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288 Grafton Street

288 Grafton Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing east elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2008
Showing east elevation
Context of conjoined 286-288 Grafton Street; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2008
Context of conjoined 286-288 Grafton Street
Professor John Caven (1826-1914); Meacham's Illustrated Historical Atlas of PEI, 1880
Professor John Caven (1826-1914)

Other Name(s)

288 Grafton Street
James White House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1864/01/01 to 1870/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

288 Grafton Street is a wood framed former single family dwelling that has been converted into an apartment building. It is now attached to a simpler styled building of an earlier age. It features stacked bay windows topped with a gable roof and various shingle patterns on the exterior. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include its interior.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of 288 Grafton Street lies in its association with shipwright, James White; railway superintendent, G.A. Sharp; and college professor, John Caven.

James White had 288 Grafton Street built sometime between 1864 and 1870. As a shipwright, one of the more notable vessels he constructed was the SS Heather Belle in 1862, a steamer that once plied the waters of the Hillsborough River. An engraving of it was featured in an 1878 panoramic map of Charlottetown. During his career, White worked with a number of shipbuilders including Clement White from Clement White and Company, who lived next door at 286 Grafton Street.

A later owner of the home was G.A. Sharp, stationmaster for the Prince Edward Island Railway. During Sharp's ownership, the professor, journalist and historian, John Caven, LL.D (1826-1914) resided at 288 Grafton Street. He was listed in the 1871 Lovell's Directory as a professor at St. Dunstan's College. Caven later became a professor at Prince of Wales College supervising student teachers in the model school. St. Dunstan's College (later St. Dunstan's University) and Prince of Wales College would combine in 1969 to form the present University of Prince Edward Island. Caven's lectures were a popular draw among the college students and he would continue to write on topics of Island history in local publications. Not only an educator, Caven was also a journalist who for a time owned and edited the Charlottetown Herald newspaper.

Located among a number of homes built in the 19th century, 288 Grafton Street plays a significant role in supporting the streetscape.

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

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the two-and-one-half storey massing of the building
- the wood frame construction and wood shingle cladding
- the extensive use of decorative brackets and mouldings
- the gable roof
- the brick chimney
- the side placement of the main door
- the style, size and shape of the windows, including the stacked bay windows with gable roof



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 #1916

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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