Thursday, February 27, 2014

House Hauling 1916 - Clinton to Spring Valley

     "Herbert Paynter bought a house in Clinton, the first year there wasn't enough ice. The next winter they started with 30 teams of horses, the chain to one runner broke leaving only 8 teams they couldn't stop as the ice was bending under the weight of the house.  A man with sharp axe was posted at each runner to cut the horses clear if the ice broke, it was a heavy up hill haul on account of the ice bending.  All went well, the house was landed up in Coulson's field, from here it was taken back over Coulson's farm by stumper across the Doughart farms and over Bells Hill to Robert Johnstone's farm. The teams were then hitched on and it was hauled to the north side of J. M. Constable's farm, a stumper took it to its present sight on the top of the hill. 
     John Brennan of Spring Valley had the contract, he charged Mr. Paynter $60.00 for 21 days work with his horses and all equipment."
     This story comes from Island Lives online...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

West Devon Train Station

     I recently saw on Facebook's Abandoned Properties of P.E.I. a post of the West Devon Train Station and nearby house.  See the links below...
     I had to find the West Devon Train Station myself - I didn't realize it still existed.  Here's a few photos I took that day a month ago.  The station was moved a short distance to private property and sits on the corner of Route 138 and Jack-A-Point Road (a short dead end road which doesn't seem to go to a point - ?) near the Confederation Trail.

      The following photo comes from...
 A Photo History of the Prince Edward Island Railway by Allan Graham, Page 94.
     Amazing to see there's hardly a difference between this photo and the present-day condition of the station - some 43 years later!
     The following except comes from...
A Photo History of the Prince Edward Island Railway by Allan Graham, Page 27
The Forest Fires of 1889
Daily Examiner, Sept. 20, 1889
     “For some time past, forest fires, many of them started for the purpose of clearing land, - have been more or less prevalent in that portion of Western Prince County lying between Port Hill and Alberton…At O’Leary…it was only by greatest exertions that the railway station house and coal she were saved, clay having to be shovelled upon the fire to prevent its spreading in that direction…
     Between O’Leary and West Devon the fires were burning so close to the railway track that the express train, in charge of Conductor Kelly, had to be stopped several times to examine the track before proceeding.
     At West Devon, Arthur’s mills were burnt down, and all his lumber was destroyed.  The heat from the burning mills and lumber, as well as from the fires in the woods, burnt the sleepers and warped the rails for nearly half a mile, necessitating the stopping of the train at that place.  Here Conductor Kelly took advantage of the only clear space available, and here for a time he and his men had to work hard to keep the train from being burnt up…”

     Here's the house (owned by Nova Scotia resident, appearing abandoned) near the station - it's at the intersection of Route 138 and the Confederation Trail.

2014 Heritage Awards list...

     The following is the list this years 2014 Heritage Awards - cf.
     The Heritage Awards Committee – Marilyn MacDonald (Chair), Catherine Hennessey, Claire Nantes, Ed  MacDonald, and Ian Scott Chose the following from submitted nominations and gave the winners list to the Board of Directors.  The awards were presented February 18, 2014 at Eptek, Summerside. 
Heritage Activity:
- La Belle-Alliance and Georges Arsenault, for Les Acadiens de Summerside/Acadians of 
- Rona Burt, for family heritage kits 
- Leonard Cusack, for A Party for Progress 
- John Flood, for The Master’s Wife: Essays on Sir Andrew Macphail’s Masterpiece
- Jesse Francis, for N’in na L’nu: The MiKmaq of PEI Exhibition and Catalogue
- MCPEI, for the theatre production Mi’Kmaq Legends
- Ken and Judy Meister, for restoration of 98 Summer Street, Summerside...
- J. Clinton Morrison, for Booze: A Social Account of Prohibition on P.E.I.
- Munn Family, for restoration of Lowe-Munn Home, Murray River (not Valleyfield)...
- Stephen Taweel, for restoration of 37 Hillsborough Street, Charlottetown...
- Tryon Area Historical Society, for natural heritage activities

Natural Heritage Activity: Ron Arvidson        

Volunteer of the Year: Lowell Huestis  

Youth Volunteer of the Year: Cody MacKay            

Publication of the Year: Confederation Centre of the Arts and Ed MacDonald, for Cradling Confederation 

Irene Rogers: APM, for restoration of the Kays Building 

Wendell Boyle: 
Laura Stewart, for her video Just a Mess    

Award of Honour: Reg Porter  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Summerside Inn B&B (former Thane Campbell Home) Receives PEIMHF Heritage Award

     Last evening the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation presented their annual Heritage Awards.   One of the recipients are Ken & Jenny Meister of 98 Summer Street in Summerside.  This house is well-known as the former home of P.E.I. Premier (in office 1936-43) Thane Campbell and his family.
     See the article on today's Journal-Pioneer website about the awards...
Here's a photo I took in late summer 2012 during renos.  

Here's a link and photo from the Summerside Inn Bed & Breakfast website.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

O'Leary Train Station Doors

     My brother bought these old doors which once belonged to the O'Leary Train Station.  The doors each measure 36" wide by 87" high by 2-1/2" thick.  He has them for sale - see his blog
Here's info about the O'Leary Train Station - still there on Main Street...
     Here's a photo of the O'Leary Train Station, on the left (the one on the right was the 2nd station, long since demolished), taken from Allan Graham best selling book, "A Photo History of Prince Edward Island Railway" page 79.  The book is now out-of-print but you may be able to find it in used book stores or online at  ISBN is 0-9687204-0-4.

Old barn, O'Leary Road, Unionvale

     Here's an old falling down barn and outbuildings on the Stetson homestead located on the O'Leary Road in the community of Unionvale (located between O'Leary and Woodstock).  
     I took these photos on February 2nd.
     The big barn roof was lifted off during a big wind storm about five years ago.  
     The O'Leary Road has some great old barns as you drive on it - I have to photograph them sooner than later - they're disappearing fast.  Just like the farms and farmers - there's hardly a cow or pig to be found in the countryside in western Prince Edward Island anymore.
Below:  likely a machine building located to the left/west of the old barn. 
     Below:  This is a great outbuilding - probably a hen house. Located to the right/east of the big old barn.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Milk Paints

     I was at Lee Valley Tools Ltd. recently and was reminded of the Milk Paints they have available.  It's a traditional styled, acrylic paint for indoor and outdoor use.  
     The product is made by General Finishes, East Troy, WI, USA and can be purchased here in Canada from Lee Valley Tools Ltd. at their store locations or mail order.
Image and info below cf. 
     While not actually derived from milk proteins, this paint has hues akin to those of traditional milk paints. It dries to a satin finish, and has a more homogeneous, opaque quality that would ordinarily require several coats as well as considerable rubbing-out to achieve.
     Formulated to a thick, creamy consistency, the ready-to-use acrylic-based paint requires no mixing, is easy to apply with a brush, pad or spray gun, and cleans up with soap and water. Can be applied over most water-based or oil-based stains, and top-coated with General High-Performance polyurethane, pre-catalyzed lacquer or conversion varnish.
     Suitable for interior and exterior applications, it is UV-resistant and dries in 2 to 4 hours under ideal conditions. Available in one-quart (946ml / 32 fl oz) containers; coverage is approximately 100 sq.ft.
Made in USA.

     There are other suppliers of milk paints - here's a another such link,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Former MacWilliams Hotel, O'Leary

     The other day I was in O'Leary and stopped to take a few photos of this old house on Main Street.  
     This was the home of the Pate sisters ( L.A.W. Norma June; Marcia, high school teacher; and C.W.A.C. Patricia Joan - all three were veterans of WWII ).  Norma Pate was the last to live here - she died a year ago (see Obituary below).  Last summer the contents were sold at auction.  Word around town is the house will be torn down when the estate is settled.
    The following information about this house comes from, "Threads of our Past: History of O'Leary, 1837-1992"  pages 52-53.
     "In 1915 Percy Turner had a home built to his specifications by Harry Williams who constructed a very fine house in O'Leary.  In 1917, Percy Turner sold his house to James Malcolm MacWilliams and moved to Charlottetown.  Later in Life, Mr. Turner became involved in civic politics and became mayor of Charlottetown for a short term.
    In 1935, Lulu MacWilliams, wife of James Malcolm MacWilliams, decided to venture into the motel business.  Because the MacWilliams house was so large, it easily served the needs of home and hotel.  The clientele consisted of commercial travelers who stayed only 2 or 3 nights.  The hotel could accommodate eight to ten people and would be completely filled by the first part of the week.  The hotel was comfortable, well furnished and had a pleasing atmosphere.  Guest would hurry off from the train at night to be sure to get a room here before it filled up.
    The hotel operated for 12 year until 1947  when it was sold to Jean Pate and her family."
     This magnificent house was built by Henry Wellington "Little Harry" Williams (1866-1934) - he was one of the best carpenters in Prince County in the 1890's and early 1900's.  
     "Little Harry was born in Poplar Grave, P.E.I. - he came from a family of distinguished master carpenters and shipbuilders.  His grandfather, Edward William, was a ship carpenter at the Port Hill shipyards and his maternal Ellis relatives were long involved with shipbuilding in England and in Port Hill.  Little Harry apprenticed under builder George Gard of Alberton before moving to Massachusetts where he worked and studied architectural design.  He married married Effie Ellis (1870-1957) of Conneticutt in 1893.  They later returned to Prince Edward Island and built many impressive buildings in Western P.E.I." cf.
     To see more of Little Harry's work see a previous entry in this blog...
     My Great-Aunt Orilla MacNevin (1915-2001) worked here as a maid in the late 1930's.
Norma Pate
Born: Boston on June 24th, 1925  Passed on: February 27th, 2013
At the Palliative Care Unit of Community Hospital, O'Leary, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, of Norma June Pate, O'Leary, aged 87, veteran of World War, having served in the RCAF (WD), both in Canada and England. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, June 24, 1925, daughter of the late Peter and Jean (Parsons) Pate. Norma is survived by her brother Peter (Marion) Pate, Ottawa, ON., and sister Betty Pepich, Chicago, Illinois. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  Predeceased by her parents, sisters Marcia and Patricia and brother-in-law Eugene Pepich. Resting at the Ferguson Funeral Home and Chapel, O'Leary, with visiting hours Saturday, March 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral service Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. in the chapel. Comrades of O'Leary Royal Canadian Legion will hold a service of remembrance for their late comrade Saturday evening before visitation at 5:45 p.m. Interment to follow at a later date in the Bloomfield United Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials, in memory of Norma, to the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) would be appreciated.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Matthews House, O'Leary

     This was the home of Lloyd (1916-1999) and Velda (1920-1974) Matthew, located on the corner of Main Street (O'Leary Road) and Gaspe Road on the east side of O'Leary.  
     Five years ago this house was destined for demolition and in very poor condition, then along came a new owner who did a complete restoration, returning to its' original splendor!
      Lloyd's father George built this house, he was a lawyer and had his law office on the second floor.
     Here's Lloyd's obituary...
     Lloyd G. Matthews passed away peacefully on May 20, 1999 at the Community Hospital, O'Leary, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was born March 5, 1916, the son of George and Emma (Carruthers) Matthews, O'Leary. Like his four brothers, Lloyd served his country overseas during the Second World War. ( Lloyd and his four brothers served oversea in WWII - miraculously, they all returned home )
     In 1935, he opened "The Little Gypsy Tea Room" in O'Leary. He also operated a shore store in Tatamouche, N.S. and in 1947 he joined his cousin in opening a Clothing and Footwear Store in O'Leary. In 1958, he became Post Master at O'Leary Post Office, a position he held until his retirement in 1980.
Lloyd was very active in community affairs having served as president of the Royal Canadian Legion, O'Leary, a Scoutmaster, a member of the Corinthian Lodge, a charter member and fomer president of the O'Leary Lion's Club, a director of A.M.R. and a founding member of Maple House Inc., a sheltered workshop for adults. He was a faithful member and strong supporter of O'Leary United Church.
In his leisure years, he became a skilled craftsman and made many unique articles for the craft industry. For several years he thoroughly enjoyed spending the winter months in Florida as well as other travel and camping experiences during the summer months.
     Precious memories of Lloyd will include his friendliness, his interest in people, his keen sense of humor and his many acts of kindness to family and friends. In the last year of his life he continued to be exceptionally alert and demonstrated his usual keenness of mind as he became computer literate.
     He was predeceased by his first wife, Velda, in 1974. From that marriage he leaves to mourn two daughters: Lloydia Scavuzzo, Summerside, and Nadine (Dale) Dennis, Knutsford; and one son, Kevin, Knutsford. He was a loving grandfather of Melissa (Ashley) Keenan, Crystal and Denice Dennis, Linda and Derek Scavuzzo, and Molly Matthews and great-grandfather to Ashton Keenan and Leah Esser. A son, Gary, predeceased him in 1974.