Riverview, New Brunswick
April 19, 2005
The home passed to Henry Cundhill and his sisters, who would live there for 30 years. When Cundhill died, he left the house as a "refuge and temporary home for friendless young women working in Charlottetown or attending Prince of Wales College." It would later become a residence for student nurses, and in 1970, it passed to the Prince Edward Island Heritage Foundation.
It has been recently restored with William Morris wallpapers true to the 1870s and furniture from the collection of the Museum of Prince Edward Island. The original moldings, hardware, and tile floors are intact. It is a wonderful whole. The fireplaces are also intact. There are eight in the house, the two in the large double parlour are marble and others are slate that has been faux-painted to resemble marble. The hallway floors are from the Minton tile works, but as I said, for the most part, this isn’t truly the house that Peake walked away from, it is a representation.
The visit today (donations are appreciated in winter, and summer admission is $4.25 per adult) is a combination explanation, tour, and self guiding, and we learned a lot. You will see the double parlour; and the sitting or reception room, which is now the building’s office; the dining room, and the kitchens. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and a nursery. Complementing the furniture of the period are manikins in period dress. You will not see the servants’ quarters on the third floor, nor will you be able to ascend to the belvedere on the roof, but I have no doubt that you will enjoy your time here. The house echoes the elegance and material comfort of the wealthy classes of a bygone age.
In summer, you can cross the street to visit the rambling white mansion that is the residence of the lieutenant governor. Tours are offered there through the week.
From journal Charlottetown: Crown'd with Summer Sea