Description of Historic Place
Fairholm is a rare Atlantic Canadian example of the architectural style influenced by the Picturesque movement. This villa, which exhibits Classical elements, is located on a large treed lot on the corner of Prince Street and Fitzroy Street. A very old and rare home, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of Fairholm lies in its Picturesque style architecture; its association with three of Charlottetown’s most prominent families; and its role in supporting the Prince and Fitzroy Street streetscapes.
Fairholm was built between 1838 and 1839 for politician, office holder, landowner and land agent, Thomas Heath Haviland, Sr. (1796-1867). The grand home reflected Haviland’s prominent place within the community. Haviland immigrated to Prince Edward Island from England in 1816 and soon became one of Charlottetown’s most prominent citizens. He held many positions throughout his career including: Colonial Secretary, Colonial Treasurer, Judge and Member of the Executive and Legislative Councils. Haviland was also active in municipal politics serving as the second Mayor of Charlottetown for ten years. He was married into one of the Island’s most influential families - the Breckens'. Unfortunately his wife, Jane Rebecca Brecken, died shortly after Fairholm’s completion, but the Haviland family would remain in the home until 1855, when it was sold to Charles Young. Their son, Thomas Heath Haviland, Jr. (1822-1895) would eventually go on to become a Father of Confederation, Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and politician.
Charles Young (1812-1892) was a lawyer who had come to Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia in 1838. On 23 November 1847, he became the first barrister on Prince Edward Island to be appointed Queen's Counsel. Well versed in the complicated land laws of Prince Edward Island, he often represented tenants in their legal disputes with proprietors. Young would go on to serve as Attorney General and Judge. He was a strong advocate of responsible government on Prince Edward Island and served as a Member of both the House of Assembly and later, the Legislative Council. In 1854, he was granted rank and precedence under Lieutenant Governor Sir Alexander Bannerman, which made him a senior member and President of the Council. He would serve as Administrator of the Government of Prince Edward Island for four years. In addition to his professional and political accomplishments, he was also a Methodist preacher. Young lived in Fairholm with his wife, Lucretia Starr, until his death in 1892.
After Fairholm had been vacant for about two years, prosperous hardware merchant and politician, Benjamin Rogers (1836-1911) purchased it. Benjamin Rogers began a hardware business with Thomas Dodd, but eventually took over the entire business in 1904. The Rogers Hardware Company operated in Charlottetown until the early 1990s. One of the Rogers' family, Irene Rogers, was a heritage advocate who wrote a commonly referred to work about Charlottetown’s built heritage named "Charlottetown: The Life in Its Buildings". It is a significant contribution to heritage conservation in the City and is often the starting point for those who research heritage buildings in Charlottetown.
Fairholm is a rare example of a brick, Picturesque style villa on Prince Edward Island. More of an architectural trend than a style, the Picturesque Movement sought to create harmony between buildings and their surroundings that would be evocative of natural settings. Fairholm’s two storey bow walls with large windows allowed the outside vegetation to be viewed readily, the treed spacious lot surrounds the house, and vines climb on the exterior. These are elements that express the Picturesque aesthetic.
Fairholm is located in an area where there are many heritage homes and stately trees and is a vital component of the Prince and Fitzroy Street streetscapes.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Classical influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 230 Prince Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The size and shape of the mottled brick construction
- The stone detailing throughout the building including the lintels and sills, as well as the belt courses running along the bottom of the first and second floors
- The placement and style of the windows including, the large rectangular French style windows and the blind windows, all of which have stone lintels and sills.
- The placement and style of the grouped windows of the sun porch over the doorway.
- The placement and size of the doors, particularly the centrally placed grand front door with its stained glass fanlight and side lights
- The centrally placed porch with its supporting columns, doric capitals, and heavy entablature with decorative frieze, brackets and balustrade
- The hipped roof with deep overhanging eaves and decorative detail at the roofline
- The placement and style of the four chimneys on the corners of the house
The character-defining elements that illustrate the Picturesque Movement are:
- The bow shaped large French windows of the building which were intended to provide views of the outside gardens
- The climbing vegetation on the exterior of the building
- The large size of the property
- The mature trees that line the property
- The curved driveway
- The size placement and wooden carriage house
Other character-defining elements of 230 Prince Street include:
- The location of 230 Prince on the corner of Prince and Fitzroy streets