The 1863 Lake Map. Lot 3. Source: Note Centerline Road is marked "Proposed Road"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wallace Donald Obituary 1895-1985

     The death occurred on Friday, August 16, 1985 at MacMillan Lodge, 230 Richmond Street, Charlottetown of Wallace E. Donald of Alma aged 90 years.
     He was the son of the late Leander J. Donald and Mary Jane (Mountain) Donald of Alma.  He was a farmer by trade.  He was predeceased by his wife, the former Annie Cole.  He leaves to mourn three daughters and four sons: Rae, Charlottetown; Jack, Montrose; Isabella (Mrs. Byron Weeks), Amherst; Dr. Leigh, Fredericton, NB; James, staff sergeant with RCMP, Ottawa; Jean (Mrs. Fred Turner), Winsloe; and Dr. Wallace, Dartmouth.  As well as a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
     Resting at the Ferguson Funeral Home, O’Leary until Sunday at noon, then to the Gordon Memorial United Church, Alberton for funeral service at 2pm.  Interment in Montrose United Church Cemetery.  Visiting hours Saturday 2-4pm, and 7-9pm.  Memorials to the memorial fund of the Gordon Memorial United Church of the Montrose United Church Cemetery Fund would be appreciated.

Pte. John Callistus McLellan, WWI

     John Callistus McLellan was the son of Augustine and Elizabeth (Walsh) McLellan and brother of W.B. "Bony" McLellan.  John joined the 27th Battalion Canadian Infantry Manitoba Regiment as a private on September 14, 1915.  He was killed in action on November 17, 1917 and buried in Belgium.
Information cf. Norma McLellan

Lauretta School - No. 171

     The origin of the community of Lauretta's naming is described in Geographical Places Names of Prince Edward Island, "Possibly named for a teacher, such as Lauretta Nelligan, who was teaching at DeBlois Road in 1898". 
     One of the first references to the Centerline School, (Lauretta School) No. 171, can be found in the 1894 Annual Report of the Prince Edward Island School Superintendent.  He indicates the school has no teacher or pupils and the following years reports the same. 
      The first school teacher of Centreline School was Adeline Arsenault, she began to teach on July 1, 1896 and taught there until June 30, 1898.  That first year W.B.*Bony* McLellan was nine years old and there were 55 students enrolled. 
     Lauretta School pupils were photographed in 1897 - Nellie (Smith) Beaeristo showed me the photograph in the mid-1980s.  She told me on that day in 1897 she and Eva Jeffery were 5 years old and not yet going to school, however, they were sent up to the school to be included in the photograph.  In the early 1980's there were two known copies of this photo, Nellie's and Bony McLellans, neither seem to have survived.
     The following is a list of known teachers who taught here during those first years:

 1896‑1898      Adeline Arsenault
 1898‑1899      Katie Hennessey
 1899‑1902      Stephen Jeffery, Class 3 license
 1902‑190?      E. Christopher

 195?‑              Shirley Barbour     

     The Lauretta School closed in the early 1950’s, students were sent to Alma School.  Lauretta School was sold to Lawrence Arsenault who lived across the road and used it as a barn.  I remember the old school being there in the late 1960's - it was demolished sometime in the early 1970's.
     I am not aware of any photographs of Lauretta school.  Below is an illustration of the school drawn by Donna (Barbour) MacPhee when a student here in the 1950's.

Monday, March 19, 2012

W.B. *Bony* McLellan Homestead, Lauretta

     This is an aerial view of the William "Bony" McLellan homestead on the Klondike Road ( today known as the McLellan Road ) in Lauretta.  This homestead disappeared in the late 1970's. 
     Photo cf. Donna McLellan Rowley (granddaughter of Bony).
     Bona was married first to Lucy MacIntyre (dtr. of Augustine MacIntyre of Grand River) who died giving birth to twins of which one survived, Lucy (1916-2011). Bona then married Annie MacIntyre of Alma - from this union were the following children: Hester, Mildred, Marion, Jack, Carl, Claud, Lemuel, Anna, Doris and Irving.
     Bony was the son of Augustine McLellan and Elizabeth Walsh - he came west as a lad to work at William Walsh's in Elmsdale and married his daughter.  They moved to Lauretta when Bony was 2-years-old.   It's been always said that they were one of the first settlers in Lauretta.  Bony died on May 13, 1980.  cf.  Norma McLellan

John J. Rayner

     Peacefully at the Palliative Care Unit of the Western Hospital, Alberton, on Sunday, March 18th, with his loving family by his side, of John James Rayner, beloved husband to Barbara (nee Mountain) Rayner of Alma, aged 78 years. Born at Greenmount, P.E.I. on September 2, 1933, he was the son of the late Marshall and Dorothy (nee Gordon) Rayner.
     Lovingly remembered by his children: Marlene (Reggie) MacKinnon of Hammonds Plains, N.S.; Eric of Fort McMurray, Alberta; and Leanne (Allan) Meggison of Mill River East. Cherished grandfather to Lorrina MacKinnon, Justin MacKinnon, Aleisha Meggison and Evan Meggison. Dear brother to Jean (late Eldon) MacArthur of Tyne Valley; Jessie Rayner of Summerside; Grace (Tom) Palmer of Oshawa, Ont.; Joyce (late Bud) Baglole of Wilmot; Elizabeth Rayner of Summerside; and Eva (Harold) MacDonald of Ontario. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Faye Rayner of Linkletter Road. He is also survived by his many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by a brother Eldon Rayner.
     Resting at the Rooney Funeral Home, Alberton until noon Wednesday, March 21, 2012, then to the Alberton Baptist Church for funeral service at 2:00 p.m., Pastor Ross Morrison officiating. Interment in the Alberton Baptist Cemetery, Greenmount. As an expression of sympathy memorials to the Western Hospital (Palliative Care) or to the Alberton Baptist Cemetery Fund would be gratefully appreciated. Visiting hours Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m

Geroge Jeffery's Thresher

     I took this photo of George's "Dion Self-feeding Threshing Machine" in the spring of 1985.  In its day this was the most advanced pieces of farming machinery a farmer could own.  Wilbert Jeffery said George bought this thresher in 1953 - he recalls George telling him that he bought a new 88  Oldsmobile in 1951, a new Oliver tractor in 1952 and this new thresher in 1953.
See the thresher in operation on this youtube video.

     Below: unknown man feeding a threshing machine.  The photo came from a collection of photos owned by Eliza (Jeffery) Sellick who died in 1939. The likely that of her Jeffery family.  Eliza's father was Abram Jeffery and this is possibly one of her brothers.  The mostly unidentified photo collection was given to me in 1996 by Eliza's daughter Irene (Sellick) Clark
     Below: A modern day demonstration of how the threshing machine worked.
     Be sure to visit the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary, Prince Edward Island to see their new machinery display and their threshing machinery.

Friday, March 16, 2012

John E. Mountain's House (formerly John R. Donald House)

     The house in which John E. Mountain was born is gone now.  It was a little nearer Alma Corner than the one in which he now lives (1977).  His present house belonged to Wallace Donald's grandfather, John Ramsay Donald, and was where Wallace later built the house in which his son Jack now lives.  It was hauled by Spurgeon Jeffery 51 years ago (1926).
     John R. Donald was married to Ann Owen.  Issue (children):
Ellen m. Edward Gordon
Watson married ???  Lived in Colorado
Leander m. Mary Jane Mountain (ch. Wallace; son in Forces)
                   (Leander and Mary were twins)
Mary m. John Bowness
Ada - not married
Clara m. Fred Peters, Summerside
     Wallace Donald says the first binder he owned cost $150.

Post Script.  The above information was filed under the subject of "Alma" at the Archives with no indication who wrote it.  Public Archives of Prince Edward Island.  Acc. No. 3221.  Item No. 28.  May 6, 1992
Above: horse and capsun model moving house.  By Kerras Jeffery, Backroad Folkart.

The following excerpt is from the 1926 Journal of Eva & Mary Jeffery -
July 3, 1926  - Fine, a little thunder and a little rain at 3 o’clock.  John Mountain was here and got some sticks for to haul his house.  Eva went down to Daves this eve.  Got 41 turkeys out.  Milvina Kinch was here and paid $20 on oats.  Heavy squall to night at 10 o’clock.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mrs. Donald's Invitation to Tea - 1922

     The following letter was found amount the papers of Eva Jeffery.  An invitation from Mrs. Leander Donald to her mother Dorcas.  Mrs. David (Bessie) Jeffery moved to Alma in January 1919 following her marriage to David.

H.I. Construction in Alma leveled in Blaze - March 6, 2001

     Eleven years ago yesterday was the big fire at H.I. Construction on the Western Road in Alma.  Here's the article from the Guardian Newspaper the following day.
HI Construction in Alma levelled as blaze causes estimated $250,000 in damage
THE GUARDIAN -  By Wayne Thibodeau
Wednesday, March 7, 2001
ALBERTON – Firefighters continue to sift through the remains of a spectacular fire which levelled a West Prince construction firm Tuesday, causing $250,000 in damages.
            Firefighters from five detachments battled the blaze throughout the afternoon but couldn’t save the huge structure which was home to HI Construction in Alma.
            The fire left the landmark and everything inside of it, including a plow and thousands of dollars in equipment, in a charred mess of ash and rubble.
            Four employees who were working on a disabled plow at the time barely escaped before the fire ignited, sending smoke and flames throughout the building and culminating with a series of explosions from fuel storage and propane tanks on the site.
            Allan Adams, a foreman with HI Construction, said it was a close call.  He and his co-workers were repairing a plow when a spark from a torch ignited the fire.
            “It spread within seconds”, Adams told The Guardian.
            “It was just a matter of a couple of minutes and she was engulfed.  We just got out of the building that was it”
            Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Police and ambulance were also on the scene.
            Adams said he will spend most of the day today accessing the damages.
            “The fire was a complete shock and it is going to be a great loss to everyone in the community,” said Adams.
            Barry Dawson, owner of HI Construction, said it could have been worse had someone been injured or trapped in the fire.
            “My first question was, “Is anybody hurt?” said Dawson.
            HI Construction has been in the operation since 1958.  It provides paving, road building, gravel and snow removal services throughout western P.E.I. and employs upwards of 30 people during peak season.
            Dawson said his staff will pick up the pieces and he hopes to have business back to normal within days, operating from a temporary location.  He said the fire won’t affect snow removal operations but he said he’s thankful it wasn’t snowing when it happened.
            “Tomorrow morning, we’ll be operating as best as can,” Dawson said Tuesday.
            Ralph Duggan watched the fire from his front step less than 300 feet from the fire.  Duggan was thankful the high northeast wind was blowing away from his home.  If it hadn’t, the Alma resident said he may have lost everything.
            “It was an awful fire,” said Duggan, “there was just a black cloud, one puff of smoke after another.  I never seen a fire like it.”
            Preston Murphy, a contractor who lives across the street from the construction firm, said thick, black smoke engulfed the community.
            “You could see it for miles,” said Murphy.
            Murphy spent Tuesday afternoon preparing one of his buildings so it can be used by HI Construction as a makeshift repair building for their snow removal equipment.
            “They lost their whole shop, their main shop,” said Murphy.
            Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night to ensure the high winds didn’t reignite the fire.  Officials from the provincial fire marshal’s office continued to investigate the blaze.
            David Cahill, Alberton fire chief, said wind gusts to 70 km/h hampered firefighting operations.  He said that’s why the fire department called all available resources to help douse the flames and save neighbouring buildings.
            Dawson credits firefighters for saving several other buildings on his West Prince Property which he said will all him to remain in business.

Post Script.  One of the buildings lost in this fire was the former Alma Train Station which was used as a shop - I will post photos and sketchs I did of the old train station later in this blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alma Baptist Church Celebrates a Century of Witness - 1985

     I came across this article in my scrapbook - there's no source or date but in the write-up it refers to the formation of the congregation in 1885...
     "In 1885 the Baptist members from Alma asked permission of the Alberton Church to form a separate church in their community because of the distance they were travelling.  Permission was granted and a church was built."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hon. George Hilton Barbour, MLA, Senator

George Hilton Barbour, larbourer, farmer, fox rancher, constable, chief prohibition inspector, chief of customs and excise department, insurance salesperson, and civil servant; born 05-September-1878 in Alma, son of Thomas Archibald Barbour and Mary Currie; married 24-April-1907 to Carrie Elora Casely, and they had two children, Greta Mary and Wendell George; United; died 06-February-1962 in Ottawa.
            George Barbour, a Liberal, was first elected in the general election of 1935 for 2nd Prince.  He was re-elected in the general election of 1939, 1943, and 1947.  Barbour resigned his seat in 1942 when he was selected as the prices and supplies representative to the regional office of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board in Charlottetown.  Upon re-election in 1943, Barbour was appointed to Executive Council as Minister of Public Works and Highways.  On 06-July-1949 he was appointed to the Senate.
            Barbour received his primary education in Alma, and at the age of 17 moved to Boston.  While residing in Massachusetts, he attended educational upgrading classes and worked at a company that sold ice.  In 1907 Barbour returned to the Island and settled in Bloomfield where he farmed and bred foxes.  He relocated in 1913 to Alberton and was employed there as a constable.  While in this position, his barn was burned and shots were fired at him.  In 1923 Barbour moved to Howlan.  While he lived there, another of his barns burned down under suspicious circumstances.  From 1918 until 1927, Barbour was chief prohibition inspector, and while on duty took an active part in the seizure of the Nellie J. Banks, a famous rum-runner.  He moved to Summerside in 1923 and resided there until 1927.  In that year, after resigning as prohibition inspector, Barbour moved to Charlottetown and became the district chief of the Customs and Excise Department.  In 1934 he moved to the Brae, purchased a farm, and grew seed potatoes and raised dairy cows.  Barbour returned to Charlottetown in 1942 and built a house at 130 Upper Prince Street.  He maintained ownership of the Brae farm but had someone manage it for him until 1945, when he sold it.  Barbour also worked with the Dominion Life Insurance Company.  George Barbour died 06-February-1962 in the Senate Chamber in Ottawa, shortly after giving a speech.
            Carrie Barbour, the daughter of William Samuel Casely of Kensington and Mary Ann Moase, was born 20-November-1886 and died 26-July-1970.

The information above comes from the book,
Minding the House: Prince Edward Island MLA’s 1873-2000 by Blair Weeks.

Post Script.  George's son Wendell Barbour was a very successful Charlottetown businessman owning a service station, many apartment buildings, and the Islander Motor Lodge.  Following his death his daughter Anne carried-on his businesses.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alma United Baptist Church

     Here's a photo of the Alma United Baptist Church located just behind the H.I. Paving Plant - the well-kept cemetery can still be found there.
     The above photo comes from the Prince Edward Island Public Archives & Records Office (PEIPARO).
     Here are two photos I took of the church in the summer of 1983.  The interior photo was taken from the main entry door looking into the church.  Note the tin ceiling.
Below is a photo I took in the summer of 2007 of the Alma United Baptist Cemetery.
The following is the history of the church and the women's missionary society.

            Over the years the Alma and Alberton Baptist churches have been closely associated.  The Alberton Church, which began in 1876, erected a church building in 1889.  This was eventually closed, and in 1947 was sold as a legion home.  In 1885 Alma became a separate church, and the present building was probably erected about then.  In 1893 it reunited with the Alberton Church but reorganized itself in 1908.
            Church Clerks have been David Barbour 1972‑close, Isaac Dunbar 1937‑1972, Joseph Dunbar (d. 1937), and J.P. Fielding (d.1939 aged 96 years, father of Mabel) who was the first Alma Baptist Church Clerk to put in writing information about the Church.
            Treasurers have been George Dunbar 1972‑close, Howard Dunbar 1937‑1972 and Ben Dunbar (d. 1937).  In the early days money was oftenn given diretly to the minister and so treasurers were made less use of.
            Organists have been Mrs. Archie (Mildred Dunbar) Barbour, David Barbour, Mrs. Frank  (Emma Dunbar) Barbour (d.1946), Mrs. George (Helen Dunbar) Rayner (d.1940) and Mrs. John (Celesta Dunbar) Horne (d. 1934).
            The first trustees were, from 1885, Jesse Baker, William Dunbar, and Samuel Rix.  More recent Trustees were James Dunbar, Keir Dunbar and Howard Dunbar.  The Dunbars were originally Presbyterians.  Other early leaders were John Haywood and William Clarke.
            In the summers of 1934‑35‑36 Lic. Steeves led an enthusiastic group of young people.  they presented a pageant "For He Had Great Possessions" in both the Alma and the Knutsford Churches.
            From the humblest churches have come some of the most effective soul‑winners.  Rev. Elmer Crockett from Alma, he resided in Rantoul, Illinois he ran four centre for servicemen and conducted two daily "Word of Life" broadcasts from Worthington, Minn.  He also issued a monthly newsletter, "The Good News Bulletin".
            The Church was demolished in 1990.
cf. the book, 
Highlights of our Baptist Work: in Springfield West, O’Leary, Alma Churches”, 1852-1977.
              On Monday evening, May 18, 1942, a Meeting was held in the Alma unite Baptist Church,  and Miss Bessie Lockhard (India) addressed the Meeting.  Following this a Missionary Society was organized under the leadership of  Mrs. A. A. MacLeod, and the following officers were elected Mrs. Archie (Mildred) Barbour, President; Mrs. Howard (Jennie) Dunbar, Vice President; Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar, Secretary; Mrs. Wm (Sadie) Mountain, Treasurer, an office she held for over 30 years.
            Including the above mentioned executive we had 12 charter members; Mrs. Frank Barbour, Miss Zena Barbour, Mrs. James Dunbar, Mrs. Benjamin (Martha) Dunbar, Mrs. A.A. MacLeod, Mrs. Waldron Barbour, Mrs. Mary Dunbar, Rev. A.A. MacLeod.
            At the same Meeting a Baby Band was organized.  Miss Lockhart made the youngest baby of those parents present a member of the Baby Band, and presented $1 to the treasurer for that purpose.  The baby was Garth Wesley Dunbar, second eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Dunbar, Alma.  Mrs. Isaac Dunbar was then appointed leader for the year.  In the years since several other ladies of the Society were appointed leaders until the Baby Band was disbanded.
            The Society met on a regular basis each month, in the homes of the members, and although numbers are relative small (average attendance seven) the Meetings are enjoyed by those attending. In 1977 the officers were: President, Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar; Secretary, Mrs. George (Muriel) Dunbar; Treasurer, Mrs. Jack (Mary) Dunbar.
            Each year, for many years now, an Annual Thanksgiving Service, under the auspices of the Alma W.M.S. is held in the Montrose United Church, kindly lent for the occasion.  The choirs from Springfield and O’Leary alternate in presenting this well attended, and much appreciated, service of song and praise.  The offering from this service is given to the Provincial Secretary of the UBWMU.
by Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar
cf. the book, 
Alma United Baptist Women’s Missionary Society:  Anniversary 1942-1977
by Bessie Lockhart

World War I - Roll of Honour

     At Holy Trinity Alma Anglican Church there's a framed honour roll at the front of the Church.  Below is a photo of it inscribed with the names of local men who went off to the First World War of whom one was killed in action. 
Below is the Roll of Honour list transcribed:
Corpl. Samuel Bearisto (killed)
Corp. Perley Vincent
Pte. Robert Lester Vincent
Pte. Charles Earl McNeil
Pte. David Vincent
Pte. Levi Jeffery
Pte. Clifford Evans Vincent
Pte. Ambrose Edmund Boyles
Pte. William Herbert Boyles
Pte. John Archibald Vincent

     Below: looking towards the Altar in Holy Trinity Alma Anglican Church - the Roll of Honour is to the left of the Altar.
     Below: the only photo I have of the above mentioned names is that of Levi Jeffery, veteran of WWI. He was the son of Abram and Mary Jane (Smith) Jeffery of Lauretta. Born in 1895 and died in 1940. He married Sadie Gallant - they had 13 children: Mary, Hannah, Florence, Leo, Jack, Rose, Eileen, Sophie, Alberta, Roy, Billy, Leonard, Levi Jr.
Post Script.  The men named on the Roll of Honour at Holy Trinity belonged to this congregation - there are more veterans from the community which, through my research, will be found and placed in a more comprehensive list of Veterans of WWI and WWII from Alma and Lauretta.