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Touring the past: Chance to explore iconic P.E.I. landmark as Dalvay by the Sea hosts its first open house May 20


DALVAY, P.E.I. – Kyle MacKinnon is hoping an open house at Dalvay by the Sea will help Islanders feel more welcome to explore the rich history of the historic inn on P.E.I.

The event is on May 20, 1 to 4 p.m., and will consist of tours of the property, local entertainment by The Fiddling Fisherman and tastings from the P.E.I. Brewing Company.

The kitchen will also be offering its signature sticky toffee pudding, and the first 100 people to arrive will receive a $25 gift card.

“Everything is going to be reminiscent,” said MacKinnon, sales manager at Dalvay by the Sea.

The idea for the open house was born from a conversation with a 91-year-old woman last summer.

The woman told MacKinnon that she drove by Dalvay by the Sea every sunny summer day, but never once did she feel she was welcome to go in and explore.

“We want to open our doors and be welcoming to that exact type of individual so that they can come and learn about something that they are so aware of, yet they know so little about.”

Fun facts

Dalvay by the Sea:

- The house was built in 1896 by Alexander McDonald, a wealthy businessman.

- It cost $50,000 to build using local building materials.

- It became a hotel in 1932 when the infamous local prohibition rum-runner, Captain Edward Dicks, bought it.

- It is currently operated by DP Murphy Hotels and Resorts.

- For more historical information or to book a stay at the iconic P.E.I. inn, visit www.dalvaybythesea.com.

Dalvay by the Sea was built in 1896 by Alexander McDonald, a wealthy businessman, who vacationed to P.E.I. one summer with his family and fell in love with the north shore, buying 120 acres of land.

It cost about $50,000 to build Dalvay by the Sea using local building materials. The interior featured furniture, pottery and draperies that came from all over the world.

When McDonald died in 1910, he left his $15-million fortune, including his cherished Dalvay by the Sea summer home, to his two granddaughters, Helena, 16, and Laura, 17.

“The inheritance made them two of the wealthiest women in the world at the time,” said MacKinnon.

The girls went on to marry princes because of this augmented financial status. Helena wed Prince Murat of France and Laura wed Prince Rospiglioisi of Italy. The couples later divorced.

Helena and Laura were the two granddaughters of Alexander McDonald. When McDonald died in 1910, he left them $15 million, which included Dalvay by the Sea, making them two of the wealthiest women in the world. - Submitted
Helena and Laura were the two granddaughters of Alexander McDonald. When McDonald died in 1910, he left them $15 million, which included Dalvay by the Sea, making them two of the wealthiest women in the world. - Submitted

 

Helena and Laura ended up selling Dalvay by the Sea to a caretaker in the amount of back taxes after their father, Edmund Stallo, lost their fortune to bad investments.

It went on to have various owners over the years, including a Montreal bishop and an infamous local prohibition rum-runner.

The federal government bought the inn in 1938, which is now part of the P.E.I. National Park. It is currently being privately leased by DP Murphy Hotels and Resorts.

MacKinnon says he is looking forward to the open house and to share more of the history of this 122-year-old property.

“This open house is about getting people in to experience this place,” said MacKinnon.

maureen.coulter@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/MaureenElizaC

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