Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Kilmahumaig" (Station of Meteorological Service), S. Kildare

     This house was located in South Kildare on the Sou'west Road next to the Kildare Bridge, northwest of Alberton.  
     In recent memory, Barry Maloney (1921-2013) operated the Prince Edward Island Miniature Railway - it attracted locals and tourists alike to ridge miniature trains 
     Mr. Maloney came to the Island in 1979 and soon after started working on his railway.
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I found some photos on Flicker of the Abandoned Miniature Railway
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     What brought me to research this property was a 1985 West Prince Graphic newspaper clipping I came across recently about the Cheese Wedge House in Alberton - formerly part of Kilmahumaig house.  It was built by James Hunter, an emigrant from Scotland, who came to the Alberton area in 1872.
     The two images below come from the millennium book, Alberton & Area: A Pictorial History Through Time.
     More information about James Hunter and Kilmahumaig can be found on Historic Places website.
     Below:  I scanned and zoomed this map from Meechams 1880 Atlas of PEI of Jas. Hunter's 50-acre property in South Kildare.  This is before the Kildare Bridge was built - today the bridge spans between the Pattern and Gillian properties.
     My copy of Meecham's Atlas has a poor image of this house - here's an image cf.

     There were two diarists from the Alberton Area who mentioned James Hunter and Kilmahumaig.  They were Rev. Robert Wm. Dyer, Anglican Missionary to West Prince who kept Journals 1859-1884 (transcribed by Carter Jeffery); and Susan Woodman's 1895-97 Journals (transcribed by Susan Murphy).  

1.   Rev. Dyer's Journals -
April 19, 1874 - Sabbath morning: a fine morning but very windy.  Had a pretty good attendance and preached from Matt. 22, verses 12, 13.  Took some dinner and then started for Cascumpec – roads dreadful bad but got down in time for Service at St. Peter’s.  Had a very good congregation.  Mr. James Hunter present and Mr. Cook.  Preached from John 3: “Except a man is born again, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven”. (sic)  After the sermon I administered the Holy Communion.  A happy day notwithstanding all the fatigue of roads, etc.
July 19, 1874 -Sabbath morning: went to the Sunday School.  Mrs. Dyer is very ill; she has been so for the past week but I think that is a trifle better today.  Children present at the School:  about 16 or 17.  Commenced Service, had some very good singing.  The family of the Hallets present, - I am glad they are all Church folks.  Mr. and Mrs. Cook present; Miss Jessie Cambridge and Fanny Smith came in unexpectedly.  We had a good congregation. Mr. James Hunter and family present.  

2.   Susan Woodman Journals -
Tuesday, January 1, 1895 - Year began with a thick snowstorm, which lasted all day. Drifting wildly in afternoon, the first real winter storm of the season. In morning Mr. Forbes came in to ask Charlie to go over to office for a marriage license (which had come in yesterdays mail) as a couple were at the Rectory waiting to get married having driven from Lot Ten this morning. I went with him for my first drive of the New Year. Alva Gordon came back with us on his way to spend the day with Mrs. Hunter. (Kilmahumaig)
Saturday, October 12, 1895 – Cloudy but mild. Agnes and Kate turned out the girl’s bedroom and cleaned it today. Will carting manure in forenoon. Seymour plowing. George fencing a field for some sheep belonging to Mr. Agnew who has brought them in for canning. Emilie, the girls and I took tea with Mrs. Hunter at Kilmahumaig, coming home just before dark. Parkhurst went out tonight. Tom got home from Halifax on night train.
Tuesday, December 3, 1895 – Cloudy and very soft. Will Callaghan did some plowing this morning, which was unusual for the time of year. This is Court Day. Charlie over early and came home to dinner about half past one. Court over and Judge off in noon train. Mrs. Jas. Hunter died of heart failure about eight o’clock this morning. Seymour fishing smelts. George in warehouse.
Thursday, December 5, 1895 – Colder. Roads hard and rough. Wind easterly and raw. Seymour hauling seaweed. Tide too high all day for much fishing. Mrs. Hunter’s funeral at two o’clock this afternoon. Charlie pressed hay from noon until he went to it. 39 carriages passed here following her to the grave. She will be very much missed. A Negro man lectured in Hall tonight for W.C.T.U. Had a large audience but they were interrupted by a cry of fire. Three buildings were burned on Wallace’s corner. High wind.
Friday, April 3, 1896 – A thick snow storm, which lasted all day. So thick that none of us went to morning service but Charlie and Agnes, who walked down from Kilmahumaig. Evening finer. Charlie spent the afternoon with Ted Hunter doing some drilling on a bicycle wheel hub. Will and Seymour had a fight after tea and Will had to go to the doctor to get his eye bandaged. Will Hunter, Will Tweedy and Mr. Wry here in evening.
Tuesday, July 14, 1896 – Bright and very warm. Agnes came down last night and is washing today. Ted Hunter sleeps at Harry’s as Kilmahumiag is deserted. Kate and I sewing carpet most of day. Boys brought two loads of coal and did some more carting. Charlie filling oats to go in Parkhurst.
Tuesday, August 4, 1896 – Bright morning. Thunderstorm in afternoon with very heavy rain. Court day but they finished up before tea time. Tom over to tea. Agnes went to Kilmahumaig to wash blankets.
Saturday, November 14, 1896 – Cold and cloudy. Ground freezing all day but still Seymour went on plowing. A. Cahill hauling seaweed till eleven o’clock then went home sick. Agnes washing windows at Kilmahumaig in afternoon.
Tuesday, November 24, 1896 – Rainy morning. Snow going very fast. Seymour looking for sheep. Ted Hunter called for boys to go fix up the house for him.
Tuesday, January 26, 1897 – Bright morning but cloudy in afternoon with a slight snowfall just at dark. Also pretty cold. Agnes spent the day at Kilmahumaig. Will bending trap bows.
Friday, June 4, 1897 – Bright but north wind. Charlie and I took Bessie and went to factory for the day. Girls in school. We called at Kilmahumaig on our way home and got 13 apple trees from Ted.
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     Here's an obituary for James Hunter's son I found on a Google search... 
HUNTER. – On the 6th March 1910, suddenly, after operation for appendicitis, at Vancouver, B.C., David A. HUNTER, formerly Local Secretary of the Standard Life Assurance Co. in Glasgow, third son of the late James Hunter, of Prince Edward Island, formerly of Kilmahumaig, Argyllshire, aged 45 years.
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    Here's also is a link to the Meteorological Tables Maximum and Minimum Temperatures for 1879 Table LXXIV Kilmahumaig, P.E.I.

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