On Dorchester Street is an attractive wood framed double tenement located on the corner of Dorchester Street and Union Street in a very old section of Charlottetown. It is unclear who built the home, or the date it was built, but the property was granted in 1779. The building has been a home for much of its existence but evidence suggests that it was also a tavern at one time.
It had the usual stipulation, that a house be erected on the property within three years, but whether a home was in fact erected on the property, is not clear. When the land was sold for taxes in 1790, and again in 1793, to John Brecken, a prominent Loyalist merchant who was known to have built houses for rental purposes, the transaction yielded only shillings. The low price of the land and the buyer, suggests that no dwelling existed on the property. Twelve years later when the property was sold to James Robertson, there was a home on the property and it sold for eighty pounds.
Records show that in 1827, the home was seized from three men, John MacDonald, Donald MacEachern and John Hughes, for non-payment of import duties on wine, rum, brandy and other spirits. With a list like that, it becomes abundantly clear that the building was used as a tavern.
The sheriff sold the building to Robert Gray junior, the son of Robert Gray a prominent office holder and member of Charlottetown high society. Gray later sold it to James D. Haszard. Both appeared to have used the home as a rental property. The building remains a home to this day.
Now the history of Charlottetown is soaked in Liquor, most important political meetings were generously watered with rum, brandy and fortified wines. The Cross Keys Tavern stands on Queen Street it is the Terre Rouge Restaurants nowadays but this is where the Founding Fathers of Confederation met and had quite a few discussions on what was to become Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald who would become our first Prime Minister who was known as a formidable gin drinker, the more he drank, the more eloquent he became. Something many historians and fellow politicians of his time documented.
The Legislature of PEI also met in the Tavern and the proprietor was appointed by the Assembly as Clerk of the deliberations, taking notes with one hand and pouring drinks with the other.
The Cross Keys Tavern on Queen Street, today a restaurant and Olive oil shop.
The Owen Connolly building now a pub.
Blue Fin Tuna by Gérald Beaulieu
The back of St-Dustan R.C. Cathedral
This is the oldest brick house in Charlottetown 1832. Absolutely beautiful inside with all the architectural features of the Georgian Era. It is one house with 2 doors, a huge place. The docks and marina of the Harbour are behind it.
Local 343 (telephone number of the house in 1920) on Water Street is a wonderful restaurant with terrace at the back over the harbor. Chef Emily Wells food is wonderful.
View from the park and marina up Great George Street. This is the wharf where the Father’s of Confederation arrived by boat from the mainland in 1864.
The Charlottetown Harbor every Summer the Cruise ships come and dock here.