Canoe Cove Community Association


Canoe Cove is our community

A Brief History of Charlottetown

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Excerpts from 'A History of Canoe Cove'

 

Thank you to Florence MacCannell who kindly allowed us to use extracts from her book for the purposes of the website.

Thank you to Florence MacCannell who kindly allowed us to use extracts from her book for the purposes of the website.

 

More extracts will be added in time

Foreword

This history was written as a project for Canoe Cove Women's Institute, and its aim was to gather information on the early settlers of Canoe Cove; who they were; their roots and how they laid the foundation of our community.

 

Because much of it is hearsay there will be inaccuracies and omissions. Information has been obtained from various minute books, a school register, a church history, scrapbooks, clippings, Cove family histories and various other writings.

 

The early settlers were almost all Scots and if one goes back a few generations one would find that Gaelic (pronounce Gal-lic by our people) was spoken more often than not. At that time the church service was in English and Gaelic. This practise of having a service in English and Gaelic continued in some areas until 1910 and I would suppose that the same would be true of the Cove.

 

It is hoped that this history will give you some idea of our first settlers, and how the community evolved. If your roots are here you can be proud of your community and your heritage.

The Naming of Canoe Cove

The story has been passed down that during the hostilities between Britain and France the Indians were on the side of the British. The French occupied Fort LaJoye, now Fort Amherst, at Rocky Point. Because of the French defence the British were not able to enter Charlottetown Harbor, so they anchored off what is now Canoe Cove. The Indians took the British soldiers ashore in their Canoes and it is said that the soldiers gave the name Canoe Cove to our district.

 

The cove was named Allen Cove by Holland in 1765, for either John Allen Carter who was present at the capture of Louisburg or for Lieut. James Allen who was wounded there. Douglas 1925 has this as the correct name, but Canoe Cove is used and this is shown in Wright 1852 and Meacham 1880.

In Micmac Kweduna Walna 'Canoe Cove.'

In the Cove and surrounding districts, Canoe Cove was often known as 'Canna Cove.' Where the local pronunciation came from is not clear, it may have been a Gaelic influence.

 

No matter how you pronounce it, if you were born here you will hear the surf pound and smell the salt water in your dreams for the rest of your life. Even your descendants will feel the pull of the Cove and its proud Scots heritage calling them back to its beauty and tranquility.

Canoe Cove

Written by the Rev. Murdoch MacKinnon of Canoe Cove

Published in The Patriot, August 1933

Tis said in legend tale

That long ago

An Indian tribe came here

In flight from ancient foe

And landed in this very cove

With their canoes

And thus the name

Is Canoe Cove

 

It may be true

And likely is

And that thy friendly shore

Good shelter gave to those who came of old

But this I know beyond dispute

That I have come to thee

Full many a time

In flight from care

And I have found in thee

A sheltering cove of rest

From storms of life.

 

Thy rocks and garden green above

Give resting pleasure to the eye

Thine acres broad

Of clean unsoiling sand

With gullies interspersed and warm

Give sportive play a chance.

 

Thy waves and tide

With ebb and flow

Lend music, change and rest

Unto the mind and heart

And from thy soothing, buoyant,

Bracing summer waters come

When'er I swim and sun in thee

A sparkling sense of health

And so to me thou art indeed

A gladdening, strengthening, sheltering

Cove of life

The Land

In 1766 Prince Edward Island was surveyed and divided into 67 lots of twenty thousand acres each by Samuel Holland. Canoe Cove, situated on the Northumberland Strait, is mostly in Lot 65. Lot 65 fell by ballot to a Mr Wright and a Mr Owen. A small part is in Lot 30 which went to a Mr Murray. The Land Purchase Act did not come into force until 1873 so it can be assumed that the settlers that came before then rented their land from these men, more likely their agents, as they were absentee landlords. The settlers would set about clearing the land and building temporary log homes using the trees that they cut down. Trails were blazed from one place to another by cutting notches in the trees at eye-level. In later years when better roads were built they followed these winding trails and that is why you see some of those beautiful, meandering roads yet on the island. They were never meant for speeding automobiles but for a leisurely ride in a horse and buggy. These were the only roads for a hundred years or more.

 

Crops were sown initially using very simple implements. One implement used in the Highlands before settlers came to Canada was a primitive shovel type tool and perhaps this is what they used when they came here. Livestock, which would have been very scarce, was obtained and the settlers were able to make a living. Even though the living would be scanty at first it would be better than what they had back home.

 

Before we look any further at the early days of our Cove, let us think about why the first settlers left their beloved native Scotland. Up until the early 18th century the Clan system prevailed in the Highlands and the people looked to their clan chief for protection and a means of earning a living. In return they served him loyally and faithfully and when the chief betrayed them it was as if a father had turned against his child. The Laird owned large tracts of land obtained, maybe be by prowess in battle maybe a gift from his king and this land was handed down from one generation to another. He rented this land out to tenants some of which were called crofters, the same families being in the same places for generations. The highland soil was extremely poor and it was difficult for the crofters to pay rent and wrest a living from the stony ground. After the Battle of Culloden the English tried to wipe out the clan system and forbade the wearing of tartan. Some clan chiefs and Lowland Scots sided with the English and later joined with them in their cruel and inhumane treatment of the crofters.

 

The landowners found they could make more money raising sheep than renting to crofters so they evicted their tenants in the cruellest way imaginable. The factors (agents) would come to the croft usually through the day when the men were at work, put out the hearth fire which was burned all day and night using the precious milk that was needed for the family. Then they would set fire to the croft which, with its thatch roof, would burn easily. The crofters would have to leave carrying everything. That could be a sick child or old person, along with their scanty belongings. Perhaps even the roof tree and the lintel would have to be carried as they were not allowed to cut trees down when and where they wished. Their crofts were almost entirely of stone but their boards where the two sides of the roof met, the roof tree, had to be of wood.

 

The top of the door casing, the lintel, also had to be made of wood. They must have thought they were in heaven when they came to the forests of Prince Edward Island, with no-one to stop them from cutting down trees. In Scotland they might be evicted more than once, but they usually tried to go somewhere else after the first eviction. To raise money to go to America or Australia, they had to sell their few possessions. If they did not leave of their own accord the land owners would bind them, take them from their families, and carry them forcibly to a departing ship. Many of the ships had unkind and unscrupulous captains out to make money. They overloaded their ships and had poor and insufficient food and water aboard. Due to the filth and overcrowding disease broke out and many passengers, malnourished to start with, died on the way, or soon after landing. The voyage would last at least six weeks so that even with a kind and considerate captain and a comfortable vessel it was still a gruelling experience.

 

After they landed on our Island they still had to pay rent for their land but there was plenty of it, and once cleared, yielded excellent crops. They started with the scantiest of equipment, axes to clear the land and the shovel implement previously mentioned to work it up, but they persevered and our excellent farms are their legacy.

 

The clearing out of the crofters by the landowners to make way for the sheep was called 'The Clearances' and a more vivid example of man's inhumanity to man' cannot be found anywhere in the history of mankind.

 

The Scots, hard working and thrifty because they had to be to survive, were a God-fearing lot and thrived in the New World even though their hearts were breaking with loneliness and bitter memories of how they were treated in their homeland. It says a lot for their character that even though the English King treated them so brutally the Scots in Canada remained loyal to the Crown and fought on the side of the English when the American Colonies rose in rebellion. Scots descendants have been in the front lines in wars ever since. None are more feared by the enemy than the kilted 'ladies from Hell', led by the pipers whose wild music terrify the enemy but inspire the Scot to give his all.

 

Stories abound about 'the Scot' that was chased out of Scotland because he stole a sheep and there is a bit of stigma to it. If the rest of the of the story were told a sheep or a hare or a salmon was 'stolen' to feed a starving family that was the victim of such atrocities as the Clearances. In Scotland the crofters were not allowed to hunt in the woods, fish in the streams or in some cases they could not even take the poorest fish from the shores. Their fuel was peat and a cruel factor would keep them from getting that if he could. No wonder Canada sounded like the Promised Land and when they came to Canoe Cove they found it - more or less.

 

Note: The above information on the crofters was taken from On the Crofters Trail by David Craig

Church History

The early settlers we mostly Scottish Presbyterians. It is said that the more they suffered the ubiquitous 'Clearances' the more devout they became and that being so, they gathered regularly for worship from the time of their arrival. Many of the ministers in Scotland sided with the land owners and encouraged with the Clearances so that one could understand if the people turned their back on the Church. Again this emphasizes their sterling character in that the Lord was not blamed for the wrongs inflicted on them by their clergy.

 

Reverend Donald McDonald was sent from the Free Church of Scotland, as a missionary to Canada. Probably he was sent not so much that they wanted to give this country a missionary as a desire to get rid of him for he was an embarrassment to the Church of Scotland for his apparent intemperance. He went first to Cape Breton but apparently his behavior there was much the same as in Scotland. Two years later when he was forty two, he came to the Island and started an itinerant ministry among the scattered members of the Scottish Kirk. He was a deeply troubled man as no doubt his addiction was in severe conflict with his religious convictions. His anxiety was so great that he gave up preaching for a time in early 1828. He spent much time in prayer and reading his Bible and while he was at the home of one of his parishioners on the Malpeque Road he was released from his spiritual despondency. After that he was a new creature in Christ preaching powerfully from Murray River to Wilmot and from Canoe Cove to Rustico. When he died he had 5000 adherents, or better than 10% of the population, who were called 'McDonaldites', a term still in use today. He died in the home of William McLeod of Southport in 1867 after having served the people of the Cove as well as his other followers for over forty years. There was a log church handy at the site of the present church that was used for about twenty years for worship. Our splendid old building had its beginnings in St Catherines near the Pioneer Cemetery. After a change in plans, the lumber was rafted around to its present site in Canoe Cove. The church was completed in 1872, by Alexander MacFarlane.

 

An early church secretary's minute book exists dating back to 1894. Charles MacNeill of St Catherines was the first secretary and his beautiful copper-plate script is a pleasure to read. The charge at that time consisted of Glasgow Road, Lot 48, St Catherine's, Nine Mile Creek, Stanchel and North River, Hunter River and West River. Mr MacNeill was secretary from 1895 until his death in 1916.

 

Reverend James MacCall was our first minister after Mr McDonald remaining for three years before returning to Scotland. For the next few years ministering elders ordained by Mr McDonald conducted sacraments of baptism and communion, Justices of the Peace performed marriage ceremonies. In 1875 Rev. John Goodwill, a returned missionary took over the church and remained until 1903 when he had to give up because of ill health. Following Mr Goodwill was: Rev. James MacDougall, Rev. Daniel MacLean, Rev. Donald Lamont 1920-1928, Rev. Archibald Murchison, Rev. D. V. O'Meara 1928-1929, Rev. Chester Robertson and Rev. Dr J. W. S. Lowery 1935-1936.

 

Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not held in Canoe Cove until the ministry of Rev. Donald Lamont, apparently because there was no communion table, so that all could sit around it to take communion. The first communion table was built by Bateman MacFadyen, son of John K., and the communion linen made by Mrs John K MacFadyen.

 

Criteria for taking communion, or sacrament, were very strict. By the way, a peculiarity of the area was that sacrament one must be 'under conviction' that is, aware of deeply remorseful for one's sin. Then one was 'set free' which meant that one realised that because of the crucifixion and resurrection one's sins were forgiven and one was 'saved.' Then one could take sacrament. Many Scottish settlers, especially in Pictou county, Nova Scotia became members of the Presbyterian Church but never felt that they were worthy of receiving communion.

 

Even after Communion tables were provided so that members could sit around a common table and drink out of a common cup, people still travelled to Churchill, Stanchel or DeSable to Sacrament. It was common for the people to go as far as Brae or Birch Hill for the annual Sacrament service which began on Thursday night with a preparatory service, and ended Monday morning with a thanksgiving service. These services were held once a year in each year as the Minister would not be able to arrange them more often for all churches. Perhaps it was the custom. Many romances which started at these services resulted in marriage. Of course, a new gown and a new hat were 'a must' for the ladies, especially the unmarried ones for the Sacrament season.

 

In 1938 application was made by Canoe Cove, Churchill and Nine Mile Creek to be received into the Presbyterian Church of Canada. (Prior to this they were Free Church of Scotland.) This was granted by the General Assembly and these congregations joined with Clyde River to form Central Parish. Rev. Thomas Goodwill was its first inducted minister serving from 1939-1948. Canoe Cove maintains some of its free being not having musical instruments in the church and the Psalms and Paraphrases were led by a singing elder called a Precentor. About 1947 the Church purchased an organ and music was heard at worship in the church for the first time.

 

After Mr Goodwill retired because of ill-health, students and supply took care of the needs of the congregation until Rev. Donald Nicholson accepted a call to our church in 1950 and stayed until 1956. While he was with us the church was wired for electricity in 1950.

The Cemetery

The Cemetery was started down by the shore before the present church was built. The first person to be buried there was David Potts, an English sailor whose body washed ashore. There is a gravestone at his grave but it states only that he was the son of John Potts from England. No details are available as to his ship or how his body came to wash ashore.

 

The Cemetery was used for the Nine Mile Creek area as well as the Cove. Some from the St. Catherine’s area used it even though there is a Pioneer Cemetery. Some of our ancestors are buried in the Argyle Shore Cemetery. The early settlers would use the cemetery of their choice, and generally their descendants would continue to use that cemetery.

 

At first all cemeteries had rounded graves which were not precisely aligned whether they had stones or not. This would make the cemetery difficult to care for. In the late 1920s the graves were levelled and the stones aligned so that a lawn mower could b used. Our cemetery is one of the more attractive ones, as the grass is kept mowed and extra flowers are planted to enhance its appearance.

Communication & Transport

When Indians came from the mainland they would have to carry their canoes to the West River, and then paddle to their next stop. When the new settlers came, they made use of these trails. As stated before the British made landings here and constructed some sort of road to Fort LaJoye. There used to be the remains of a 'corduroy' road on the Mike MacDonald Farm that was an example of the type of road used to pass over swampy places. A 'corduroy' road was made by laying logs crosswise on the road bed. Although this would cause jolting and jarring to a rider with a horse and cart such a road was relatively easy to make, efficient and durable. The earliest settlers had to go the 'long way around' to get to Charlottetown. Think of going to Charlottetown from Canoe Cove without crossing bridges. One would have to go to the head of the West River where it would be crossed near Bonshaw, and then by way of Milton to Charlottetown. The preferred way to take produce to market and get supplies was by water.

 

After shipping began in earnest and wharves were built, ferries crossed the waterways at several places but the largest and most accessible was Rocky Point. The first Rocky Point ferry was operated by Captain Hubbard in 1840. This service, which continued until 1960 ferried vehicles to and from Charlottetown. It was not needed after the West River causeway was built, but a small water boat did operate for a while carrying passengers.

 

For about a hundred years our people used horses or walked, usually many miles to ferry or church or wherever they wanted to go, especially on a Sunday in busy farm seasons as the horses had to rest. Then in the early 1900s the car was beginning to be used on the Island. The first car in the Cove, a 1914 Ford, was owned by Duncan MacCannell. There were restrictions on the days cars could be used on the Main roads. Cars were banned on market days (that is, Tuesday and Friday) and most certainly on Sunday because it was feared that the horses would get scared and bolt.

 

After a hundred years of narrow, winding, dusty but beautiful roads with bushes on both sides giving privacy and shelter the roads were widened and ditched. This doubtful mark of progress sliced huge pieces off front yards and some house lots almost disappeared. In 1960 our road was paved and there is no doubt that it improved life in the Cove. During the same period a causeway was built across West River between New Dominion and Meadow Bank. That significantly shortened the distance to Charlottetown for the people in the South Shore area and to a lesser extent our Cove.

 

Electricity came to the Cove in 1950. At first, residents had basic wiring with few appliances, but farmers quickly began to take advantage of this tireless servant. Next came heavy wiring with every necessity and convenience following it to make the hard toil of farmers and others easier.

 

Our telephone line, now so ubiquitous, had its beginning as a local line taking in the South Shore area and was kept up by its patrons. There was one phone (toll line) in each area and in Canoe Cove it was at Duncan MacCannell's. No slot to deposit the money in those days. If the owner of the Toll Phone did not collect the amount charged at the time, he was sometimes out that much. Gradually, more phones were added and Rose MacEwen, wife of Dan, had maintained, and probably during the Second World War manpower and supplies would be hard to get to keep it up, at that time it fell into disuse. In the 1940s the Island Telephone Company took over the line and phone service was restored. Central was then at New Haven, Mrs Kenneth Docherty being the operator, followed by Mrs Stanley Newman. In the late 1960 the dial system came into use. The party line system being replaced now by private phones, which is much more convenient.

Canoe Cove School

In 1820 the 'South Shore School' was established in Canoe Cove. The early construction of a schoolhouse in the community is an indication that education was a primary concern to the early settlers.

 

Children generally entered the school between seven and eight years of age, and seldom remained past thirteen or fourteen. In fact, it is not long since 'school leaving' exams at Grade Eight were abolished. Attendance was irregular from May to October when children helped on the farm.

 

School started with prayer and reading of the Scriptures and ended in the same manner. Subjects taught included Gaelic, map-reading, orthography, grammar and arithmetic. The superintendant, also know as the Visitor made periodic visits to examine the children’s' knowledge as well as the condition of the schoolhouse.

 

Teachers were boarded with residents of the community. Women teachers were considered inferior to male teachers in the role of disciplinarian and consequently received lower salaries.

 

The Free Education Act was instituted in 1953 bringing a means of education within reach of every family. Before this time small grants of money were provided to aid the erection of public schools and in payment of teachers. Pupil's fees made up most of the money earned by the teacher. Under such a weak system, the teachers practically ran their own schools and the education gained depended on the teacher's knowledge or lack of it. Poorer parents could not afford to pay and illiteracy was prevalent.

 

A Canoe Cove teachers register dated July 2, 1884 still exists. The teacher at the time was Jack MacNevin and the Visitor was John Balderston. Mr Balderston's note stated that '38(out of 64) pupils were present, a map of Canada should have been displayed, it was a well constructed school and progress was satisfactory.' It is ironic that map-reading was taught but there was not even a map of Canada.

 

It was a formidable task for Mr MacNevin to teach fifteen subjects to 64 pupils, especially when those subjects included Latin, French, music and physical culture.

 

Canoe Cove Hall

Around the turn of last century a part of a house was moved to the School and remodelled to make a hall. Later on an upper storey was added to provide a meeting place for the Orange Lodge. The hall committee's minute book is available dating back to 1927 which shows that in earlier years the hall was well used for social, political meetings, fiddlers contest and other entertainment.

 

The minutes of 1935 indicate that it was being used for 'moving pictures.' Movies were shown until the 1950s with good attendance. Then came television which effected attendance at all local entertainments. The hall deteriorated badly during the 1960s and 70s and in the late 70s it was sold to Perley Shaw who tore it down and hauled it away.

Canoe Cove Rink

Open air rinks as well as covered were a source of recreation in May of the Island communities in the first half of the 20th Century. Canoe Cove had an open air rink near the Corner. It was enclosed by a fence and lights were provided by a generator. The young men of the time hauled the water from Laughie's dam with a horse and sleigh. Two different sites were tried before one was chosen and that one flourished for many years until more comfortable rinks located in larger centers took its patrons and forced its closure.

 

A lot of the young men had enlisted in the Armed Forces and after the war was over moved to larger centers to find work.

 

The Canoe Cove hockey team was called 'The Lucky Strikes' but the Nine Mile Creek 'Bulldogs' were the team usually won and got the applause. Apparently, a goalie from Argyle Shore used Eaton and Simpson's catalogues for shin pads and his hockey stick was a spruce bough. That did not detract from the fun in any way and good fellowship was enjoyed by all the players.

The Post Office

Canoe Cove would not have been settled when the first mail service was inaugurated by General Patterson. In 1786 the first post office for the island was built in Charlottetown. There was no roads thus delivery was by boat. In 1827 county post offices opened and in 1828 three courier routes were established; weekly delivery in summer and fortnightly in winter. It was about one hundred years later that courier service came to Canoe Cove.

 

By 1900 the government were establishing post offices in different communities, by 1893 in Canoe Cove. One early post office was located at the home of Neil MacFadyen, who was also a blacksmith. Later the post office was moved to the Corner where it was operated by the storekeeper. It was closed around 1960 and directed through Clyde River until that closed too.

The General Stores

There were several general stores in our Cove at different times. The one that lasted the longest was at the Corner across from the School.

Factories, Mills & Other Businesses

Fishing and farming were the main means of earning a living but related businesses also sprung up. Lobsters were plentiful, so plentiful that a man could go out in a small boat a short distance and take them in by the cartload, but the fishermen only got from a cent to three cents piece for them. Several factories were built in the cove. They were Dean's, Farquarson's, Henneberry's and The Portland Packing Company.

 

The Portland Packing Company was located where the Lloyd Inman Memorial Park is now, and had the biggest impact on our Cove. It was a large operation for its time employing many local workers as well as ensuring fishermen had a sure sale for their fish. It also processed meat.

 

There were many fishermen in those days and ne can picture the Cove full of sail boats and dories with the men busily running around getting ready to go to the fishing grounds.

 

We can see that fishing was a subsistence occupation because of the low prices but lobsters could be had in abundance. Prices increased very slowly and stocks decreased, which led to drastic measures having to be taken in the industry. Trap limits had to be imposed as well as a limit on the number of licenses issues.

 

The factory, the cookhouse and the accommodations for fishermen are long gone; only three boats in recent years were anchored off the Cove. A nostalgic era is gone and becoming a dimmer memory as time goes by.

 

The well known Harris family owned a lobster cannery at Canoe Cove and was the subject of a Robert Harris painting.

 

So you see our Cove had successful business men and not one penny of government money was used. When times changed and a particular operation ceased the owner gathered his resources and talents together and made a success somewhere else.

 

Let us not forget the women in all of this. Long ago the women were expert in spinning, weaving, knitting, candle making, soap making, and in whatever else was needed for everyday life.

 

Another more mundane task that was sometimes done by the women was the knotting of heads (netting) for lobster traps.

The Phantom Ship

While we are dwelling on the activities in and around the shore we should think about The Phantom Ship. This phenomenon has been sighted many times over the years and not just by our Cove people. It has been seen on both sides of the Northumberland Strait and has been written about in many papers and magazines. It has been described as a sailboat and as a steamer, always on fire, and some people have claimed to see sailors running to and fro on the ship. The ship would remain stationary for hours, ablaze from stem to stern, and then suddenly disappear. Many Cove people, most of which are dead, have seen this phenomenon.

Superstitions

This seems like a good time to tell you of some of the superstitions of the people.

Every Scot knows that on New Year's Eve the first visitor should be dark haired and he should bring something to eat to ensure that those whom he visits will have plenty to eat throughout the year. He should bring something for the fire, to ensure that there will be something to burn throughout the next year.

 

Never put the right shoe on before the left and always work from left to right. To do otherwise would be to do it 'widdershins.'

 

Never start a new piece of work on a Friday

 

If you put a piece of clothing on inside out such as a sock, do not change it until the normal time for taking it off.

 

Never look at a new moon on its first night through glass

 

Do not put three burning lamps on a table at the same time - it is a sign of death.

 

Do not seat thirteen at the table - it is another sign of death.

 

If you drop a glove, get someone else to pick it up for you.

 

It's bad luck to turn back if you start a journey.

 

If you give a sharp present to someone, such as a knife, give a penny with it, otherwise it is bad luck.

Camps

camps for over 70 years. In the 1920s the Canadian Girls in Training had their camps in a field at the shore and for many years the Young Men's Christian Association held their camps at the same site.

 

The first permanent camp was built by the Church of Christ in the mid 1950s.

 

The presbyterian had their camp, Camp Keir, in the French River area for many years. As the number of campers and their activities grew more space and a more convenient site was needed. In 1986 an all-year-round facility was built next to the Canoe Cove Presbyterian Church. This is an ideal place for community activities as well as church related functions as it has a large open area and excellent kitchen facilities.

Organizations

The Orange Lodge

 

The Orange Lodge was the first organization that met in the Cove. The Orangemen had previously met at Long Creek but moved to Canoe Cove after the Hall was built. Later in the 1920s a Ladies Lodge was organized. These Lodges flourished for over 50 years then lapsed during the 1970s at the Cove for lack of members. The Lodges were an excellent forum for learning public speaking, as well as providing a social outlet. The 12th July Orange Tea was a big event and was held there many times. The annual Orangemen's banquet, another social event was held in the winter.

 

 

Division

 

Another organization that was active many, many years ago was Division which was a chapter of the Sons of Temperance.

 

 

The Women's Missionary Society (Presbyterian)

 

The Presbyterian Women's Missionary Society formed at Canoe Cove Church in 1955. This organization was well attended for many years but as older members died their places were not taken.

Canoe Cove Women's Institute

 

Community-minded women had been meeting fairly regularly in Canoe Cove primarily to meet the needs of the school, a type of Home and School club. This was due mostly to the efforts of an aspiring teacher in the district. This group led to the organization of the Canoe Cove Women's Institute, which was effected on September 15, 1950.

 

The WI ran well for many years, but waned as some members moved away, some began working outside the home. In addition, the closing of the school took away some of the focus of the Institute and perhaps the interest of the members.

 

The general needs of the community were still fulfilled by caring women who met as a community group, and the young people were cared for by another group. These groups joined in 1988 to reactivate the Women's Institute. The new group started meeting monthly in the fall of 1988 and have accomplished much since then.

 

The Women's Institute bought the school from the government in 1973 which was a wise decision as it gave a centre to the district for meetings and social gatherings. Although the school was kept in fairly good repair, by 1989 the interior shabbiness was so noticeable that something had to be done. The women held bake and yard sales to raise money and consequently the interior was redecorated.

 

Red Cross

 

People from the district have worked for the Red Cross for a long time for many purposes, starting with knitting for soldiers during the wars. Schools also used to have the Red Cross meetings on Friday afternoons. The aim of the meetings was to teach pupils the basics of good health. One of the rules was that we should bath once a week, another was that we should wash our hair every two weeks.

Sources

Illustrated Historical Atlas of the Province of Prince Edward Island - JH Meacham & Co, Philadelphia 1880

On the Banks of the Eliot - Violet MacEachern & Arlene MacDougall, 1973

Brae History - Eva MacNevin, 1973

Cradle of Confederation - Lorne Callbeck, 1964

On the Crofter's Trail - David Craig, London 1990

Atlas of Province of PEI - Cummins Map Co, 1928

The Island Family Harris - RC Tuck, 1983

'The Minister' The Reverend Donald MacDonald - The Island Magazine #3, 1977