“Elmwood” was built in 1889 for Arthur Peters, grandson of Samuel Cunard, founder of the British steamship line. The property was originally part of an estate of over 20,000 acres awarded to Cunard in recognition of his contribution to the Empire. Cunard appointed his son-in-law, James Horsefield Peters, to oversee his Island holdings. James Peters became influential in the Province and was appointed to the Supreme Court. The “Judge” and his wife Mary had three sons, two of whom became Premier of P.E.I. Frederick, the elder, served from 1891 to 1897, and Arthur, owner of “Elmwood”, from 1901 until his death in 1908. Arthur and his wife, Jane Amelia, moved into “Elmwood” with their two children, Kitty and ‘baby’ James (ten months old) on April 30, 1889.
William Critchlow Harris, the Maritimes’ leading late Victorian era architect, designed the home on a 7 1/2 acre parcel of land that took its name from the seventy elm trees planted on it. Today, 35 of these trees plus many others still stand on the remaining park-like acre, including a gracious 300-foot-long drive lined with elms eighty feet tall. The 28 room house has hardwood floors throughout, 8 original working fireplaces, along with 2 new fireplaces added for atmosphere, and original woodwork.
We purchased the property in 1986 and have returned it to one unified house after 50 years as three apartments. Our personal touch is seen throughout and creates a luxurious “home-like” feel. The first floor covers nearly 3,500 square feet and includes the Dining Room, Main Reception Hall and the original Library, now developed as our only first floor luxury guest room. There are three individualized guest units on the almost 3,000 square foot second floor along with a comfortable guest living room with fireplace and balcony. The third floor, the former Peters family servants’ quarters, had been a 1,800 square foot apartment nestled in the roof line since the Forties. It now features 3 more unique units.