Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pridham House, Montrose - destroyed

     The old Ken & Lois Pridham House, located on Rte. 152 in Montrose, was destroyed by fire on Sunday evening past, Nov. 18th - a control burn by the local fire departments.  The house had been abandoned for many, many years and in poor condition.
     Here are a few photos I took on June 28, 2012.
      Above/Below: The house sat atop a south facing hill with a distant view of the beautiful Montrose River.  This view faces west and Rte. 152.
      The house dates approximately back to the 1870-80's and features a steep gabled dormer on the front with two square bay windows below.  There was a kitchen wing to the rear.
Below: Pridham House Control Burn. cf. Facebook

Monday, November 19, 2012

Panmure Head Lighthouse, group rallies to save

     The local CBC PEI radio news had this story on this morning: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/11/18/pei-group-to-save-panmure.html

Group rallies to save Panmure Head lighthouse
CBC News Last Updated: Nov 18, 2012 7:49 PM AT AT 

The group has started a website to protect the lighthouse. The group has started a website to protect the lighthouse. (Lighthousefriends.com)
A community group is rallying to save P.E.I.'s oldest wooden lighthouse.
Panmure Head lighthouse was built in 1853 and is in serious need of repair. It has chipped paint and a decayed railing.
It's one of 40 island lighthouses the federal government decommissioned this summer. While it is no longer being maintained, it remains popular with visitors, and locals are raising money to buy it.
Margaret MacLeod lives in its shadow on the eastern shore. "I was born here, grew up here, decided to settle here. It's a part of the furniture here in P.E.I.," she said.
So MacLeod and a group of locals are raising money to take over the lighthouse.

Saving it for the future

Glenna Campbell-Peardon, president of the Panmure Island Lighthouse Association, said the group needs plenty of help.
"We just want to maintain it for the future. We want to have it looking good and there's asbestos inside, so we have to have that removed. We've got all sorts of work to do," she said.
Fisherman Bill Peardon said he looks for the lighthouse every time he's headed home.
"It's still very nice to turn the boat and see the Panmure light," he said.
He would like to see it preserved, he added.
The lighthouse was originally built after locals petitioned for it, and the new group is hoping to save it with the same community activism.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Casavant Organ at St. Dunstan's Basilica, Charlottetown

     Here's a recent article on the CBC PEI website:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/11/09/pei-new-organ-basilica-dunstans-584.html

New basilica organ to debut Christmas Eve

Posted: Nov 9, 2012 9:03 AM AT 

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2012 10:59 AM AT

Organ pipes lying in the pews at St. Dunstan's in Charlottetown, waiting to be installed.Organ pipes lying in the pews at St. Dunstan's in Charlottetown, waiting to be installed. (Maggie Brown/CBC)
An 89-year-old pipe organ from a decommissioned church in Montreal is being installed at Charlottetown’s St. Dunstan's Basilica.
Robert Hiller works on cleaning the pipes.Robert Hiller works on cleaning the pipes.
Workers are busy cleaning the giant pipes that will soon be put in place in the choir loft at St. Dunstan's Basilica. Thousands of pieces that will become the new-to-P.E.I. organ are lying in the pews. It’s been a bit crowded during services, said Father Floyd Gallant, but he knows it will all be worth it.
“Since April we haven't had access to an organ. We've been using a small Clavinova piano,” said Gallant.
“But that has served us, and we're kind of fasting before the feast.”
The choir loft at St. Dunstan's will soon house the new organ.The choir loft at St. Dunstan's will soon house the new organ.
Robert Hiller and his crew from Casavant organs will spend the next few weeks piecing the organ together. Hiller said the church in Montreal was very similar to St. Dunstan's, and it fits well into the Charlottetown church.
“Very similar acoustic,” said Hiller.
“Actually I think acoustic is better here which is always good for us. The more reverberation the better the organ will sound.”
The purchase of the organ was made possible by a donation from the late Owen Kelly, the organist at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Summerside.
It will get its public debut at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Gallant has already chosen the first tune: O Come All Ye Faithful.

O'Leary Church of the Nazarene - moved in 1938

     We have alot of church architecture related stories in our local news and media and on this blog.  Here's another - a recent article in the West Prince Graphic, October 31, 2012 issue.  Page 13.   http://peicanada.com/content/west_prince_graphic

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

St. John Anglican Church, Crapaud - 1902

     I was out to Crapaud on Saturday past to the 158th Diocesan Church Society of Prince Edward Island Annual Meeting and picked up this little booklet of the Parish's history.
     On page 13 is a brief history of the present church...

     "Rev. A.W. Daniel succeeded Rev. Johnstone in October, 1888 and remained until 1895.  A number of Rectors came and went from hereafter.  At the Annual Meeting held on April 16, 1900, a committee was appointed to solicit funds for the building of a new Church.  The Rev. Charles R. Cumming became Rector in 1901, when the present Church building was completed.
     The Foundation stone of the present St. John's Church was laid on Sept. 9, 1901 by the Venerable T.B. Reagh, Archdeacon of P.E.I. ad Rector of Milton.  The services were conducted by the Rev. C.R. Cumming, Rector, and addresses delivered by the Hon. Sir Louis Davies, K.C.M.G., Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, D.C.L., and Judge Warburton, D.C.L.
     On Sunday, October 1902, the Church was dedicated to the worship of Almighty God by the Right Rev. Frederick Courtney, Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia.  The contractors were Messers. John Lemuel, and Samuel Haslam.  The architect of the building was the late William Harris of Charlottetown.
     The Rev. J.W. Godfrey became Rector in 1906.  The Church was consecrated on Sunday, July 14, 1907 by the Right Rev. Clarendon Lamb Worrell.  The Bishop preached at both morning and evening services on that day.  The services were conducted by the Rector the Rev. J.W. Godfrey.

     I took this photos of St. John's Church on October 2009 - this is the southeast view - the church his located on the TransCanada Hwy on the east side of Crapaud.
     The photos below were taken on Saturday, Nov. 10th  - it's a challenge to get a good shot of the church as you have to stand in the middle of the highway to get it!!
Below: West/Rear view of Church.
Below: Interior view looking north towards altar.
Below: Winter Photos taken on February 19, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2012

50 gal and 40 gal Crocks

     My brother Kerras came across these large crocks recently - a rare sight!!  
     The one on the left is 40-gallons and the other, with cover, is 50-gallons.  I've read the large crocks were called "self-draining" or "fermenting" crocks.  Each of these crocks have holes at the base where a spout would have fitted in. 

For more information regarding crocks and stoneware see:
( The text and images below comes from the above website )

Heavy Stoneware Manufacture in North America Once Thrived

     This site is a celebration of the determination and craftsmanship of ordinary people who created an industrial ceramic industry without equal in the middle of the vast and isolated Canadian prairies during the 1920s to 40s. Companies such as Medalta Potteries and Medicine Hat Potteries made huge quantities of stoneware utilitarian vessels before the age of plastic. These were times when Canadians and Americans were independent and made their own products and young people starting their working lives in community owned manufacturing facilities learning the pride of self sufficiency.
Would you like to be
able to make these
classic stoneware crocks?
     Today many of the classic shapes are once again very popular, especially with collectors. There is an active trade in these original pieces across North America and many pieces are now fetching high prices. Many potters would like to be able to make these again. However there is much more involved than you might think, modern ceramic industry uses completely different materials, fabrication and firing processes. The secrets of their manufacture are in danger of being lost, that is the reason for this site. In addition, most of the surviving pieces are not being used for utilitarian purposes because of their value, but also because they are not sanitary by modern standards. However you can use modern materials, processes and more care and attention than the original manufacturers could afford to give to create wonderful replicas that can be used in any home or kitchen today.
     Digitalfire Corporation creates chemistry and lab software and information products used by engineers around the world in the ceramic industry. The owner, Tony Hansen, grew up in the pottery town of Medicine Hat, Alberta and knew and worked with many key surviving figures in the industry from 1972 to 2003. Over many years he accumulated and archived a large body of material and gained a deep knowledge of the local clay materials, processes and equipment used to make these pieces. This site is dedicated to making this knowledge available now to anyone so the memory of the people and their stoneware will live on in a new generation.
     Coming soon we will have articles, patterns, recipes, artwork, historical drawings and catalogs, photos, packaging artwork and ideas, etc. to help you make and market pieces like these. There are hundreds of shapes and types of articles to choose from. You are going to need computer, mechanical, material, chemistry, equipment and fabrication and firing process knowledge to make this happen and we will help you get it.

Vitrified Heavy Bean Crock

     The master mold and a number of prototypes have been hand made by Tony Hansen. This crock is made from the same clays the original companies used. Even the glaze is made from local high iron bearing clays blended with feldspar and other fluxing minerals. We will release complete information on how to make this.
This vitrified crock is much more than just an extremely durable container, it is history. A besides, there is just no better way to make beans than in one of these!

Keeper's Lodge - Old Protestant Burying Ground, Ch'town

     There is much history at The Old Protestant Burying Grounds on University Avenue (formerly Malpegue Rd. and Elm Street) in Charlottetown.
     Between 1999 and 2004 under a Millennium Restoration project the old cemetery was restored complete with new wrought iron railing and stone restoration.   The following description is from the book about the cemetery, Who Departed This Life...
    "Spanning several acres - and in existence during four centuries - the cemetery known as the Old Protestant Burying Ground is prominently located behind a wrought iron fence on University Avenue in downtown Charlotteotwn, Prince Edward Island.  It is the final resting ground for up to 4,000 souls who were interred between the late 1700s and 1873.  The Burying Ground has withstood the ravages of time - and vandalism - but in recent years great efforts have been made to restore the grounds, offering respect to those departed colonial pioneers who established the city and the province."
     The above image is from page 18 of the book -
Who Departed This Life: A History of the Old Protestant Burying Ground by George Wright.  ( See book front and back cover below )
    The following text is from pages 18-21:
   ...Later on, it was thought advisable to appoint a keeper, whose duty should be, to protect the property from trespassers, and put a stop to the irregularities that were being committed there, both by day and night. 
     Accordingly, two public spirited ladies of this City, Mrs. Watts and Mrs. Mason, collected $375, which was expended in erecting a lodge at the entrance gate of the grounds.  The lodge was designed by Mr. Stirling, and was completed under his supervision (free of charge by him) in the spring of 1883.  
     John Ashley was appointed Keeper, and attended to his duties faithfully until his death in July last.  Mrs. Ashley continues here.  (In this city, on the 6th of July, at his residence on the Malpeque Road, after a short illness, John Ashley in the 70th year of his age, a native of Suffolk, England.  Funeral at 2 o'clock)...     
     The Guardian 1916 - Tenders Called.  Tenders will be received up to June First by the undersigned for the purchase of the keeper's cottage now on the grounds of the Malpeque Cemetery.  Publishers will be required to remove the said cottage not later than 10th June and clear away all rubbish belonging to the building.
     It was in this period that the caretaker's cottage was sold.  The house was subsequently moved to 39 Connolly Street, where it may still be seen today.

     Below: The Keeper's Lodge, much changed, as found today at 39 Connolly Street, not far from the Burying Grounds.  Images from Google Maps.
     Below: the old house retains some of its original detailing in the running trim on the steep gables as seen here. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Unknown Tignish Daybook

     My brother Kerras came across this ledger recently, it's from an unknown Tignish store - there's no indication as to who this would have belonged to.  He purchased it from someone in Little Sands, PEI - a long ways from Tignish!!
     Possibly someone familiar with Tignish and its early merchants could identify this - the Ledger begins on January 7, 1875 and ends on August 30, 1875.
     Below is the cover and inside first page and some close ups of it.
Below is an image from the middle of the Ledger.
 Below is a page from near the end of the Ledger and a few close-ups.
     Something else my brother Kerras came across recently was this tin stencil - it would have been placed against a packing crate/box and painted over leaving its mark.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Experimental Farm - Charlottetown - Ravenwood

     On the local CBC Radio news they were telling of the demolition of a variety of farm buildings, some as old as 80 years, on the Experimental Farm site here in Charlottetown.  Here's is the CBC news item from their website complete with video. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/11/01/pei-farm-buildings-demolished-584.html
     Here's the text from the story...

Buildings demlished at experimental farm:  Vacant structures were safety hazard
CBC New - posted: Nov. 1, 2012 8:12 AM AT

     Agriculture Canada is tearing down some old buildings at its experimental farm in Charlottetown this week.
     The buildings are up to 80 years old and haven't been used for years.
     "No one likes to see the eye sore of the old buildings on the property," said Jamie Coffin.
     "We've had a lot of vandalism over the years where basically vacant buildings were broken into. It's really a concern that with the amount of traffic and the people of Charlottetown on the property that come enjoy the property as a whole, that the buildings are really unsafe to be around or to be inside for sure. So they've been locked up for the last four or five years, and we're trying to remove them from property."
     Agriculture Canada plans to take down a total of 10 derelict buildings on the property at a cost of $700,000. While the work is expensive it will mean lower costs for operating the farm in the long term.
     "It's one less thing we don't have to worry about maintaining and investing money in, and that way we free up money to go towards research programs at the centre."
     The land will be converted back into green space.
     The following historic image is from "Friends of the Farm"  http://friendsofthefarmpei.ca/
Above: Ravenwood on the Left / Mt. Edward Rd. / Ardgowan on the Right

     Below is information from the Historic Places website regarding Ravenwood.  http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=10848


Ravenwood House, also known as Building 5, sits on an extensive lawn, surrounded by trees, at the Experimental Farm in Charlottetown. It is a striking, two-storey, hipped roof structure clad in clapboard. The classically inspired composition features two symmetrical, double-storey bay windows, a classical portico entrance with columns and a centrally placed roof lantern. Classical detailing is also found in the full-height pilasters at the corners and in the wood window treatment. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.


Ravenwood House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Historical Value
Ravenwood House is of historical value for its association with nationally significant government figures and with the development of experimental farms in Canada. It is associated with William Johnston, the Attorney General of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) from 1813 to his death in 1828, who built the house as his country estate. The house is also associated with J.C. Pope, who resided at the house at the time of Confederation. He served as Premier of the province, was one of the first Members of Parliament from the Island, and was federal Fisheries Minister from 1878 to 1882. The house is also a very good example of the experimental farm developed by the federal government at the turn of the century to improve Canadian agriculture through research. Ravenwood was the central building around which the farm was planned, and has been home to a succession of superintendents, the first being Dr. J. A. Clark, a well-known and respected P.E.I. agriculturalist.
Architectural Value
Ravenwood House is valued for its very good aesthetic and functional design. A successful elaboration of an original Georgian era building with elements of the Classical Revival style, it was originally built with a five bay fa├žade, steep hipped roof and verandah wrapping around three sides. Renovated in 1909 to create a classical revival composition with symmetrical double-storey bay windows and a classical portico, it is a very good example of both early 19th- and early 20th-century classical designs. Demonstrating a very good functional design, its center-hall plan, with its arrangement of parlors, offices, a rear kitchen wing and four bedrooms above, reflects the exterior symmetry. Very good craftsmanship is evidenced in its interior, 19th-century, detailing that includes marble mantelpieces and plaster ceiling rosettes.
Environmental Value
Ravenwood House is compatible with the picturesque character of its park-like setting at the experimental farm. The extensive front lawn has been embellished with trees planted by various governors-general of Canada and by members of the British Royal Family. Located near the entrance to the frequently visited farm, the house is a regional landmark.
Sources: Gordon Fulton, Ravenwood House, Building No. 5, Experimental Farm, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 91-071; Ravenwood House (Building No. 5), Experimental Farm, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Heritage Character Statement, 91-071.