Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Belcourt Centre on list of Top 10 Endangered Places by Heritage Canada National Trust

     Those of us wishing to see Belcourt Centre saved are delighted to see it included in this years Heritage Canada National Trust Top 10 Endangered Places.  
     Below is a photo I took in February 2015.
OTTAWA, ON – May 26, 2015 - The National Trust for Canada has released its Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists, drawing attention to historic places in Canada either threatened or already lost, as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality. 
     The Endangered Places List, compiled from nominations received as well as from news items the National Trust has been following and reporting on throughout the year includes (from west to east):
*Peace River Valley, Northeast, BC — Hydro power trumps Aboriginal and Natural Heritage. 
*Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver, BC — Seismic mitigation program poised to reduce historic school to rubble.
*East Coulee Bridge, Atlas Coal Mine, East Coulee, AB — Rare trestle bridge needs new lease on life.
*Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON — Feds play fast and loose with a National Historic Site. 
*Barber Mill, Halton Hills, ON — Stakeholder impasse threatens important industrial heritage site.
*Our Lady of Assumption Church, Windsor, ON — Hope remains despite fundraising rollercoaster ride. 
*Quebec Bridge, Quebec City, QC — Longest cantilever bridge span in the world is rusting away.  
*Miséricorde Hospital, Montreal, QC — Institutional landmark in need of revitalization.
*Sackville United Church, Sackville, NB — Deck stacked          against yet another former church building.
*Belcourt Spirituality Centre, Rustico, PEI — Good faith lacking in Diocese’s dismissal of a cherished community asset.

This year’s Worst Losses lists includes three heritage buildings destroyed by the wrecking ball: Etzio Building, Edmonton, AB; Farnam Block, Saskatoon, SK; and the Stollery’s Building, Toronto, ON.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Old House at Murray Harbour

     I was up to Murray Harbour last week - finally getting out and about after the worst winter on record here on Prince Edward Island.
     This old house is located at 268 Machon Point Road.
Meachams 1880 Atlas of PEI shows H.L. Machon living here with 50 acres.  The 1928 Atlas of PEI shows Benj'n Sensebaugh owning this property.  The last owner was Gordon Lemuel Beck who died in May 2004 at the age of 80 ((son of Ezra & Mabel (Dean) Beck))
     See Brad Olivers listing for this house...

 View as you drive in the driveway.

     Above: this side of house faces southeast towards the Murray Harbour - the South River (noted in Meacham's Atlas) divides Machon Pt. Road and Murray Harbour. 
     Below: view through window on left of door into kitchen - note the old stove.
     Above: View of stairs by putting camera against window, this is on the back side of the house - the door on the other side of the house, below the dormer, seems to come in under the stairs. 
 Above: An old building on site - reminds me of a building from the harbour.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Old Barn burns in Knutsford

     The following article appeared on the Guardian newspaper's website:
Faulty lightbulb causes Knutsford barn fire
Published April 30, 2015 - Eric McCarthy/ Journal-Pioneer 
KNUTSFORD — A faulty light bulb is the likely cause of a fire that destroyed a barn in Knutsford Thursday afternoon, O’Leary Fire Chief Blair Perry reported.
The call to the property of Ralph and Sherren Sweet went in to the O’Leary department shortly after 2 p.m. and Perry said they immediately called in West Point and Alberton Fire Departments for back-up and to assist with a water shuttle.
By late afternoon Perry called in a hi-mack to rip steel from the roof of the structure so that firefighters could get at the smouldering bales of hay and straw.
The machine didn’t have far to travel, as the barn fire is located directly behind Matthews Lime Spreading’s heavy machinery yard. The owner of that property had moved some of his machinery out of harm’s way shortly after the barn went ablaze.
Fire damage was confined to the barn. Perry said it contained hay and straw but no equipment or livestock. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

London, UK Council takes 1920s Pub demolition seriously

Developer who demolished Kilburn pub without permission is ordered to rebuild it "brick by brick"

Image: Ewan Munro via Flickr
Earlier this month we ran a story on the Carlton Tavern, a much-loved local pub in Kilburn which was demolished without warning, or, in fact, permission. The owners, CLTX, had bought the pub only to find that Westminster council would not approve its plan to replace it with a new block of flats; and, with the threat that the pub could soon be listed looming, it decided to take matters into its own hands.  Many people were, quite rightly, outraged by this, and a popular response was that CLTX should be forced to rebuild the pub to atone for its flagrant disregard for council permissions and common human decency: 
Well, we're delighted to report that Westminster council seems to have taken your feedback on board. From today's Evening Standard:
The owners of a historic London pub who triggered outrage by demolishing it without permission are to be ordered to rebuild it brick by brick. Council chiefs will next week issue an unprecedented enforcement notice to the firm that owns the Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale requiring it to “recreate in facsimile the building as it stood immediately prior to its demolition”. 

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.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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