Historic Places of Prince Edward Island

Historic Places of Prince Edward Island is an interesting website that heretofore had escaped my gaze. Although I played no direct role in its creation at all, under the hood it’s using the code that drives the Province of PEI website, code that was once near and dear to my heart (no doubt it has has been significantly evolved and enhanced since my days). It’s intriguing to see the code extended to use in such a different visual environment.

I ended up there looking for information about Isaac Smith, who built our house at 100 Prince Street. Turns out that he rates a page of his very own; it says, in part:

People with [Smith’s] skills were in short supply in the Island capital and this became more acute with the death in 1820 of John Plaw, another Englishman who had come to PEI and left his mark designing public buildings. Plaw’s courthouse/legislative building was standing proud in the centre of town on Queen Square. He had also drawn plans for a round market to be built next to it, but this was left undone at the time of his death. By 1823, Isaac and Henry Smith were given the task of completing Plaw’s market. They also were building private homes in the City, including one that still stands at 100 Prince Street (1827).

Interestingly, every Saturday morning Oliver and I eat our smoked salmon bagels at the modern Charlottetown Farmer’s Market with a painting of that selfsame round market hanging on the wall beside us. I’d no idea that the brothers Smith had played a role in its construction.

Another interesting Island heritage resource I’ve stumbled upon lately is Architectural Plans at the Public Archives and Records Office, an online exhibition of digitized architectural plans.

Included in the set are Smith’s 1856 plans for Government House and a set of drawings for Province House.


John Boylan's picture
John Boylan on March 14, 2008 - 13:11 Permalink

Glad you liked the architectural plans on our website, and thank you for (inadvertently?) spotting a mistake.

The Government House floorplan on the site is indeed from 1856, but it isn’t Isaac Smith’s original architectural plan for the residence. Government House was completed to Smith’s plans in 1834. The floorplan on the website was done about 22 years later. It’s one of a couple that show how the rooms were set up at that time.
I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think the original architectural plans for Government House have survived.

We’ll be changing the website to clarify the description in the near future.