Wednesday, July 23, 2014

St. Simon and St. Jude Parish Church - Interior photos

     The interior of St. Simon and St. Jude Church is awe inspiring - the blue ceiling with twinkling gold stars is amazing - you can't stop looking up.  The interior was painted by Cathedral Painters of Nova Scotia.
     Also during the restorations in the 1990's a replica of the original altar was built.
     There's also a Casavant Organ in the church - during summer months recital are held regularly.
      St. Simon and St. Jude church is a must visit - well worth the drive from anywhere on Prince Edward Island!
Below are photos from the Side Chapel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

St. Simon and St. Jude Parish Church, Tignish

     Recently I took Rev. Sylvia Dyer (a family friend visiting the Island from Scotland) to see this magnificent church in Tignish!!  She's has been to the Island many times but never had the opportunity to see the church.  Her great-grandfather Rev. R.W. Dyer wrote in his journals 154 years ago telling of his visit to the new church with the Anglican Bishop - see excerpt below. 
     During the 1990's the parishioners of this parish, under the direction of Father Albin Arsenault, carried out an extensive restoration of the exterior and interior of the church.
Below are excerpts from Anglican Missionary Rev. R. W. Dyer's 1859-1884 Journals.
July 4, 1860
            Went in company with Mrs. Fife Brickerfield, Sr., E. Brickerfield and Mr. H. Cundall to meet the Bishop (Anglican) at Louis Ferry.  Arrived just in time to meet him and to return.  We all passed on down to Mrs. Woodman's.  Resting a few minutes, went to see the parsonage and the glebe (Anglican).  The Bishop likes both the glebe and the house and site.  We then were driven home by a bad storm.  Stopped in upon Mrs. Dyer and her little family just as she was taking her dinner.,  Left for the point.  Took dinner there with the Bishop and the Venerable Archdeacon Read Fife and the Woodman family.  Dinner over, we all hastened to the Temperance Hall, which was crowded.  Mr. Read prayers, I read the Lessons and the Bishop preached an excellent sermon from the 'Syrophenician Woman', which gave great satisfaction.  After the sermon and address was presented to his Lordship, read by Mrs. Buckerfield, to which the Bishop replied immediately.  Thank God all seemed to have gone off well.  The Lord bless us and keep us, for Christ's sake.
July 5, 1860
            All started this morning for Tignish Church to hold the Confirmation there.  It being a very fine day, the assembly was large, to see the ceremony.  Many, very many Presbyterian were present.  I am thankful to say that all the candidates came with the exception of one (Simmonds, Mary) who did not come, I believe, for want of clothes.  There were 44 confirmed, 28 females and 16 males.  They were, I believe, deeply affected.  Many of them shed tears.  O: may the Holy Spirit sanctify them all and ever be with them to support them in all dangers until their lives' end.  The Bishop gave them, the candidates, a very  solemn address, besides giving us a good sermon from the words: "Our conversation is in Heaven..."  It was a long and solemn service. After the service was ended, we went to Mr. Caie's to luncheon and then went to see the new Roman Catholic Cathedral with which the Bishop was highly delighted.  I then drove the Bishop in my waggon round to Kildare Capes to see the new church being built expressly for ourselves.  He was pleased with it.  He liked the roof and the appearance altogether.  We went in to Mr. Traver's and took some cake and a glass of wine, and then we came on to Mr. Hochin's where the Rev. Mr. Read was waiting for the Bishop to take him to Mr. Warburton's to tea that night.  We all returned home quite pleased.  Praise the Lord for His unnumbered mercies to us all, no and ever, Amen.
Note the Wallace Sandstone steps at the South Entrance.
      Below is a photo of the church taken by Henry Cundall, possibly taken the day Rev. Dyer and the Anglican Bishop visited here.
I will post photos of the interior tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bideford Parsonage House

     I was up to the Tyne Valley area yesterday afternoon for work.  I took the following photos of the Bideford Parsonage House.
     At the time this house was restored all the eave and gingerbread trimming had been removed - my brother Kerras (of Backroad Folkart) made all the new trimmings from Island Cedar.  See article about his work...
The following information comes from their website.
     This Victorian home is pictured in the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the Province of Prince Edward Island (image below from Historic Places website) that was published by J.H. Meacham & Co. in 1880.  It was the residence of T.H. Pope, accountant and telegraph operator and was constructed in 1878 for Mr. Pope and his wife, Susan Elizabeth (Eliza) Yeo.  Two of their daughters were born while they lived in Bideford.  A copy of the deed for the land from the Government of Prince Edward Island to Thomas H. Pope for the sum of $2.00 on the wall in the foyer.
     On July 10, 1884, the house was purchased by the Methodist Church for the use as their Parsonage and was home to many parsons and their families over the years.  Following church union in 1925, the house became the manse for the Bideford United Church, until it was sold as a private dwelling in 1975.
     When the house came up for resale in 1999, the local community, upon hearing that it was to be sold and moved out of the community of Bideford to Cavendish, reactivated the West Country Historical Society.  The society became incorporated and purchased the home, turning it into a museum with three distinct themes – that of the ear of shipbuilding when the house was constructed; the contribution made to the community by the clergy and their families over the years; and thirdly, and perhaps what has created the most interest for the pubic, is the fact that author Lucy Maud Montgomery boarded her from Aught 3, 1894 until May 11, 1895 while teaching in Bideford No. 6 School.
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     Just up the road a short distance is the Bideford-Conway United Church, formerly the Bideford Methodist Church.  The church was built in 1888 and dedicated in 1890.  For more information see:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Carroll-Reeves House on the Trout River, Carleton

     I was by this old house a few weeks ago - it's located on the shores of Trout River, at 464 Trout River Road (Rte. 137) between Rte. 12, Roxbury and Rte. 2, Carleton.
    Meacham's 1880 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows George Carroll living here with 44 acres. The map shows the property to the southeast of him was owned by Cyprian Aresnault who had a "ship yard" down at the River very close to the Carroll-Arsenault property line.
    Cumins 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows P.P. Reeves living here with his wife Annie and children: Hariet, Vera, Thomas, Russell and Sterling.  He also had 44 acres.
     Today the property is owned by a farming corporation .
     The house is a "center dormer" style house, likely built in the 1880's - Meacham's Atlas shows a house in this location - possibly this one.
     Below is a real estate sign nailed to the power pole - it's an old one as the Oulton's got out of the business a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elite Seed Farm, former Ashley Homestead, Fox Island

     Recently I was over to Fox Island in western Prince Edward Island.  It's located at 269 Fox Island Rd., off Rte. 12, between Alberton and Cascumpec.  
     Cumin's 1928 Atlas of Prince Edward Island shows the Island belonging to Lowden Ashley with 182-acres. Lowden was married to Susan Lewis and had the following children: Rhodes, John, Gladys, Alvin, Elmer, Freda, Fred and Harold.  
     Lowden *Loudy* Huestis Ashley (1877-1953), son of John Butcher Ashley and Sarah Stapley Wallace married Susan *Susie* Lewis (1878-1947) in December 1898.  They lived on the part of the Ashley farm and later purchased the west end of Fox Island from his uncle, Fred Wallace.  Loudy and Susie then moved to Fox Island where they raised their family of eight.  Loudy was a farm and fox rancher.  Info cf.
     When I worked at Maplewood Manor, Alberton, in the summers of 1981-82, Gladys (Ashley) Bonyman was a resident - she was in her 80's.  She often told us about growing up on Fox Island and recalled Mik'maq families coming back to the shores of the Island to spend the summers.  One of her vivid memories was seeing a native woman giving birth.
     See 2008 Guardian newspaper article below telling history of the seed farm which was established in 1962.
 Below: Front of house, facing Northeast.
The house is a "Fox House" style home, likely built just before WWI.
     Below: northeast view from front of house looking towards Dock River and Alberton.
Below: Southeast side of house.
 Below is a barn standing out by itself as you drive up to the property.
     Below is an article from the Guardian newspaper six years ago about the Elite Seed Farm.
- Elite seed farm topic at potato board meeting -
The Guardian. By Nancy Willis. Published on February 27, 2008
P.E.I. Potato Board holds first of four Islandwide annual meetings in Rollo Bay
ROLLO BAY - The P.E.I. Potato Board held the first of its four Islandwide annual meetings here Tuesday, where the future of the Fox Island Elite Seed Farm was of key interest.
            This industry owned seed farm has been a fundamental part of the Prince Edward Island potato world for more than half a century.
            Unlike similar organizations that are nationally funded in the United States, or provincially backed in New Brunswick, the P.E.I. Potato Board is supported completely by local Island growers.
            This year, it cost those producers $217,000 to keep it running and the board decided it was time to take it to the farmers and let them decide what to do with it.
            For decades, the elite seed farm was an international showplace for visitors, and throughout its lifetime it has ensured commercial Island growers that a local source of clean seed would be available to them.
            Now dramatic changes in the potato world, a decrease in the numbers of varieties allowed to be grown there and increased private ownership of seed worldwide have all contributed to the farm not making a profit for the last few decades.  "A variety of factors are also at play, including lower production acreage than in the past; the implication of various regulatory scenarios; and lower virus levels in seed now, which translate into less demand for early generated seed,'' said staff member Mary Kay Sonier.
            Although the farmers were presented with a variety of alternatives, no one was interested in getting rid of it. A few of the many options included maintaining the status quo; selling the property and getting out of early seed production, or continuing with nuclear seed production and trying to expand the varieties they are able to grow.
            Keeping the farm going and maintaining it as a safety net for the industry future was clearly the chosen path. All seemed to agree that the percentage of their dues that went to keeping it running was relatively small, and that keeping it was to everyone's benefit.
            "We now need to know what direction the growers would like to take because there is much to be done out there, and that will depend on the direction we choose,'' said board chairman Kevin MacIsaac.
            "Well, I don't see anyone jumping up and down to say sell her and make cottage lots,'' said Eastern Kings farmer Boyd Rose. He suggested looking at opening up the variety restrictions and lowering the price of the seed they sell so it is more competitive with commercially available product.
            This and a raft of other topics and issues will be discussed at meetings in Mill River Thursday afternoon, and Summerside Thursday night.

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Below is the map from Meacham's 1880 Atlas of PEI showing Fox Island.