Wright Brothers' General Store
Island Chocolates Company Building
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Island Chocolates Company Building is a wooden shingled commercial style former general store located on Main Street in Victoria, PEI. The large storefront windows and double entrance doors of the front facade remain intact, although other aspects of the building have been altered. The property also includes an adjacent barn. The registration includes the building's exterior and footprint; it does not include the building's interior.
The Island Chocolates Company Building is valued as an example of a commercial style building in the Village of Victoria. Built in 1883, together with an adjacent barn, the property is a tangible reminder of the economic importance of Victoria as a coastal trading port in 19th Century PEI.
There is evidence of a store being on the site as early as 1880. This was operated by Charles Laird/Leard. The current building became the Victoria branch of the Wright Brothers' mercantile operation in 1911. Elisha Wright (1846-1928) and his brother, Norman (1836-1913) were commerce and general shipping merchants based on Water Street in Summerside, PEI.
Local Victoria resident, Edward Boswell (1860-1946), became the manager of the Victoria branch of the business - a role he continued until his death. At that time, the store was purchased by former employee, Miner MacNevin, who continued to operate it until 1963. In recent decades, it has been used for various commercial purposes; most recently being home to the Island Chocolates Company, a producer of home-made gourmet chocolates.
The building has been altered since its construction with the upper floors having their sash windows removed and replaced by smaller ones. The main commercial storefront was renovated in 1988 and closely resembles the way it appeared in early photographs. The adjacent barn was used over the years as a warehouse, egg grading station, and for hardware storage.
The Island Chocolate Company Building remains a landmark on Main Street in Victoria and continues to fulfill a commercial purpose.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V1
The following character-defining elements illustrate the commercial style heritage value of the building:
- the stone foundation
- the multiple storeys giving a vertical emphasis to the building
- the wood shingle cladding
- the gable roof of the main store and the flat roof of the addition to the north
- the large commercial storefront with four over three windows
- the central panelled double entrance doors with transom window above
- the large hood moulding over the commercial entrance and the hood mouldings above the window and door of the addition to the north
- the prominient sign band above the entrance
Other character-defining elements include:
- the location of the building in a prominent place on Main Street in the Village of Victoria
- the location of the barn adjacent to the general store on Main Street
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V1
Cross-Reference to Collection