Monday, October 28, 2013

Guernsey Cove Roadside Garage

     This is a great little weathered building on Rte. 18, the shore road, in Guernsey Cove.  A roadside garage from the days when folks parked their car close to the road so when the snowplow went by they didn't have alot of snow to shovel to get their car on to the road.  There were many, many of these around the countryside, however, today few are found.
     I recall being at my grandparents farm one time and in my mind's eye I can still see my grandfather, Roy McDowell in Knutsford, shoveling the big pile of snow in front of the garage doors.  I didn't offer to help, guess I was too young.
     See previous post about roadside garages.
 Above/Below: Northeast View.
 Above: North view.  Northumberland Strait in the background.
Above; Northwest View.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crokett's Jewellers closing after 124 years in Summerside

     Above the Crockett-Gallant Building, 281 Water Street, Summerside. Built 1919.
Info. cf. Historical Places website:
            This structure at 281 Water Street has been a landmark on Summerside's principal thoroughfare since 1919. It has heritage value not only for its solid construction under the supervision of architect George E. Baker, but also for its long association with the Crockett family. 
            It was erected on the west corner of Water and Summer Streets for two of Summerside's prominent businessmen - Herbert R. Crockett and J. Edward Gallant. They purchased the empty lot in 1917 following a devastating fire of December 1916, which destroyed many original buildings on both sides of Water Street. The building that stood on this location had been owned by Charles C. Gardiner and occupied by grocer, Joseph Locke. 
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Crockett's Jewellers closing after 124 years
in downtown Summerside
Published on October 22, 2013
SUMMERSIDE – It will be the end of an era in downtown Summerside when Crocketts Jewellers closes its doors after Christmas.

© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer/ Lynn Nicholson (left) owner of Crockett’s Jewellers, waits on customer Tara Broome during the businesses closeout sale. The business has been operating in Summerside for 124 and will close its doors after Christmas. 
SUMMERSIDE – It will be the end of an era in downtown Summerside when Crocketts Jewellers closes its doors after Christmas.
            Store owner Lynn Crockett said it was hard decision to make but one whose time has come.
            “My great grandfather started the business in 1889,” Nicholson said. “Then my grandfather took over and his brother. Then my dad took it over from his father and then I took it from my father. So, it’s the fourth generation. For 124 years we’ve been a fixture in Summerside. It’s pretty amazing.”
            With all of the success that Nicholson has had with the family business, she felt it was time to close down.
            “I’ve got 41 years in working,” she said. “There are a number of factors. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while and it’s also a decision I knew I was going to have to make. It just seemed in the last little bit that things kind of fit in a row and it was the right time to do it. And I wanted to end on a good note.”
Nicholson said she still loves her job even though she has decided to leave it.
            “I don’t want to be somebody who doesn’t like their job at the end,” she said. “I know people like that and I don’t want to be that person. I still enjoy my job. It’s time. You just know it in your bones and that’s a really hard thing to describe to people but you do. You just really know when the time is right.”
            Nicholson said it took a long time for her to reach the decision to move on but she’s doing so with no regrets.
            “Now that I’ve made it, I’m okay with it,” she said. “The hardest people to tell were the staff. That was tough.”
            Nicholson has no children so there is no one in the immediate family to continue on the Crockett’s’tradition and the rest of her family doesn’t live in the area. The business has also been on the market as well.
            “I have two sisters and my sisters don’t live here and they have different careers,” she said. “It’s been on the market but I just decided that this was the right decision for me at this time.”
            Through the years in running the business, Nicholson has seen the good times and the bad times for downtown Summerside but she sees a positive future for the area.
            “There have been a ton of changes but I think if you’re not changing, you’re not going anywhere,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of changes down here even in the last year.  Kelly’s Flower Shoppe has been sold again. That’s a positive thing. Their building sold. We have a new brew shop opening. We’ve had a Halloween store opening.”
            Nicholson said the advent of Holland College and its Waterfront Campus bodes well for the future of downtown.
            “It’s all positive,” she said. “It’s what life is all about. Crockett’s Jewellers is just another chapter in the history of Summerside and then we’re going to turn the page and there will be something else and there will be something else here.”
            Nicholson said she has many memories of downtown Summerside and it’s difficult to pick out just one.
            “For myself, coming downtown when I was a little kid shopping with my great aunt - pretty good,” she said. “I’ve got tons of memories. I’ve worked every sidewalk sale but two, maybe three since it was started in 1973. Problem is I have a lot of good memories. Somebody said to me ‘What’s the best memory?’ and I thought I can’t say one because so many things keep flowing through your head. It’s just been phenomenal. I’ve been very fortunate.”
            Nicholson said she no real plans once the store closes but travel is something she intends to do.
            “I have family in Paris and we’ll go and visit them. My dad’s brother lives over there and my cousins live between Paris, London and Geneva so we’ll go there,” she said. That’s on the list for next year. Other than that I haven’t thought any farther than that.”
            Since word got around that Crockett’s was closing its doors, the outpouring of well-wishers has been non-stop.
            “It’s been an amazing few days, I will have to day,” Nicholson said. “We have a guest boo because people might like to tell us their favourite memories. It’s been really wonderful. We’ve had generations of families come here. I just waited on somebody who will be back on the weekend with her granddaughter because she wants to come here to get a ring for herself. That’s pretty powerful stuff.”
            “People are amazing and they’ve said so many nice things like ‘Sorry to see you’re retiring but happy for you,’” she said. “They’ll say in one breath ‘I’m sorry the store’s not going to be here’ but then in the next breath they wish me well. You can’t get any better than that. It’s a pretty wonderful thing to think you’re so well thought of in the community. It’s pretty humbling.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

St. Simon & St. Jude Roman Catholic Church - 1859

     The other day I came across this history brochure I picked up while at a service at St. Simon & St. Jude in the summer of 2002.
     Also with the above brochure was another of the 129th organ built by Louis Mitchell of Montreal built in 1882. 
     Below is a photo of St. Simon & St. Jude taken by Henry Cundall of Charlottetown in 1860 - a southwest view.
Below: my 2009 photo showing the northwest view of St. Simon & St. Jude.
     Below my photos of the church east front, along with a view of the adjacent Parochial House.
     Below:  Photo from Parish Website.  Interior restored in 2002 by Atlantic Cathedral Painters  The first time I was in the church for a service following the restoration I couldn't stop looking up at the gold stars on the ceiling - it's absolutely spectacular!
     Below is a before and after from Altantic Cathedral Painters Facebook page of the painting of St. Simon & St. Jude ceiling.

Old Brudenell Schoolhouse renovated

Published on October 22, 2013
     Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay presents a plaque to Frank Dolan to mark the official re-opening of the Brudenell school house following a complete renovation.
Photo & Article by Steve Sharratt.  The Guardian.
Extensive two-year renovation aimed at giving venerable
Kings County school another 100 years of service
BRUDENELL — For years it sat lonely and leaking.
            The local council would sit in the original school desks when holding a monthly meeting and a stiff wind through the drafty windows would easily chill the coffee.
But after a two-year effort, the old Brudenell schoolhouse here has been completely renovated and ready to face another 100 years of community service.
            “It’s unbelievable the amount of work involved to get this done,’’ said council chairwoman Peggy Coffin. “Now we have a beautiful building.”
Coffin welcomed guests to the school house Saturday during the official opening ceremony where former students Athol Robertson and Catherine Robertson (no relation), both 91 years old, cut the ribbon.
            She paid special tribute to council member Frank Dolan, who oversaw the project and spent much of the past summer supervising the contracted work.
            The two-year project began with lifting the building and the installation of a foundation and heating system. The rebuilding continued with water, insulation, shingling, windows, roof and a complete painting.
            “It was badly in need of renovation,’’ said Dolan. “We were holding our council meetings in here and you could see the old place starting to fade.”
            The roof was leaking and the foundation was crumbling when the community contributed $13,000 towards a renovation assisted by both levels of government to cover the estimated $70,000 project.
            Located a few miles from Montague, it’s one of the smaller one-room schoolhouses in the province and served a baker’s dozen worth of students. There were photographs and early textbooks on display, and even two handwriting awards presented to former student Athol Robertson.
            “George Dewar, before he became a doctor, was our teacher one year,’’ said Robertson, who attended during the late 1920s and early 1930s.  “When you saw his face turning red, you quieted down.”
            Former student Annie (Stewart) Cameron drove from Indian River to attend the opening.
            “We all had jobs to do whether it was fetching water twice a day or carrying coal up from the basement,’’ she said.
            “You would roast sitting by the pot belly stove and be chilly if you sat in the corner.”
            Built around the turn of the last century, the school will now be available for events, gatherings or reunions, and absolutely free to residents of the community.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following article appeared earlier in the Eastern Graphic
            Athol Robertson and Catherine Robertson, both 91, sit in the desks they used when they attended Brudenell School in the 1930s. Brudenell School is getting a makeover, and the Brudenell Community Council is selling 20 of their desks for $40 each. - Heather Jordan Ross photo
Community of Brudenell to raise funds to keep
schoolhouse focal part of its community
Wed, 07/10/2013 - 05:00 By Heather Jordan Ross
            As 91-year old Catherine Robertson settled her small frame onto the seat of an old desk, she recalled her first day at Brudenell School in 1928.
            “I went to school with my brothers and sisters and I was very afraid of the first teacher,” she said. “So I was permitted to sit with my sister Doris.”
            It’s been 75 years since nonagenarian relatives Athol Robertson and Ms Robertson sat at those desks as students.
Mr Robertson enjoyed playing more than school work, but he’s grateful of the Brudenell Community Council’s efforts to preserve the school.
            “It’s part of my youth, and I really appreciate what’s being done,” he said.
            Brudenell Council is working to maintain the heritage of the school, which is at least 150-years old, while making it accessible to the community, thanks to money from ACOA and the PEI Community Fund.
            Vice chair Frank Dolan wants a more accessible, warmer community centre that could be used for information sessions, meetings, classes, and music lessons.
            The old school is the community’s only meeting place, and yet it has never had washrooms or year-round heat.
“The big thing is we’ll be able to get public use of it for small meetings,” Mr Dolan said.
            By August, Mr Dolan hopes the building will have a heating system, washrooms, hardwood floors, a refurbished roof, and a display to share the history of the building with visitors.
            Council would like to purchase new chairs and fold up tables, which is why they’re willing to part with every school desk except one.
            “That’s what we were using for people to sit in when they came to a council meeting,” Mr Dolan said. “We’re generating funding from them (the old desks) to buy proper seating.”
            Twenty desks, made by the Globe Furniture Company in Waterloo, Ontario, and at least 70-years old, will be available at a cost of $40 each.
            One desk will be kept for display with other Brudenell School memorabilia.
            “Margaret Jean and Georgina Dewar, who are also on council, have gone through old textbooks, artifacts, and pictures of historical importance,” Mr Dolan said.
            Councillor Margaret Jean Smith also attended the school, and her father designed the first tongue and groove style ceiling. She’s excited to finally see the school provide space for more use than for cold councillors.

            “The need in the community is there,” she said.

Stanhope: Sands of Time. A Community History

    I got a copy of Stanhope: Sands of Time,  A Community History.  Published in 1984 by the Stanhope Women's Institute History Committee. ISBN 0-9691724-0-0.
     I'm an avid collector of Prince Edward Island community histories as they contain photographs of the houses and buildings - it's an excellent source.  I have a loarge collection of these books, which didn't include Stanhope, until last week.
     The following is the front and back book cover along with a few pages of houses which I find interesting.
     Below: The Hudson House was bought by Parks Canada, eventually it fell into disrepair and was burned by them on March 5, 1980.
     Below: Page 268. "In 1900 George Alexander deeded his property to his son George Herbert Alexander, sold it in January of 1912 to David Swan and his son Harry, who later (1922) sold it to Herbert Kielly.  The old home with a small acerage is now owned by Joe and Louis Roper and David Jay, who use it as a summer home."  This was the status of the house in 1984 when the book was written - not sure if it still exists.
     Below:  Page 167.  "One of the military men in Stanhope was Francis Alexander who signed up as a British regular soldier in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1825, aged 18, and was posted to Halifax and Niagara Falls.  His son Captain George Alexander built an armory on the family farm, "Erinville", on the Stanhope East Road.  It was strongly built, on a stone foundation, with barred windows and a sturdy door which could be locked and bolted; these precautions were necessary because the militia rifles and ammunition were kept there, the rifles in racks with each man's name opposite his rifle...The armoury, which can still be seen today (1984), and the rifle range were used for militia drills and training over the years."
     Below: Page 224.  "The large farm house was built by Alexander MacLauchlan in 1898, the contractor being Herman Jones of Pownal.  Alexander's son Ashley inherited the property in 1916 , and sold the house with its 100 acres of land in 1919 to Charles Burt of Baltic, P.E.I.  47 acres were expropriated by National Parks in 1937...eventually Charle's son Leith sold the house and remaining 25 acres to James and Minnie MacFadyen and Dorothy Douglas:  these three had previously managed Stanhope Beach Inn and Dalvay House Hotel.  They named the property "Kiloran" Gaelic for "by a sandy beach".  Kiloran Lodge opened for business in 1949 with four cottages...In 1967 the property was sold to  Mr. and Mrs. Hector MacDougall of Charlotteotwn, Donald MacDougall, Mass., and Thomas Hall of Summerside...In 1970 the MacDougalls started a campground, named "Brigadoon", a 10-acre field.  In 1969 they sold their home in Charlottetown and moved to Stanhope as year-round residents...In 1976 they ceased operating the campground...They are now (1984) working at restoring the fine old farmhouse as nearly as possible to its original condition."
     Below: Page 215.  "In 1889 Mr. and Mrs. Francis Mutch engaged a Mr. Pickering, from the Kensington area, to build a summer resort hotel on their property at Stanhope; this property, at the Point, was previously owned by Mrs. Mutch's father, Alex MacMillan.  The new hotel was a three-storey building with 15 bedrooms on the second floor and third floors, while the ground floor contained sitting rooms, dining room and 1916 it was sold with 45 acres of land, to Donald MacMillan, son of Angus MacMillan, founder of Point Pleasant Hotel.  Donald operatted the hotel under the name of the MacMillan Hotel, later as Seaside Inn...Jack Warren rented the hotel from Donald MacMillan from 1934 on, and in 1945 he bought it, together with 2 acres of land, and operated it with his wife Hazel and son Rhodes, and the latter's wife Doris (Pickard), as Seaside Inn and Cottages, including a 4 unit motel.  Jack died in June 1952, Hazel and their son Rhodes continued to operate the Inn until on April 23, 1966 a fire of unknown origin leveled the old structure, and the Mutch Hotel and Seaside Inn came to an end."
     Below: This historic hotel is considered to be the oldest tourism resort on Prince Edward Island.  It has had many names over the years - Pleasant View Hotel / Point Pleasant Hotel / Cliff Hotel / Stanhope Beach Inn / Stanhope Beach Lodge / Stanhope-by-the-Sea.  
     This historic property was destroyed by Fire on April 23, 2013 - see previous blog post...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cavendish Baptist Church

     I was in Cavendish a week ago and took these photos of the Baptist Church.  The church is located in Cavendish on the Cavendish Road (Rte. 6).
 Above: Southwest view.
 Above: South view, facing Cavendish Road.
 Above: Note the detailing c/w decorative cut shingles in the round pattern.
 Above: Southeast view.
 Above: East view.
      To the east of the church is this monument to the first settlers of Cavendish in 1790.
     Below:  While still in Cavendish I drove down the long lane to the Reg Simpson house, owned today by Parks Canada - I took a few photos here below.  See the previous blog post about this property
     Above: Rear/North view.  Below: looking down the long driveway towards Cavendish Road. 
 Below: an old shed on the Simpson farm.
      Below is an old farmhouse, moved from nearby to his location on the Mayfield Road about 20 years ago.  It's on the south edge of Cavendish as you go towards New Glasgow.  This is a vacation rental property owned by the Wyand family. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Summerside renacts Great Fire of 1906

     This appeared on todays Journal-Pioneer website:
Mike Nesbitt
Oct. 6, 2013 / Journal-Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE - The Summerside volunteer fie department may not have been able to quickly quell the Great Fire of 1906, but its members were quick to celebrate 150 years worth of successes during an open house event on Saturday.
A steady flow of citizens and visitors turned out at the Fitzroy Street station to acknowledge the vital work of the department and pay their respects for the services the volunteer firefighters have provided over the decades.
“We all owe them a debt of gratitude,” stated Margaret Ann Craig.
“They are dedicated and well trained,” she acknowledged, citing the range of new equipment they employ as well as the dangers of chemical fires that weren’t a concern generations ago.
Kids enjoyed a barbecue, cake and refreshments of course, but were also encouraged to try their skills with a miniature fire hose, learn fire safety escape skills and get acquainted with department members and their equipment.
The department has been fortunate to have been able to acquire and preserve equipment from its very earliest days, and displayed it along side the most modern of ladder and pumper trucks.
The highlight of the event was a re-enactment of the Great Fire of 1906.
Organized by the fire department and Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc., the Great Fire story was retold as smoke began to pour from the MacNaught Centre and Archives on Spring Street. Paul Olscamp provided the narration for a couple of hundred onlookers.
The fire warden, portrayed by Barry Whalen, began by running south towards the fire hall, yelling at the top of his lungs while twirling a noisemaker to rouse the town.
Responding to the alarm, women came out of the Wyatt House and reacted to smoke pouring out of the MacNaught House — located across the street — knowing there was someone in the house.
Then the action really started to heat up.
Several firemen arrived on foot with a ladder and rescued the damsel in distress. Within minutes, an 1863-era hand-operated pumper was pushed up Spring Street by 12 volunteers and positioned on the lawn to hose down the building.
Then came the department’s steam-powered pumper, “the Beaver,” arrived shortly thereafter, drawn by two heavy horses. Finally, a hose carriage was wheeled in to provide extra water.
While the re-enactment was easily contained — and the properties did survive the original inferno — the Great Fire ended up destroying more than 150 buildings in a two-block swath, from the downtown railway freight shed northwestward.
Lori Ellis, a board member of Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc., felt the re-enactment came together well to provide a snapshot of the worst fire in Summerside’s history.
Sarah Boeker, who lives near the fire hall, has been watching the practice for weeks but it was her first time seeing them in action.
She and husband, Aaron, recently purchased the Island Home Bed & Breakfast, which was built in 1907 on property purchased from a burned-out homeowner.
“It felt like the real thing happening,” she exclaimed.
“You forget about the history behind it. It was well-described.”
Aaron was intrigued by how much hard work was involved.
Volunteers manning the hand pumper worked at 60 strokes per minute but only for about 10 minutes at a time. They could manage 120 strokes for about two minutes at a stretch.
Even modern firefighters are faced with significant challenges with modern equipment and safety gear.
“We are really proud of our fire department,” he assured.
After the demonstration, the open house continued with a stage play about the fire. Sherri Lee Darrach played a citizen narrator while Adam MacGregor told the story from the points of view of a firefighter, the mayor and a newspaper reporter.
Luckily, only one firefighter was injured during the destruction and no one died.
Darrach described the Great Fire of 1906 as “every citizen’s fire,” which, for 150 years, the Summerside fire department has relied on to draw the volunteers it needs to protect the community.