All Clyde River residents are invited to attend a public meeting at the Riverview Community Centre at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 6th. The meeting is intended to provide information on the 2018 municipal budget and tax rate.  There will also be updates on municipal re-structuring and the provincial Municipal Government Act.  For more information contact Bruce Brine, Municipal Administrator at clyderiver.cic@pei.sympatico.ca.  If a storm date is required, it would be the following night, March 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Marilyn MacLean, of P.E.I. Potters Cove, shows some of her work during a craft fair at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. MITCH MACDONALD/THE GUARDIAN – The Guardian

Reprinted with permission from The Guardian: Thirty year passion for pottery turns into side business for PEI Artist

Marilyn MacLean’s successful pottery business appears to be fate.

MacLean, who has nearly 35 years of experience making pottery, has seen the demand for her product grow rapidly since starting her side business P.E.I. Potter’s Cove about a year ago from her Clyde River Home.

The name has an interesting story behind it, said MacLean.

According to the community’s website, a previous MacLean family that lived in the area in the 1850s had a property boundary marked by a cove named “Potter’s Cove” because of the brick kiln that was once located there.

“I thought it was fate, it was like it was meant to be,” said MacLean, whose business previously went by “pottery by Marilyn MacLean”. “I’ve had a passion for pottery for over 30 years and finally I realized my dream of having a home studio.”

MacLean said she fell in love with pottery by accident after applying for Holland College’s graphic design course.

However, the course was filled and MacLean didn’t want to put her education on hold for a year.

“I thought I’d try another medium and pottery was in the course catalogue,” said MacLean. “The rest is history.”

MacLean later worked at The Dunes before taking business at Holland College.

She has worked at Bell Aliant, formerly Island Tel, for the last 25 years, but has never stopped creating pottery.

Once the college closed its fine arts program almost 20 years ago, several former students formed the P.E.I. Potters Studio Co-op in Victoria Park and MacLean was invited to be an instructor.

MacLean is still one of the co-op’s three instructors and teaches both adults and children pottery.

However, last spring saw MacLean realize her dream of making her own home pottery studio.

Starting with a few items for sale, MacLean’s products were in New London’s Village Pottery all last summer.

While she has had orders from as far away as Oregon and British Columbia, MacLean has seen much of her sales come from other local craft shops as well as through individuals at craft fairs and Farm Day in the City.

With somewhat of an overwhelming demand for her products, MacLean said she hopes to keep her production on a lower scale until turning it into a new full-time job once she retires.

“I’ll do my best to make everybody happy and enjoy the success and I’d imagine it will just get better,” she said.

MacLean said she feels her involvement in pottery was fate and noted that she is a “medical miracle.”

When MacLean was born, she spent two years in the hospital while on oxygen, which resulted the loss of sight in one eye.

“It’s odd that life is just, it’s so special and I don’t take it for granted,” said MacLean. “That’s my purpose in life, to spread the love and passion of pottery.”

The Guardian article here.

Editor’s Notes:

Potter’s Cove is referenced in story here. See the location of Potter’s Cove pinned below on satellite map:

Our third and final lecture is this coming Saturday. See you there.

Saturday, February 24th – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.Dr. Lewis Newman – “Changes and Improvements in Medicine & Medical Technology in my Time” – Dr. Newman’s presentation will reference vaccines, Small Pox, Malaria, Polio, artificial limbs, artificial joints, organ transplants, thermometers, endoscopies, CT/MRI/PET scans, blood glucose monitoring, insulin pump, cataract surgery, key-hole surgery, artificial insemination, oral contraceptives, and gene therapy. He will also touch on the Tuberculosis pandemic that affected almost all Island families in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Dr. Stanley “Lewis” Newman was raised in New Haven. He spent his early school years in New Haven and then Borden School for Grades 9 & 10. He attended Prince of Wales College and went on to Dalhousie for his undergraduate and medical education, graduating in 1969. He began his general family practice in Sydney, Nova Scotia. In 1971, he moved back to PEI and had a general family practice in Charlottetown at the Polyclinic until 2006. Between 2006 and 2012, he was a Hospitalist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. For 15 years he was House Doctor at Beach Grove Home. He retired in 2012.

The Clyde River Lecture Series takes place at the Riverview Community Centre at 718 Clyde River Road. Dr. Newman’s presentation will be followed by refreshments and a social time. Our museum will be open to view local artifacts and heritage photos.

Photo by Kim Mann, Saskatchewan, 2017 GBBC

(News release – National Audubon Society)
The 21st Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place February 16 to 19 — in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches. This global event provides an opportunity for bird enthusiasts to contribute important bird population data that help scientists see changes over the past 21 years. To participate, bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org.

“The 2018 GBBC again promises to provide an important snapshot of bird occurrence in February,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “Some stories to watch in North America are mountain birds moving into lowland valleys and east to the Great Plains, crossbills on the move across much of the continent, and many eastern birds responding to extremes as the winter temperatures have oscillated between unseasonably warm and exceptionally cold.”

“The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to introduce people to participation in community science,” says Dr. Gary Langham (@GaryLangham), vice president and chief scientist for the National Audubon Society. “No other program allows volunteers to take an instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations that can contribute to our understanding of how a changing climate is affecting birds.”

In 1998, during the first GBBC, bird watchers submitted about 13,500 checklists from the United States and Canada. Fast-forward to the most recent event in 2017. Over the four days of the count, an estimated 240,418 bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted 181,606 bird checklists reporting 6,259 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.

“Will we break last year’s record number of Canadian participants?” asks Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Program Director. “A lot depends on the weather, but a little snow and cold shouldn’t get in your way. Remember that you don’t have to venture far afield at all. You truly can count birds right in your own backyard or, better yet, take a pleasant winter stroll around your neighborhood.”

To learn more about what scientists discovered the past 21 years and how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit birdcount.org. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by founding sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.

The 21st GBBC is additionally notable because it is the February call-to-action for the Year of the Bird, a 12-month celebration of birds to raise awareness of how people can help birds by taking simple actions each month. The Year of the Bird is led by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and more than 100 participating organizations. Learn more about Year of the Bird at www.birdyourworld.org.

Saturday, February 10th – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – JoDee Samuelson – “Watermills in PEI, especially those in Clyde River” –For her Master of Arts in Island Studies from UPEI, JoDee wrote her thesis on water-powered mills on Prince Edward Island and Gotland Island, Sweden. Her interest in mills began while she lived in Clyde River, across the river from the Dixon/Scott Mill and down the road from the Beer’s Sawmill on the Bannockburn Road. JoDee will pass along her research on the mills on the Clyde River that at one time provided flour, oatmeal, and sawn lumber for a prosperous ambitious community.

JoDee Samuelson grew up on the Canadian prairies and has lived on the beautiful south shore of Prince Edward Island for the past 30 years. Jody is an award-winning filmmaker and writes a column “The Cove Journal” for Charlottetown’s monthly arts magazine, The Buzz.

JoDee will have Old Mills of Prince Edward Island maps for sale at the event – $15 each.

Our research continues into our collection of Clyde River School textbooks (1880s-1920s). We came across a spelling book used at the beginning of the 1900s – Gage & Co’s Educational SeriesThe Practical Speller – 20th Century Edition – printed in 1901 (208 pages). A sobering message is found in the preface, pointing to the importance of teaching spelling:

Is a Speller a Necessary School Book? The old-fashioned spelling book has been discarded by teachers generally. Many valid objections were properly urged against it use and it passed away.

Entire dependence upon oral spelling may also be fitly styled a method of bygone days. Unfortunately for the old spelling book it was associated with all the folly and weakness of “oral spelling,” and this partly accounts for its rejection.

What have the reformers given as a substitute for a Speller? They took our bread and have given in return but a stone. The bread even though a little stale was much more wholesome than the stone. In Canada parts of the lessons to be found in the Readers are taken as dictation lessons, and the pupils are turned loose on society to shock it by their bad spelling, and disgrace the school which they attended, and which they should have been taught. The readers to not contain all the words that boys and girls will have to spell in life, and if they did, the lessons are not arranged in proper form for spelling lessons. Only a comparatively small portion of readers can be written from dictation in schools. Bad as were the old spellers, they were infinitely better than nothing. This fact is now recognized in Great Britain and the United States, in both of which countries many valuable spelling books have recently been issued. That these were necessary in England is clearly shown by the fact that at a recent Civil Service Examination “no less than 1861 out of 1972 failures were caused by spelling.”

A practical dictation Speller is clearly a necessity, and this work has been prepared to supply an obvious want in the program in Canadian schools. The claim to the name “Practical” is based on the fact that is not a mere collection of thousands of “long-tailed works in osity and ation,” but contains a graded series of lessons to teach pupils the proper spelling of the words which all have to use.

A glimpse at parts of the textbook (click on any photo to enlarge and advance through gallery:

Editor’s note: If you wish to view the full digital copy, we found an edition here at archive.org.


In gathering artifacts in Clyde River for our museum, we have been given a good number of textbooks from the Beer family which were used to teach the children of Clyde River School from the late 1880s to the early 1900s. In reviewing these, I have discovered the delightful education they received despite their humble rural upbringing. It’s no wonder they acquired abilities to recite great poetry, calculate math easily in their heads, and name off the countries of the world and, as a result, were interested to know about the world. As I go through these texts, I would like to offer you a glimpse into a child’s education at that time. We will begin with a Geography book, Calkin’s Introductory Geography – The World: An Elementary Geography, from 1885 written by John Burgess Calkin.

John Burgess Calkin was born in 1829 in Nova Scotia and became a leading figure in Nova Scotia public education. Calkin was principal for many years of the Provincial Normal School that later became the Nova Scotia Teachers College. He authored several textbooks, best known for his geography and history texts. He passed in 1918.

The preface of this geography book sets the tone:

The school is merely an introduction to the child’s education. Its chief aims should be to strengthen the desire to know more of those objects which it brings into view, and to point out the paths that lead to the unknown. On parting company with his teacher, the pupil is prepared to become an independent worker, and to pursue his way with ever-increasing interest and power.

The textbook performs its proper function when it becomes an auxiliary of the school in working out these aims. While it conveys valuable truth respecting its subject, its higher purpose should be to awaken an interest in that subject, and to lead to systematic and persevering effort in searching it out more fully.

In studying geography, children need to realize that they are acquiring knowledge of things which have a real existence in the world around them, and that this knowledge has been gained by such observation as they are capable of exercising. The only sure way of securing this is, at the outset, to take them to something that is tangible. The first knowledge presented must be concrete, and should be given through oral lessons on their own neighborhood. In this way, beginners acquire clear and definite ideas as to the nature of the study upon which they are entering, and they are led upward from things to definitions and principles.

In following that approach, he begins the book with a chapter: “The School District or Section”, where he describes the school-house in a country community in a way that they will understand the underpinnings of grasping geography.

This is a picture of a school-house in the country. The boys and girls are assembling for school. Around their homes, scattered here and there through the neighborhood are hills, valleys, level fields, and woodlands. It is summer, and the country is very beautiful. The farmers are busy with their haymaking in the meadows. Near by are patches of grain and potatoes and on the sunny slopes are orchards which, in the autumn, will be laden with apples and pears. A way up on the hillsides are the pastures where the cows and sheep are quietly feeding. In the valleys, the brooks which have come down from the springs among the hills are winding their way, and hasting to the sea. Here, on holidays, the boys love to fish or sail their tiny boats, and girls love to stroll along the green banks and gather wildflowers.

He goes on to describe that other children may live on the seaside where the land is rocky and they have views of sailing ships. Yet others live in the city where there are no fields or brooks, but rather houses and shops with narrow streets between them where there are many kinds of things such as printers who print books and newspapers. Or others may live near coal mines and the men are miners or places where the men are lumbermen and when the spring comes, they float logs to the mills and saw them into lumber.

He suggests to the children that they should create a little geography of their own neighborhood to understand what kind of place they live in – observe all the features of their home and the places near it. They should make a little drawing of their school or at least a floor plan. From there, they can draw, the playground and any other objects around. Then, they can draw the neighborhood in which they live, marking the roads, the buildings, the brooks, the fields and any other things that they have observed. The result will be their own community map.

He continues by describing the province they live in, their country – Dominion of Canada, where if they travelled west, they would see lakes larger than their province and see mountains where at the peaks there is snow all year long, and, on the west coast, they would see another large ocean. The text then leads down through North America where the country is warmer and the waters of the east and west draw closer and then to South America.

In the next chapter, he takes students on a “Voyage Round the World” where they leave Halifax by steamship and sail east across the Atlantic Ocean.

In a few hours we lose sight of land, and there is nothing to be seen but the sea, with here and there a distant sail. We see no path, nor any sign to direct us; but the captain, with his compass and chart, can take us directly across the pathless ocean as if he followed a beaten track. He needs to know his duty well and to manage carefully, for sometimes we are surrounded by fog, so that we can scarcely see from one end of the ship to the other. In such a fog, we might run against another ship, or against rocks, and be dashed to pieces.

Who wouldn’t be captivated by this adventure? Throughout the book are detailed drawings of scenes from different cultures. It is easy to see how he was able to capture a child’s imagination and build a curiosity of the world which would remain with them throughout their lives.

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At the back of the book, he lists populations within the Dominion of Canada and other countries. Here are a few from within the Dominion:

  • Prince Edward Island – 108,981  – Charlottetown – 11,485
  • Nova Scotia – 440,572 – Halifax – 36,100
  • New Brunswick – 321,233 – Fredericton – 6,218
  • Quebec – 1,359,027 – Montreal – 140,747
  • Ontario – 1,923,228 – Toronto – 86,415
  • Manitoba – 123,200 – Winnipeg – 7,744
  • British Columbia – 49,459 – Victoria – 5,925
  • Districts & Territories  56,446 – Includes Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Athabasca, Keewatin, Northwest and Northeast Territories.
  • Below, they list Newfoundland with a population of 181,753  – joined Canada in 1949.

Dominion of Canada 1880s (click to enlarge photo)

Central Europe – 1880s

Click here to view a digital version of the book updated and reprinted in 1898.