Friday, April 3, 2015

Orlo Jones, Genealogist

     I met Orlo Jones thirty years ago this winter as I researched the various branches of my family.  Back then the genealogy department was located in Beaconsfield House.   Every Wednesday evening I would go and do my research - she was a great help to me!  Later that winter Orlo had to take time off due to illness - Arnold Smith, who volunteered there, stepped in to help and it was during one of those Wednesday evenings I met him - eventually learning we were fourth cousins - it's a small Island!!!  My passion for genealogy and Island history has been fostered by these two great Islanders and historians!
     Below is one of my favourite photos - Arnold and Orlo at Ardgowan Garden Party, July 2000.
     Recently Orlo passed away - the following is tribute by Ian Scott which appeared in the Guardian newspaper on March 14, 2015.
     The Orlo Jones Awards mentioned below was established many, many years ago by Arnold Smith in honour of Orlo.
Genealogist left huge mark
Letters to the Editor (The Guardian) Published on March 14, 2015
     The recent passing of Orlo Jones reminded me of her many contributions to the Island. Some readers will recall her regular column in this paper on genealogy several decades ago. During the 1980s I had the pleasure of working with Orlo during her time as professional genealogist for the Museum and Heritage Foundation at Beaconsfield.
     She led an effort supported by volunteers to index (alphabetically on index cards) every written record of genealogical importance in the province. The Master Name Index continued after her retirement and is now over a million records strong; having moved to the Provincial Archives it remains a major guide to locating information for P.E.I. family history research.
     During the pre-internet era, Orlo responded to the inquiries from across the continent providing genealogical research as well as assisting those able to access the growing resources in person. Many would arrive here after having corresponded for several years with Orlo, often in awe of her abilities and knowledge.
     Some of these individuals had lost any connection to their Island roots two or three generations ago and were amazed that she could put them in touch with a local cousin or two with a just a phone call. Quick to realize that few standards for researchers existed she led the way along with Dr. Terry Punch from N.S. and others in the region in establishing certification standards for the profession.
     It is quite fitting that the highest award that can be granted to a genealogist by the P.E.I. Genealogical Society remains the Orlo Jones Award.
Ian Scott, Charlottetown

Sunday, March 29, 2015


     A couple of Sunday's ago I picked up my 95-year-old grandmother, Empress (MacNevin) McDowell to spend the day with her.  As I made my way to O'Leary I took a different route through Coleman - here's a few photos I took with my cellphone.
     Above: an old railroad warehouse beside the Confederation Trail in Coleman.  The store to the left was owned by Rankin Wallace and later by his niece Margaret Lockhart who ran the store until the mid-1990's.
     Above: Free Church of Scotland at Coleman Corner.  Built around 1895.  This was my grandmother's family's church.  The church was used seasonally until a couple of years ago.
See previous post on this blog...
Above: a long abandoned house between the Church of Scotland and Leard's Mill.

     Above & Below: Leard's Mill, built in 1888 by James Barclay, it was later sold to Peter Warren Leard in 1899.  The mill continued operation by the Leard family until 1999.  Today the mill is owned by the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary.
     See previous post on this blog...
     Above:  this was the homestead of Sanford Phillips located in Mount Royal (between Coleman and O'Leary) - he was a successful farmer with a great herd of Guernsey cows.   The house was sold out of the family many years ago and following the death of that owner the house was abandoned.
Above: O'Leary United Church at the Corner of Main Street and Barclay Road.
Below are a photos I took of the church interior last winter.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Grand Rustico

     I was out to Rustico yesterday morning and took a few photos of old buildings - it's a different perspective with all the snow!
     On my way to Rustico on Church Road just before Rte. 6 intersection the first old building is St. Mark's Anglican Church built in 1841, repaired in 1890 and rebuilt in 1912.
Below: Next, on the opposite side of the road, before the corner, is an old blacksmith shop with trees growing around it.
Below: Once you through the intersection at Route 7 continuing north on Church Road, near the corner is the old St. Augustine Credit Union - today this building belongs to the Friends of the Farmer's Bank and used for storage.
Below: about a kilometer from the intersection at a sharp turn in the road is is the Barachois Inn with St. Augustine Church in the background.
Below:  St. Augustine's Parish Church is the oldest Catholic Church on Prince Edward Island, built in 1838 with the first service on Christmas Eve that year.
Below: next to the church is the Parochial House, built in 1844..
Below: beside and to the east of the Parochial House is the Farmer's Bank of Rustico, built in 1864.  One of few Island Sandstone buildings remaining on Prince Edward Island. 
Below:  Over the past 25 years through the wonderful vision and direction of Judy MacDonald (of the Barachois Inn) and her committee, the Bank has been restored and today houses a museum and meeting space.   Further to the east of the Bank is the Doucet Log House, built in 1772 - possibly the oldest building on Prince Edward Island. 
Below: as you make the sharp turn on Church Road between Barachois Inn and St. Augustine's Church you see the Belcourt Center - the former St. Augustine's Convent.
Below:  the Belcourt  Center was built as St. Augustine's Convent and school in 1882 - following a fire February 1932 the present building was re-built on the original foundation by local Parish volunteers. Today the Belcourt Spiritual Center is used as a retreat center.

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Dominion & Kingston United Churches for Sale by Tender

     The other day I heard these churches were going to be sold - shame!!!   
     The present Kingston United Church was built in the late 1980's following a fire that destroyed their original church.  
     The New Dominion United Church was built in 1855 as a Presbyterian Church (formed in 1832) and underwent many restorations the past 15 years.
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First picture: Kingston United Church Building
Second picture: New Dominion Church Building
TAKE NOTICE that the TRUSTEES OF CORNWALL PASTORAL CHARGE, UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA, request tenders for the sale and removal of the Kingston Church building , Route 235, Kingston, PEI, and the New Dominion Church building, 89 Westville Road, New Dominion, PEI. Further information and tender documents can be obtained by contacting the WEST RIVER UNITED CHURCH, 9 Cornwall Road, P.O. Box 89, Cornwall, PEI, C0A 1H0.  Tel: (902) 566-4052, or visiting the website 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New book: Charlottetown THEN AND NOW

     I received this book for Christmas - it's amazing to see the changes and lost buildings!

Friday, February 20, 2015

All Saints Parish, Cardigan

     Here’s the last of the photographs I took last week in Cardigan - All Saints Parish Church on Chapel Road near the intersection with Launching Road.
     The following information comes from, A Faith Walk: Diocese of Charlottetown. 2001.  By Reverend Art O’Shea.  Page 49.
     “In the early 1800’s a few Scottish immigrant families settled this area and eventually other Scottish and some Irish families joined them.  In 1874 they built the present beautiful church which they dedicated to All Saints.  Of French Gothic design, one of its special features was the main altar of Italian marble constructed by parishioner William Lewis.
     The rectory is undated but is said to have been moved to its present site before 1900 after which two towers were added.  Father John MacMillan was the first resident pastor and served from 1894 until 1916.  One of his magnificent accomplishments while in Cardigan was his writing of a two-volume history of the Catholic Church in Prince Edward Island covering the years 1720  to 1891.
     J.J. Bowlen, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta in the 1950’s, was a native of Cardigan Parish.  His brother, Father William Bowlen, while pastor at High River, Alberta baptized former Prime Minister Joe Clark.
     In 9154 the parishioners constructed a Marian archway at the entrance of the church to commemorate that year’s well celebrated Marian Year throughout the world.
     In recent years the church has received extensive renovations including a splendid new basement with facilities for its parish functions.  One of its sections is named the “MacMillan Room” after the above-mentioned pastor and in which parish wakes are held.
     Named after on of the earls of Cardigan, the village area where the church is located offers a picturesque view, touched off by the beauty of its river of the same name which winds through the center of the parish. 
     Today there are 160 families in All Saints Parish.”
      The following information cf. Historic Places website...
     “Construction began in the Spring of 1874 and by November, the church was completed and blessed by Bishop McIntyre. It originally did not include the transept which was added later. The building retains many of its original style elements which include the segmented entrance tower with a spire rising from the middle of four triangular gables on each of the four sides of the tower. These are each topped by a small cross.  The large gable roof features eave bracketing and the transept features a Celtic style cross at the peak of each gable. A transom Gothic window is placed above the double entrance doors. Several renovations, the most recent in 1995, have been made to the building. The original sandstone foundation was replaced by a large modern basement which accommodates many church events. The interior features a rare Italian marble altar which was carved by one of the parishioners, William P. Lewis.”
     The interior photo below also comes from Historic Places website...
Showing view of interior
     Below is an image of All Saints Parish House.  cf. "Can you Identify these people" on the Island Register website.  The house was demolished in recent years.

"Hi Dave, It is the All Saint's Parish house in Cardigan, he said it was taken about 1970. Rev. David McTague would have been the parish priest at that time. Nora Macdonald" -  June 24, 2013

Over 100 barns blow down in 1930 Winter Storm

     The following comes from, 150 Years of Prince Edward Island Weather: Some weather we're having! 2015 PEI Weather Trivia Calendar by Don Jardine and Adam French with David Weale, and the Climate Research Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island.
     February 16, 1930: "A terrific gale, reported as the worst hitting this area in many years, blew down over 100 barns in Kings County.  Winds hit a maximum of 65 km/h at Charlottetown and 37 cm of snow fell.  Two young sons of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Noade of Launching Place narrowly escaped death when they were feeding cattle in the barn and the barn collapsed.  Large pieces of the barn roof were found on Boughton Bay and shingles were found on Boughton Island, three kilometers away."  
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     It's always nice to have an image with a story - since we don't have one from 1930, here's an old barn at the Stetson's on the O'Leary Rd. in Union (between O'Leary Corner and O'Leary) destroyed by a wind storm in the fall of 2009.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

South Granville Presbyterian Church - recent article

     I recently received this article from a friend - it's undated.  The article tells the story about the little church on the Smith Road.  The article comes from "The County Line Courier" - a community newspaper from the Kensington area.  Here's a link:
Here's two previous posts about this church...
I took this photo of South Granville Presbyterian Church in the Summer of 2014.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Former John A. MacDonald Store, Cardigan

     Here's a photo I took last week of the former John. A. MacDonald Store - today it's a restaurant called "Cardigan Lobster Supper" at 4557 Wharf Street.  Here's their website:
     The following information about the store comes from Highlights of Cardigan Area by Beth Brehaut. Page 35:
John A. MacDonald’s Store
     "In 1905, the store operated by Morson & Morgan burned down. The fire also destroyed the early records of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Douglas C. Morson and William Minto then went into partnership. This store was also destroyed by fire. In 1902, John A. MacDonald purchased James Norton's store. Mr. MacDonald dealt in general merchandise and shipped Island produce as well. John A. MacDonald's store. 35 During the First World War most ships were in war service. It was decided to build schooners for shipping produce. A saw mill was needed for this project, so James E. MacDonald's old store was hauled across the ice to be used in the shipbuilding industry. John A. MacDonald's store is now a restaurant operated by his grandson, Jock MacDonald. A disco and lobster supper are also operated in the old store in the summer months."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Station Agents House, Cardigan

     Here's the Station Agent's house in Cardigan.  This was a standard design built in many Island communities with a train station.  I have identified about a dozen agent houses still remaining.  
     I took this photo last week when visiting Cardigan.
     Below is an excerpt from, Highlights of Cardigan Area By Beth Brehaut, Page 8:
"The station house, which housed the station agent, was built when William Flynn was the agent between the late 1890's and the early 1900's. Noel Wilson was the last station agent in Cardigan and he purchased the station house for his home after the station closed."
     See also a previous post in this blog on other Station Agent Home's on the Island...
     Charlottetown architect, C.B. Chappell, designed this house in 1904 - the drawings below came be found at the Prince Edward Island Public Archives & Record Office.