Monday, January 30, 2017

Ricky Ellis Obituary - Restorer of Island Heritage Buildings

     Sad news from West Prince today as we learn of the passing of Ricky Ellis - he was a carpenter, painter, restorer who repaired alot of Island Churches and buildings over the years.  He and his sons and workers could often be seen hanging from church steeples, painting and repairing. Below are a few that I know about, but there are many, many more! He's gone too soon and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and those of us who appreciated his talents in helping fix-up our old Island buildings.
     The death occurred suddenly at his late residence on January 29, 2017 of Richard "Ricky" Lorne Ellis, Dunblane, 62, beloved husband of Donna (nee Betts) Ellis. Born January 16, 1955 in O’Leary. Father to Carman (John McInnis), Richard (Sarah Jones), Dana (Priscilla) & Kurtis (Joanne). Loving grandfather to Caitlin (Skylar Hustler), Taylor, Hunter Ellis, Mia, Cooper Ellis, Kennedy, Finnley and Isla Ellis. Great grandfather to Abbie, Ali & Lydia.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Indian River Church

     Also this morning I stopped to take a photo of this magnificent church!  This is home to the Indian River Festival held here every summer.

Old Barns in Kensington Area

    I was driving through the countryside this morning around by Indian River and Kensington and took these photos of old barns.

Broadway Street, Kensington

     I was up in Kensington this morning and noticed some old homes being renovated on Broadway Street - great work!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Abram-Village Courthouse - new life

     I came across this article the other day on the Journal-Pioneer's website.  It's great to see this old building be repurposed and not torn down!

Published on January 18, 2017 ©MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA
Karine Gallant, left and Iain MacInnes with the former Abram-Village courthouse.  Submitted Photo.

When you look at the old building, it’s hard to imagine the courthouse it used to be; the benches, stand and judge’s chair are gone. But even more difficult to picture is the future of the structure as a malting facility.
            “We’ve added a new roof and support beams, we’re hunting for a nice big window, something to give it that extra historic value,” said Karine Gallant one of the cofounders of Productions Piroune, a malting and brewing company.
            Her partner, Iain MacInnes, added, “It’s a very large open space. We want to display the wooden beams, but at the same time keep some rooms humid in order to malt the barley.
            “Imagine in one of the rooms a small spaceship. It’s our kiln (oven), but it literally looks like a spaceship. It’s got this top part, which would be your landing ship, and then these pontoons that raise it up. We’ve also got the rotating drums instead of having floor malt and our steep tank.”
Recently the duo bought the former Abram-Village courthouse, located on festival grounds, when they learned it was going to be torn down.
             “It was just the most perfect timing,” said Gallant.
            “In the beginning, Iain was working in Charlottetown and I really wanted to move to this area and live in rural P.E.I., but we needed to find a feasible reason to do it.”
            That’s when the couple decided to start their own company. While they were touring in Europe in 2015, the pair visited breweries and hops growers in Belgium.
            “It was a great trip. We got to ask questions and see how things were done, then we also got to see some organic options if we wanted to try growing organic barley as well,” Gallant said.
            But financially affording the facility became a concern, until the pair won the $10,000 top prize from last year’s Dragons’ Contest. The win gave the company credibility that helped them secure the $100,000 needed to set up the project.
             “One thing I’ve noticed is the need to have real Maritime malt. Right now breweries are growing local barley but then having to send it away to go through germination process into malt, and then shipping it back. We want the local barley to stay local and become Maritime malt,” MacInnes said.
            Germination is the process barley seed goes through to begin its plant. It’s where the tip of the root will come out causing the chemical change in the grain, which is desired in malt, said Gallant.
            “The most difficult part has really been getting the ball rolling. Planning-wise everything was OK, but to run after so many pieces to actually get it together was tough,” she said.
            He added, “for me the toughest spot was when we were about 85 per cent of the way there, but a piece of the funding fell through, but if it hadn’t we wouldn’t be in the old courthouse.”
            On the other hand, the best part of the journey is seeing MacInnes’ dream come true, said Gallant.
            “Trying to figure out how we could come to rural P.E.I and realizing how we could make it happen has been the best thing.”
            The excitement of something new is the couple’s favourite part of the adventure.
            “For P.E.I. it’s still an innovative product to develop. The work that is being done to develop new malts and new hops is really cool.”
            “I think being on the forefront of something, being part of something really new and being ahead of things is really neat.”
            Gallant and MacInnes are hoping to have product available for craft breweries by this summer.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


     On Monday evening past Arnold Smith and I did a presentation on the topic "What We Have Lost" focusing on the lost architectural of Prince Edward Island - it's such a broad topic that we focused on rural Prince Edward Island.  Our talk was the first in a series of four put on by the Institute of Architectural Preservation Institute Studies and Conservation of Prince Edward Island.  The annual January talks are usually held at Beaconsfield Carriage house, however, with current renovations the talks are being held at Holland College in Charlottetown.
     Arnold and I have been travelling the Island for more than 25 years photography old buildings and keeping a pulse on the buildings being lost and saved.  
     Below are a few photos from our talk - all these buildings are gone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Kensington Area Churches

     Just came across this 2014 publication about Kensington.