Thursday, April 14, 2016

Senator Montgomery House gets new life

     Further to my post of August 21, 2012 when news was circulating of the sale and uncertain future of the Senator Donald Montgomery House (grandfather of L.M. Montgomery) - today's Journal Pioneer tells the story of his great-great-grandson Paul Montgomery plans to turn the house into a Bed & Breakfast.
     Here's my previous post...
     Here's today's post on the Journal Pioneer website...
Montgomery descendant restoring house that inspired Anne’s Ingleside
                                     © Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer.  April 14, 2016
      Paul Montgomery stands outside what was the home of his great great-grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery, who was also the grandfather to acclaimed author L.M. Montgomery. Paul and his wife, Michelle, are restoring the home, the inspiration for Anne Shirley’s marital house, Ingleside, into a bed and breakfast and country inn.

     Now, the three-storey 19th Century wooden-clad home is under renovation, its doors to open later this year to visitors and fans of Lucy Maud Montgomery.  It served as a setting in her books “Anne’s House of Dreams”, “Anne of Ingleside”, “Rainbow Valley’, and “Rilla of Ingleside.” Paul Montgomery and his wife, Michele, are renovating the home build by his great-great-grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery, also Lucy Maud’s grandfather. They purchased the ancestral home in 2014. “It was in quite a state of disrepair,” admitted Paul. “We’ve put a new foundation in, stripped walls down right to the bare studs.” The famous author, his “first cousin twice removed,” spent a great deal of time at the home and drew inspiration from within its walls. It was on the dining room mantle, now stored until work is complete, that Gog and Magog, those green-spotted China dogs L.M. first wrote about in “Anne of the Island,” sat, peering down at guests during Sunday dinners. Paul said the home, situated near the Lake of Shining Waters in Park Corner, was considered grand in its day, taking three to four years to construct. Over the kitchen and dining room are three bedrooms that were the servants’ quarters when the senator resided in the home. The serving window, where, after Donald rang his bell, food was passed from the kitchen to the dining room, still remains and will be preserved. The home has been passed along through the family, bought and sold several times, but always staying with a Montgomery. In the 1970s it was operated as a tourist home by Paul’s grandmother. In the 1980s and ‘90s, his father, Robert, acquired the ancestral home. It was operated as Montgomery Tourist Home then Montgomery Manor with its last incarnation being the Lucy Maud Montgomery Heritage Museum. “We are going to operate it as a heritage bed and breakfast, country inn and the name of the property, when we finish, will be the Montgomery Inn at Ingleside,” said Paul. “It has been a huge undertaking.” He is amazed by the home’s structure, and how well it has stood the test of time. “Where ever there is a window there are actual six-by-six (inch) posts that go from the foundation right up to the attic,” added Paul. “When we redid the roof last year, there were boards that were 24-inches wide, hand-hewn boards.” At first glance as one walks into the door, it’s obvious a lot of work has to be done. There are holes in some walls and Gryproc replacing others. Decades, if not century-old, wallpaper — if it can’t be salvaged — must to be stripped.
Unique features, like hand-painted scrolling on wooden doors, will be preserved, and a mindful eye — and hands — used to ensure the home’s integrity maintained. Paul is confident the work will be complete by for August.  He has been posting progress updates on social media. The project is “a labour of love,” one aimed at sharing his family’s history. “Preserving the history of the site is our main goal.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hunter River Royal Bank

 Above: Charlie Goodwin and Staff with the bank's dog. 1974
 Former Hunter River Royal Bank - Photos taken January 12, 2008

Owners of the Royal Bank Building:
            The Royal Bank of Canada came to Hunter River in September 1913 and operated from the house of Hedley Spence until this new building was constructed and opened in 1918.
            The Royal Bank operated at this location from 1918 to 1976.
            The bank manager had an apartment upstairs.  The last bank manager to live here was Charlie Goodwin who kept his horses in the backyard.
            The present Royal Bank of Canada opened across the street in 1976.  The new bank was built on the property of Percy & George Boyle.  The old Royal Bank building was traded for the land where the new bank sits.
            The building was rented as a commercial space housing a craft shop, etc.
            Bob Storey, Realtor purchased the property and rented it as a Constituency office to Mel Gass.
            Catherine Calbeck purchased the property and used it as a parliamentary constituency office.
            Ewen Taylor, the local pharmacist who was renting space next door from the Noye’s, moved the pharmacy to the old bank in 1988.  He rented it for three years then purchased the building in 1991.  In 2006 the pharmacy moved across the street to the new medical centre. 
            In the fall of 2006 Mr. Taylor sold it to be used as a private residence.

            Information comes from interviews as well as from the “History of Hunter River 1767-1967” by Hunter River Women’s Institute.  Page 32:  The Royal Bank of Canada.
          Well known heritage activist Mark Gallant of North Rustico gave this new bank it's title, "Bungalow Bank" - he was outraged that they tour down historic buildings, including Cardinal McGuigan's birthplace, to make way for this sleek new modern bungalow bank!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Gordon-Dunn-Holm House soon to be demolished in Alberton

     This old house is located at the corner of Main and Carroll Streets on your way from downtown Alberton to Northport - not far from Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  
     It is said to be the oldest house south of "the cross" the main intersection in Alberton.  It was most recent the home of Harvey and Sandra Holm who lived here from 1984-2004 then rented it.  They believe the house is near 200 years old.   
     The ground under this house is mostly sand, once you dig through 6" of topsoil you hit sand.  Mr. Holm's said it was great digging fence posts.   He also said he used the old stone-lined well on the property for many years - it was 16'-18' deep and in recent years had a pipe going into the house to supply water, however, when three houses were built nearby it completely dried up.  
     The Holm's bought this house from Carl Shea; before him the house was owned by Bob Dunn (m. ? Gordon) who used the workshop at the back (next to Dufferin Street) to make sleigh runner, chafes, etc.; before the Dunn's the house was owned by the Gordons.
     The house is said to have a ghost named "Rah" - the Holm's never experienced him.  See the story below from, Footprints in the Sands of Time: A History of Alberton, 1980.
   Page 265-266: "It's very rah (raw) the day," was the usual remark to fall from his Scottish tongue when he greeted an acquittance, so they called him, "Old Rah."  He lived in what is believed to be the oldest house between "The Cross" (corner of Church and Main, Alberton) and the settlement at Cascumpeque Point (Northport) - at the corner of Main and Carroll Streets.  Probably he acquired it about 1887 from James Gordon under whose name it appears in Meacham's Atlas of 1880.  One day, some years later, Old Rah dropped dead in the driveway and in 1902 his mortgaged property was sold to John Dun.  Another family moved into the house before it was purchased by Mr. Dunn and tradition says that Old Rah's ghost was seen in an upstairs bedroom.  Believers claim it was only a whitened flue, but the family left immediately.  This story was well known in the community and two of the Dunn boys, aged about then and twelve, made use of it to have some fun with their small sister on occasions when their mother was absent from home, "Old Rah will get you," they would exult as they locked her in the room where Old Rah was said to have been see, "Old Rah will get you."  The child was terrified but she dare not tell her parents lest the boy carry out threats of what they would do to her if any tales were told.  On other occasions they would tell her, "Old Rah will get you.  You just wait.  He'll reach out from behind one of those white birch trees beside the driveway and grab you.?  The little girl is a grandmother now.  She has not yet seen Old Rah but she never walks up the driveway to her old home at night without thinking of him." 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Brick House, Stratford - demolished!

     The "Brick House" in Stratford was torn down this week - it was located at 29 Stratford Road.  
     It's gone for good!!   There are few 188-year-old buildings left on Prince Edward Island.  I undertand the building was in poor condition, but there should have been some effort put in to saving it.  The first I heard of its impending demise this afternoon on CBC Radio's loccal Mainstreet Island news.
     The Brick House was built in 1928 by William Mutch (1811-1884) aka. Brickhouse William.  He had 200-acres of land here.  The Mutch family lived in this house for many generation until it was sold out of the family in 1959 to Richard MacKinnon.  
     Brick houses are rare in rural Prince Edward Island - of the nine brick kilns operating on Prince Edward Island in the 19th-century, seven of them were located in Lot 48/ Stratford and Area. 
     The above information comes from the Historic Places website: 
 I took the above photo on Feb. 12, 2003 / Below photos Historic Places Website 2008
Showing front elevation
Showing side elevation
     Below is an article written by Nancy Smith of Emyvale, P.E.I - she was a former member of Winsloe South United Church, one of the few brick churches on the Island.
Give Them Clay and They Will Make Bricks
By Nancy J. Smith - January 12, 1999
We are well aware of the hard work and creativity of our Island ancestoers and here is yet another example of their ingenuity.  Clay or ‘brick clay’ as commonly called, causes filtration problems and sets limits for land use.  The presence of clay is suspected in areas with a number of  springs and or swampy conditions and can be identified by its very plastic and greasy texture when wet.
The clayey type till, prominent in the western and south central parts of the Island, consists of silt and claystone (up to 3 meters thick) and accounts for approximately 30% of the exposed soils types.  
Jim Young, Paul Baker, Scott Stewart and George Gaudet live in an area which is known for it prominent clay soils.  Jim will tell you that his property in Stratford would not handle an on site system because of the clay structure of the soil but because of  central sewer areas like Zakem Heights, where he lives, are developed on a larger scale.
 In the book, A History of Southport, the chapter on businesses begins with the brick kilns.  It states “ The brick industry in Southport was once very important to the Island economy.  Of the nine kilns operating in the late 19th century, seven were in Lot 48.  The good brick clays as found in Southport were relatively rare on the Island.  Most (bricks) were used for chimneys and foundations.”   In Charlottetown, Southport bricks can be seen in the Prowse Bros. building, the Masonic Temple, Trinity United Church and City Hall.   And it has been said that the bricks were also used in the construction of the streets in Boston.
Tignish and Rocky Point are areas also known for their brickyards which operated throughout the 1800’s. The Main Building on the Campus of UPEI and Tignish’s St Simon and St Jude Church (1861) are  made from bricks manufactured in Tignish.  The history of the Winsloe South United Church  refers to the winter of  1880 when the horse and sleigh convoy traveled to Rocky Point for bricks to build the church.  Even though the Rocky Point  brickyard closed in the 1880’s it is still indicated on the PEI’s 1988 soils map as a bored pit, this is an indication of  just how restrictive uses for clay soil areas can be.
The Water Resources Division is certianly aware of the problems associated with brick clay or tight soil conditions. With the use of soils maps, well drillers records, onsite inspections and experiences the low permeability areas are identified.  Improvements in technology has allowed for some of theses areas to be utilized with on site sewage disposle units such as contour trenches systems or package treatment plants.
Today, through research and development Islanders, like their ancestors, continue to show their ingenuity for problem solving. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016 Prince Edward Island Heritage Awards

   The following article appeared on the Guardian Newspaper today by Doug Gallant...
     Geoffrey Paton of Charlottetown receives a Heritage Award from Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis for research on Geoffrey's ancestor, Samuel Cunard.

     It was a night to shine the spotlight on significant contributions to Island heritage, as the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation handed out its annual awards Tuesday.
     The ceremony, held at Eptek Art and Culture Centre in Summerside, kicks off Heritage Week on Prince Edward Island.
     Among the night’s winners were Wayne and Janice Trowsdale, who received the Volunteer of the Year Award for their work with the Bideford Parsonage Museum in Ellerslie.
     Wayne said he was surprised to even be nominated for an award, but noted it was a welcome honour. He and Janice led a campaign to save the home, which is now the museum, from being moved out of the community, and, along with many other volunteers, have given a lot of time to its upkeep.
     “It’s a labour of love for us. We’ve put a lot of hours into it … It’s kind of our baby, I guess,” said Wayne.
     “We’re very honourd to be recognized. We’d continue to do it if we weren’t recognized, but it’s certainly nice. We appreciate that very much.”
     Earle Lockerby of Sanford, Ont., and Doug Sobey of Bedeque were recognized for their collaboration on the book, “Samuel Holland, His Work and Legacy on Prince Edward Island,” which was named the foundation’s publication of the year.
     The Port Hill Women's Institute in Tyne Valley was awarded the Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Award, which recognizes an outstanding example of merging community history with genealogy.
     Other Prince County winners were Peggy Hammill and Marlene Campbell, both from the Bedeque area, who received a heritage award for their book, “More Than I Expected: The Story of Peggy McIver Hammill”, and the Knutsford Women's Institute for work in creating community history panels to enhance its programming.
      Handing out the awards was P.E.I.’s Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis.
      Also, during the evening, Culture Minister Doug Currie presented plaques designating five buildings as heritage properties in the province.

HL: And the winners are:
- Sterling Stratton, Charlottetown - Irene Rogers Award recognizing long-time work in promotion of architectural awareness on P.E.I.
- Roy Campbell and Robert Gelineau, Vancouver, B.C., for preservation of the Nathanial -Wright House, Bedeque.
- Gretha Rose for preservation of the Bourke House, Charlottetown.
- SilverOrange for preservation of 84 Fitzroy St., Charlottetown.
- Geoff Hussey for the book, “Charlie of Île Saint Jean”.
- Reg Porter, Belle River, and Richard Campanaro, Charlottetown, for creating a guidebook and research manual for Government House.
- Geoffrey Paton, Charlottetown, for researching and interpreting the life and work of Samuel Cunard.
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown for work restoring and enhancing the 1843-1883 cemetery in Charlottetown.
- Victoria Historical Association for work celebrating Victoria’s heritage.
- Karen Mair, “MainStreet,” CBC Radio  Wendell Boyle Award for promoting and supporting heritage on P.E.I.
- Reg "Dutch" Thompson - Award of Honour for outstanding contributions in the field of heritage on P.E.I.
Robert Harding, Summerville - Natural Heritage Activity Award.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Sandstone Houses of Prince Edward Island by H.M. Scott Smith 1981

     I have a collection of "Canadian Antiques & Art Review" magazines - they are a great source of Canadian history and sometimes feature articles on Prince Edward Island history.
     I scanned this article about Island sandstone houses which appeared in the August/September 1981 issue - the article was written by H.M. Scott Smith.   Mr. Smith later published three books on the architecture of Prince Edward Island.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bev & Bill Bishop PEI House Reno

    I was going through some old files and papers recently and came across this article which I believe appeared in "Century Home Magazine" (later Canadian Home & Country Magazine) sometime around 2001.   The story tells about a renovation by Bev and Bill Bishop of Bedeque.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Old Fashioned Picnic 1914

     The following comes from Allan MacRae's "From the Past" column in the July 29, 2015 edition of the West Prince Graphic.  I believe the house mentioned in the write-up is the Crockett Home at 262 Marchbank Road (aka Jack Donald Rd) in Montrose, beside Marchbank Pond.  This area was in the district of Alma Post Office.
     Below is a poor image from Google Street View. When my father was young in the 1930s this was the home of Alley Crockett and now his great grandson Shane Crockett.

 Old fashion picnic at Alma, Lot 3, enjoyed by everyone in attendance, 1914.
     "On Saturday, 27th of June 1914, the Greenmount Ball Club was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Alley to hold a picnic at the Abeqweit Silver-Black Fox Co.'s ranch at Alma, Lot 3.  Sunny weather, field games, hot chocolate, a basket lunch, home-made ice-cream and ginger tonic were enjoyed by all in attendance." "Summerside Journal," 8 July 1914.
     "The long piazza of the Alley Ranch was prettily decorated with large tissue decorated with large tissue paper plumes of colors of the rainbow.  A hammock and easy chairs on the piazza and lawn made the guests very comfortable.  The prettily arranged parlours and den were opened all day and were enjoyed by everyone."
     "Field games were played and all enjoyed the ball game for hours, the ladies doing extra good work at the bat as well as making many home runs."
     "At 4:30pm our hosts served delicious hot chocolate, together with basket lunches and three large freezers of home-made ice-cream, washed down with a case of ginger tonic furnished by members of the ball club.  Altogether we spent a most enjoyable hour.  After lunch we returned to the ball grounds where we passed the rest of the day in games."
     Messrs. Perley Haywood and Arthur Carruthers, the Misses Estell Haywood, Ella Rennie and Fannie Ramsay from Tignish; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rayner, Mr. and Mrs. Archie Rayner, James Rayner and daughters, the Misses Ruth and Amanda; Mrs. Brenton O'Connor, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hammill and son Frank and daughter Iona from Greenmount; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Platts, and Mr. and Mrs. William Leonard from Kildare Capes.  The invited guests were Mr. Lynch and Mr. John Rayner from Greenmount, Dr. Lynch from Brookline, Mass., Mr. Trask from Boston and Master Gordon Ramsay from Alberton."
     "The day was an ideal one and party broke up at 7:00pm with the declaration that his was the most enjoyable picnic of the season!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Free Church of Scotland, Coleman - FOR SALE

     I was surprised to see this church listed for sale today in the Penny Saver, Alberton for $39,9000.  Definately not the future the MacKay siblings of Milo pictured when they thought they were leaving their near seven figure bequeath to this church.  Apparently the wording of the Will unintentionally saw the money go to the head of the Church of Scotland and not locally.  As a United Church minister commented, "the wording in a will has often seen bequeaths go where they were not intended".
    Here's photos I took in September 2012.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Matthews House, Alberton

     It's a wintry blustery day here in Alberton - just took a drive around town and snapped a couple photos of the old Matthews House at the end of Elder Street facing west.
     For a number of year Mr. & Mrs. Hebert Matthews operated a turkey farm here beginning in 1939 until 1966.  By8the early 1950s it was reputed to be the largest turkey farm in the Maritime Provinces with a capacity of as many as 10,000 mature birds.  At its peak 72,000 day-old pouts were sold in one year.  They had incubators with a capacity to hatch 10,000 eggs in one hatch.  Info. from...Footprints on the Sands of Time: A History of Alberton.
    Mrs. Matthews was Bertha Carruthers of Carleton.  The Matthews had two children, Gordon and Barbara.  Bertha went to P.W.C. and taught at Tryon, Carleton and Alberton.