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McLean House Inn

16 Washington Street, Souris, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2011/05/10

Front elevation; Province of PEI, Faye Pound, 2009
Front elevation
Side elevation; Province of PEI, Faye Pound, 2009
Side elevation
Sun porch detail; Province of PEI, Faye Pound, 2009
Sun porch detail

Other Name(s)

McLean House Inn
Senator John McLean Home

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/07/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The McLean House Inn is a large 3 storey Second Empire mansard-roofed residence located on Washington Street in Souris overlooking Souris Harbour.

Heritage Value

The McLean House Inn is valued for its association with the history of the Town of Souris, its connections with the McLean family, local tourism and its architecture.

This large Second Empire home was built, approximately 1875 by well-known local builder, Billy Dick Dingwell, for prosperous merchant and politician John McLean (1845-1936). McLean and Uriah Matthew (1842-1902), owned and operated the hugely successful Matthew and McLean general store. The Matthew and McLean store served not only the Town of Souris, but a large area of eastern Kings County. Besides a general store with branches in other Eastern Kings communities, the company was involved in lobster canning and exporting, employing numerous local residents. The company continued to be a presence in the town until 1982. John McLean was also involved in provincial politics from 1882-1891, and was returned to office in elections of 1908, 1912 and 1915. McLean also served as federal Member of Parliament for Kings County from 1891-1896. In 1915 he was appointed to the Senate and served until ill-health forced his resignation in 1935. McLean's daughter, Rena McLean (1879-1918), had a distinguished career as a nursing sister during WWI serving with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Rena McLean died at sea on the hospital ship Llandovery Castle in 1918 when it was torpedoed. For many years, the house has welcomed travellers to the area as an inn under the name Lighthouse Inn and the McLean House Inn.

The McLean House Inn continues to be an important landmark in the Town of Souris, an important component of its streetscape and is a well-preserved example of the Second Empire architectural style in Souris.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE
File #: 4320-20/M3

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the overall massing of the building
- the wood frame construction
- the symmetrical facade
- the wood clapboard siding and corner boards
- the double storey stacking bay windows on the front and north elevations
- the box bay window on the second storey above the entrance
- the placement and size of the door and window openings
- the bell curved mansard roof with hipped roof top
- the eave bracketting
- the roof dormers with rounded windows and hood moulding and keystones
- the sun porch with its two-over-two paned windows with coloured glass insets
- the 2 storey addition to the west elevation in the same style as the main house
- its location overlooking Souris Harbour



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE File #: 4320-20/M3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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