Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Excerpt from the Journals of Hubert Compton

      Further to the previous post Door Knobs, Unhappy Wife, Great Fire there's information below that might help explain the story, however, the dates don't match.  The following are excerpts from the Journals of Hubert George Compton 1831-1915. Hubert was the son of Major Thomas and Hannah Compton and grandson of Col. Harry Compton.  He was educated in Charlottetown, then was a clerk to T. Chappell at St. Eleanors, following he was a partner in business with his cousin, then he engaged in farming on the old homestead.  He was married to Mary Ann Pope Thomas -they had eight children. 
     Hubert wrote a series of articles for The Prince Edward Island Magazine providing much information about the early history of St. Eleanors.  The following excerpts are from articles written by Hubert G. Compton, which appeared in The Prince Edward Island Magazine:  Vol.  I, No. 5, July, 1899, p. 167-171;  Vol.  I, No. 6, August, 1899, p. 224-226; Vol. II, No. 1, March, 1900, p. 25-28;  Vol. II, No. 11, Jan., 1901, p. 366-369.  (cf. the family history - The Jeffery Family of the Isle of Wight and Prince Edward Island, 1998 by Betty M. Jeffery and Carter W. Jeffery)
Lot 17 - The 1863 Lake Map - cf.  www.islandregister.com
The first settlers of St. Eleanor’s by the late Hubert G. Compton:
   Upon his (Captain Compton) arrival on the Island he negotiated with one Capt. Townsend, who had the corresponding halves of each Lot, for the transfer of the other half of Lot 17, his brother officer receiving in return the other half of Lot 19 of which Capt. Compton was owner.  Thus the Compton property became co-extensive with Lot 17.  Before leaving England Mr. Compton prepared all necessary fixtures for the finishing of a comfortable dwelling house, via: window sashes, doors, cornice, wainscotting, etc.
  The construction occupied the space of about two years, being completed in the year 1806.  The house when completed was named the Pavillion.  It stood on a beautiful site a short distance below where the present homesteads now stand, overlooking the water of Richmond Bay, and within a few minutes walk of the shore.  This old landscape, so long a prominent feature in the landscape, was demolished about the year 44 and only traces of the cellar now mark its site.
  Their  (the Acadians) little chapel first stood in the vicinity of Raynor’s Creek.  These were the first to take up land in St. Eleanors, but when they later on purchased 10,000 acres for themselves in the neighboring district now known as the village of Miscouche, they took their chapel with them, together with their other goods, and out of the material of which it was formed they built a residence for their devoted priest.  This house still stands, not now however as the Glebe House, but as the humble residence of a habitant.
…At this time the little church stood on the Pavilion Farm…and between services, as the congregation was seated on the banks of the spring, which rose from a hill not far from where the church stood…

  Referring in conclusion, once more, to the old chapel, it may be interesting to state as in a way corroborative of the truth of this history that the writer, when a child, with his father, Major Thomas Compton, often dined with the priest at his residence which was formerly the chapel mentioned elsewhere in this article, and which was moved from Raynor’s Creek upon the transfer of the property from Lot 19 to the vicinity of the Pavillion where it remained until its last removal to Miscouche.
  The “Broad” Farm which just before the time of writing again changed hands, is of considerable historic interest in North St. Eleanor’s.  The writer was born on this farm in the year 1831, the property being at that time owned by his father.  In 1834 it passed by purchase into the hands of Hon. James Yeo.  The immediate reason of the transfer was a disaster which happened to Mr. Compton in the loss by fire of a fine dwelling house which had just been completed, when the conflagration swept it away.  It had not as yet, however, been occupied by the family.  The date of the fire was November the fifth- a bon-fire ungrateful as it was unintentional.

  At night we boys indulged our sporting proclivities in this sport, chiefly in pursuit of the sportive eel.  The way we fished them was somewhat unique.  First we constructed torches of birch barkstrips bound with slender spruce roots.  Then swinging ourselves lightly into the very middle of the springs with the aid of the friendly second growth spruce trees that bordered the stream, by that adroit turn of the wrist we drew the eels out one after another till the water became too muddy to see any more.
  In youth I loved to wander through the woods with my gun and faithful dog; no other companions I sought for palpable reasons.  There were but few families residing near us at this time whose members, if they had the same inclinations as mine – but I fancy they had not- were perhaps employed in pursuits of greater profit.  At the same time, however, my lessons were not neglected.  Our teacher was Wm. Coates, Esq., a gentleman who emigrated to this Island from Suffolk, England, in the year 1827, and resided with us for many years.  He was also Deputy Prothonotary and assistant to the late Daniel Hodgson, Esq., at the time of the Supreme Court was held at St. Eleanors, and continued in office until the year 1853 when he resigned owing to ill health, Thomas Hunt, Esq., of the above named Village, succeeding.
  In a brook that ran below our house were to be found many fine trout.  At this brook in those days all the washing of the house was done under the shade of the tree.  At the washing place a large pine log lay across the brook, forming a natural bridge for all who passed that way to and from the houses.
  I remember with pleasure my wandering through the dark shades of the forest.  An abundance of game was than hidden beneath the branches of some of the many giants of the wood towering so far above us.
A closert look at the Compton Properties - Lot 17
cf. The 1863 Lake Map - www.islandregister.com
     The other day I was down the Dekker Road (just off Rte. 2 in St. Eleanors) northward to see if I could eyeball where the Comptons might have lived from looking at the Lake Map above.  As the road came to an end I turned left on to the Lyle Road then came upon the Compton Road which went towards the shore, then it turned into one lane and turned left again but the Compton road continued on an old tree lined road which led to the shore - on the map above I think this is the road that leads down to the "old store".

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