- CA PCA Acc4339
- [ca. 193-]
This collection consists of a photograph taken from the northwest side of the house showing the gardens in front as well as the architectural detail of the house and porches. It was taken in the 1930's when the house operated as a Young Women's Christian Association residence.
In 1875 James Peake Junior, eldest son of James Ellis Peake and senior partner in Peake Bros. & Co. purchased West End House and the northern portion of property owned by J.S. Carvell on the corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The house was moved across West St. and in its place James & his wife Edith Constance Alice (Haviland) commissioned "Beaconsfield", named for Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, and designed by William Critchlow Harris in a blend of Italianate and Second Empire styles. A mixture of poor personal finances and involvement in the ill-fated Bank of Prince Edward Island caused the Peakes to lose the house to Henry Cundall, holder of the mortgage, in 1882. The Cundall family lived in the house from the fall of 1883 until July of 1916. It was then renovated by the Cundall Trust as a home for friendless young women but it is uncertain if it was ever used in this capacity. It did operate as a YWCA for some of the period between 1916 and 1936 at which later date it became a nurse's residence. In 1973 it was deeded from the government to the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. In the 1990s Beaconsfield was redecorated as an example of a Victorian residence and functioned as a museum as well as the headquarters of the Foundation.