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Strathgartney Homestead National Historic Site of Canada

Bonshaw, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/11/19

Aerial view from the west, showing Strathgarney Homestead and West River in background, ca. 1960.; Strathgartney Foundation/La fondation Strathgartney, circa 1960.
Aerial view
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Other Name(s)

Strathgartney Homestead
Strathgartney Homestead National Historic Site of Canada
Strathgartney Homestead

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1861/01/01 to 1868/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Strathgartney Homestead National Historic Site of Canada is a 32-acre (12.9 ha) remnant of the 500-acre (202.3 ha) estate of Robert Bruce Stewart, a nineteenth-century landowner. It contains the Stewart house, a carriage house and a collection of seven farm outbuildings from the Stewart period set in an agricultural landscape.

Heritage Value

Strathgartney Homestead was designated a national historic site in 1996 because:
- it is an important reminder of the land tenure system that dominated political and social life on Prince Edward Island for over a century,
- it illuminates the broader debate over the Land Question in the decades leading to the Land Purchase Act of 1875. To its owner, Robert Bruce Stewart, the estate embodied the rights of property and for Island tenants, it pointed to the inequity of leasehold tenure.

The heritage value of this site resides in the buildings and landscape that constitute the Strathgartney Homestead as remnant survivals, symbolic of the role of the Stewart family in the land tenure history of the island and their ability to illustrate the lifestyle of the Stewart family.

The Strathgartney estate was constructed by Robert Bruce Stewart in the early 1860s and run by his family until 1876 when they left in response to the 1875 approval of the Land Purchase Act. The homestead has been much changed since that time.

Source: HSMBC Minutes, 19-20 November 1996, p. 39-40.

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- the large unadorned residence and its associated outbuildings dating from the period of Stewart occupancy (the carriage house, cattle barn, horse barn, hen house, granary building, coach house, blacksmith's shop and boat house) in their found materials and forms, particularly those standing on their original locations,
- the residence with its cross-gable massing and large porch,
- the vernacular forms and wood materials (clapboard and shingle) of outbuildings dating from the period of Stewart occupancy (carriage house, cattle barn, horse barn, hen house, granary building, coach house, blacksmith's hope, and boat house),
- evidence of the early spatial relationships between the buildings on the site (with particular emphasis on those buildings occupying their original locations),
- the secluded setting of the Homestead on a high elevation in a peaceful, rural clearing exhibiting remnants of a formal garden, woods, and rolling countryside.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1861/01/01 to 1876/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn
Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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