Description of Historic Place
The Ramsay Barn is a large, well-maintained, two storey gambrel barn located in New London, Prince Edward Island.
The Ramsay Barn is valued as an example of early 20th century barn construction in rural Prince Edward Island.
Constructed approximately 1920 by carpenter - farmer Frank A. Ramsay, the former dairy barn was part of a 92 acre farm. Ramsay operated a mixed farm. Other buildings on the property include a circa 1880 vernacular Island ell farmhouse, a hen house, 2 small utility barns, and a small paddock barn. A carriage house, in previous use by the nearby New London Presbyterian Church, was relocated to the farmyard. A large new studio building is also found at the site.
Frank A. Ramsay (1892-1966) and his wife Ruth McNeill (1892-1966) raised their family at this farm. Frank had a large dairy operation and also worked as a carpenter. He was involved in fox farming in the early years of the industry. Originally from the Beech Point / Hamilton area of the province, Frank and his wife initially settled there after their 1916 marriage in the fine two-storey hipped roof house he built. However, the Ramsays relocated the same year to New London to be closer to Ruth's family.
Other examples of Frank's carpentry work include the New London United Church and the Cousins barn in Seaview. The farming operation was a successful one in that it necessitated a large addition to the barn in the 1940s.
After Frank's death, the farm continued to be operated by his son Lloyd. Following subsequent owners, the property was acquired by the Davidson family in the 1980s. The Davidsons adapted the barn for re-use as an artist's studio. A grandson of famed American artist / sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Shawn Davidson's rehabilitation work to the Ramsay Barn may have been inspired by visits to his grandfather's atelier in a converted barn in France.
Davidson undertook many preservation measures including repairs and replacement of wood shingles, refinishing of woodwork and electrical re-wiring.
The current owners continue to care for this heritage property. In 2011, they recovered the roof with metal. The former dairy barn is now operated as Gallery 18 which displays and offers for sale antique maps, prints, fine art, rare books, vintage posters and antiques. The adjacent carriage house is available to rent for events.
The former Ramsay Barn continues to be a landmark in its community.
Source : Heritage Files, Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, Charlottetown, PEI
File # : 4310-20/G15
The heritage value of the buildings is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the overall massing of the building
- the pitch and slope of the roof
- the wood shingle cladding
- the 3 evenly spaced vents located along the spine of the roof
- the 10 evenly spaced 6 pane windows on the lower level of the south elevation
- the double door entry on the north elevation
- the shed-roofed porch entry on the east elevation
Additional interior features:
- exposed beams, which illustrate the construction methods used in the addition