Saturday, October 31, 2015

O'Connell-McCabe-O'Shea Store, Iona

    The previous post in this blog show's this old country store in Iona being destroyed by fire yesterday.  It was located at 1788 Iona Road where it intersects with the Selkirk Road.
     According to CBC PEI News online today, the store was owned by Leo and Florence O'Shea who had operated O'Shea's Grocery here until 1993 and since it was not a store.  The family also noted " had been in operation for 200 years."
     Below are photos from Google Maps.
     According to Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island (see map below from the Atlas) the store was owned by Jno O'Connell with 2 acres and a Store.
     In the Cumin's 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island, the store was owned by James McCabe with 10 acres.  It notes he was married to Annie (Anastasia Cairns) with the following children:  Annie, Mary, Margaret and Louise.  According to the McCabe genealogy on the Island Register ( ) James' (1859-1942) daughter Mary J. (1897-1961) "...owned and ran the McCabe store in Iona."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Former store & barn burn, Iona

CBC PEI News report-
House, barn fire underway in Iona, P.E.I.
Belfast firefighters have shut down a portion of Route 23 while they fight fire
CBC News Posted: Oct 30, 2015 12:59 PM AT Last Updated: Oct 30 1:40 PM AT
The fire in Iona was discovered by a passing driver around noon Friday.
( Submitted photo )
     RCMP and firefighters are on the scene of a house and barn fire on P.E.I. at the intersection of the Selkirk and Iona Roads.  The Belfast Fire Department is working to fight the blaze and have closed a portion of Route 23.   Staff Sgt. Kevin Bailey of Montague RCMP told CBC News officers were the first on scene shortly after noon.   "It appears that the fire is likely going to affect both the barn and the attached house," said Bailey.  "Both will likely be a total loss."   Bailey said the residents were not at home at the time. Their relatives are at the scene.   RCMP are asking drivers to avoid the area. 
                                                                                                  - With files from Angela Walker

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Heritage Homes History, Property Ownership, Kensington

Kensington, PEI Heritage Homes History of Property Ownership
KenNet Research Team Winter 2011 
This report contains over 250 ownership profiles of Kensington,
Prince Edward Island’s historic homes. 
Kensington Seniors Surfers Computer Club ©2011

Due to copyright I will show an example property using my photos -
on Page 225 can be found information of the
Crowley-Yeo-Brander House at 74 Victoria Street West
The first transfer of this property was in Dec. 1926 from Crowley to Jardine
Above Photos January 2012 / Below side view October 2015

James Mullally Blacksmith Shop, Kensington

     A few weeks ago I was in Kensington for the weekend, we took a walk to the Railroad Station and walked by this building - I didn't realize this was a blacksmith shop moved here - I thought it was a replica.
     The only thing I can find about James Mullally is that in 1930 he obtained the property at 8 Francis Street in Kensington.
     I will do further research.
Below is a better image from Flickr

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

St. Luke's Anglican Church - consecrated 125 years ago today

St. Lukes Church, O’Leary, Sep 14, 1891
( originally called Church of the Jubilee )
Present: The Rector Rev. J.M. Forbes and Chapel Wardens Jas. A. Webb and E.H. Duvar
      Inventory – This church  ?  one altar fair linen cloth 2 fair white linen cloths (for veils) no altar books one Bible one prayer book for lectern and prayer desk one surplice, an organ (Reed), a good bell, a stone font (carved).  No communion vessels.  The archdeacon suggested the peoples’ looking forward at an early date to purchasing chalice and paten of silver.  The church building was commenced four years ago and completed last year and opened on Whit Sunday.  It was consecrated by the Bishop Oct 21, 1890.  It is a building which does credit to all concerned in it’s ? and decoration.  It shows every evidence of the reverend spirit of the parishioners by it’s cleanliness and order.  It stands on a plot of land one half of an acre in extent which is fenced in by a good substantial board fence.  Another plot near the church lot has recently been secured for a burial ground, one third of an acre in extent.  This is yet to be fenced, and consecrated.
     Finances.  The envelope system has recently been adopted.  The wardens speak hopefully of the.  There is no debt upon the church.  And the rector’s stipend (their share) has been regularly paid.  A small debt still stands upon the organ, but it is expected that this will be in the course of a few days.  The archdeacon is much pleased with what he has seen and gladly congratulates the people of this district of the Parish upon their zeal and love for their Church.
     This church is one of four churches that make up the Anglican Parish of Alberton-O'Leary.  It is has regular Sunday morning services and Sunday School for it's parishioners. 
Post marked 1901

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Holy Trinity Alma - consecrated 125 years ago today

     Our little country church in Alma (Rte.2/Western Rd.) was consecrated.  My great-great-grandfather Stephen E. Jeffery was the first Warden - the church has been used seasonally for the past 25 years.  The following is the first Rector's Report, written a year later...

Holy Trinity, Alma  Sep 14th, 1891
     Present: the Rector Rev. I.M. Forbes, Chapel Warden Stephen Jeffery, and parishioner Joseph Bearisto
     The church building is new having been completed and consecrated last year (Oct 20th 1890).  It is still unfinished inside lacking a coat of oil and varnish for the wooden ceiling and the seats.  It is in other respects complete and is a substantial commodious, well proportioned and handsome church.
     Inventory. There is a good amalgum in the bell- a Bible for the lectern and a prayer book for the reading desk.  As yet the ch. does not possess a surplice, or font, or altar vessels, or altar books or altar linen.  The people are few and not very well off.  They have done nobly in the past and doubtless will endeavour to acquire one after the other as soon as possible, as they are recommended to do, the above necessary articles.
     Land.  Total area one and one half acre. A good board fence encloses one half acre for the church, and two sides of the balance (the third being a snake fence).  The latter portion is used for a burial ground.  This was consecrated for the purpose as far as the snake fence -  commences – by the Bishop last year.
     Finances.  Steps are being taken to contribute to the Rector’s stipend.  There is no debt upon the church or land.  The people are much to be congratulated upon the success of their efforts, which should encourage to continue till the necessary articles are all acquired.

     Below is a photo I took a few weeks ago of Holy Trinity - the others are the only old photos we have of the church taken in the early part of the 1900's during a church picnic.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Robert Gallant's Blacksmith Shop, Howlan - Demolished

     On my way to O'Leary the other day, I took the route through Howlan - below is what remains of Robert Gallant's Blacksmith Shop.  Another historic building gone!!
     I guess the old buildings were in too bad of shape to be moved.  Sorry to see this rural landmark gone!
See previous post on this blog dated June 12, 2011...
Below is an image of Robert Gallant, taken by Lionel Stevenson in 1985 - the photograph was published to in the book, Elders of the Island by Mary O'Brien, Lionel Stevenson, Terry Dunton Stevenson.  UPEI and Ragweed Press.  ISBN 0-920304-53-2.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mend-a-Bath - Bathtub Refinishing

     The other day I met Marlowe Wood, Master Franchisee and his son at my brother's shop - they're located in Freetown, here on Prince Edward Island.  Marlowe has more than 20 years experience in Bathtub Refinishing and has done work for years at my friends motel.
     His services include refinishing of Bathtubs, Tiles, Sinks, Stain Removal, Chip Repairs and Claw-foot Bathtubs.
     Marlowe's contact information is as follows: Ph: 902-315-2284; Email:;  Website:
Above image cf. Mend-a-Bath website.

Leard's Mill Fundraising - help save the last grist mill on PEI!

     LEARDS MILL HATS AND T-SHIRTS FOR SALE, HELP SAVE LEARDS MILL WITH EACH PURCHASE.  $10 for Hats and $13 for T-shirts.  Now available at the Canadian Potato Museum, O’Leary, Prince Edward Island.  Phone: (902) 859-2039.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     JoDee Samuelson (Old Mills of PEI Map, 1996) has calculated = in 1871 there were 117 grist mills on Prince Edward Island - 27 west of Summerside!  Today we have one (1) left on the whole Island, Leard's Mill, and it needs to be saved!!!!
Above: 1888 Leard's Mill, southwest view from the Buchanan Road, Coleman.
I took these photos in the fall of 2014.
Above: west view of Leard's Mill from the Confederation Trail.
 Above info cf. A Light in the Field by H.M. Scott Smith's book, Mills,of PEI.
Above page cf. Past & Present: A History of Brae.  Page 149.
Above: JoDee Samuelson's, Old Mills of Prince Edward Island Map, 1996.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

47 & 49 Edward St. Charlottetown

      47-49 Edward Street is a Colonial Revival influenced multiple dwelling built at some point after 1878. According to local directories Mrs. Sarah Nicholson owned the house from at least 1935 until after 1950 and her tenants Norman and Ethel MacPherson lived there during the same 15 year period. 
     Located on the northwest corner of Edward and Kent Streets.
 I took these photos on Aug. 13, 2012.
Researched by Catherine Hennessey for City of Charlottetown.

Regenerating Places of Faith Workshop

     We got to attend the "Regenerating Places of Faith Workshop: A Workshop for Rural and Small Urban Communities" last week in Sydney, Cape Breton.  The workshop was hosted by "National Trust of Canada" and "Faith & the Common Good" and a pilot for which they hope will be offered to other Canadian communities.
    The workshop was divided in to seven sessions which ranged from, Sharing Hope & Inspiration, Hands-on Exercise to Discussion Sessions.  We learned that not every building can be saved; those more salvageable are located in urban settings; it takes a strong, dedicated and visionary group of individuals to save these buildings.  
    We were the only two from Prince Edward Island, there were a few from New Brunswick - most of the 70+ attendees were from Cape Breton which included a dozen students from Cape Breton University's Leadership course.
     The workshop was held in the "New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation" - this building was the former Holy Angels property (a school, convent, house and 2.77 acres) was turned over to "New Dawn Enterprises" est. 1976 - the oldest community development corporation in Canada. See
     Midway through the workshop we walked less than a block each way to see two churches, St. George's Anglican Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, both closed in 2014 with uncertain futures.  This summer the churches were open to foot traffic from cruise ships which is not a money maker.
      Above: St. Georges Anglican Church. Opened 1791.  Oldest Anglican Church in Nova Scotia.  Built with stone from Louisbourg.  
Above: Sacred Heart Church, built in 1889.  Est. 1825 with a strong Irish heritage.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We learned a few stories while at the Workshop.  Here's a few stories: 
     We met Melanie Sampson of the "Stone Church Restoration Society" and learned about their efforts to save the 99-year-old St. Alphonsus Stone Church in Victoria Mines /New Waterford, NS.  A few days following we heard the good that they had successful negotiations with the Diocese and were making progress to turn the church into a Non-denominational Wedding Chapel, etc.  St. Alphonsus was listed on the National Trust of Canada's 2014 "Top Ten Endangered Places" list.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     We also learned that the "iconic 135-year-old Sackville United Church" in Sackville, NB, listed on the National Trust of Canada's 2015 "Top Ten Endangered Places" list, was demolished in mid-September 2015.
     Below is a shocking image of the demolition of the former Sackville United Church - what's even more shocking is that the salvageable materials, ie. windows were lost!!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A few more things we learned...
     Nova Scotia's Heritage Property Act, Sections 17 & 18 "Approval to alter or demolish municipal heritage property".  The municipality may take up to three-years to consider an application under Section 17
     The province of Quebec has saved/re-purposed many of their religious buildings over the past 20 years in more than 2700 projects with a value of $425,000,000.  They are far ahead of the rest of Canada in saving places of faith.     
     Proverb 29:18  "Where there is no vision, the people will perish".