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Archive for the ‘My Mother’s Scrapbook’ Category

Newspaper Clipping from My Mother’s Scrapbook: Argyle Shore residents were awakened from a sleepy winter 76 years ago this week when a plane force landed in the quiet community on Tuesday, February 18th, 1941. This article was submitted to The Charlottetown Guardian and published March 4th, but the author is not identified. We do, however, have a first-hand account from Linda (Inman) MacDonald who was walking home from school along with her sister on the day the plane came down. Her account follows the story.

A Forced Landing at Argyle Shore

(RCAF photo)

(RCAF photo – Harvard)

In some lives the knock of fate is forever sounding. This time it sounded on mine, in a high pitch one, concerning an R.C.A.F. “Harvard” plane which made a forced landing near the Straits on Tuesday afternoon, February 18th, 1941.

Flying blind in a snow squall, Pilot Lee of “Summerside Air Training School” saw it was useless to regain altitude, after he had come dangerously earthward, there he cleverly grounded his plane in Mr. James Ferguson’s field, suffering a broken propeller when the heavy wheels broke through the snow, thrusting the plane on its nose.

The training school was immediately notified of the misfortune and sent out a helper plane which was found of no value being unable to land without damage. Pilot Lee then made connection with the Bombing and Gunnery School at West Royalty, explaining his plight 18 miles west of Charlottetown on the south coast of PEI.

Flying Officer Lewis and four mechanics then set out for Argyle Shore, and after a thrilling and adventurous sleigh drive under the guidance of Mr. Mathewson, all arrived safely on 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It is to be understood sleigh driving is a new and interesting exploit for English airmen; so for PEI Islanders, we can hardly catch the spirit of the adventure.

As nothing definite could be accomplished until daylight, Lewis stationed the men on half-hour watches to guard the ship, while the remainder partook of the cordial hospitality of Mr. Fred MacPhail, Mr. James Ferguson and Mrs. John MacPhail.

Wednesday brought new developments. Mr. Fred MacPhail retraced Mathewson’s 18 mile journey to Charlottetown for a new propeller; the old one was damaged beyond repair. During his absence, Mr. Earl Cook, under the direction of the aircraft men, forwarded eight “Shore” residents in attempting to move the plane out on the “broad-ice” of the Northumberland Strait.

J.A. McDougall, Murchison Sellar, Neil MacPhail and Waldron Sellar then began the strenuous work of rolling the plane to a suitable takeoff position. A considerable amount of snow was evacuated, wooden rollers were used on the forepart of the plane, whilst Mr. Sellar employed a wood sleigh as a means of sliding the tail portion.

In the interim, Fred McPhail had stayed Wednesday night at this brothers in Cornwall, on his return with the propeller. He was accompanied by Flying Officer Norton. The cargo arrived Thursday (2:30) where repair work was begun immediately.

Some time passed during which I have learned, began the battle between snow and plane. When nearing completion on Friday afternoon (3:30) Flying Officer Webster arrived by plane from Summerside for the purpose of flying the Harvard back to school not knowing this mission was apportioned to Flying Officer Norton.

The brother plan brought a large gathering, who witnessed with some regret the take-off of the newly arrived plane and the crippled ship (Friday 4:10).

This last act practically points the end, yet I must not overlook the fictitious. The airmen are all that is left and now that they have fulfilled their mission they await depot transportation.

In the meantime plans were running high concerning a party to be held at a nearby district that (Friday) night; when like a bolt from the blue shot a winged bird (which spelled disaster to their party) in the form of a plane piloted by Mr. Carl Burke, whose mission was to convey the remaining airmen back to the school. This being so unexpected, the airmen left with secret regret and the residents of the “Shore” considerably disappointed over their sudden departure.

At 5:30 p.m., Mr. Burke glided over the peaceful landscape. Scarcely had the hum of the motor died on the evening air; when, like an aftermath, we saw Mr. Mathewson arriving by sleigh with another Flying Officer whose intention it was to drive the crippled plane which long since had departed.

During the week of “Plane-thinking,” Argyle Shore learned a great deal about aeronautics and served their country with “John Milton’s” patriotism: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Linda MacDonald’s first-hand account:

My sister and I were walking home from school that day when we saw a plane flying low and landing to our left over Jim Ferguson’s field, between the school and the Argyle Shore Cemetery. We hardly ever walked home from school, but we did for some reason on that particular day. I was 11 years old and my sister, 7 years old. My sister was crying, and, as her bigger sister, I was trying to be calm, but I was terribly frightened as well. I could hear other kids coming from school also crying in the distance. You see, the war was on and we didn’t get much news about the war, only a bit in the newspaper or on the evening radio broadcast. So we thought for sure the Germans were landing. Up until that day, when we thought of the war in Britain and Germany, we considered it to be very far away. I recall the pilot staying at Jim Ferguson’s, Fred MacPhail going to town to get a part for the plane and Carl Burke flying out to the shore, but my strongest memory was how frightened my sister and I were when that plane came down and the prospect of what could be happening to our lives on that walk home from school. It was a big event for Argyle Shore.

Editor’s Notes:

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Cornwall School

This photo of Old Cornwall School was shared on Historic PEI’s Facebook page.

I found another gem in my mother’s scrapbook. It’s a Guardian clipping from 1951 where F.H. MacArthur recalls his days at the Old Cornwall School. Something tells me that it may be a similar recounting the students of the Old Clyde River Schoolhouse would have. You tell me. (more…)

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IMG_1912

Record book in our archives showing purchases from 1919 to 1922.

The following is a clipping from Hazel Beer’s scrapbook that offers a detailed description of Berrigan’s store and the flow of commerce at West River. As part of our archives, we now have two record books from the store which lists prices and items purchased by customers from the area.

Guardian Clipping from 1973, from Walter O’Brien’s “Bristol Notes” – Wandering along the winding trail, seeking news for you, we visited James Berrigan’s old store at West River to see this old sight, where his late father John Berrigan, started a business away back in 1887, 86 years ago. There are no packages, no cartons, everything in bulk, molasses came in 90-gallon puncheons, sugar in 200 pound barrels, soda in 20 pound casks. Lard and butter, the same; there was no shortening then for shortening bread.

Mr. Berrigan, along with operating the store, also drove a peddling wagon that was selling groceries around the countryside four days a week and the bulk goods had to be weighed on the old scales during the night hours to be ready for the morning start. The long express-style wagon had a big rack on the roof to hold eight or ten egg cases as there was very little cash in that long ago time and the store man took eggs in trade along with meat, hens or whatever this farmer had to offer for his grocery order. The prices were sure sky high, eggs at eighteen cents a dozen, potatoes 25 cents a bushel, butter 20 cents a pound, twist tobacco was 4 cents a fig. Other smoking tobacco came in solid plugs and the old hand cutter that was used to cut it apart can still be seen in this old store, along with many articles sold in that long ago time. This old store closed its doors ten years ago, but a lot of old stock still remains on the shelves.

Those big wide shelves you can still see liniment, horse salve, harness soap, casteria for babies, caster oil for adults and kids, other old patent medicines. The first safety razors that came out selling for 45 cents, some of them are still on the shelves, along with tea that came in bulk and was bagged in the store. This was all before the West River causeway was ever thought of, days when everything came up the river in schooners, as many as fifteen would be tied up at the wharf at one time, loading and unloading.

An old ship, called the City of London, was used to take people up and down the river from Charlottetown, east and west, before The Harland was built. The Harland came later and was a busy ship. It went east to Scotchfort and west to Victoria loaded with horse-drawn wagons and sightseers. The City of London came here to carry on this summer travel in 1902; and “The Old Harland”, as she was called, came in 1908 and made her last run in 1939. It was a sad day and a sad idea, Mr. Berrigan told us when that causeway was put there, if the ship was there today, hundreds of summer tourists along with Islanders would be traveling up and down this lovely route.

In the days of The Harland the master would sound his whistle away up the river so people in the West River district could get ready to meet the ship at the wharf when she pulled in and load her for the trip. Now, he said it almost impossible for me to get up the river to Sunday mass with my boat. If the tide is out I am left. Sometimes I have to make it hours before church time to get through that small opening. It should have been built in the wide channel with a draw bridge, then today we could have our passenger boats sailing up and down. The sights are wonderful in summer.

Other old items still in the well-known Berrigan store on this lovely site so near the shore on either sides with lovely well-kept lawns, you see sad irons used long ago, old show cases, hand made, tins of shoe polish and harness soap, 14 cents a can.

The home section that is also part of the store building, all in that long ago style, is a dream itself. Everything is just as the late Mrs. Berrigan, Jim’s mother, left it. The old style piano in the living room is one you will seldom see in this age. It’s one hundred and fifty years old and came from England. Four men could not lift it, Mr. Berrigan said. All the other furniture is old, old stuff but in first class condition. Tables, chairs, pictures, dressers all very lovely old, old stuff. There is no water taps in the kitchen, no sir, but the old pump that was put in three quarters of a century ago is there to one side, and the water is as cold and fresh as the day that pump was put down. Many of the younger folks never see an old pump. Some other day we will be back along that West River trail for more information on the past from Jim Berrigan, the owner of this lovely site and its priceless treasures.

Editor’s note:

Here are some items that were purchased and recorded in the books: Paris Green, tobacco, canned salmon, eggs, sugar, candy, cider, umbrella, work shoes, flour, blankets, caster oil, butter, pins, fish, men’s boots, khaki pants, soap, cigarettes, gum, cream of wheat, salty cakes, teapot, hen feed, ribbon, cigars, oil cake, stockings, oatmeal, bale twine…and these are only a few of the many items offered. In a follow-up article, I made a list of items from one of the two record books from July 1919 to April 1922 and there were almost 300 unique items mentioned and oftentimes purchases are just referred to groceries, dry goods or goods, so Berrigan’s was a well-stocked store.

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Clyde River Heritage Photo (1)

Ready for Winter

The Friends of Clyde River Historical Committee is hosting a Capturing Collective Memories Event tomorrow, Saturday, November 22, 2014, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Highlights of tomorrow’s event:

  • Slide show featuring select heritage photos where the audience can participate in our “Historical I-Spy” game.
  • Diary of a 16-year-old writing about her life in Clyde River in 1902-03 (Donald Hector MacKenzie collection)
  • Scenic photos of Clyde River from 1914 (Jean MacLean collection)
  • Photo of Gillespie’s blacksmith shop (CraigAnn Ummel collection)
  • Photo of Clyde River men who went west to farming expeditions (Donald Hector MacKenzie collection)
  • WW2 Navy photos (Jean MacLean and Beer Family collections)
  • Photo of passengers onboard the S.S. Harland (Jean MacLean collection)
  • Photos of working horses (Waller, MacKinnon, Boyle Family collections)
  • Christmas cards and letters from a WWI soldier (Jon Darrah collection)
  • Example of a heritage photo enlarged and transferred to canvas (CraigAnn Ummel Collection)
  • Digital photo frame featuring photos collected to date – over 1200 digitized so far.
  • Other heritage photos, artifacts, handcrafts, clothing, tools and trinkets that tomorrow’s attendees are invited take along to the event.

We want to make sure we have a good representation from all Clyde River families and those connected to Clyde River, so if you have not had a chance to contribute yet, please plan to attend.

Heritage photos could feature present or former Clyde River residents, scenic/architecture/community life, photos taken by Clyde River folks of other parts of PEI, Canada or other countries where they travelled.

Donations of artifacts are welcome, as we have three large display cabinets in the Riverview Community Centre where they can be featured. At the event, you can view the artifacts that have been collected so far.

For those who are unable to attend or part of our larger website audience living in other places, please send digital heritage photos, photo albums and artifacts to Vivian Beer. Contact her at vivian@eastlink.ca or 902-569-8665 to arrange.

This project, “Capturing Collective Memories from Seniors” is made possible with funding from New Horizons for Seniors Program, Government of Canada.

Refreshments will be served at this event.

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MacKinnon

Kathleen MacLean, Myra MacLeod, Dalvay Murchison, Robert Matheson, Isabel Murchison, William Murchison, Ina Livingston, Ida MacLean, Tena MacKinnon – Clyde River, July 22nd, 1927 (photo provided by CraigAnn Ummel)

The Friends of Clyde River Historical Committee is once again hosting a Capturing Collective Memories Event on Saturday, November 22, 2014, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. We received many requests from those who attended the October 25th event to have a similar event again because they enjoyed viewing and sharing heritage photos. Getting together is a great way to put collective minds to work to solve historical puzzles e.g. dates of photos, people in photos, glimpses of earlier life. The experience brings out wonderful stories and joyful laughter. The collective photos show a rich overview of early life in the community.

We want to expand the November 22nd event to invite people to bring along:

  • More heritage photos from 1800s and 1900s-1960s which will be digitized on site. As a contributor, you will receive digital versions of photos to share with your family.
  • Heritage clothing – It is great to see photos but it would be even more interesting to see any of the clothes featured in heritage photos.
  • Artifacts – could be handcrafts, diaries, maps, letters, stationery/cards, school books, work tools, quilts, jewelry, trinkets, household items, toys, as examples.
  • Maybe someone would like to create a sample of a basket that would have been featured at a basket social. They may even attract a bidder.
  • Are there heritage items that you wonder if others have? Let us know and we will publicize on this site and maybe they could take them along. (I wonder if anyone would have a copy of the MacLean Method of Writing book, for example.)

We want to make sure we have a good representation from all Clyde River families and those connected to Clyde River, so if you have not had a chance to contribute yet, please plan to attend.

Heritage photos could feature present or former Clyde River residents; be photos by residents taken within community, other parts of PEI, Canada or other countries they travelled to; early architecture, community events.

Donations of artifacts are welcome, as we have three large display cabinets in the Riverview Community Centre where they can be featured. At the event, you can view the artifacts that have been collected so far.

For those who are unable to attend or part of our larger website audience living in other places, please send digital heritage photos, photo albums and artifacts to Vivian Beer; contact her at vivian@eastlink.ca or 902-569-8665 to arrange. Let’s bring these photos and historical items home to Clyde River for all of us to enjoy and for future generations.

This project, “Capturing Collective Memories from Seniors” is made possible with funding from New Horizons for Seniors Program, Government of Canada.

Committee Members:

Vivian Beer – 902-569-8665 or vivian@eastlink.ca
Bruce Brine – 902-675-4747
Sandra Cameron – 902-675-3154
Hilda Colodey – 902-675-3171

Refreshments will be served at this event.

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Clyde River Coat of Arms

Clyde River Coat of Arms

Nineteen years ago this month, Clyde River became the first community in Prince Edward Island to have a Coat of Arms. The following historical document explains the history leading up to Clyde River achieving their own coat of arms and the meaning of the elements featured.  (Hazel Beer collection):

Clyde River Coat of Arms

Prior to 1988, Canadian individuals, corporations or organizations in general who wished to have lawful armorial bearings were required to petition Queen Elizabeth II’s traditional Heraldic officers at the College of Arms in London, England.

On June 4, 1988, by Royal Letters Patent, Her Majesty graciously transferred the exercise of her heraldic authority and prerogative to the Governor General of Canada. Today, a new Canadian Heraldic Authority exercises complete heraldic responsibility in Canada.

Clyde River Community, through its Council, as approved at the Annual General Meeting, petitioned the C.H.A. (Canadian Heraldic Authority) to carry its own armorial bearings. Permission has now been granted and the Coat of Arms designed and approved.

  • The motto on the Coat of Arms is jointly “Oigreachd: Heritage”. Oigreachd is the Gaelic word for “Heritage”. Gaelic was once spoken by many of the early settlers. A few of their descendants today can still recall the language being spoken at home.
  • The Coat of Arms includes a sheaf of wheat to denote local agriculture and a horseshoe indicative of local horse breeding and harness racing. It also has an oak tree. This provides a nice link between Prince Edward Island and the Clyde in Scotland, which also has an oak tree in its Coat of Arms. Another link is a blue and white band (or fesse in heraldic terms) which portrays the local River Clyde and the “parent” River Clyde in Scotland.
  • The crest is a unicorn, again a link to Scotland. The unicorn was the traditional heraldic beast of Scottish monarchs and was incorporated with the Royal Coat of Arms in 1603 under James I of England and James VI of Scotland.
  • Also on the crest is a suspended purple Celtic Cross, suitably recalling the long-standing association of the community with the church.
  • The mantling around the Coat of Arms acts as supporters; it is green and yellow, representing the familiar green foliage of our Island and its yellow sands.

Excerpt from History and Stories of Clyde River (p. 309):
On November 18th 1994, a ceremony to unveil the Clyde River Coat of Arms was held at the Riverview Community Centre. The project was spearheaded by Councillor Edward Edmonds who worked diligently to research and initiate the formalities necessary for a specific coat of arms. Thanks to Dr. Edmonds, Clyde River was the first community on Prince Edward Island to have its own official coat of arms. Honourable Marion Reid, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island at the time, unveiled the Coat of Arms.

Excerpt on Dr. Edward Edmonds (from UPEI website):

Born in England, Dr. “Eddie” Edmonds studied under C.S Lewis while at Oxford University, earning his BA and master’s of arts. He also earned a master’s of education from Sheffield University and his PhD from Leeds University along with a number of university diplomas in literature, teaching, public administration, and educational administration before moving to Canada.

After teaching and serving as a department head at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Edmonds came to the newly constituted University of Prince Edward Island, becoming the first dean of education. Dr. Edmonds is widely published, with many books to his credit (including two of poetry) and was recognized in later years for his long-time dedication to teaching history classes to seniors.

He was a long-standing fellow of the Royal Historical Society, knight of the Order of St. John, an honorary citizen of Texas, and served and held leadership positions in a number of professional, community and charitable organizations.

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Frank Gillespie’s story of adventure during the Klondike Gold Rush has me temporarily hooked on adventure stories from those days. I found a news clipping in My Mother’s Scrapbook about another Island chap, Donald MacKinnon written by Frank MacArthur in The Guardian, 1943.

Here’s an excerpt from the story (Hazel Beer’s scrapbook):

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Mr. MacKinnon was 90 years old at the time of the interview and lived in North River. In a later clipping announcing Mr. MacKinnon’s passing at 96 years old, F.H. MacArthur writes that this expedition was the first and only one of its kind.

Here is a poem The Call of the Wild written by Robert Service:

Have you gazed on naked grandeur
where there’s nothing else to gaze on,
Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,
Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar?
Have you swept the visioned valley
with the green stream streaking through it,
Searched the Vastness for a something you have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence?
Then for God’s sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation,
The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze?
Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation,
And learned to know the desert’s little ways?
Have you camped upon the foothills,
have you galloped o’er the ranges,
Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through?
Have you chummed up with the mesa?
Do you know its moods and changes?
Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

Have you known the Great White Silence,
not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver?
(Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies).
Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river,
Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize?
Have you marked the map’s void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races,
Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew?
And though grim as hell the worst is,
can you round it off with curses?
Then hearken to the Wild — it’s wanting you.

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed,
groveled down, yet grasped at glory,
Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?
“Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story,
Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul?
Have you seen God in His splendors,
heard the text that nature renders?
(You’ll never hear it in the family pew).
The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things —
Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

They have cradled you in custom,
they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching —
But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind,
there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go.

To read other poems of Robert Service, click here.

For more information on Klondike Kate, click here.

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