Description of Historic Place
Elmwood is a Queen Anne Revival influenced, wood framed home that currently serves as a bed and breakfast. It is located on a large treed lot reached via a gated 350-foot long tree lined driveway running up from the North River Road. The beautiful former residence was constructed in 1889 for Premier Arthur Peters (1854-1908). The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of Elmwood lies in its association with various prominent Charlottetown residents, its fine Queen Anne Revival influenced architecture; and its importance to the streetscape.
Elmwood was built in 1889 for Arthur Peters and his wife, Amelia Jane Stewart (1857-1913). The home was designed by prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris (1854-1913) and constructed on part of the Sidmount Estate, which Peters' father had owned. Born into a prominent Island family, Arthur Peters' father was Judge James Horsefield Peters (1811-1891) and his mother was Mary Cunard (1817-1865), the daughter of Sir Samuel Cunard (1787-1865), the founder of the Cunard Steamship Line. Arthur Peters was educated in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and England. Appointed to the Bar in both Prince Edward Island and in Britain, he would go on to practise law in Charlottetown. In 1893, he became involved in provincial politics and would go on to become attorney general and later Premier of the Province from 1901 until his death in 1908.
Mrs. Arthur Peters sold the beautiful home to Lieutenant Colonel Arthur G. Peake (1870-1941) and his wife Muriel Stewart King (1881-1984) in 1913. The 25 January 1913 edition of the Daily Examiner newspaper reported that Peake had recently purchased the home for approximately $7000 dollars. Arthur Peake was a descendant of the prominent merchant shipbuilding Peake family and a veteran of the First World War. He served as the Commander of 8th Siege Battery, Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I.
His sons would follow their father's patriotic example. George Goodwin King (Bus) Peake (1909-1972) was a veteran of the Second World War and co-founder of the Peake and McInnis Insurance Company. Another son, Arthur Holdsworth Peake (1915-1984) was a veteran of the Second World War and a Supreme Court Judge.
The Peake family would live at Elmwood for many years. At some point in the early Twentieth Century, the home had been cut into three apartments, but after the current owners purchased the building in 1986, it was restored to its former role as a single residence. Elmwood is now a five star bed and breakfast named the Elmwood Heritage Inn.
Elmwood's architecture was influenced by the Queen Anne Revival style, a style that was somewhat subdued in Charlottetown compared to other provinces. The Queen Anne Revival style was popular in Charlottetown from approximately 1880 until 1910. Richard N. Shaw (1831-1912), a British architect, created the style that incorporated some of the classical motifs popular during Queen Anne's reign (1702-1714). Features of the style include large asymmetrical designs, a variety of rooflines and windows, as well as an assortment of porches, all of which have been incorporated into the design of Elmwood.
With its antique gates, long elm tree lined driveway, and well preserved Queen Anne Revival architecture; Elmwood is a fine example of the home of a prominent family in Charlottetown.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Queen Anne Revival influenced character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of Elmwood:
- The overall massing of the building
- The mouldings highlighted with contrasting colours, particularly the protruding beltcourses and the bargeboard, as well as the window and door surrounds
- The hipped and clipped gable rooflines that are typical of W.C. Harris' designs
- The size and placement of the tall windows, particularly the stacked bay windows, the dormer windows and the grouped windows
- The size and placement of the doors, particularly the arched double doors of the front and the door directly beside them.
- The size, placement and shape of the centrally placed dormer
- The size and shape of the verandah and balcony. At one time both extended west around the bay
- The size and shape of the cone shaped roof over the protruding two storey bay on the western section of the building
- The style and placement of the chimneys
Other character-defining elements of Elmwood include:
- The location of the home set back form the road on a large treed lot
- The long curved driveway lined with century old elm trees and the iron gate