Description of Historic Place
This impressive two storey Colonial Revival style house at 115 Spring Street is on the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Spring and Notre Dame Streets. It features a wraparound verandah facing Spring and the whole building is clad in narrow white vinyl with modern black vinyl roofing. The footprint of the property is close to the corner with a relatively large lawn opening up to the south of the house along Spring. The registration includes the parcel and the building.
The large home on the southeast corner of Spring and Notre Dame Streets has historical significance as the home of two well known families of Prince Edward Island. The Lucas Allen family lived in the house for over four decades and the James B. Jenkins family for over three decades.
Local businessman, Lucas R. Allen, had the house built in 1915. An earlier dwelling that had been occupied by Mr. Allen and his family was sold and moved to 143 Granville Street, clearing the way for the construction of a large new home. It was built on the same architectural plan used for the residence of his neighbour, local contractor, Peter G. Clark. The local press commented that the two houses were "modern and the workmanship of a high order."
Lucas Roy Allen was born in St. Nicholas in 1878, the son of Benjamin Allen and Melvina Goodwin. In March 1894, he took a job with Brace, MacKay and Company of Summerside and worked his way up in the popular mercantile firm. He became a director in 1901, vice-president in 1914 and president and general manager in 1927, a position he held until 1939. He then took the less demanding role of vice-president until his retirement in 1958. He also served as director for several other PEI companies and during the Second World War managed Island Foods Incorporated, which produced dehydrated potatoes for the military.
In the community, Lucas Allen was a president of the local Board of Trade, a town councillor for three years, and was elected to the Provincial Legislature in 1927, 1931, and 1935. He was married in 1903 to Winnifred Brace, the daughter of John Albert Brace of Summerside. J.A. Brace was one of the founders of the Brace, MacKay Company. Like her husband, Mrs. Allen was also very prominent in the community. The couple raised five daughters born between 1904 and 1924. Mr. Allen passed away in 1964, two years after his wife.
The new owners of the property in July 1964 were James and Vivian (Beck) Jenkins, originally of Murray River. The couple had come to Summerside in 1940 when James B. Jenkins and his brother William E. Jenkins bought Hewitt's canning factory located on the south side of Water Street. In the summer of 1943, the brothers built a new two storey building just east of the dehydration plant on Noonan Street. Jenkins Cannery did a thriving business during the war years when they sold canned chicken to the federal government. J.B. Jenkins continued with the company until 1957 when he sold out and became a fish broker. He died in December 1965, leaving the house to his widow who lived there until her death at age 80 in 1989.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the asymmetrical massing and rectangular footprint of this very large house
- the complex hipped roof
- the brick chimney
- the asymmetrical arrangement of most elements such as the windows and the pedimented vestibule set at the northwest corner of the house
- the wraparound verandah supported by doric columns which curves from the northwest corner around the southwest corner to a south facing entrance
- the pair of stacked bay windows with large eave returns
- the half moon windows on the north, west and south elevations