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296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage

296-298 Grafton Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing north elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2006
296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage
Showing north east elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2006
296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage
Showing north west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2006
296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage

Other Name(s)

296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage
Cumberland Cottage

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

296-298 Grafton Street is a wood framed Maritime Vernacular influenced apartment building located on the corner of Grafton and Cumberland Streets on a treed lot. The building was once known as Cumberland Cottage and has associations with prominent Charlottetown families. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of 296-298 Grafton Street lies in its association with prominent Charlottetown residents; its Maritime Vernacular architecture; and its role in supporting the Grafton and Cumberland Street streetscape.

Although it is unclear when 296-298 Grafton Street was built, land records show that James Coles purchased the land for 10 Pounds in 1817 and sold it to Henry Pope Welsh for 250 Pounds in 1858, suggesting that perhaps a house had been built on the property during the time Coles owned the land. James Coles was a farmer from the Charlottetown Royalty and the father of George Coles, the first Premier of Prince Edward Island after Responsible Government, a Father of Confederation, and a prominent businessman.

Henry Pope Welsh was a member of the prominent shipbuilding and political Welsh family. Welsh owned the home for eleven years before he advertised it for sale in the local newspaper, the Patriot of 13 February 1869. The ad read as follows: "The situation is one of the most healthy in the city and from the house there is a commanding view of the Hillsborough (River) making it altogether one of the most desirable family residences in the city." Welsh must have changed his mind because members of his family still owned the home as late as 1908.

296-298 Grafton Street was influenced by the Maritime Vernacular Cottage style of architecture. The style was common in mid-1800s Charlottetown. A distinctively Maritime style, its features include a rectangular plan, a central doorway and a large, centrally placed wall dormer. 296-298 Cumberland Street remains a good example of this style in Charlottetown. Although the home has been turned into an apartment building, it has remained relatively unspoiled. The home's excellent scale and beautiful fanlight - enclosed by the front porch - stand out as particularly nice features. One of a number of heritage homes on this block, it supports the Grafton Street streetscape.

Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2

Character-Defining Elements

The following Maritime Vernacular influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 296-298 Grafton Street:
- The symmetrical facade of the house
- The massing of the home with its wooden frame and shingle cladding
- The decorative mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the window caps of the windows on the front facade
- The gable roofline and prominent centre gable wall dormer
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the tall, symmetrically placed windows of the main floor, the paired windows of the centrally placed dormer,
- The large windows of the porches, the transom and sidelights and the fanlight over the main door, located inside the front porch
- The size, shape and placement of the two porches, including the centrally placed porch of the facade and the porch located on the east side of the home
- The size and placement of the doors, particularly the centrally placed main door
- The size and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements of 296-298 Grafton Street include:
- The location of the home on a treed lot on Grafton Street



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Charlottetown

Recognition Statute

City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw

Recognition Type

Heritage Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2 #0003j

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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