Harry Holman House
339 Beaver Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The impressive house at 339 Beaver Street is situated well back on an attractive lot on the north side of the widest residential street in Summerside. It was constructed in 1912 for the son of Prince Edward Island's foremost merchant, R. T. Holman. The residence remained in the prominent Holman family until 1971. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The imposing residence at 339 Beaver Street is historically significant as the residence of Harry Tinson Holman, a member of Summerside's most prominent mercantile family for more than a century. His father, Robert T. Holman, had established a small retail firm on Water Street in 1857 that had reached a phenomenal size and reputation during the time period in which this house was built.
Harry Holman had purchased ten acres of land from Miss Amy Green in 1910 and constructed a thoroughfare from east to west. His first house on the new street was 317 Beaver, which he deeded to Frank Tuplin in exchange for a silver black fox breeding pair. He and his wife Eva Constance Wright then built on the lot next door and set up housekeeping with their four young children.
Mr. Holman (b. 1875) worked his way up through his father's firm. He and his brother J. Leroy expanded the business until it became one of the major independently owned retail establishments in Canada. In addition to the family business, Mr. Holman had ownership in Hall Manufacturing and Cold Storage Co. Ltd. and the Pioneer Publishing Co. Ltd. and was an active leader in the community, especially with the Board of Trade and the Prince County Hospital. Harry Holman died in 1950 leaving three daughters and two sons, both of whom were involved in the Holman firm. His widow Constance lived in the house until 1971.
The house also has historic value because it was a home to two British evacuee children of the Second World War. George and Albert Newton, brothers from Waystone, England, were welcomed into the Holman household in the summer of 1940. The older boy, George, finished his Canadian sojourn with a Burns family in Freetown, but Albert stayed at 339 Beaver Street until they both returned to England in 1945.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The following character-defining elements are significant:
- The massing of the house being a variation of the Four Square Colonial Revival style
- The hipped roof with dormers, also with hipped roofs
- The symmetrical placement of windows on front and side façades
- The hipped roof dormer atop a very wide centre stacked entryway
- The modillion bracketing under the wide eaves and in the centre gable
- The full width front veranda with Doric columns (railing has been removed)
- The balanced curved-top windows on each side of the comparatively narrow front door
- The palladian windows in the front facade
- The location of the house on a large treed lot on Beaver Street
Prince Edward Island
City of Summerside
Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20
Registered Historic Place (Summerside)
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
Cross-Reference to Collection