Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Work to stabilize Leard’s Grist Mill to begin mid-December

     Thanks to Melissa Heald for the article in West Prince Graphic below!!  
Thanks too to Eric McCarthy of the Journal Pioneer for the recent coverage.
President of the Canadian Potato Museum, left, and Carter Jeffery, right, accept a donation of $10,000 from site manager of Engie Operations Canada Inc: West Cape & Norway Wind Farms Robbie Thibodeau for the stabilization project at LEard’s Mill.  Mr. Jeffery is leading the effort to save the mill in its current location.  Work to save the last grist mill on the Island is scheduked to begin in mid-December.   Melissa Heald Photo.
The future of the Leard’s Grist Mill in Coleman is looking a little brighter now work to stabilize the 128-year-old building is scheduled to go ahead.
          “It’s not in great condition,” said Carter Jeffery, the Island draftsman who started a campaign to save the mill.
          The Canadian Potato Museum, who is responsible for the mill, has hired PD Construction of North Rustico to do the work which is scheduled to begin mid-December.
          The stabilization of the mill will consist of placing a couple of large I-beams beneath the second floor and then air bags will be used to raise the mill. The ground floor will be rebuilt before the mill is set back down on 22 new cement piers.
          Before Mr Jeffery began to lead the effort to see the mill saved and preserved at its current location, the museum had been planning tearing down the building, but not before removing the equipment inside to set up a display at the O’Leary museum.
          But Mr Jeffery said the mill needs to be restored in its original spot and is worth saving as the last of the 118 grist mills that at one time could be found throughout Prince Edward Island.
          While the ultimate goal would be to have a functioning mill again, at least now the stabilization will buy some time for those involved to decide what the next step in the process should be to restore the mill to its former self. A feasibility study that will be done over the next few months could help in deciding what that direction could look like and help in what decisions need to be made moving forward.
          But the work to stabilize the mill couldn’t have waited for fear that it could collapse into the nearby river, said Mr Jeffery.
          The cost of the project is over $100,000 and all the money raised came from private donations, including a $50,000 anonymous contribution. A $10,000 donation from Engie Operations Canada Inc, owners of West Cape and Norway Wind farms, is the largest corporate donation to date the project has received.
          Site manager of Engie Operations Canada Inc: West Cape & Norway Wind Farms Robbie Thibodeau said the national company looks for special projects to support and thought the restoration was a great cause.
          The stabilization of the mill is only part of what will probably be a multiple phase project and could take up to five years before the mill is fully restored, said President of the Canadian Potato Museum Bill MacKendrick.
          Mr MacKendrick said even if the museum had gone with its original plan to remove the artifacts inside in order to preserve them, the mill would have still required stabilizing the structure.
          “Some of the equipment is almost part of the stability of it, the way it’s attached in there,” said Mr MacKendrick of the machinery inside.
          But fundraising to save the mill has been quite successful thanks to businesses like Mr Thibodeau, said Mr MacKendrick.
          “What we’re finding out is the legacy that the mill has built. So many people say I went there with my Dad on a Saturday morning. There’s a community bond for sure,” said Mr MacKendrick, “We’re happy that we’re able to preserve it at its original site.”
          In addition, Mr MacKendrick said stabilizing the building could help in securing government funding for future phases of the restoration project.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tignish Legion Community Centre - 1952

This clipping came from Jane N Mike Gaudet on Facebook.
December 31, 1952

Down at the Shore during Fishing Season

Post on Facebook: Jane N Mike Gaudet Old Photos and Memories 
A time when families lived at the shore during fishing season (PEI).

Monday, November 14, 2016

Egmont Bay Church Souvenir

    A friend of mine found this in a box-lot he bought at an auction recently - it was amoung trinkets and dishes for $5.  The church is St. Phillippe et St. Jacques in Egmont Bay - it was demolished in 1922.  This little vase would pre-date that.
    Here's a previous post I made in this blog...

Thursday, November 10, 2016


     I was down to the Farmers Bank Museum yesterday morning - it was a beautiful fall day - here area some photos of the Farmer's Bank Museum; St. Augustine's Parish Church and Manse; Barachois Inn; and Doucet Log House.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Old Barn, Long River

     Nice old weathered barn near the Kitchen Witch Restaurant in Long River.

St. Mark's Anglican Church, built in 1841 - gone!!

     On this sunny Saturday morning I decided to go over to St. Mark's Anglican Church in Rustico to take a few last photos and maybe some measurements of the exterior before they tear it down.  I was surprised to see it gone already!  All that was left was a filled-in hole and a few wide hemlock boards and a hand-hewn beam.  To think of the hard work that went into building it 175 years ago - there was no going to Kent or Home Depot for supplies - it all came with hard work and the skill of carpenters.
I meandered through the cemetery and took a few photos of some old stones.
    Here's a few photos I've taken over the years of St. Mark's.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Former Bishop McIntyre/MacFadyan/Cran House, Tignish - Destroyed by Fire!

     OK- this is a bad day!!!  One of Prince Edward Island's more historic homes was destroyed by fire last evening in Tignish! 
     My brother was in this house back in April of this year and took the following photos!  He was back here a couple of weeks ago and bought an old table from the owners.  I was awaiting permission from the owners to document and measure the house for archival purposes!
 Below is a painting I acquired last spring of Bishop McIntyre.

Below is a post made on Facebook a few hours ago by Architectural Historian Reg Porter.
     In the 1960s my friend Elizabeth Cran and her children Alison and Anthony and I spent every summer in this huge house managing a long-term project in promoting community culture called the Tignish Arts Foundation. The house had quite a history, having once belonged to Bishop Peter McIntyre who used it for his home when he was parish priest of the area in the 1840-60 period. Later it was bought by a Protestant merchant, Alexander MacFadyen who worked for the Myrick commercial interests. He added on a very large piece on the right and turned the original Georgian house into the new Colonial Revival style. I loved that house and for many years dreamed of it being my home for life. But life had other plans for me. Elizabeth however, did live there for quite a few years.
     Last night, Rose just told me, vandals burned the house down as part of their vile Halloween celebrations. Now all that remains is a framed photo that has all my mature life hung on the wall of my study, wherever I lived. The photo fades but the memories glow.

St. Mark's Anglican Church, Rustico - pending demolition

     I could hardly believe what I was reading on the front page of the Northern Star today - St. Mark's Anglican Church on the Church Road in Rustico (South) was de-consecrated on October 16th and will be demolished!  Not another Island Church!!!!  This church is for 175 years, built in 1841 - amoung the oldest collection of churches left on the Island - few date back to the 1840's.
Here's a photo I took of St. Mark's Anglican Church taken on April 27, 2006

Here's the front page of Northern Star November 2016 issue.
Below is the text about the article.
     A historic landmark in the community of Rustico is no more.  During an emotional ceremony held at the church on October 16th, 2016, St. Mark's Anglican Church was de-consecrated by Bishop Ron Cutler, Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  The congregation, which has been steadily declining in recent years, will now amalgamate with the congregation of St. John's Anglican Church in Milton.
     St. Mark's Anglican Church was established in 1841.  Since that time parishioners have cared for, expanded and maintained their place of worship.  As the years passed, fewer and fewer families filled the pews during services.  Now, 175 years later, the church has closed its doors for the final time.
     "It is a sad day," admitted parishioner Joan Dalziel following the service.  "Our congregation has been declining over the past number of years and now we are at a point where there are only five to ten families supporting the church.  And, with the church needing repairs, there just weren't enough parishioners to bear the burden of that cost."
     While talk of closing had been going on for many months, the final decision to close St. Mark's Church was made at the congregation's annual meeting held in February of 2016.  It was noted at that time the church was in real need of repair and that the financial burden for those repairs was too great for those parishioners who remained. 
     "Even if we did manage to come up with the money to make the necessary repairs, there aren't enough young families left to take it over," said Dalziel.  "We, as a congregation, decided to close our church before we were forced to. It was a hard decision that was a year in the making.  But in the end, there was no push back and the decision to close was made by everyone.  It was just the right time for this closure to happen."
     The little church on the Church Road in Rustico was packed when Bishop Cutler performed the de-consecration service.  Amid the songs and readings, some of the elders in attendance seemed to be holding back tears as they perhaps remembered those gone before them who had kept their church as a vital part of their community, many of them buried just outside in the small cemetery which surrounds the church.  As the service concluded, parishioners were invited to remove some items of special significance which will be placed amoung the honoured items at St. John's Anglican Church in Milton.  Among those items were banners, religious icons and a Bible that had been presented to St. Mark's by the Colonial Church Society of England in 1841.  A stained glass window will be also removed and is hoped to be re-installed at St. John's.  Some of the other hallowed items will be going to a church in Ontario.
     "It's very gratifying to us to see that these special pieces of our church will live on, even if the church itself will not."
     Over the days following the de-consecration of St. Mark's parishioners were invited to take any items they wished from the church.  Following that a contractor had been given permission to remove all the woodwork for re-purposing.  Then another contractor was hired to come in and tear down the building itself.
     "Once the building is torn down and the land it stood on converted into a green space, our plan is to erect a monument to St. Mark's Church and to add benches for families who have loved ones buried  here to come and spend time reflecting and remembering their family members who have been laid to rest here," said Dalziel.  "We are left with many fond memories of our little church but we must and will move forward in a new relationship with St. John's."