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As a follow-up to the story “John Beer’s Adventure off Peru during WWII“, I recently connected with the daughter of Charles Reginald Boggs, from Halifax, who was also serving on the Prince Henry at that same time in April 1941. Diane came upon my story here, and she recalled her father’s comments about the day of the burning and sinking of the two German ships. In fact, he recorded a bit of the action with his personal movie camera on 16mm film, as the crew and officers captured and took aboard the Germans from their escaping lifeboats.

Diane recalls from viewing the film that the Canadians treated the Germans well as they brought them onboard, handing them blankets, hot drinks and cigarettes. Hopefully, the Canadian Military Archives will soon be converting the reel to digital and putting it online.

Also among Reginald Boggs’ naval memorabilia was a news clipping of Messdeck News, a column in a Halifax newspaper during the war, written by Annie Coade (aka Jessie Coade). She provided the public with her own interesting naval journalism. The clipping from November 8th, 1941, features a photo of a German Shepherd dog and his new master Lieutenant W. Gage. My father also had a photo of a German Shepherd in his collection of photos. Well, we were able to solve the mystery of why this dog was on the ship. Here is an excerpt from the transcribed clipping:

Photo of Peetsa and Lieutenant W. Gage from Messdeck News

Surpassing in news importance the old “man bites dog” tale is the story of a native of Germany who not only had the run of a Canadian ship, but is the special pal of every officer and man on board. The “German” is a police dog call Peetsa who was captured along with the crew of an enemy freighter and the only one of the company to escape internment.

Peetsa was the mascot of the freighter “Hermonthis” out of Hamburg, which with three other ships of her type were lying in the harbour of Callao, seaport of Lima, Peru. A Canadian ship had a veritable “field day” when the enemy ships tried to escape the harbour, and after much excitement, a lifeboat filled with prisoners gave over its crew. Peetsa, a scared little puppy was the last aboard and, at the risk of his life, Able Seaman Ed Suffern managed to get him on board via a garbage pail.

An enemy Captain, bound for an interment camp, asked that his dog be taken care of. A dog of any country is still a dog, so the pup became mascot of the Royal Canadian Navy.

John Beer’s photo of Peetsa

Not long after when the ship was at a Canadian port, she was compared to the famous dog called Rin-tin-tin. An extraordinary chapter in the life of Peetsa brings forth the fact that she was born in Peru and her seven “babies” saw daylight when the ship touched Peru again for the first time since her arrival on board! A twenty-hour stoppage at that.

Peetsa shows her appreciation to the Canadians who adopted her by showing off a clever trick when asked – and by formally taking care of a white kitten that belonged to one of the messes. In the trick, her foster master Lieutenant William Gage places a package of cigarettes high on a shelf in the wardroom.

Peetsa is nonchalantly curled up in her chair. Suddenly Lt. Gage snaps “roust” and, in a flash, Peetsa is up over the obstacles and brings the packet, unharmed, back to her trainer. She has earned her spot on board.

Editor’s Note:

  • Thanks to Diane for connecting with us and adding more richness and insight into this piece of Canadian history. And who doesn’t like a happy story about a dog?!
  • Jessie Coade was the mother of Peter Coade, a retired meteorologist with CBC Radio One.

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My PEI Genealogy Adventure

(Guest submission from James Ward) When my wife Carol and I began the search for my ancestors, we put visiting Prince Edward Island on our bucket list. We had three goals; find my grandfather’s farm, find some more pictures, and discover any living Ward relatives. In early 2002, I sent an email to the Public Archives in PEI and received a reply from the project archivist confirming my grandfather was from PEI. That ignited interest in researching my family tree and my wish to someday travel to PEI to research my family.

This April was our chance to visit both Nova Scotia and PEI. Carol and I spent the week at the White Point Resort and visited the Lunenburg area researching my Grandmother Effie Feener (Ward) and were able to find information at the South Shore Genealogical Society.

Vivian and James

We then journeyed to PEI for the last four days of our Canada trip and stayed at a wonderful Shipwright Inn in Charlottetown. The best part of this trip was my contact with Vivian Beer, a distant cousin by marriage. Hattie Beer married my Great Uncle Benjamin Ward. With that connection, my cousin invited us to meet her in Clyde River the next day to see what we could find. We met Vivian at the Clyde River Community Center, originally the old school where she had attended.

The Clyde River History Committee was meeting in the basement of this Community Center and she introduced us to the ladies in the group and gave us a tour of their museum collection. They are in the process of researching artifacts from the Clyde River area. One of the ladies, Hilda Colodey, recalled the Ward’s farms and location. They had old plats of Lot 31, and John Ward was listed with 50 acres on Bannockburn Road. A later plot had Benjamin Ward on John Ward’s original 50 acres and, across the road, was Benjamin’s brother, Daniel Neil Ward, with 40 acres. Vivian said she knew exactly where the property was and drove us to the location.

We found a farm house on that spot with a car in the driveway. Vivian was bolder than I and went up to the back door. I was told in PEI, if you are a preacher or police, you go to the front door. The lady, Jane Naylor, came to the door with her dog, Honey. Vivian told her that my Grandfather grew up in this house. Jane was very gracious about inviting us in to see the home. She and her husband had purchased the house and just over one acre of land in October 1978. I am still trying to trace ownership to Benjamin and his family.

While we were talking to Jane, she pointed out the house across Bannockburn Road. Peter Cairns owns it now. The house was originally built by Daniel Ward and named Montrose Farms. Coincidently, Peter was coming out of his driveway. We all flagged him down, and he was nice enough to stop and find out what we wanted. He was very friendly and told us he had purchased the farm from Milton Ward. We checked the family tree and discovered Milton was the son of Earle Ward who was the son of Daniel Neil Ward (Brother of my Grandfather, Alexander Spurgeon Ward). Jane told Peter that I was a Ward, and Peter invited us to head up to the house and he would be back in five minutes. We had a chance to tour the home and also view some old photos of the Wards.

James and Milton Ward

Peter mentioned that Milton lived nearby and gave us his phone number. Vivian called and Milton invited us to come over. We spent several hours at his home in North River and learned he had two sisters that were both deceased. Milton recounted stories of the farm and his days of driving the school bus. Peter was one of the students who rode Milton’s bus and told him that when he was ready to sell the farm to give him the first chance at buying it. Milton remembered that promise and sold the farm to Peter when he retired.

My PEI Genealogy Adventure has given me a cousin by marriage and a fourth cousin. I have learned so much more about my family. It has been truly an exciting time and a dream come true. I have confirmed several parts of my family tree and have a video of my new-found cousin I can enjoy.

All my hopes of finding my Grandfather’s farm, other pictures of the Wards, and a living Ward cousin have come true. Everyone we met in PEI was friendly and loved sharing their stories with us. My thanks to Vivian for being a fantastic tour guide and genealogist. Carol and I couldn’t have done it without her. I have made a promise to return to PEI someday to continue our Genealogy Adventure.

Editor’s notes:

  • James, it was so much fun to share your genealogical adventure. I look forward to you and Carol visiting PEI again sometime.
  • Refer to an earlier story about when the cow fell down the well at Montrose Farm here.

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(Submitted by Emily Bryant) A sunny day, willing volunteers, a park that had wintered well, and a supportive community spirit were the key ingredients for a wonderful clean-up event at Murchison Place Park on May 13th. JoAnn MacPhail did a great promotion reminding community members of the need. I, Emily Bryant, counted 35 volunteers that worked well together to get Murchison Place Park park in tip-top shape for the summer season.

The Ross family, again, would take the prize of having the most members of a family present as Kevin, Lisa, Erica, Emily and Ellen all pitched in to help. Jeff and Maggie Cameron and their two sweet little girls had four members there and the ever faithful Alan MacQuarrie was there with his two sons, Ben and J.R. Some couples find this a nice activity they can do together. For example, Angela and Brent worked hard and were able to obtain leaves to compost for their environmentally conscious garden.

Many of the helpers at the 2017 clean-up have been there every year since this park opened over a decade ago. Alex Dixon, who has been such a huge help from day one, was presented a birthday cake at this clean-up and, even though he doesn’t like being in the limelight, I could tell he was pleased. Audrey MacPhee, who always brings good cheer, might have had the honour of being the oldest helper at this clean-up, but Eric MacPhail, whose life long work habits are legendary, came from Burnside Community Care with his shovel in hand. It was nice to see Fred Beer back in Clyde River to participate in this year’s park clean-up, a park that has his father Arnold’s name attached to the front flowerbed. Rev. Steven Stead and Christine Young must have been pleased to be there and see the transformation of the park, as their homes border on this park setting. Of course, Sarah Cameron’s smile brought joy to the event.

The pictures will show that volunteers took time to chat with each other. Lisa Ross had suggested that everyone introduce themselves during our refreshment break and that proved to be a great idea as a community builder. Special thanks to all who brought or sent biscuits, muffins, cookies, etc., and to the Rosses who brought coffee and JoAnn who provided juice. Three hours is a short time but the work was pretty much all completed in that time. What a nice feeling to be part of this worthwhile community project.

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The Friends of Clyde River Historical Education Committee has expanded to welcome three new members. Since our committee was established, we have initiated and managed a number of key projects that built upon earlier community-led projects.

Friends of Clyde River – Historical Committee Projects:

  • Establishment of the Clyde River lectures series that has completed its 5th year, where guest speakers present historical topics attracting record audiences of up to 100 people.
  • Completion of a year-long project entitled “Capturing Collective Memories” where we digitized over 1500 photos collected from family albums, invited artifact donations and hosted special events. The result was the curation of a museum in the Riverview Committee Centre which features over 200 artifacts and a photo gallery of early life in Clyde River from 1890s to 1940s.
  • A community website approaching 500 stories which has attracted visitors from across Canada, US, UK, Brazil, Australia and many other countries representing 216,000 page views.

With the large number of artifacts and materials we have accumulated, we brought in some extra talent with strong historical research and organization skills. In March, we began cataloguing artifacts and photos. Two of the new members are librarians with cataloguing experience. All three of the new members are avid genealogists, so they will be a tremendous resource that our local and online community can tap into. Together, the six members offer a complementary depth of experience in carrying out history projects. We thought we would offer a little bio on each of the committee members below:

We welcome our new members:

Jane Dyment

Jane Dyment has strong ties to the Island. She is the daughter of Earle Dyment from Northam and Margate, and Wanda Mann from Kensington. Growing up, she visited close and distant relatives on both side of the family, but didn’t pay nearly enough attention to their stories.

Jane graduated from Dalhousie with a Masters in Library Services and worked in Ottawa in the National Research Council’s library, later moving to corporate services. Upon retirement, she needed a project and decided to further research the Dyment family tree, later expanding to the Manns, Johnstones, Humphreys, Beers and McFadyens on her mother’s side. Living in Ottawa, Jane has unearthed, she believes, every possible Island source of genealogical information that can be found online. A couple of years ago, her cousin Nancy mentioned that her friend Katherine Dewar, an author and nurse, was finding it difficult to travel to Ottawa to consult Library and Archives Canada’s collection. Jane volunteered to help, and made, she hopes, a valuable contribution to the story of the nurses from PEI who served in World War 1, Those Splendid Girls. She also checked a few references for Earle Lockerby’s recent publication on Samuel Holland, and is now a volunteer on the Summerside Archives project on Prince County soldiers in C Company, 105th Battalion. Jane is married, with two adult children and a dog. She is looking forward to working with the Clyde River Historical Committee, and welcomes questions from Islanders starting a family tree, or getting over a brick wall.

Chair’s note: Jane is a descendant of Thomas and Jane Beer who settled on the Bannockburn Road in Clyde River in the 1830s. She is an exceptional genealogical researcher with intelligence, skill and speed, much better than Google! Check out her genealogical website at www.janedyment.ca and read the stories she wrote for our website, Cousins Lost and Found, part 1 and part 2.

Rowena Stinson

Rowena is proud to be a Parkdale girl, who was raised and still lives there. Her roots are in Clyde River though – her Dad, Lester, was born here in 1909. There was a Hickox presence in Clyde River until the early 1940’s when Lester’s grandmother, Mary Jane Hickox Arthur, left to live with her daughter in Charlottetown.

Rowena was a teacher by profession and Teacher Librarian at Westwood Primary School from the school’s opening until 2011. She is an active member of Park Royal United Church where she and her husband, Hank sing in the choir.  She has just become Treasurer of the UCW and Secretary for the Board of Stewards. She is also a member of Teachers in Harmony and Friends Choir, the Parkdale Homecoming Committee, and takes classes at Seniors College. She is seldom at home.

Rowena has been working on her family genealogy for many years, having picked up the desire to follow the trail left by her dad, who knew all the relatives and their stories. She enjoys research and the excitement of discovery, and has been rewarded by connecting with relatives from far and near who are also involved in genealogy. The Island’s history is rich, and Rowena is delighted to be asked to join the Clyde River Historical Committee. She looks forward to working with the committee and helping to discover and preserve more of this rich history.

Chair’s note: Rowena is our team leader in cataloguing the artifacts and photos in our collection, and we, her happy worker bees. We will be using the same cataloguing system as the provincial archives, so nothing but the best for Clyde River. She wrote the story The Hickox Family of Clyde River.

Joanne Turner

Joanne’s father Dingwall MacFadyen was born on the Bannockburn Road. Dingwall’s father was Norman, known as N.C. and Millar MacFadyen’s brother, see story here. As a returned war veteran, Norman was able to purchase a farm in Meadow Bank through the Veteran’s Land Act from Neil Ferguson who then bought a store in Bonshaw. Norman Campbell MacFadyen met his wife Lola Dingwell from Marie at a Presbyterian function in Morell. They moved to Meadowbank and farmed there. Their son Dingwell married Dophie MacLean and they also lived at the homeplace. Both families moved to Charlottetown for a while but they summered along with their children at the Meadowbank property even though there was no electricity or indoor plumbing. When electricity was installed, Dingwall bought the farm from his parents. Joanne attended Meadowbank School and later worked with the PEI Tourism Office and then at the Confederation Centre. She worked with the PEI Collection which was kept under lock and key, and that opportunity sparked her interest in history. She moved to Winsloe when she married. Joanne organized the 225 Dingwell reunion in 2000 in Pinette and her interest in genealogy and history continues to grow. She helped to catalogue the Winsloe United Church Cemetery. She tells us the decommissioned church was built with bricks made in Rocky Point and taken over on the ice in 1882.

Chair’s note: Joanne is also a descendent of Thomas and Jane Beer. She and Jane Dyment are descendants of their oldest daughter Mary Ann (Beer) MacFadyen. She is also the great great grand-daughter of Eliza Brown who was a descendant of those who settled on the Bannockburn Road. Each time we see Joanne at a meeting or event, she has a file folder with yet more historical papers. She has an enviable knack at sleuthing for key pieces of history which we continue to be very grateful for. We can attribute the Millar MacFadyenThe Old Homestead on the Linwood Road and The Howard Christian Cemetery in Kingston stories and the History of Meadow Bank series to her efforts.

Founding Members:

Hilda Colodey

Hilda’s Clyde River roots are deep – she grew up on land which has been farmed by the Dixon family since the 1830’s. After completing Grade 10 at Clyde River school she attended Prince of Wales College and graduated from Dalhousie University and began teaching at Charlottetown Rural High School. Along with several other “Rural” teachers she was part of the inaugural staff at Bluefield High School when it was opened. After short stays in Kingston and New Dominion, Hilda and her husband Jim moved to the Bannockburn Road in 1978.

Although she has lived her life steeped in the stories of Clyde River, Hilda’s interest in the history of the community was formalized when she was asked to join the committee that created the book The History and Stories of Clyde River, Prince Edward Island in 2009. Assisting with the production of the 2011 calendar of Clyde River Historical Homes, helping with establishing the Emily Bryant Room at the Community Centre and being involved with planning the historical lecture series have followed from this first adventure into recall, research and documentation. Exploring Clyde River’s history has assisted her in being a member of  committees that have published books about the history of the P.E.I. Association of Exhibitions and the history of Old Home Week.

Hilda is an adherent of Burnside Presbyterian Church, member and chair of the Clyde River Community Council and community representative on the Atlantic Vet College Animal Care Committee. She looks forward to continuing her participation in the activities of the Historical Committee.

Chair’s note: Hilda has played key roles in Clyde River as councillor and now Chair of the Clyde River Community Council and as a member of our history committee since we were established. Hilda has the deepest knowledge of Clyde River’s history within our group, so we will continue to call on her to check facts and offer advice. And what she doesn’t know, she said her brother Alex does know. Her husband Jim is also a great helper at events.

Sandra Cameron

Sandra grew up in Nine Mile Creek. She graduated from UPEI as a teacher, taught intermediate level at Englewood School in Crapaud and retired in 2007. She moved to Clyde River after marrying in 1973. She has three children. She worked on the writing of The History and Stories of Clyde River, Prince Edward Island in 2009 and also on the Clyde River Historical Homes calendar in 2011.  She is a member of the Clyde River Presbyterian Church, having served for a term as an Elder. She participates in Church and Community Choirs. Sandra is a member of the Friends of Clyde River, loves history and visiting historical places, especially when it involves travel. She has been involved in multiple projects initiated by the Historical Committee including the annual lectures series.

Chair’s note: Sandra has also been on our committee since the beginning. She has a passion for Island and world history, having studied it at university, so she offers us a broader view of approaching our local history. Her strong and decisive mind and her ability to take charge of hospitality at events makes her a valuable member. Her daughter Sarah adeptly manages the front desk at our events and enjoys helping us out on projects.

Vivian Beer, Chair

Vivian grew up in Clyde River, spent 17 years in Toronto and now lives in Charlottetown, although she loves to visit the family farm in Clyde River on weekends during the summer. She is also a descendant of Thomas and Jane Beer, but, in her case, the lineage of their son James and his wife Mary Ann (Livingstone) Beer. She established the Clyde River website in 2009 at the time the History and Stories of Clyde River was launched and almost 500 stories later, she continues as writer/editor. The site has a large, loyal audience mostly from Canada and the US but also many other countries. She established the Historical Education Committee to promote the history of Clyde River and area and continues as Chair. This year was the 5th year to host the Clyde River Lecture Series which attracts large audiences. She digitized heritage photos from community family albums ranging from 1890s to 1940s. A dedicated museum room was created featuring over 200 artifacts and heritage photo gallery. Vivian has transcribed private diaries covering the years 1910 to 1926. In 2012, she photographed and wrote a book, Landscape of Memories, which features landscape and architectural photos of Clyde River along with notes on their historical significance. She takes her inspiration from her mother Hazel Beer who kept excellent scrapbooks featuring clippings of community news which was a great resource for those researching and writing the History and Stories of Clyde River.

Vivian has her own company, Merdock, where she provides marketing services. She is also Manager, HR Strategy, for the PEI BioAlliance, a bioscience cluster which employs over 1500 people.

Additional recognition:

We would like to recognize the valuable contribution that Bruce Brine has made on the committee since it was established. He is a busy administrator for the Community of Clyde River and has been an excellent resource in our initial years and, as a former Cape Bretoner, has been a great sport at diving into our local history. He will be taking a break from our committee work, but we know he will be close by if we need his superior administration and financial skills.

We have other exceptional people whose knowledge we tap into from time to time from near and far, thanks to the internet, so we have a strong team working to capture and preserve the history of Clyde River and surrounding communities. If there are others in our website audience who have an unquenchable desire for genealogy and Island history, please connect with us.

If you have any questions about the Committee’s historical work or have photo or artifact donations that you would like to offer, please contact Vivian at vivian@eastlink.ca. On behalf of our committee, thank you for being such an enthusiastic audience. Knowing how much you enjoy history keeps us motivated.

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Today is the 100th anniversary of Hector Murray’s death. He was killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He was 18 years old. Helen Smith-MacPhail from Meadow Bank, a Clyde River Lectures Series presenter, visited his grave in 2012. His picture is included in the Veteran’s wall display at the Riverview Community Centre. The gallery above includes photos of his grave; his name recorded in the registration book at Nine Elms Cemetery outside of Arras, France, where he is buried; and a letter home to his family.

Further details:

Canada’s Virtual War Memorial – Pte. Hector Murray

Community dinner for the boys going off to war

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The following is a transcription of a document donated to Clyde River Archives by the Beer Family which highlights the early history of the Dog River/Clyde River School District and offers us a full list of teachers along with a few school reports. This information also appeared in the History & Stories of Clyde River

Clyde River School District No. 63. It is in Queens County and defined as follows:

That is to say beginning on Elliot River at Donald MacNeill’s west line of land and running thence north in said line to the north line of said land; thence east to John Livingstone’s rear line of land; thence north in said line and west line of Duncan MacLean’s to the main road; thence east by the main road to Robert Boyle’s, east line of land being west of John MacPhail’s land; thence in said line to George Livingston’s west line of land; thence east to his east line; thence north to his north line; thence west to his west line; thence north to south line of Peter McElroy’s land; thence east to west line of Angus MacPhail’s land; thence north to James Beer’s north line of land; thence east in said line of Bannockburn Road; thence north by said road to George Dixon’s north line of land; thence east to east line of said land; thence south continuing in west line of W.E. Fraser’s land to south line of the same; thence east to west line of William Leonard’s land; thence south continued in west line of John MacQuarrie’s land to south east angle of Lem Hyde’s land; thence west in south lines of lands of Lem Hyde and others to Charles Fisher’s west line; thence north in said line to Clyde River and; thence by the shores of Clyde River and Elliot River to place of commencement.

Registered here in 6th day of May 1882.

Dog River School Teachers & Reports:

  • 1834 – Neil Shaw
  • 1838 – Malcolm Darrach – The number attending school at this time is 45. All were present the day the visitor visited the school. The greater number of these had made rapid progress, since their last examination in Arithmetic and Reading and two were advanced in English Grammar. The same good improvement was not manifest in the writing of scholars. This appeared to be owing more to the want of suitable desks than to any inattention on the part of the teacher. School house comfortable, but not sufficiently large.
  • 1839 – Malcolm Darrach – The daily average attendance is 40. The proficiency of the pupils generally since last examined has been satisfactory. The correct manner in which the senior classes especially read, and the knowledge of Grammar which they displayed, was highly pleasing. The school has been considerably enlarged since my last visit.
  • 1840 – Malcolm Darrach – The average daily attendance is 40. The proficiency this year in Grammar and Arithmetic has been satisfactory. The writing was not so good.
  • 1843 – The school has been open at intervals during the past year, on account of the indisposition of the Teacher, otherwise there has been no falling off in the attendance or the usefulness of the school.
  • 1845-1847 – Malcolm Darrach
  • 1848-1857 – John Livingston – 1857 – The examination showed marked improvement. The house is very sufficient.
  • 1858-1859 – John Livingston – 1859 – The potato raising not being quite over in the district, the senior pupils have not yet returned to school since the termination of the vacation. Left a notice to the Trustees to the effect that unless the School house which is greatly out of repair, be put into a better condition, without unnecessary delay, and the same be forthwith certified to the Board of Education, the school will be closed.
  • 1860 – Teacher – John Livingston – 36 pupils. Proficiency of scholars moderate.
  • 1862-63 – John Livingston

Clyde River Teachers:

  • 1864-73 – John Livingston – 1873 – School greatly improved since last visit.
  • 1874-75 – John Livingston
  • 1875-77 – no teacher listed
  • 1877-78 – M. MacQuarrie (50 pupils)
  • 1878-79 – John Livingston
  • 1879-81 – Angus MacDonald
  • 1881-82 – Mary Jane MacQuarrie
  • 1882-86 – Patrick Berrigan
  • 1887-89 – William H. Cummings
  • 1889-93 – John A. MacDougall
  • 1893-94 – Alice A. Murchison
  • 1894-95 – S.B. Enman
  • 1895-97 – Roderick MacKenzie
  • 1897-99 – Robert W. Jones
  • 1899-1900 – Thomas W. Stretch
  • 1900-01 – Donald MacLeod
  • 1901-04 – John MacDougall
  • 1904-05 – Helen White/Mrs. Wes Bell
  • 1905-06 – Etta Huestis
  • 1906-08 – Maude B. Stewart
  • 1908-11 – Irene Dixon
  • 1911-13 – Margaret MacQuarrie (Mrs. G. Dixon)
  • 1913-14 – Malcolm E. Murchison
  • 1914-15 – Mary MacDonald
  • 1915-16 – Edward MacPhail
  • 1916-17 – Charles E. MacDuff
  • 1917-18 – Marion MacQuarrie
  • 1918-19 – Elsie S. Brown
  • 1919-20 – Minnie Inman – Jeannie Mustard
  • 1920-21 – Gordon Holmes
  • 1921-22 – Christine MacLeod
  • 1922-25 – Edward MacPhail
  • 1925-26 – Marion L. MacSwain
  • 1926-31 – Millar MacFadyen
  • 1931-36 – Winnifred Best
  • 1936-37 – Laura Livingstone
  • 1937-41 – Lee Darrach
  • 1941-44 – Christine MacNevin
  • 1944-49 – Reta Cruwys
  • 1949-50 – Shirley MacDonald
  • 1950-53 – Joyce Nicholson-MacPhee
  • 1953-54 – John Trowsdale
  • 1954-55 – Kathleen MacFadyen – Inez Gass
  • 1955-56 – Audrey Frizzell – Violet Frizzell
  • 1956-57 – Theresa Donahue
  • 1957-58 – Elsie Hickox – Mrs. Winnifred MacMillan
  • 1958-59 – Mrs. Winnifred MacMillan
  • 1959-60 – Ida Deagle
  • 1960-61 – Anna MacLennan
  • 1961-64 – Flossie Hyde
  • 1964-66 – Flossie Hyde – Victoria Morrison (1965 – School expansion with new additional accommodating grades 1-4 and existing room accommodating grades 5-8.)
  • 1966-67 – Diane Adams – Victoria Morrison – Ruth Mutch
  • 1967-68 – Laura MacBeth – Victoria Morrison
  • 1968-69 – Jean Hardy – Frances Ramsay
  • 1969-70 – Sylvia Bell – Frances Ramsay
  • 1970-71 – Sylvia Bell – Anne Marie MacDonald – Victoria Morrison – Helen Hughes
  • 1971 – Sylvia Bell – Victoria Morrison

Editor’s Notes:

  • After 1971, Clyde River School was closed and students were sent to Cornwall Junior High and Charlottetown Rural High School. Clyde River School has had many wonderful improvements and is an active community centre, managed by the Clyde River Women’s Institute.
  • Visiting Music Teacher in 1960s was Phyllis Newman

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This is the tenth excerpt form Meadow Bank W.I. Tweedsmuir History published in 1951. 

Industries

Industries in a province such as ours must, of course, be connected either directly or indirectly with the land or the sea. Manufacturing must be limited and closely linked with the products of land and sea. Since pioneer days then, agriculture in its various forms has been the basic industry of the district and like most other parts of the province mixed farming has engaged the attention of the great majority. Fortunately, wood lots were cared for reasonably well so that logging and sawing chiefly for local needs have been interesting and profitable occupations.

The incident has been recalled of many years ago when Mr. Spurgeon Hickox set up a rotary saw at Mr. Fred Hydes and sawed lumber for those of the district. Since that time, however, firewood has been the chief asset of the woods. Today, on the Island, pulpwood is an important industry to which one member of our district, Mr. Hyde, has contributed.

Meadow Bank farm being all shore farms offered an excellent opportunity for the fishing of clams, quahaugs and oysters, the last being fished extensively in recent years. These find a ready market in Canada and United States.

Before the days of commercial fertilizers, wood ashes, as the land was cleared of the virginal forests, provided potash, and mussel mud from the river bed was loaded into flat-bottomed boats and spread on land providing the necessary lime. Later mud diggers were placed on the ice over the mussel beds and with a horse in the capstan, huge forkfuls were loaded into waiting sleighs. Seaweed, too, was a valuable fertilizer but due to some disease, it is almost killed out. Up to that time it was a happy feeding ground for nervous flocks of wild geese which were much sought after by sportsmen.

Fox farming is one of the later industries. It had its beginning years ago when two men bought a pair of foxes from the Natives. In this community, almost every farmer had his own individual fox ranch. Although the Island still can boast a lead in quality and production, there are very few foxes ranged here since the general slump in prices during World War II.

Cheese Factory in Cornwall – featured in Cornwall Narratives Project – (photo from Elaine Jewell)

Our certified seed potatoes have reached a high state of perfection and command a ready market in many parts of the world. Turnips are grown for feed and export. Dairying and the raising of beef cattle engage the time and attention of our farmers. Surplus hay is pressed and sold. At first milk was processed at home into cheese and cream into butter. Then a cheese factory was operated for a number of years at Cornwall. This was in 1925 bought by Cornwall Community Club, torn down and rebuilt as a skating rink. Now, cream is shipped to creameries in Charlottetown.

Many changes have taken place in the method of farming from the time of the reaping hook, sickle and buck rake. The first binders, a Maxwell, was owned by Henry Hyde and used by his sons until a few years ago. Threshing was first done with a flail then the horsepower mill, later the cleaner was added, then engines and tractors. Now, we can boast of the first combine being used on the same farm by R.D. MacKinnon (1950) who has also introduced a clipper for the harvesting of grass silage.

Transportation

S.S. Harland on the West River

For the convenience of travelers, the S.S. Harland made two round trips every Saturday from Charlottetown to the West River Bridge calling en route at MacEachern’s Wharf. The Strathgartney, Hazel R and other motor launches privately-owned and subsidized by the government made similar trips from Bonshaw to the capital city on market days. Their time tables varied as the tide changed. Now since hard surfacing of main highways and the advent of trucks and cars, this mode of travel has become outdated.

Communications

In the early days mail was received semi-weekly at the Cornwall Post Office. About the year 1910 mail began to come daily and boxes were placed at each gateway. Donald MacPhail (4 years), Dave Lowry and Seymour Scott and sons have been our mail couriers ever since.

A privately-owned telephone company serving the communications of Cornwall, York Point, North River, East Wiltshire and Meadow Bank was in operation as early as 1912 with a switch board at Cornwall. In 1947 we sold to the Island Telephone Company and now are on the Charlottetown Exchange.

Editor’s Notes:

  • More information on Cornwall Post Office here.
  • Story on the S.S. Harland published on this site, click here.
  • List of private telephone companies that there were in PEI, click here.

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