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31 Nelson Street / Dunrovin

31 Nelson Street, Victoria, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/11/15

Showing west elevation; Province of PEI, 2006
Showing north elevation; Province of PEI, 2006
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Other Name(s)

31 Nelson Street / Dunrovin
Recess III
The Palmer House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/12/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Dunrovin is a two storey wood framed house with Queen Anne Revival influences. It is located on treed grounds in a pastoral setting on the outskirts of the Village of Victoria. The registration includes the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.

Heritage Value

Dunrovin is valued for its association with the Palmer family who founded the Village of Victoria in 1855; for its Queen Anne Revival influenced architecture; and for its contribution to the Village.

The house, also known as the Recess III, is the third dwelling built on the property. The first, the Recess I, was constructed in 1827 by James Bardin Palmer; when it burned down in 1843, it was replaced by the Recess II, which was built by Donald, his son, in 1854. This dwelling eventually fell into disrepair and was replaced by the current house in 1910, the Recess III, which was built by Charles Palmer, Donald's son.

The Palmer family was influential in the area. James Bardin Palmer (ca. 1771-1833) had emigrated from Dublin, Ireland in 1802. He was the land agent for the proprietor of Lot 29 and became prominent as a lawyer and founder of the Society of Loyal Electors (1806-1812), a political group which opposed the power of the establishment. His son, Donald W. Palmer (1817-1901) set aside 20 acres of the Palmer farm/estate in 1855 to create the future Village of Victoria. The current house was built by Charles Palmer (1866-1925) who had gone to the Alaska gold rush and later returned to farm the family land.

The property was sold at auction in 1929 to the Wood family who called it "Dunrovin" as a short form of "Done Roving". The property would later operate as one of the first tourist homes in PEI.

The Queen Anne Revival style of the house is evident in the two opposite corner towers. Another interesting feature is the pedimental portico verandah. With its unique architectural style and its important historical associations, Dunrovin, continues to contribute to the Village of Victoria.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V22

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements contribute to the Queen Anne Revival style of Dunrovin:

- The overall assymetrical massing of the home with its two storeys
- The wood shingle cladding
- The gable roof with unique cornered brick chimney centred on the roof
- The two diagonally opposite corner towers topped with fixed weather vanes
- The fenestration of the windows and doors
- The portico with pedimented gable roof and three pillars
- The stones supporting the three pillars of the portico

Other character-defining elements include:

- The pastoral setting of the house on the outskirts of the Village of Victoria



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/V22

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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