monkley. Mr. Milligan is known to have added the eastern section of the house, so it is assumed that he built onto the earlier dwelling at the time of his marriage or shortly thereafter. He and his wife had three children, Harold, Rowena, and Helen. When Mrs. Milligan passed away in 1931 at age 65, Helen was unmarried and living at home. Also in the house were Harold, his wife Erma Euphemia Clark (m. 1927) and their young daughter.
Colin Milligan remarried around 1941 and moved to Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. After his departure, the house was temporarily subdivided into three living units to order to provide accommodation to two families of air force personnel who were working at RCAF Station Summerside during the years of the Second World War.
Colin Milligan passed away in 1954 leaving the property to his three children. The two daughters had married and were living in other provinces. They sold their shares in the house to their brother, Harold, who changed it back to a single dwelling. Harold Baker Milligan was involved in the fox business and operated a ranch on the west side of the Green Road, now Greenwood Drive, until he took the position as prothonotary at the Prince County Courthouse. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Milligan passed away in 1992 and 1996 respectively, leaving the family home to their daughter.
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
- the vernacular Gothic Revival style with Ell footprint
- the steeply pitched gable roof with asphalt shingles
- the brick chimney
- the remaining eave returns
- the original placement and symmetrical arrangement of the two-over-two and one-over-one windows
- the bay window on the west elevation
- the two bay windows on the south elevation
- the hipped roof first storey verandah extending across the south elevation
- the wall dormer on the south elevation of the Ell extension