Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Rowans is a well preserved two storey gable roofed house located near the former Victoria United Church. It features Victorian gingerbread trim on its large verandah. The registration includes the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The Rowans is valued for its well preserved Victorian gingerbread style; for its historical associations; and for its contribution to the Nelson Street streetscape.
It is believed the house was originally built in the 1850s in the nearby community of Hampton by John MacQuarrie, a shoemaker. An engraving of the house appears in Meacham's 1880 Atlas of PEI as "Grove Cottage". Sometime in the early 1880s it was hauled across the ice to its current location.
In 1905, it was sold to an American, Edward Archibald. He added the wrap around gingerbread trimmed verandah, front gable, and servant's quarters. By 1927, it was purchased by Fred Irwin who named it "The Rowans" after the rowanberry trees in the front yard. Inman operated a lobster packing business in the 1910s. Teachers who taught at the local school often boarded at the house. An interesting early photo of the property reputedly shows the Hindenburg airship flying over the house.
By 1980, the property was sold to the Dennison family. The house is a good example of the Victorian gingerbread style with its original Island sandstone foundation and Victorian gingerbread trim, especially regarding the intricate scroll work of the verandah. With many of these original features intact, the Rowans greatly contributes to the heritage ambiance of its streetscape.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/V23
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 88 Nelson Street / The Rowans:
- The overall massing of the building with its two storeys
- The pitched gable roofs with eave returns
- All wood shingled exterior, except for the use of shiplap on the south wall of the ell, original cedar shingles on the north side of the building
- The construction using the mortise and tenon technique hand cut with an adze
- The decorative lintels and hood mouldings over the windows and doors
- The cam in the windows which holds them in an open position at any height
- The original sills which are still under the house are hand hewn
- The original Island sandstone foundation which has been reinforced in weak areas with poured concrete
- The original glass and casements of the first floor windows
- The original front door
- The decorative verandah with gingerbread trim
Other character-defining elements of 88 Nelson Street / The Rowans include:
- The location of this house on Nelson Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape
- The towering 25 ft. high rowanberry trees near the property
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/V23
Cross-Reference to Collection