Home / Accueil

Leard House

57 Main Street, Souris, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/07/14

Front elevation; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2011
Front elevation
Front elevation and yard; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2011
Front elevation and yard
Front entrance detail; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2011
Front entrance detail

Other Name(s)

Leard House
Donald Beaton House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2020/10/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Leard House is a 1 ½ storey wood frame, Maritime Vernacular house with New England Neo-Classical architectural elements, built circa 1851 in Souris.

Heritage Value

The Leard House is valued for its rare architectural detailing, its age, and for its connections to prominent families in the coastal town of Souris, Prince Edward Island.

Donald Beaton, a prominent fish merchant, justice of the peace, and member of the Island's House of Assembly, had this house built circa 1851. It is possible that Beaton built it himself. When he died of diabetic complications circa 1864, his widow, Clementine, continued to live there, and later sold the property to Caleb Carleton Sr. (1834-1904). Carleton was a lobster packer, and also served as American Consul in Souris. The United States had opted to establish such a representative in the town because of the relationship that it had developed with the American mackerel fleets. Vessels would often put in at the town for servicing, and use it as a safe harbour when weather deteriorated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Upon Carleton's death in 1904, the property was passed on to his son, Caleb Carleton, Jr. (1855-1936), a merchant, town clerk, and an American Consul like his father. In the early 1950s, the house changed hands from the Carleton family to that of Souris merchant and historian Raymond A. Leard, and remains in the Leard family today.

Few alterations have been made to the house since its construction, and much of its original integrity remains intact. Around 1955, the tastefully designed front porch was added, in addition to a roof dormer on the back elevation. At the same time, the kitchen wing was removed and subsequently used as an outbuilding. It is believed that the kitchen wing might actually have once been a dwelling itself and incorporated into the construction of the house. Vinyl siding was installed under the eaves circa 1990.

The Leard House is notable not only for its connections to prominent families and to the US consulate, but also as one of the oldest extant dwellings in Souris. It stands as a symbol of economic prosperity, and of the close ties between the Island and the "Boston States" that developed before the province's entry into Confederation, a relationship reflected in some of the architectural detailing.

Heritage Places files, Department of Economic Growth, Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PEI
File #: 4310-20/L8

Character-Defining Elements

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

- the simple gabled roof
- the medium pitch of the roof
- the original shingles on the west elevation
- the wide cornerboards
- the wide eaves
- the eave returns on the gable ends
- the eave returns on the centre dormer
- the wood cornerboards on the centre dormer
- the Palladian window in the centre dormer
- the fancy trim moulding around the Palladian window
- the 9-over-6 paned windows with original muntin bars on the front elevation
- the window surrounds, featuring pilasters, plinths, and entablature heads
- the location of the house on its original footprint



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Places files, Department of Economic Growth, Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PEI File #: 4310-20/L8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places