Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Glen Road, Eastern Prince Edward Island


Glen Road - Location: Glencorradale

     This rich, red clay passage wanders through a bright green "glen" where wonderful woodland and pastoral farmland greet the traveller. Just off this road on the eastern end is a large American elm believed to be the largest tree on PEI.  It is reputed to be so big that two men cannot reach each other's hands around its base. This was once a prosperous farming community with a mill and two blacksmith shops. Fine horses and driving wagons were status symbols the residents proudly displayed along this route. 
     Today activity in the area centres around a shingle mill and farming. Stories of fairies abounded (and still linger) in the area, and children would quietly await the appearance of these magical creatures. Nellie MacPhee, a lifelong resident, is well remembered for her fortune-telling abilities. Clinging to her beloved homestead to the end, she was the last person to live in "the Glen". Location: Northeast of Souris, this road is the section of Rte. 303 that runs west from the Baltic Road (Rte. 302, through Glencorradale or "the Glen" as it is known locally, to New Harmony Road.
More info...
     ...Once a prosperous farming community with a mill and two blacksmith shops, today a shingle mill and farming continue.  Fine horses and driving wagons were status symbols the residents proudly displayed amoung the route.  Some believe magical little folk live here.  
Glen Scenic Heritage Road (The)

Bonshaw Community Hall must move for highway - CBC PEI

     This item was on the local CBC radio news this morning.  The hall was originally a church, built in 1865 - it became a United Church in 1925; then closed in the 1990's and used as an antique shop - today it's a community hall.

Posted: Jul 31, 2013 11:59 AM AT 

The community hall in Bonshaw was built at that location more than 150 years ago, but now has to move for the Trans-Canada Highway.Preservation recommended for unused highway lands.                                                       Transportation officials say the historic Bonshaw Hall has to be moved, just a bit, as part of the Trans-Canada Highway re-alignment in the area.  The hall was built on that location, next to the bridge over the West River, more than 150 years ago. The bridge, which is currently being expanded, marks the end of the highway re-alignment just west of Charlottetown, and transportation officials are concerned about where it's sitting.  "When we looked at the alignment of the Green Road and the Hall and the post office we had some issues," said provincial chief engineer Stephen Yeo.  "We're going to straighten the alignment on the Green Road and we are trying to provide more of a set back away from the stop sign to improve safety for the public use."  The extent of the move hasn't been decided yet. It could be just a few meters, or it could be moved on to adjoining land.  But some in the community say they haven't been consulted, and they have a list of demands they want met before the old building is re-located.  Sheldon MacNevin, vice president of the Bonshaw Hall Co-op, said he wasn't pleased that he had to hear through the grapevine that the building will be moved. MacNevin said the community should have been consulted, and there are things he wants done as part of the move.  "We want to have the foundation and septic system in and we would have to have a new well dug," he said.  "We'd like to have a guarantee that they can do this within a week or so."  The move won't take place until next year. Yeo said the province will meet with residents this fall to hear their concerns.

Monday, July 29, 2013

United Empire Loyalists in Bedeque

     Two sides of my family's history have United Empire Loyalists (UEL) who came up from the New England states of America to find refuge in British North American, who eventually came to Prince Edward Island to take up farming in the Bedeque area.
     I was at the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary recently and came across the book about the Hooper family of Bedeque - I had to have it.  Within its pages I found miscellaneous references to my own family which I have extracted here, information that describes early churches they were involved with...

Page 98 - Bradshaw reference
...the site of the first Baptist church is covered with graves of its early membership.  The first church, built it is believed in 1826, stood in the middle of the present Baptist cemetery. In bedeque's early history, Isaac Bradshaw was to the Baptist church what Nathaniel Wright was to the Methodist. Coming to Bedeque from Sackville, New Brunswick in 1805 with his wife Sybil Emerson (their eldest daughter Hannah married George Jeffery in 1821), he settled on a farm at central Bedeque.  His pleasant home built on the hill overlooking the creek which for many years carried his surname, was the headquarters of the Regular Baptist church on the island, with Mr. Bradshaw serving very effectively as local preacher in Bedeque and Tryon,..the church when organized in 1826 had a membership of twenty-eight with Isaac Bradshaw the first deacon, 

Page 99 - Silliker reference
...Methodism was making considerable progress, and in 1816 Rev. John Hick took steps toward the erection of a chapel....the church was completed in 1818 on a part of that plot of ground which forms the cemetery [ in lower Bedeque ]. The land being donated by Joseph Silliker (brother of Strang Silliker, uncle to Strang’s sons John & Joseph who moved west to Knutsford, cutting the O’Leary Road out of the wilderness - John Silliker donated land and lumber for Knutsford Methodist church – presently at Canadian Potato Museum, O’Leary).  [The reader will recall that he owned the farm on which the Lower Bedeque cemetery is located. On either side of this farm was the property of  Major Hooper and Thomas Hooper.] The location was near the shore for practical reason that travel was largely by water, there being no roads, only trails.  The building was 30 feet by 40 feet with gothic windows, gallery and porch.  The first trustee board of this Wesleyan property consisted of Nathaniel Wright Sr., Nathaniel Wright Jr., Stephen Wright Sr., Stephen Wright Jr., Elisha Hooper, Joseph Wood, and Jesse Strang Sr.

Comes from....

A United Empire Loyalist Family: The Life and Times of Thomas Hooper
of Bedeque Prince Edward Island, Canada and his Descendants, 1734-2004.
by Nancy E. Neal.
Published by Nancy E. Neal in association with Crescent Isle Publishing. 2006.
ISBN 0-9691824-8-1

Wilkinson's Store for Sale, Springfield West

     I see the old Wilkinson's General Store is still for sale.  It's located in rural Prince Edward Island on the west end of the O'Leary Road in the community of Springfield West.
     The following photos are from the real estate website - they're a bit fuzzy.
Description: 3000'sq ft Country convenience store that serves as a contributing asset to many agricultural communities surrounding Springfield West and area. Built in 1912 this stores provides grocery, medicinal, household items, lottery, hardware items for its many regular and loyal customers. Building features a spacious apartment with it's own private entrance that has tenants. A large upstairs bedroom with a very spacious entertainment room, downstairs features entry, kitchen and dining area. Fridge and stove are included. An unfinished upstairs loft that has an extra 1800 sq ft potential for two other apartments. Stock is not included but certainly can be at a negotiable price. 200 amp service. Oil tank is replaced 8 yrs ago, includes water softener. Easily heated by a forced air oil furnace and estimated cost just under $2000 per annual. Full unfinished basement. Situated on 2 acres of land. 17x26 garage with a mechanics pit may be used for your own vehicle repairs, workshop etc.
 Note the patterned wood ceiling.
The following are photos I took of the store in July 2012.
     My great-grandmother Lucy (Milligan) MacNevin use to tell us about coming here in the fall, about a 7 mile trip from Milo, to get their winter's supply of dry good, flour, sugar, molasses, etc. - that would have been in the 1920's and 30's.
     I can't find much about the history of Mr. Wilkinson and his store, however, I know that upon his death he left a large estate - sometime in the 1950's.  He left a scholarship for young women from the West Prince area who were training at the Island's Nursing School - I had friends in the mid-1980's who benefited from this scholarship.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cavendish Homesteads

     I saw this quote on a tourism board recently - written by world-famous Prince Edward Island author of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

     "Cavendish is a narrow farming settlement...fronting on the gulf of st lawrence .  It is about three miles long and one wide. The narrow homestead farms front on the gulf and on each one is a house."
cf.  My Dear M.  November 9, 1904
- L.M. Montgomery 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     Another well-known poem by Montgomery is "Peace"...

     Peace!  You never know what peace is until you walk on the shore or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Abegweit (M'kmag name for Prince Edward Island) on a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old, old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its nightly tryst with the little land it loves.  You find your sole then.  You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.  And you look around on the dimming landscape of haunting hill and long white-sand beach and murmuring ocean, on homestead lights and the old fields till by dead and gone generations who loved them....even if you are not Abegweit born, you will say "Why, I have come home."
-L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bloomfield Presbyterian-United Church 1883-1969

     I dropped in to the Windmill Craft's Cooperative on Saturday afternoon in Woodstock on the Western Road (Rte. 2) just north of O'Leary corner.  They have a used books section where I found a few local books I didn't have.  
     One of those books is the History of the Bloomfield Presbyterian-United Church written around 1975 - see a few scans below.  
     There were many local history books published on the Island in the early 1970's as 1973 was the 100th anniversary of Prince Edward Island joining Canada.   I believe at the time there was a movement by the Women's Institute and P.E.I. government to document these histories.  Most of these books were published in small runs and today are rare finds. I've been collecting them for years and have a good collection. to enlarge images...
Quote on inside of front cover -
      "A wise nation preserves its records, decorates the graves of its illustrious dead; repairs the great public structures; and fosters national pride and love of country - by perpetual references to the sacrifices and glories of the past." - Joseph Howe.
Quote on inside of back cover -
      "History is a fabric woven by mankind on the loom of time.  Its designs vary with the years - now dark, now bright, now bold, now seemingly insignificant.  Somehow we must seek the pattern as it was meant to be, and help make it a thing of beauty and strength. - Eater Baldwin York. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay Area - an illustrated talk

Historical Talk on ‘Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay area 1800-1880’
The barque Josephine  577 tons
Built at Summerside by John LeFurgey in 1875.
Owned by John LeFurgey and Joseph Read of Summerside.
     Dr. Doug Sobey, a Research Associate of the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, will give a fully illustrated talk on ‘Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay area (including Summerside) from 1800 to 1880’. 
     He will be especially linking the industry to the timber resources of the area and incorporating his recent research into the survey reports of the Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping. Lloyd’s Register (not to be confused with Lloyd’s Bank or Lloyd’s Insurance) still exists as a business (it celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2012) and has kept all of the original survey reports of the vessels they inspected, including several thousand Island-built vessels dating from between 1816 and 1880. In fact between 1856 and 1885 there was a Lloyd’s surveyor based at Charlottetown who visited and surveyed ships built all over the Island at three different stages during their construction.
     Sobey spent several weeks at the library of Lloyd’s Register in London, England as well as in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, examining the original reports for vessels such as the barque Josephine (shown above) built in Summerside in 1875 by John LeFurgey, and he especially noted the different woods that went into each part of a sample of Island-built ships. He says that given a Lloyd’s report for a ship it would be possible to make a replica of the same dimensions and timbers – the reports are that detailed. 
      In his talk Sobey will concentrate on the ships built in the Bedeque Bay area between 1800 and 1880 and he will be considering the timber resources that were available in the watersheds of the Wilmot and Dunk Rivers, as well as in areas to the west, which is another area of his research.
     The talk is sponsored by the Bedeque Area Historical Society, and will take place on Monday July 22 at 7 pm in the Bedeque United Church.  The Society’s AGM will take place after the talk, and all are welcome to stay on for the meeting if they wish.  Admission is free.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Barn, Fort Augustus

     Here's a very old barn with some unique interior construction techniques.   Often you'd find hewn beams and posts - this barn has mostly logs and half logs.
     I visited here on May 22, 1997 to plan a new house for the property.  
Above: southeast corner of the barn.  Below: east end.
     I did a quick sketch of the main floor plan.  Like most old barns, it's divided into four or five sections.  Here's there's five sections - from left/west to right/east = 1) calf pins; 2) cow stable with stone floor under cow; 3) barn floor (this is what we called this area in our farm - its where they bring in the hay through big doors to lift the hay into loft); 4) horse stable; 5) pig pins.
    The cow stable had vertical posts/stanchions to keep the cows in place when in the stable.  See photo below.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Reid Farm, Hope River

     The first three photos here are of the Reid Farm, taken on April 21, 2003.  The property is located on a ninety-degree turn at 257 Reid Road in Hope River.  The house was sold around 2005 - a while later the large barn was burned by a control burn by the local fire department.
     The farmland down by the river has been divided in to 24 +/- cottage lots on the water - so far there hasn't been any construction.
     Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows this property being owned by Simon Delaney with 43-acres which went down to Hope River.  In Cumin's 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island it shows Walter Reid with 93-acres here.  The adjacent 50-acre property to the east, owned by Jno. Fleming in 1880, was amalgamated into the Reid property.
     Meacham's 1880 Atlas also shows the property to the west of this farm was owned by John Dickieson with 145-acres down to Hope River as well - near the shore was a lime kiln.  Today this would have been located across the water from Fisherman's Catch at Bayview Bridge.
Below:  The barn was very large, built in a T-shape with gambrel roof.  
The below photos were taken prior to 2003 using manual/print photography.
      Note the ramp up into the loft - this is the south side of the barn.  The animals would have been housed in the lower part of the barn, below the loft.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Museum preserves Bedeque History

The Bedeque museum contains about 3,000 artifacts donated by a local historian.
cf. CBC P.E.I. website:

Posted: Jul 2, 2013 2:12 PM AT 

The Bedeque Area Historical Museum celebrated its official opening on Canada Day.
The Bedeque Area Historical Society has been preparing for the event for two years, collecting artifacts with historical importance to the area, and renovating The William Callbeck Centre in Central Bedeque.
"The history of this area was beginning to be lost," said society member Sharon Leighton.
"The older generation were dying off, the people who could remember what it was like. And the young people had no way of knowing what life was like for their ancestors, so they wanted to preserve it."
The William Callbeck Centre was home to the Callbeck tailor shop and general store, which opened in 1899 and closed more than 20 years ago.
The museum includes about 3,000 artifacts donated by local historian, Howard Clark. It will be open during the summer months, and by appointment the rest of the year.

See also blog posting re: article from last summer on the announcement -
The old Callbeck's store will soon be a museum.
The old Callbeck's store - Bedeque Area Historical Museum (CBC)

City trying to protect home of former PEI premier, federal MP

Photo cf.
Published June 29, 2013
Guardian Newspaper website:
by Dave Stewart
     Charlottetown's planning board is looking to give the home of former P.E.I. Premier Donald Farquharson heritage status.
     Farquharson was premier of P.E.I. from 1899-1901 and was later a federal MP.
The home in question is located at 77 Upper Prince Street and is currently the subject of a rezoning request.
     Chances Family Centre is proposing to buy the large residential property and use it as their administration offices.  They are asking the city to rezone the property to institutional.
As in the case with rezoning proposals in the capital city, a public meeting must be held to discuss it.  That happened on Wednesday night.
     Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of the planning board, said there was a lot of support for the Chances organization and the work they do for families in the community but there was also some concern with the rezoning and the effect on traffic and the residential atmosphere of the street.  'Many people indicated support if the property could be  rezoned conditional on it returning to a residential zone after Chances vacates or sells the property," Lantz said.  "Unfortunately, the provincial Planning Act does not allow the city to do conditional or contract rezoning that would be required for such an arrangement."
     However, Lantz noted that the property itself has significant historical and architecture value.  "It is a beautiful second empire, mansard style home previously owned by Donald Farquaharson."
     Planning board has agreed to consider the rezoning only if the property was also given heritage status to protect the building.
     The board will consider the public feedback before issuing a recommendation to city council for its July 8 public meeting at City Hall.
Photo cf.
Photo cf. Remax website

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cross Rivers School, Grand River - 1951

     I don't usually bring things over from Historic PEI on Facebook as there are no sources given, however, here's one with a source.
from Helen MacKinnon,, Cross Rivers School, Grand River P.E.I.
     At Cross Rivers, 1951, school closed in 1972 with amalgamation, students then went to Miscouche High, ,later to three Oaks, Summerside.
     back: Owen MacDonald, Rob MacDonald, Florence MacKinnon, Lillian Praught, Geraldine MacKinnon, Shirley MacDonald, Mary MacDonald, teacher, Kay Johnston.
     middle: Edward MacDonald, Audrey MacKinnon, Carol Ann Arsenault, Phyllis Curley, Mary MacKinnon, Rita MacKinnon, Lorraine Arsenault, Connie Praught, Horace Thompson, Lorne Arsenault, Eric Arsenault, Leonard Praught,
     front: Claude MacKinnon, Ozzie MacKinnon, Vernon MacDonald, Don MacKinnon, Nancy Ramsay, Diane Arsenault, Sheila MacLellan, Leonard MacDonald, Ron MacKinnon, Gordon Praught, David Cameron, James Praught, Earl MacKinnon.