White House, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

I have previously featured this house on the Houses page. This post will update, elaborate on details and replace the original entry.

White House, 510 Fourth Avenue, Carberry, MB

Carberry, MB has retained an enormous amount of its built heritage relative to most Manitoba towns. Two blocks of historic buildings with architecture dating back more than a century on Carberry’s Main Street have been designated as Manitoba’s first Provincial Heritage District. Walking down the town’s main drag is a rare and exhilarating experience for a heritage buff. I spent a couple of days in Carberry last summer photographing most of their remarkable buildings, including these new pictures of the White House.

The White House has stood on a corner lot on the outskirts of Carberry since about 1900 when James White built it to reflect his Ontario heritage where Queen Anne style developed its own permutations. White moved from Ontario in the 1880s, settling in Carberry where he was a contractor, sash and door manufacturer and business owner. In addition to his own home, he built his factory, the Charlie Sear Block at 19 Main Street in downtown Carberry and the town’s Presbyterian, Methodist (United), and Anglican churches. An inventive fellow, White devised a system that diverted waste steam from his factory to heat his nearby home.

Take a moment to drink in the overall Seussian effect of this Queen Anne Revival beauty. Fanciful yet formidable, subtlety and exuberance unite in striking accord on the Manitoba prairie. Notice its expansive harmony and superb craftsmanship. The picturesque roofline features double gables with a shallow pitch between them. Under the gables, bull’s-eye windows are perfectly centred between substantial brackets, each of which features a delicate drop. The peaks of the gables contrast with the smooth arc of the bargeboard below. The design on the elaborate bargeboard, the triangle and dot, is replicated on the upper verandah.

The colours are intoxicating. The distinctive red brick came from the brickworks in Edrans, MB where James White’s wife, Margaret, apparently had connections. The brick has developed a lovely patina over the century that accentuates the contrast with the rich white brick detailing. All windows are topped with elaborate headers in white brick, each with a drop, like on the brackets. Two belt courses in white brick gird the house and the bull’s-eyes are accentuated by the solid white brick enclosures. Every corner is loaded with white brick quoins. Notice the subtle use of the colour black on the building in the small details on the verandahs, window sills and lintels and under the gables.

The verandahs are exceptional despite being under repair. The arcade of arches on the upper level mimics the shape of the bargeboard and the arches over the windows. Both verandahs sport turned posts all around. The small porch over the rear door is delicate and adorable with its widely-spaced dentil and little picket balustrade.

Notice how the quoins next to the top and bottom of each window join up with the white brick header giving the appearance the window is supported from above. The design is almost hieroglyphic.

In addition to the variety of shapes in the brick design, each window features diamond and triangular shapes and a frame of square coloured panes. The exterior condition of the White House is remarkable. It is now part of the Carberry Plains Museum located next door to the house in the brick building James White built for his sash and door factory.

Quick Carberry fact: For a number of years starting in 1940 the British Royal Air Force operated Service Flying Train School #33 near Carberry. Among the thousands of airmen who trained there was actor Richard Burton.

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Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

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