Description of Historic Place
140 Rochford Street is a wood framed home built for Dr. Charles Poole in 1841. It is located on a large corner lot and surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 140 Rochford Street lies in its association with various prominent Charlottetown citizens; its unique architecture; and its role in supporting the Rochford Street streetscape.
140 Rochford Street was built in 1841 for Dr. Charles Poole, a physician for the militia in Charlottetown. Men of his rank enjoyed the same status as land agents, proprietors and government officials in the early years of the colony, therefore he could live in a very comfortable fashion. Only six years later, Dr. Poole was transferred and the home was put up for sale.
The home would undergo a fairly rapid succession of prominent owners in the following years. Chief Justice Edward Jarvis occupied the home in the winter of 1847, however the following spring, it was sold to Army officer, Harry B. Cumberland and his wife, Margaret William Tryon, the daughter of Lieutenant Governor Fanning. The couple already owned an estate at the mouth of the Charlottetown Harbour, so they rented the home out to Margaret William Tryon's sister, Miss Maria Fanning, who occupied the home until 1850. After she left for England in 1850, Colonel Ansell rented the home.
In 1855, local physician, Dr. Hobkirk, took up residency in the home and he would remain there longer than any of the previous residents - twenty-five years. His residence was listed as Frogmore House in the 1863 Lake Map Directory, but it was probably named by Dr. Poole. Frogmore is likely named for the royal residence, Frogmore, in England or as a reference to the sound of the frogs in Government pond that once was located near the home.
Later residents of the home were foundry owner, Thomas A. MacLean of MacLean and MacKinnon Foundry and after 1906, lawyer and Attorney General, James J. Johnston. The Johnston Family would remain in the home for many years. It was during their early years in the home, in 1910, that the present iron fence was installed, which replaced an earlier wooden fence. The iron fence was part of the fence that once enclosed Queens Square gardens.
The house has been altered over the years, but has retained its symmetrical appearance and two storey elevation with side gabled roof. Originally, a large wall dormer with round arch window was located in the centre of the roof facing the street. This has been replaced with a large stacked dormer projecting forward to the roof of the verandah. This change was likely added in 1890. Generally, it has maintained its shape and the original plank siding that also still exists on Government House. A striking home, located on a large corner lot it, it supports both the Euston and Rochford Street streetscapes.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 140 Rochford Street:
- The symmetrical massing of the home
- The rare, plank siding of the front and north elevation
- The style and placement of the windows, including the centrally placed and uniquely shaped, arched windows with various cut out mouldings around the circumference
- The dormer windows and the grouped windows
- The centrally placed, double doors of the front elevation
- The door of the north elevation with its gable roof and porch with columns
- The centrally placed large central stacked dormer
- The pitch of the side gabled roof
- The verandah with balustrade, columns, and decorative bargeboard
- The pediment over the verandah, with its interesting arch design
- The bargeboard and balustrade of the verandah; the protruding belt course with its central arch
- The size and shape of the chimneys
- The location of the home on the corner of Rochford Street and Euston Street
- The large lot surrounded by a very old wrought iron fence that once was used as the fence for Queens Square