The Haviland Club recently hosted the launch of a new book, Esther of Farringford, which is an account of the life of Esther Lowden, the first owner of what is now the Haviland Club.
Author Lynne Thiele made a short presentation on the life of Lowden, which was followed by remarks from club members Irene Mac Arthur, Ann Greyborn and Bert Christie, who did much of the research for the book.
Lowden's husband died suddenly leaving a wife and three small children. Not only that, but George Lowden died without a will, so she took over administration of his estate. Two years later, her house was burned in the great Charlottetown fire of 1866.
Lowden hired an architect and built a home in the Italianate style, which the family called Farringford. The local paper referred to the new house as an “architectural gem”. The family moved into this Charlottetown landmark in 1869.
As noted in the foreword to the book, there have been several books written about historic homes on Prince Edward Island, but little information on the families who lived in those homes.
Although Mrs. Lowden lived a wealthy lifestyle in the late 1800s, her death warranted only one sentence in a local paper. The book ensures she will be remembered.
Gordon Full, of Stratford, the only relative of Lowden’s still living on P.E.I., attended the book launch.
Esther of Farringford is available at the Haviland Club.