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James Gourlie House

343 Poplar Avenue, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/03/15

Showing southeast elevation; City of Summerside, 2009
Showing southeast elevation
Showing southwest elevation; City of Summerside, 2010
Showing southwest elevation
Muncey residence on the site burned down in 1885; Meacham's Illustrated Historical Atlas of PEI, 1880
Muncey residence on the site burned down in 1885

Other Name(s)

James Gourlie House
George Morrison House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This one-and-one-half storey house is located on the north side of Poplar Avenue and features a steeply pitched gable roof. There is a manicured lawn in front and two sets of stacked bay windows. The cladding of the house is yellow vinyl with white trim.

Heritage Value

The house is valued for its architectural elements; its association with James Gourlie and other Summerside residents, and for its contribution to the streetscape.

The residence was built in 1888 for James Gourlie who was serving at that time as the Town Clerk for Summerside. The building stands on the same lot that was occupied until 1885 by an earlier house constructed around 1875 for Singleton Muncey. An engraving of the S.A. Muncey residence appeared in the Meacham's Illustrated Atlas of 1880 along with depictions of the homes that still exist on lots on either side, namely 335 and 353 Poplar Avenue.

Mr. Muncey was a telegraph operator who had come to Summerside around 1863 from Halifax. He married the daughter of James Gourlie in 1868 and the couple was living in their home on Poplar Avenue with three children when he died suddenly in 1881. The house had to be sold and was purchased in 1882 by Isaac D. Baker of the mercantile firm of Baker and Goss. Mr. Baker and his family lost the dwelling to fire in February 1885.

The land on which the house stood had been leased to Mr. Muncey by the estate of the late Joseph Green. Mr. Baker had renewed the lease with an option to purchase in 1892, but the loss of the house changed his plans. The 94 x 194 foot empty lot was acquired by James Gourlie and in 1888 he erected a house for himself and his widowed daughter, Jane Muncey, and her family.

Mr. Gourlie, at the time his "handsome new cottage" was built, was 72 years of age. He had come to Summerside around 1847 from Miramichi, New Brunswick, having emigrated from Scotland as a young man. After a short time as a merchant on Queen Street, he held responsible positions in more than one of the early banks in Summerside. He was highly regarded as a bookkeeper and was considered "one of the landmarks" in the town. After his death in 1897, his daughter Jane Muncey, moved out of the house.

The property was sold to Oliver W. Muttart and his wife, the former Lucy Howatt. He had farmed for many years in Augustine Cove and moved to Summerside to enjoy his retirement. Mr. and Mrs. Muttart were the parents of Mrs. Alexander Campbell and the grandparents of Thane Campbell, who later served as a provincial premier. Mrs. Muttart died in 1914 and the house was sold the following year.

The new owner of the house in May 1915 was druggist, J. Edward Gallant. When he bought the house on Poplar Street he had just purchased the Red Cross Drug Store of the late Dr. A.A. MacLellan and renamed it the Gallant Drug Store. In 1919, he and H.R. Crockett built and began to share the building at 281 Water Street that became known as the Crockett-Gallant building. In 1928, Mr. Gallant and wife Gertrude moved to the house at 112 Summer Street.

The residence at 343 Poplar was purchased by Gordon Warren Dawson, a retired farmer from Cape Traverse, who moved to Summerside with his wife, Mary Bell Rogerson. Mr. Dawson was well known for his interest in horses and harness racing and Mrs. Dawson was praised for her hospitality. She died in 1939 and he sold the house the following year.

The new owner was George S. Morrison of Summerside. His brother James Morrison, Jr. lived in the house next door at 335 Poplar Avenue and the two of them owned Morrison Brothers Beverages. George served with the Northwest Mounted Police and later the Summerside Police Department before being employed as the superintendent of public works for the Town of Summerside. He was married to the former Helen Grace MacQuarrie and the couple had three children. Another occupant of the house for many years was Mrs. William A. (Elsie) MacQuarrie, the mother of Helen Morrison.

The property was sold in 1973 and has had several owners since then.

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 with rectangular footprint
- the steeply pitched gable roof with asphalt shingles
- the original placement and symmetrical arrangement of windows
- the twin bays on the south elevation with cantilevered gabled dormers
- the dentilation trim on the base of the dormers
- the small one-and-one-half storey gabled extension off the west elevation with a gabled dormer on the south
- the flat roofed porch with dentilation, entablature and doric columns on the north 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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