Archive for the ‘History’ Category

McArthur Family Cemetery

At our Cemeteries History Circle this past Saturday, the McArthur Family Cemetery in Churchill was mentioned quite a few times. Many commented that most would not know it existed. A few of us from the Clyde River History Committee decided to explore it this week and feature it on our site. We welcome anyone with knowledge of the cemetery to connect with us to ensure that this sacred space is not forgotten. As we receive more details, we will update this article. We would love to hear stories about the people buried here so we can add brief bios. Please feel free to use comments section below or email clyderiverpei@eastlink.ca.

McArthur Family Cemetery

There is no signage. It is the second laneway to the left off Peters Road in Churchill. You will know the path as there are deep tracks leading up through the forest, making it necessary to leave our vehicle and walk approx. 200 metres. We thought the cemetery would be overgrown, but we were pleased to see it was recently cleared, so we had easy access to view stones. Jean and Sharon McLean gave us a list in advance with names that they were able to identify from viewing stones a few years ago. So further to what you will find on Historic Places here, the following is the Mclean list of identified names and details. The photos are from our visit this week.

The first stone in McArthur Family Cemetery remembers Donald and Christy’s five children who died of Diphtheria

Children of Donald and Christy McArthur were the first to be buried in this cemetery. Five of their children died within 7 days with Diphtheria in 1879:

John A. died Sept 19, 1879, age 14

Nicholas, died Sept. 16, age 6

Catherine A, died Sept. 19, 1879, age 6

Donald A., died Sept. 22, age 8

Angus died Sept. 22, age 2

The remaining names appear in alphabetical order:

Cann, Mrs. Ann, died April 1, 1912, age 92; Charles McL. Cann, died April 15, 1887, age 27

MacArthur, Charles, died Dec. 30, 1894, age 47

MacArthur, Donald, died August 14, 1899, age 64; his wife Christy, died April 16, 1909 (Notes: : Christy McLean was from Clyde River. They were married Jan. 21, 1868.)

McArthur, John, died December 14, 1888, age 25; also his uncle Duncan McArthur, died March 18, 1887

McArthur John, died April 29, 1895, age 70; his children Donald, Lauchlin, Ewen, Margaret Ann, Katie, Donald, Alfred, Ethel, Marion & Christina

McArthur, John & Donald – In memory of John died March 13, 1886, age 23; Donald died Oct. 5, 1887, age 25, beloved sons of Nicholas and Maria McArthur. “God in his wisdom has recalled the boon his love had given. And though the body slumbers here the soul is safe in heaven.” (Note: Donald died of Consumption – source: http://www.islandnewspapers.ca)

McArthur, Mary E, died Dec. 28, 1891, age 27 (part of stone leaning on the base); Catherine M. died Feb. 4, 1898, age 29 (this looks like the bottom of a stone which was lying on ground) daughters of Nicholas and Maria McArthur (Notes: Their eldest daughter Ann McArthur died at 17 years on Dec. 13, 1874; confirmed Catherine M. died on Feb. 4, 1898 – source: http://www.islandnewspapers.ca)

McArthur, Nicholas, died Jan. 2, 1905, age 80; his wife Maria McLean, died Nov. 28, 1912, age 85

McArthur, Peter, died June 31, 1892, age 38

McLean, Charles, died July 16, 1881, age 65; his wife Mary McArthur, died April 1, 1906, age 85

McQuarrie, Archibald, died Dec. 5, 1891, age 48; his wife Catherine 1852-1936

Rogerson, Allan L., 1834-1918; his wife Catherine, 1842-1920; son J.A.C. Rogerson, 1868-1901; daughters Barbara Grace, 1873-1882; Ada May, wife of A.A. Pollard, 1883-1916; James D. Rogerson – 1879-1962; granddaughter Emma, 1905-1906 (Notes: Catherine Kitty Shaw born March 14, 1844 (1901 census) in Bonshaw married Allen Rogerson of Crapaud on March 26, 1862. Catherine died 1920 and Allen died 1918. They are buried in the MacArthur Cemetery, Churchill, PE. Allan was the son of John Rogerson and his wife Mary Ann Allan. He was born October 1835 in Dumfries, Scotland. They had the following children: 3 males and 8 females. Catherine Kitty Shaw was the first child and daughter of John Shaw and Margaret Isabella Matheson and granddaughter of Archibald and Catherine Bell. Source: Island Register)

Committee notes:

  • This cemetery is located on land once owned by Donald and Christy McArthur.
  • The first burial date is 1879 and the latest burial date is 1962.
  • We saw remnants of an old wooden fence in the nearby forest, so, at one time, there must have been a fence around the cemetery.
  • The cemetery has been very recently cleared – we are not sure by whom, but we would like to acknowledge their good work.
  • We acknowledge Jean and Sharon McLean for transcribing information from stones.
  • It is a very beautiful and peaceful location. There were a few tiger lilies at some of the graves.
  • The straightest headstone is the earliest one in remembrance of the five McArthur children.
  • If the deep tracks were filled in the lower part of laneway, the cemetery could be accessible by car, but it is a lovely walk.

The following is a gallery of the stones with captions of names and details (click on any photo to advance through gallery):


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The Clyde River History Committee will host a Cemeteries History Circle this coming Saturday, August 24th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Road in Clyde River.

We are focusing on cemeteries within the area that have historical connections to Clyde River. This takes in communities extending anywhere from Emyvale/Riverdale, Bonshaw/Appin Road, Argyle Shore/Canoe Cove, Nine Mile Creek/Cumberland to North River/Warren Grove and all communities in between. There were also early pioneers buried in the Old Protestant Burying Ground in Charlottetown and with ancestral connections to those buried in Belfast area cemeteries. We would also be very interested in identifying cemeteries and family names of ancestral connections buried outside of PEI e.g. Boston/Quincy area, Western Canada, New Zealand and Australia or any other areas as this helps to tell the broader story of family connections and migration.

We have identified at least 32 cemeteries in the local area that range from larger ones still in use to pioneer and family plots. We invite participants to take along any research, so we can compare notes and help each other to solve any mysteries or gaps in research.

We will provide tables to display research, photos, artifacts, and family trees. If family trees indicate where ancestors are buried, that would be even more valuable to the group.

The history circle will begin with an overview of our objectives for the afternoon which includes collaborating to increase our historical knowledge of cemeteries in the area. We will ask participants to introduce themselves and highlight their areas of knowledge/research of specific cemeteries and identify what they would like to learn from the session. For others who have not yet conducted research, they can identify those cemeteries of particular interest and any questions they would like answered. This feedback will form the discussion outline for the afternoon, beginning with topics of high interest. Those with research notes will have a chance to share their knowledge.

Following our history circle discussions, there will be an informal time where participants can chat with each other over refreshments, visit the table display and Clyde River’s museum featuring artifacts and photos.

We look forward to meeting you next week. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email vivian@eastlink.ca.

For a list of cemeteries and related stories on our site, please link to our earlier story.

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Pioneer Cemetery in Clyde River

The Clyde River History Committee will be hosting a Cemeteries History Circle on Saturday, August 24th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Centre. We have chosen a summer date as we thought it would be a good time of year to also welcome those home from away who are interested in cemetery research and have local ancestral connections.

We are focusing on cemeteries within the area that have historical connections to Clyde River. This takes in communities extending anywhere from Emyvale/Riverdale, Bonshaw/Appin Road, Argyle Shore/Canoe Cove, Nine Mile Creek/Cumberland to North River/Warren Grove and all communities in between. There were also early pioneers buried in the Old Protestant Burying Ground in Charlottetown and with ancestral connections to those buried in Belfast area cemeteries. We would also be very interested in identifying cemeteries and family names of ancestral connections buried outside of PEI e.g. Boston/Quincy area, Western Canada, New Zealand and Australia or any other areas as this helps to tell the broader story of family connections and migration.

We have identified at least 32 cemeteries in the local area that range from larger ones still being used to pioneer and family plots. We invite participants to take along any research they have, so we can compare notes and help each other to solve any mysteries or gaps in research.

Our committee thought this event would be a great opportunity to broaden our network of historical enthusiasts/researchers and genealogists and to capture interesting stories about early settlers and founding families among our communities. We think it will be valuable to identify who is researching local, complementary topics, as this can ultimately help each of us gather a fuller historical picture.

We realize this is an ambitious adventure, so we will likely stay fairly high level and not delve too directly into specific family trees. However, the event will be a good opportunity for you to connect with those who are researching similar family trees which you could collaborate with after event.

We welcome you to RSVP for this event, but it’s not necessary. It would be very helpful to the committee if you could let us know you are planning to attend and what your specific interest/research is of any cemeteries in our area. It will assist us in customizing the format for the afternoon to best meet the interests of the audience. You can RSVP by adding a comment below or by emailing clyderiverpei@eastlink.ca.

We also welcome non-researchers who are interested in listening to the conversation. Sometimes we don’t realize how many stories have been passed down to us which may hold the clue to advance local historical research. That’s the fun of history. It’s like a large jigsaw puzzle and the missing pieces drive us to learn more.

For reference, here is the list of cemeteries in the area and a few stories that have been featured on our site:

  1. Appin Road Cemetery
  2. Argyle Shore Cemetery
  3. Bonshaw Pioneer Cemetery
  4. Brookfield Presbyterian Cemetery
  5. Canoe Cove Presbyterian Cemetery
  6. Old Protestant Cemetery (only aspect that connects to Clyde River ancestors) – story here
  7. Churchill Presbyterian Cemetery – story references pioneers
  8. Stewart Family Plot, Strathgartney – story references Stewart family
  9. MacArthur Family Plot, Peter’s Road
  10. Clyde River Burnside Presbyterian Cemetery – story here
  11. Clyde River Baptist Church Cemetery
  12. Clyde River Pioneer Cemetery – story listing all visible stonesstory 2, story 3
  13. West River United Church Cemetery, Cornwall
  14. Newson Pioneer Cemetery, Ferry Road
  15. Dockendorff Pioneer Cemetery. York Point Road
  16. St. Martin’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cumberland
  17. East Wiltshire Baptist Cemetery
  18. St. Anne Roman Catholic Cemetery, Emyvale
  19. Hampshire United Methodist Cemetery
  20. Kingston United Church Cemetery – story here
  21. Howard Christian Cemetery, Kingston – story 1story 2
  22. Long Creek United Baptist Cemetery
  23. Saint Thomas Anglican Cemetery, Long Creek
  24. Long Creek Pioneer Cemetery
  25. Hyde and Crosby Pioneer Cemetery – story on Hyde pioneers, story on Crosby pioneers
  26. St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, Miltonvale
  27. New Dominion United Church Cemetery
  28. Ladner Family/Old Garden Cemetery
  29. Port-la-Joye Cemetery, Rocky Point
  30. St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery – story 1, story 2
  31. MacEachern Family Cemetery, St. Catherines
  32. James Warren Pioneer Cemetery, Warren Grove

Additional articles/sites referencing genealogical connections:

If some of the family researchers in our website audience can only connect with us virtually, we welcome you to send along any information that you think would be helpful for us in our history circle discussions and, also, feel free to send along any questions you would like us to ask the group which will assist in your own research.

It is our hope that we will develop an excellent list of contacts from this event and this initiative will add value to our individual research efforts.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, August 24th at 1:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Vivian, Chair of Clyde River History Committee at vivian@eastlink.ca. We also welcome attendees to visit our museum that features over 200 artifacts and also several heritage family photos. This history circle will take place at Riverview Community Centre at 718 Clyde River Road. Refreshments will be served.

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Aerial view of Trans Canada Highway in 2000.

As history enthusiasts, we find ourselves piecing together clues from the past to paint a picture of what life was like before our time. It’s a different challenge for us to determine what is historically significant in our own time and what we should record on it. We are now witnessing a major development in our lives with the bypass that will carve a new route through our community. I am sure many of us drive by to see construction progress and wonder how things will change this Fall when it is opened for traffic. We know how helpful it would have been if those from previous generations had recorded their observations about developments and changes within the community. Could we challenge ourselves to let future generations know about life before the bypass?

August 23, 1952

The current highway route has been such a strong presence in the history of Clyde River, it will be quite a change to see it being used predominantly by local traffic. We have seen a lot of changes over the years. My uncle recalls sledding down the hill of the main highway when he was a kid in the 1930s. I don’t think any of us would dare to do that this past winter with the volume of traffic.

We welcome your observations on life before the bypass in the comments section below.

Here are a few historical tidbits to get us started:

  • Originally, the highway was called Tryon Road and in the early 1950s became part of the Trans Canada Highway.
  • It was paved in 1952.
  • Nicknames include Main road, Trans Canada and the Highway.



A few photos of new highway construction: (click on any photo to advance through album)

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Our 7th Annual Clyde River Lectures Series begins this Saturday. Our theme this year is “Cars, Photography and Fashion”. Here’s our line-up:

Saturday, January 26th, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Rudy Croken – “Are you for or against the Automobile?”

Rudy Croken, Author of Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death

In the early part of the twentieth century Prince Edward Island earned itself distinction of a dubious nature in the history of the automobile and transportation in Canada, and indeed the civilized world. Why would the Island turn its back on what many consider the defining invention of the twentieth century, the automobile? Could all the rest of the world be wrong? Here’s a story of a local meeting from The Guardian, Nov. 4th, 1914:

Anti-Automobile Meeting – A branch of the Anti-Automobile Association was formed in New Haven Hall on the 24th ult. when the following officers were elected:–President, Angus McPhee, New Haven; Vice President, Neil McKenzie, Canoe Cove; Treasurer, P. J. Berrigan, Dunedin; Committee: George Cruise, Kingston; D. Fraser, Kingston; W. D. Shaw, St. Catherine’s; John Scott, Clyde River; and John McKinnon, New Haven. The several speakers spoke in a very decisive manner against the running of autos on the country roads, which are in such a condition to render it dangerous to the travelling public. All the members present pledged themselves to support no candidate for the Legislature who would not promise to oppose the running of autos or grant them any more privileges of running on the country roads.

Was the general area West of Charlottetown for or against the automobile? Clyde River, Cumberland, New Haven and Canoe Cove had originally opposed the auto, but by March of 1917, some felt the attitude toward the new contraption had changed. After a meeting at Afton Hall which came out against the automobile by a reported 36 to 6 count, Artemus Betts of Cumberland penned a letter to The Patriot on March 29, 1917, challenging the numbers reported to the media by John MacDonald. Betts claimed the actual count was 36 to 26 against the auto and that many local people had left the meeting before the vote was taken. He also contended that many of those who voted against the automobile were “outsiders”. Betts wrote that he, “…circulated a petition in favour of opening up a certain defined area for automobiles which was signed by over ninety bona fide residents in the district.” He further stated that, “Many people strongly resented the meeting being held by outsiders who came merely for the purpose of raising trouble in our district.”

You don’t want to miss how the drama unfolded. Find out why some Clyde River and area men were initially against the automobile and how eventually horseless carriages came to dominate our Island roads. Rudy will be selling his book, Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death. at this event.

Rudy Croken is a resident of Kensington. Rudy is a retired educator and had a 32-year career as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and intermediate school levels. He has had a life-long interest in automobiles, is a 40-year member of the Prince Edward Island Antique Car Club and currently serves as its President.

Saturday, February 9th, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Wayne Barrett & Anne MacKay – “How the Local Landscape influenced our Photography”

Anne MacKay and Wayne Barrett

1977 was a memorable year for Anne and Wayne. It was in that year they were married. They moved to beautiful St. Catherine’s, to a place that overlooked the West River with the view towards Dunedin. That same year they also set up their business: Barrett & MacKay Photography.

“This area, where we chose to live has come to mean more to us than property or a house – it became our sanctuary. It was here we raised our children. This is the place we went for walks with them along the tree-lined, canopied dirt road in St. Catherine’s, and beyond to Canoe Cove. From our verandah, it was a place to listen to birds in the trees behind the house and observe the little fox that always returned to have her kits under our horse shed. This area was, and still is beautiful with its tidal river, wooded hills reflected down upon the incoming tide, the lay of the land – the landscape. This place, in every season, always offered us a photographic gift to capture. Now, it is 2019, and we are still living in this place and in the same home (many renovations later). As always, this place we call our home, this small area of PEI is still our sanctuary.”

The landscape of this region, nurtured their photographic creativity. Through the 40+ years of their photographic careers, this area has been an influence in their approach to landscape photography. They will offer us a visual presentation of their landscape photography and talk about how living in this area has influenced their creativity. Wayne Barrett and Anne MacKay are husband, wife, and the creative team in Barrett & MacKay Photography. As professional photographers, they achieved success in the fields of: wildlife, nature, landscape, tourism and environmental photography. Several times in the past decade, Wayne has earned a number of awards from the Atlantic Canada ICE AWARDS. Among the awards are three Craft Awards for the outstanding images he created for the Print Campaign for Newfoundland Tourism. In 2017 Canada Post selected Wayne’s image of Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site in Newfoundland to be a Canadian World Heritage collector’s stamp. Mistaken Point was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2016. Wayne produced the photography for the submission. In 2018 Canada Post selected Anne’s image of Covehead lighthouse in the PEI National Park as one of five photographs from across Canada for the Far and Wide (O Canada) series for Permanent Domestic Stamp Collections. They are now semi-retired, but during their working careers, they created and provided a wide variety of creative photographic services for advertising agencies, corporations and editorial clients. Assignments and stock images are still featured in ad campaigns, published books and calendars. At this point in time, their photography is more about licensing their images and producing limited edition large prints from their favorite photos. In addition to assignments, they published 34 books with: Oxford University Press, Nimbus Publishers, Key Porter, National Geographic, Random House and Greystone-Firefly Books. For a full list of their awards and books, click here.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Arnold Smith – “What our Ancestors Wore”

Arnold Smith

Arnold will share his knowledge and research on what our ancestors wore and feature a display of vintage and reproduction clothing to give you a glimpse into their wardrobes – from everyday clothing to special occasions. Feel free to take along any clothing from your collections if you want to learn more about its history.

Arnold Smith has always had a keen interest in history. His first ancestors arrived on Prince Edward Island in the 1780’s following the American Revolution. He was raised and continues to live on the family farm on the Smith Road in Pleasant Valley where his family have lived for more than five generations.

Arnold has many interests from researching and restoring heritage buildings; collecting and restoring antiques; heritage cooking; and sits on a variety of community and heritage boards.

In 1989 Arnold portrayed Andrew A. MacDonald, the youngest Father of Confederation during the 125th celebrations. While doing research for the character he discovered a wealth of information on the fashions and daily life of the 1860’s. Arnold’s mother was an avid sewer, so he arranged for her to make period reproductions for Parks and People – he designed the outfits and helped his mother construct them.

Over the past 30 years he has gathered extensive information and has amassed a large library of reference books and patterns along with a substantial collection of vintage and reproduction clothing.

In 2007 Arnold was a founding patron of the Watermark Theatre. And over the past three summers has been involved with the costume production for The River Clyde Pageant. Note: We are beginning this lecture at 2:00 p.m. as Arnold works at Bedeque Auction on Saturday mornings.

The Clyde River Lecture Series takes place at the Riverview Community Centre at 718 Clyde River Road. All presentations will be followed by refreshments and a social time. These events are a great chance to get out in the winter to learn about and discuss our interesting local history. Our museum will be open to view our collection of over 200 artifacts and heritage photos. For more information on this series, please contact Vivian Beer, vivian@eastlink.ca.

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If you didn’t get a chance to hear my interview yesterday on CBC Mainstreet about the upcoming Clyde River Lectures, you can listen to a recording of it online here. The lectures will be held on Saturdays, January 26th, February 9th and 23rd. We space them two weeks apart in case we need a storm date. They begin at 1:30 p.m. with the exception of February 23rd when we will begin at 2:00 p.m. Also, refer to our earlier story for details. Look forward to seeing you there.

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Tune in to CBC Mainstreet – 96.1 FM – this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. (Atlantic Standard Time) to hear Vivian Beer’s interview with Angela Walker on the upcoming Clyde River Lecture Series. You can listen live online here. Read our earlier story on this year’s presenters.

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