Description of Historic Place
The Boswell Home is a Queen Anne Revival inspired home located north of the Village of Victoria near the Victoria United Church. The eastern side of the house has an excellent view of the Westmoreland River. The registration includes the home's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The Boswell Home is valued for its well preserved Queen Anne Revival influenced architecture and for its association with the Boswell family of Victoria. It was constructed in approximately 1890 by Edward and Rebecca Boswell and was built in the Queen Anne Revival style which was popular at the end of the 19th Century.
This style was at its height from 1885-1905 and is noted for its ecclectic use of mass and form including irregular rooflines, projecting bay windows, dormer windows, and decorative alternating siding especially on the gable ends. The Boswell Home exhibits all of these qualities including fish scale cedar shingles, Douglas fir clapboard, and elaborately turned posts and balusters on its verandah. According to family tradition, the Douglas fir was imported by schooner from Quebec.
Edward Boswell was born in Souris, PEI, in 1860 at a time when his father ran a successful mercantile business there. His grandfather, Dr. Alexander Boswell, emigrated to PEI from Scotland and practised medicine for many years. Edward first came to Victoria as a clerk in the mercantile business of James R. Reid. He later worked for the Wright Brothers' merchants who operated businesses in Victoria and Summerside. Edward became the manager of their Victoria store.
His wife, Rebecca, was the sister of Liberal Premier Walter Lea (1930-31 and 1935-36). In 1903, Edward Boswell, active in the Conservative Party, was offered a unanimous nomination to be a Member of the Legislature for the Conservatives, but he declined.
A well preserved example of the Queen Anne Revival style in Victoria, the Boswell Home is a landmark in the village. During the production of the "Road to Avonlea" TV series, the house served as the doctor's residence. It was painted green and white at this time.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/V4
The following character-defining elements illustrate the Queen Anne Revival influenced heritage value of the Boswell Home:
- The overall massing of the building
- The building's wood framed construction with its variety of original wooden cladding which includes clapboard and fish scale shingles
- The style and placement of the original windows, particularly the bay windows and the stained glass windows
- The placement and style of the doors which are original
- The large verandah with its pediment, treillage, turned posts, and balustrade
- The pitch of the roof with its decorative bargeboard
- The hipped-roof dormers with decorative bargeboard
- The decorative cornices
- The contrasting trim of the façade, particularly the trim around the doors and windows, the protruding belt courses and the cornices
- The decorative lintels and hood mouldings over the windows and doors
- The hipped-roof wrap-around porch with turned supports and Late Victorian spindle and bracket decoration, and an entrance pediment
- The steeply pitched roof punctuated by distinctive dormer windows
- Gingerbread components on the house and verandah
- Decorative gable panel over stained glass window on the walk in porch directly off the verandah
- Foundation is the original Island sandstone construction except for the north side which was replaced with cinderblock
Other character-defining elements of the Boswell Home include:
- The location of the house on Nelson Street making it an important aspect of the overall Victoria streetscape