Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Revd Canon Robert C. Tuck - PEI Architectural Historian dies

    The following obituary appears on the Guardian Newspaper's website today:
     Peacefully at the Mount on Monday, November 16, 2015 of The Reverend Canon Robert C. Tuck of Charlottetown, age 88 years. Beloved husband of Catherine (Greene). Loving father of Beth (Tuck) (Jonathan) Eayrs and Alan. Foster parent to Rick (Barbara) Rayner and Helen Rayner. Grandpa to Sylvia and Edith Eayrs, Isabel MacLellan and Ivan Morse. Brother of Mary Tuck Corelli and Barbara McAndrew. Also survived by sister-in-law Barbara Tuck and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by grandson Frederick Eayrs and brother The Reverend Edward Tuck. Resting at MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel. Funeral from St. Peter's Cathedral on Thursday at 10 a.m. Interment in St. Peter's Cathedral Anglican Cemetery. If so desired, memorials to St. Peter's Cathedral would be appreciated. Visiting at All Souls' Chapel, St. Peter's Cathedral on Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. Online condolences may be made at

     CBC PEI website also reports the passing of CanonTuck...
     A pillar of the Anglican church in P.E.I., Canon Robert Tuck, has died in Charlottetown at the age of 88.  His son, musician Alan Tuck, said his father died early Monday morning of old age after suffering from dementia.  Robert Tuck was a great-nephew of William Critchlow Harris, a prolific Island architect of the late 1800s. 
"He brought attention and regard to William Harris that had been pretty much been lacking," said Alan Tuck.  Tuck authored Gothic Dreams: the Life and Times of a Canadian Architect William Critchlow Harris, as well as Churches of Nova Scotia, and co-authored Heritage Houses of Prince Edward Island.
He also released two collections of his editorial cartoons, which appeared originally in the Journal Pioneer newspaper and the Eastern Graphic, and wrote and spoke extensively about Island architecture, religion, and history. Tuck was born in in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 1927, graduated from Dalhousie University with an arts degree, then trained for the Anglican priesthood at St Michael's College in Wales before being ordained in 1954. He married his wife Catherine in 1959 and had two children, Al and Beth, as well as two foster children, Rick and Helen Rayner. He served at churches in Nova Scotia before working at St. Mary's in Summerside from 1964 to 1975 and was priest in charge of King's County for 1975 through 1993. He was also a Canon of St. Peter's Church in Charlottetown.  Following in his great-uncle's footsteps, Tuck also designed churches he had built for Anglican use in Montague and Souris. He received recognition for his historical scholarship with awards from the PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation and the Canadian Historical Association, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of King's College in Halifax. He is survived by his wife Catherine, sisters Barbara MacAndrew and Mary Corelli, children Alan and Elizabeth, and grandchildren Edith & Sylvia Eayrs, Isabel MacLellan, and Ivan Morse.
     Below are images of the books Canon Tuck published / co-published ( images come from website ).

     Canon Tuck was an artist and cartoonist.  Many may recall his political cartoons in the 1970s.  Over the years he produced a large collection of sketches of Island historic buildings - below is an example of an article he wrote and illustrated about the Town of Alberton which appeared in "The Island Magazine" No. 24, Fall/Winter 1988.   Bob Tuck penned 13 articles for the Island Magazine.   

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fredericton Train Station - Demolished

     The demolish of the old Fredericton Train Station took place recently - it was expected as the it has been in ruins for quite some time.  Below are photos I took on May 5, 2014.
     For further information on the station see previous post...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Old Homestead on Sou-west River

     I tagged along with a friend the other day as he went to the shore to get seaweed to bank his house.  Here's an old homestead near the river - it appears to be used seasonally.
     The 1928 Cumin's Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows this property owned by Walford McEwen with 130 acres; Silver Fox; married to Kate Campbell.
     The Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island show this property belonging to Thos Reid with 210 acres - it shows a house roughly in the location of this house - it's probably this house as the style would date to that period.

Elmsdale United Church & former Manse

     I took this photo of the Elmsdale United Church on Monday - it is one of six churches that makes up the Alberton Elmsdale Pastoral Charge - United Church of Canada.
     The Elmsdale United Church (formerly Elmsdale Presbyterian Church) was built in 1884 - construction was under the supervision of Thomas Henderson. 
     The church is located at 39948 Western Road (Rte. 2) in Elmsdale, P.E.I.
     Above;  the former Elmsdale United Church Manse, built in 1927 - it was sold in 1972 to Merrill Wallace.   This house is situated directly across the road from the church.
     Above information comes from "Goin to the Corner: A History of Elmsdale, Elmsdale West and Brockton." Volume 1: The Community.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Unhappy Wife - Door Knobs - Great Fire

     When I saw this 1920 photo of Belmont House come up on Earles Picture Restoration page on Facebook I thought I'd post the story below from the book, "Sketches of Old St. Eleanors" 1973.
     Belmont House on St. Peter’s Rd in East Royalty/Charlottetown is reputed to be similar to the one burned down, but is not identical.
* * * * * * * * * *
A Fascinating Story as told by William R. Brennan.
“I know not the truth as it may be - I only know the tale as it was told to me.”
            A Col. Compton of England married a young lady, she was said to be the most beautiful girl in all the land.  When the Col. Received a grant of land in Prince Edward Island, there was much persuasion to induce his lovely wife to leave her native land to come to a new country to live.
            She at last promised her husband that if he would first come and build her a fine home, completely furnished, that she would come with him to settle in the new land.  When everything was in readiness they sailed for Prince Edward Island.
            After crossing the Atlantic and sailing through the Gulf of Richmond Bay, they anchored their vessel off the shores of North St. Eleanor’s.  The young couple walked together from the shore through the fields some distance to their new dwelling.  HE was indeed proud to show her this new home with beautiful furnishing, some of which came from England and some from New England.
            He showed her through the downstairs going from room to room and then they inspected the upstairs.  After everything has been explored the two went outdoors to view the garden and surroundings, and when this was done, he asked his beautiful wife how she liked her new home.  She replied, “The only thing I like about the place are the doorknobs.”
            The Col. then turned, went into the house, removed all the doorknobs , tied them in a string bag, returned to the outdoors, handed his wife the bag with knobs, then immediately he set fire to the new dwelling and all the furnishings.
            That winter they lived in Bedeque and suffered many hardships in the long cold winter.  They were compelled to sell some of the family jewellery to buy the necessities of life.

Charming Churches Christmas Festival - brilliant!!

This article appeared on the Journal-Pioneer website today...
Christmas festival breathes new life into P.E.I. churches
Desiree Anstey / Journal Pioneer / Published on November 06, 2015
© Google Street View / St. Mark's Anglican Church in Kensngton
Festival in Charming Churches is an all-new Christmas-themed storytelling and music event taking place in architecturally and acoustically remarkable churches over three weekends in late November and early December. “We intend to make this such a special event that we feel folks will travel from away to see and hear uplifting, as well as, poignant sights and sounds of the season,” said creator Ray Brow. “Shops, restaurants and accommodations on P.E.I. rarely get visitors in November but with the variety of shows and experimental events there should be something to draw persons of all ages...and the net benefit is an important cause.”  The not-for-profit fundraiser will feature 18 shows provincewide with the goal of contributing to the Syrian refugee crisis campaign, as well as, providing a measure of support for local churches.  “This is a way every Islander can do a small part in raising money for the Syrian refugees,” said Brow.  The idea was sparked from the award-winning Festival of Small Halls.  Historic St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Kensington is hosting a children’s show scheduled on December 6.  The event is associated with the ‘Festival in Charming Churches’ and will also coincide with a Santa Parade. singers, songwriters, fiddlers and storytellers back to their roots, in charming rural settings.  “After years of running the Festival of Small Halls I realized there were additional largely unknown community treasures across the Island that needed to be discovered just as the halls were back in 2008.”  Before the Festival in Charming Churches officially kicks off, associated events will pave the way.  Brow explained that Georgetown is leading the pack with a "Black Tie Affair" fundraiser - the first of its kind.  Georgetown Baptist congregation volunteers are acting as servers.  All the food, meal preparation and prizes have been donated by businesses and members of the surrounding community.  A talented storyteller or two will regale the crowd and fine music will enhance the evening,” he said.  The Black Tie Affair is scheduled on Nov. 21, at 6 p.m., and has three beneficiaries.  Tickets are $55 with the proceeds to be split between Playhouse, Destination Georgetown (volunteer community group working to better Georgetown’s future) and $5 of each ticket to the Syrian Refugee Relief.  Brow hopes the festival will grow into a new Christmas tradition and annually support a charitable cause, and provide a measure of support for Island churches.  “We want to bring more smiles to faces across the province second only to Santa’s Christmas Eve visit. However, the Christmas themed marketing will only be launched the day after Remembrance Day out of respect for our veterans.”
For more information on the event visit:

1853 Panmure Island Lighthouse

     This article appeared on the CBC PEI website yesterday...
 Panmure Lighthouse group needs more volunteers
Open house being held to attract more muscle and brain for lighthouse reno
CBC News / November 4, 2015
     The Panmure Island Lighthouse Association is trying to drum up more support to help with renovations, and to keep the lighthouse going.  The group is holding an open house next week in Montague, trying to turn more of their plans into action.  Regally placed at the end of the beach, it's one of the most photographed lighthouses in the Maritimes.
Jackie Brown of the Panmure Island Lighthouse Association calls
the causeway one of the most beautiful views in P.E.I. (CBC)
     "The Panmure causeway is one of the most beautiful views in P.E.I.," said Jackie Brown, president of the lighthouse association. "When you drive over the causeway to Panmure Island and you see the lighthouse... I would hate to think what would happen if that lighthouse...if that wasn't there. It would be very sad."
Lighthouses decommissioned
     That almost happened four years ago, when the federal government decommissioned 40 P.E.I. lighthouses.  The Panmure association was formed to save it, and will soon take over ownership. Now the real challenge begins, making the much-needed renovations with just an $80,000 federal grant.  The first level will be the gift shop. Before the snow falls, the floors, walls and ceiling will all come down to reveal the original wood underneath. That's to show everyone the oldest wooden lighthouse on P.E.I., built in 1853.  Next summer, they'll tackle the exterior painting.  "We're very anxious to see the lighthouse painted," said Glenna Campbell-Peardon, a volunteer. "That's going to be my first big celebration, when we see this all nice and white again with the red trim. It's going to be beautiful."
The second floor will become a museum, showcasing artifacts and historic information about the building, and its keepers.  "We find that people that visit this lighthouse are fascinated with the history of the lighthouse, how it came about, and the fact that it's 162 years old," said Roger Gallant, another volunteer with the lighthouse association.
Brain and muscle needed
     So far, about 100 people have joined the association, donating $10 a year in support.
But only a small number of them have been doing the hands-on work, and coming up with an action plan.  That's why the call for more help, especially from graphic designers, history buffs, ane young people with fresh ideas. The open house will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 at the CBDC Building, 540 Main St. in Montague.

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