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In our Clyde River historic photo library, we have various landscapes of Clyde River and also Meadowbank from as early as 1914. If you have others in your collection of photo albums, we invite you to send us digital versions. This photo gallery will keep you busy for a while. We encourage you to add comments below on what you notice in the photos. We also welcome your stories and memories. To better view the photos in a larger format, please select any photo and click arrows to move through the collection. If you are newer to Clyde River and have any specific questions, please feel free to add your question below.

 

The Murray Diaries in our collection cover 1911-1925 in handwritten notes by Annabell (Henderson) Murray. She was born on July 25th, 1851 and died at 74 on January 21st, 1926. We have transcribed a few years which is quite a slow but fascinating undertaking. There is one line for each day which included the weather, the day of the week and a brief highlight or two.

As you progress through the days and weeks, you can see the flow and patterns of their lives. You may or may not know the names, but the entries give you a sense of what anyone in the community or in greater Prince Edward Island may have been up to. Here are some highlights of what was going on in April 1911 along with my notes to help fill in the background.

The first day of April was very cold with a raw wind. It was a Saturday. Charlie MacLean, Neil Darrach, Neil MacKinnon & Wall were digging a grave and the frost was three feet deep. Wall was Wallace Murray, Annabell’s son. Not sure whose grave it was as there were two deaths that week.

Mrs. Alex Darrach had died on the morning of March 28th. It was a Tuesday and rainy. Her funeral came up the ice and passed by the door of the Murray home. It was a large funeral. The roads were very bad.

Just so you can find your bearings, the Murray house is the small white house on the left after you pass the old Clyde River School (now the Riverview Community Centre) as you drive down the Clyde River Road. It was common in those days for funeral processions in the community to travel on the ice during winter and come up through the Murray property to either the Baptist or Presbyterian churches/cemeteries. A note in the paper says that Mrs. Darrach’s funeral was at her late residence which would have been down the Clyde River Road near the river, where the Brown’s live now.

Mrs. Alex Darrach was Mary (Lamont) Darrach. She was born in 1839. I see where her husband died the following year. They are both buried in the Burnside Presbyterian Church cemetery. On their headstone, it shows the name of their daughter Elizabeth who died in 1889 at 9 years old. According to the Darrach genealogy, it appears that Elizabeth is the only one of their children that made it past infancy.

In letters we have in our collection of Mary (MacDougall) Darrach from 1907-08, Mary mentions Uncle Alex, who would be Alex Darrach. She notes that Uncle Alex had taken some weak turns, and one morning they thought for sure he was dying, but they gave him some cold water and he came to. She said, “He’ll work till he drops. His money won’t do him much good when he’s gone. He’s near blind but he comes over to our place, just by guess. When we see him coming, we go to meet him.” Mary and John Darrach lived on the farm next door, now owned by Sidney Poritz.

The day before the men were digging the grave, on March 31st, Scott the miller went by the door with his horse and wagon. He was heading to town with a bag of flour on the ice. Scott’s had a mill on the Bannockburn Road for some years which was later owned by the Dixon family.

Aunt Mary McLaughlin died on the 31st. It started raining in the evening. Mary (Murray) MacLaughlin was born in 1823 and she died at 88 years. She is buried in the Clyde River Baptist Cemetery. Her husband was Donald MacLaughlin. Earlier Murray and MacLaughlin ancestors are buried in the Clyde River Pioneer Cemetery.

On April 2nd, Mary’s funeral passed the door. Wall, Ince, Bertie and Edith down. Bert Auld, Jessie and Alva (Bert’s sister) were there for dinner. On April 4th, Wall took Bertie to town. Bertram Robertson Auld was married to Jessie Ward. The Wards were from Kingston. Interesting to see Bert’s second name “Robertson”. That name was his great grandmother’s maiden name, Jane (Robertson) Beer who immigrated from Derry, Ireland in the 1830s.

On Wednesday, April 3rd, it was fine in the forenoon, Duncan MacNevin got married to Katie. Wednesday was a common day to get married in those days. Jim MacPhail, his wife and Annabell went to Riverdale, and the roads were pretty bad. It was very stormy in the afternoon and the roads were bad coming home.

On Thursday, the roads were soft but there was a spree at S. Squires. No entry on Friday, but on Saturday, it mentions that Earl Grey got into town between 3 & 4 o’clock p.m. Earl Grey was the Governor General of Canada in 1911. Here’s an interesting bio on him.

It was an anxiety-ridden day on Sunday, April 9th, as Jim McPhail’s mare got into the ice at J. McLaughlin’s shore; it was pretty bad. No news on Monday and Tuesday, but it was fine both days.

On Wednesday, April 12th, they finished sawing wood. On Thursday, Hector McDougall, Alice, Collie, Heber and Harold were there. It was a big day on Friday as Diamond foaled a dandy mare. Saturday was drizzly and the roads were bad. Bell Fraser was there on Easter Sunday.

Monday, April 17th was stormy in the forenoon but it was fine in P.M. J. McLaughlin and Wall went to Dan Howard’s sale. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wall was splitting wood and on Thursday, he was in town and roads were bad. Annabell was up to R. MacPhail’s for a visit, and in the evening, there was a party at the Scotts.

Wall finished splitting the wood on Friday. It was a fine and cold day. No news on Saturday, but on Sunday, Jessie, Annabell’s daughter, was visiting at A.C. MacLeans. Monday and Tuesday were fine, no news.

On April, the 26th, Wednesday, Jim McPhail and Victor were there for a visit. Empress went to Pointe de Chene on her first trip of the season. Harry Holman features a story on his Sailstrait blog that highlights the Empress as one of the boats owned by the Island Steam Navigation Company which crossed to Pictou and Pointe de Chene. You can read his story here.)

On Thursday, April 27, they set a goose. Jessie was at Mrs. Fraser’s washing. R. Matheson and A. Cameron were in town, the roads were bad. Inman went to town with his gasoline boat. No ice to be seen.

Friday was fine and on Saturday, the steamer made the first trip. On Sunday, there was no preaching; Mrs. Peter Warren died. The Warren’s were from Warren Grove, just down the road from the new roundabout in North River. There is a pioneer cemetery located there that was once the property of Peter Warren. I see where Elizabeth (Webster) and Peter Warren, however, are buried in East Wilshire Baptist Cemetery here.

Here are photos from our collection of the two churches in Clyde River. Please review and add any comments and stories to offer more insight into their history. If you have any other photos of these buildings to add to the collection, please let us know. Here are a few notes about the churches:

  • The first photo features the second Baptist Church that was built in Clyde River and the one that exists today. The first Baptist Church was located down the Clyde River Road just before the Clyde River Golf Course on the left and up from the Pioneer Cemetery where early Baptists were buried. The first Baptist Church was moved and later became the Clyde River Hall that no longer exists. 
  • One of the photos of Burnside Presbyterian Church features the shed where parishioners left their horses and wagons during church services. This shed was used by both Baptist and Presbyterian churches.
  • One photo of the Burnside Presbyterian Church does include a date of 1941.
  • The photo of the Presbyterian church with the home in the background – that would be Paul and Kitty MacPhail’s home. We believe they ran a store at one time. According to the Murray diaries in our collection, their home burned down on January 2, 1911. Neil MacKinnon was one of the neighbours that made an attempt to save them but both Paul and Kitty perished in the blaze.

(Click on any photo to see enlarged views.)

The Clyde River History Committee has accumulated almost 2000 digital photos and we plan to choose some select photos to share with our website audience as a way to invite comments, observations and stories that will bring these photos to life. Also, you may have a question about a photo, and that’s fine, too. Someone may indeed know the answer. Let’s work together to share and pass on all the rich history of Clyde River to the next generations. Our first photo features Clyde River School which now looks much different since they expanded the school in approx. 1966 and upgraded it to become our current community centre. We will plan to add a photo each week. Please add your comments, observations, stories or questions in the comments section below.

The Municipal Council of Clyde River will be hosting a public annual meeting of Clyde River residents and property owners on Wednesday, March 10th, 7:00 p.m. The Council will present the budget for 2021-22. The meeting will take place at Burnside Presbyterian Church to comply with COVID-19 physical distancing requirements. Masks will be required. For those residents/property owners who would prefer to participate in the meeting virtually, please email the Community Administrative Officer at administrator@clyderiverpei.com to register by March 9th, and you will be sent connection/call-in details. If required, the storm date for the meeting will be Thursday, March 11th.

The recreation reimbursement amount has doubled this year thanks to assistance from the PEI Government COVID-19 Restart Assistance Fund. The annual reimbursement is calculated at $60 per activity/child to a maximum of $120/child. Children must be 18 years or younger and a resident of the Municipality of Clyde River. This reimbursement covers the time period of April 1, 2020 to March 31st, 2021. Link here to the form that you can complete and send to Clyde River’s Administrator at administrator@clyderiverpei.com.

As Pretty as a Christmas Card

Best Overall winner – 891 Bannockburn Road

Thank you to all who participated in this year’s “Let’s Light it Up” Christmas Decorating Contest. Clyde River and Dunedin residents outdid themselves with holiday cheer. There were many beautiful displays, so it was challenging to choose winners. We certainly recommend that you take time to drive around the community to take in the sights. The following are our 2020 winners:

  • Best Overall: 891 Bannockburn Road – home of Joel and Cathy Mills
  • Most Creative: 15 Gass Lane – home of Dane and Beth Woodford
  • Children’s Favourite: 6 Circle M – home of Duane Curtis

Season’s Greetings and all the best for 2021, from the Council of the Rural Municipality of Clyde River.

(Photo of Clyde River Pioneer Cemetery)

Since we launched the Cemetery Stories course at the beginning of November, it has grown in popularity. We originally were focused on Clyde River and area, but we received high interest from other communities and provinces and even from the US and England. We decided to open it up, and we now have 70 participants from across PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, California, Alabama, Georgia, Vermont, Massachusetts and England.

We received coverage in The Guardian, on CBC Mainstreet and the CBC PEI website. The CBC coverage doubled our registration within a day. Here is a link to the CBC article. We also received attention from Canadian historians and professors and they shared information on our course on their social media pages.

Cemetery Stories is a self-directed course and it’s free. We provide the curriculum outline that includes suggested readings and activities. We change topic every two months. The course runs until August 2021. Participants choose the cemetery/ies and individuals to research. Each participant is encouraged to prepare brief biographies (approx. 200-500 words) of six people within the cemetery/ies they choose.

We promote collaboration among participants, as we highlight the family names that each is researching. Through these collaborations, you can share research tips/findings and feedback on biography development. Biographies could be of ancestors, friends or an individual whose headstone struck your interest. Questions are provided to assist in biography development.

We have a few registrants from Clyde River, and we welcome more to join in. There is always an option to create a local community study group that can work together. The biographies would become an important contribution to the history of our local cemeteries. They would introduce future generations to the people that helped to build the community they live in. Here is the study outline:

Study Plan:

  1. Understanding cemetery history and gravestone design (November- December 2020)
  2. Gathering family names, photos and obituaries (January-February 2021)
  3. Gathering family stories (March-April 2021)
  4. Understanding how old-time residents managed their health (May-June 2021)
  5. Individual free time to explore and organize your research findings (July 2021)
  6. Clyde River & Area Cemetery Tours (August 2021)

You can view the full curriculum document here. To register for the course, you can link here. If you have any specific questions, please contact Vivian Beer at clyderiverpei@eastlink.ca.

A recreation reimbursement of $30/activity is available to youth (18 years of age and under) who are residents of the municipality. The annual maximum amount is $60/child for two activities. All types of recreation that enhance a healthy lifestyle qualify. The year runs from April 1st 2020 to March 31st, 2021.

Here is the application form for reimbursement. Please send your application to Fred Beer, Clyde River Administrator, administrator@clyderiverpei.com.

Christmas Decorating Contest

2020 will be a year to remember. Let’s do our best to celebrate this holiday season and spread some cheer. We are inviting all residents of Clyde River and Dunedin to light up the community. The Christmas Decorating Contest will take place on Wednesday, December 16th. Just make sure to have your outdoor light display on between 6:30 and 9:00 pm to be judged for the competition. Prizes will be awarded for the “Best Overall”, “Most Creative” and “Most Outlandish”. No entry form is required.

The winners will be posted on this website. If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn Wood at clydesheep95@gmail.com