Description of Historic Place
The attractive two-storey Gothic Revival house at 250 Central Street is a typical Gable Ell style residence. It is set back 20 feet on the west side of Central Street. It features elaborate shingle details currently in two shades of green on the highly visible south and east elevations. There is mansard roofed verandah on the east elevation gable end which faces the street. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The dwelling at 250 Central Street was the longtime home of the prominent Linkletter family. Both T.M. and T.L. Linkletter, father and son, and their wives, were well known in local circles in the 20th century. In addition to the Linkletter ownership for seventy-six years, the house also has importance because of several earlier owners.
The house was constructed in 1897 for Robert Waddell, formerly of Crapaud. The lot, when he acquired it, ran 188 feet along the east side Central Street between Poplar Avenue on the north and Willow Avenue on the south. It had passed through several owners after it was first subdivided from a 10-acre parcel sold in 1875 by Gulielma Black, daughter of Joseph Green.
Robert Waddell, a farmer, and his unmarried sister, Mary Ann, both moved into the new house. When Mr. Waddell died in 1907, he had been married for a year to Marjorie Gamble. A dispute over the ownership of the property was settled by the Court of Chancery, which ordered the estate to be sold by auction. The successful bidder in 1908 was R.W. Morrison who had moved to Summerside to assist his brother, contractor D.R. Morrison, to install the town's water and sewerage system. He and his wife Cecelia lived in the house at 250 Central Street with four young children until March 1910.
The next owner of the dwelling was Duncan A. Nicholson, who worked in the lobster packing industry with his father-in-law William A. Leard, originally of Bedeque. The 1911 census shows W.A. Leard, twice a widower, as an occupant of the house, along with his four daughters. Mr. Leard was very well known throughout Prince County as the owner of various lobster factories. His factory in Summerside opened around 1908 and was later used for the canning of chicken, for which he became well known throughout Canada. When Mr. Leard passed away in 1913, the Nicholson family was living in Bedeque. Bessie Wood took over her father's canning business and she and the other two sisters moved to Notre Dame Street.
Thomas Maxfield Linkletter (b. 1868) bought the house in 1915. He was the son of Thomas Linkletter and Mary Ann Ramsay, and was known as a farmer in St. Eleanors with a heavy involvement in the lobster and oyster packing trade. Mr. Linkletter became a familiar figure in the town and ran for political office on six occasions. For four terms between 1935 and 1951, he represented 3rd Prince as a Liberal in the PEI Legislative Assembly. The wife of Tom Linkletter, Clara Craswell, attended Prince of Wales College and taught school for several years before her marriage. The couple raised seven children in the house.
When Mr. Linkletter died in 1954, his son, T. Leland Linkletter, inherited the house. After his marriage to Elizabeth Barberie in 1942, the residence had been divided into two units. The young couple took the larger section to the south and Leland's parents lived in the smaller two-bedroom unit on the north side of the house. Leland and his wife and two daughters moved to the residence at 301 Beaver Street in 1957 and remained there for ten years. During that time, the two sections of the Central Street house were rented out to various tenants.
Mr. and Mrs. Linkletter returned to their former premises at 250 Central in 1967 and continued to rent the northern section, which was considered to be 252 Central Street. T.L. Linkletter practised law for several years in Summerside before taking employment with the PEI Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He worked for the insurance firm for over thirty years and was serving as manager at the time of his death in 1972. After the passing of Mrs. Betty Linkletter in 1990, the property passed from the Linkletter family.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-storey massing and Gable Ell style
- the steeply pitched gable roof
- the two brick chimneys
- the window caps including the dog ear style cap over the Italianate influenced double window located in the south gable and smaller attic version on north, west and east gable ends
- the original placement and symmetrical arrangement of windows on the east and south elevations
- the verandah with gingerbread and turned posts and ground level bay window on the east elevation
- the gable roofed dormer on east elevation of the Ell section
- the original wood shingle cladding with elaborate shingle patterns including saw tooth, octagon, square butt, diamond and regular flat end shingles, some of which are arranged to make large diamond shapes
- the beltcourse in the east gable end which is repeated on the south elevation