Culture and history
What’s the story behind this architectural treasure?
A Luxurious Oceanfront Summer Home
- 1895: Cincinnati oil tycoon Alexander McDonald falls in love with the unspoiled coastal landscape of Prince Edward Island while on vacation.
- 1896: McDonald commissions the construction of a rustic yet elegant PEI summer home adjacent to sand dunes, Dalvay Lake and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- 1896 to 1899: Construction takes place. The summer home is named Dalvay-by-the-Sea.
- Early 1900s: Dalvay-by-the-Sea is the scene of lavish summer parties. Many friends and visitors stay for extended periods and participate in summer activities.
- 1910: Original owner Alexander McDonald dies.
An Unknown Future
- 1910: Upon his death, McDonald's $15 million estate including Dalvay-by-the-Sea is left to his only granddaughters, Laura and Helena Stallo.
- By 1930: The Stallo's inheritance is lost due to mismanagement. The future of Dalvay-by-the-Sea is in peril.
From Summer Home to Resort
- 1930: Dalvay-by-the-Sea is sold and changes hands numerous times.
- 1931: New owner and infamous rum-runner Captain Edward Dicks converts Dalvay into a resort.
- 1936: Dicks goes bankrupt.
- 1937: Ownership is transfered to the federal government for inclusion in Prince Edward Island National Park.
- 1994: Dalvay-by-the-Sea is designated nationally significant for its Queen Anne architecture.
Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site (PDF: 5.5 MB)