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Bowness House

88 Central Street, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, C1N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/02/21

Showing east elevation; MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Donna Williams, 2003
Bowness House
Showing front and side elevations; MacNaught History Centre and Archives
Bowness House - c. 1910 postcard
No Image

Other Name(s)

The Stone House
Bowness House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bowness House is a unique stone house of the Four Square architectural style with Queen Anne Revival detailing. It is located on the edge of Summerside’s heritage district. The designation includes the building and its lot.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of this house lies in its peculiar building material. It was built in 1908 of ballast stones from the sailing ships and schooners that used to frequent Summerside’s harbour. As such it is a unique expression of the age of sail and Summerside’s role as a transportation centre. Stone is an uncommon building material on Prince Edward Island and its rarity in Summerside is testified to by the fact that the building is known locally as “the stone house.” Ballast stone construction is even more rare as there are only three buildings on the Island constructed of this material.

Further heritage value lies in the house’s association with two prominent local figures. Its first owner, Robert S. Bowness, was one of Summerside’s first professional photographers. It was built as his retirement home, a testament to his success as a photographer for his 35 years in the business. The architect was J.W. Percy Tanton, a prolific architect and contractor who is associated with many homes, churches and commercial buildings in Summerside and the Prince County area, as well as in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, BC.

Source: City of Summerside Heritage Property Profile

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Bowness House include:
- its ballast stone construction material
- features of its Four Square architectural style, including its square shape and interior layout
- elements of Queen Anne Revival detailing, including the stacked bay window on the south side and the pediment gables on the south and east elevations with their palladian windows and medallion bargeboard trim
- an enclosed front sunporch which replaced the veranda c.1924



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Summerside

Recognition Statute

Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20

Recognition Type

Designated Heritage Property

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

J.W. Percy Tanton



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Wyatt Heritage Properties, P.O. Box 1510, Summerside, PE C1N 4K4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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