- Community Services
The community of White Sands is located in
Southern Kings County in eastern
Prince Edward Island
on the east coast of Canada. This area is approximately 20 km southeast of
the town of Montague,
and 52km southeast of Charlottetown, the Island's capital city and birthplace of
Like other parts of Prince Edward Island, White Sands has mild
weather. The daytime
temperatures are comfortable and moderate; from the onset of spring to the
end of summer, they usually range from 8 to 30 degrees Celsius; from autumn to winter's
end, temperatures normally range from 8 to -10 degrees Celsius.
The people that settled in White Sands named this community for the
sandy beach that was found there. The first settler in White Sands was a
Sullivan; he settled where Paul Szczgiel lives today. There have been many
changes in the community of White Sands within the last century.
There was a bottle factory in White Sands, owned by Bob Machon.
In this building, pop was manufactured, and then sold. The factory was
built where Alan White lives now, which is near the corner between Murray
Harbour and Guernsey Cove. The bottle factory was a major marketing business because it
was one of the few bottle factories found on Prince Edward Island at the
time. Harry and Dorothy White bought the factory in 1937, and sold it to
Waldo Beck. He moved the pop factory to Machon's Point, but it does not exist today.
In White Sands, some of the prominent businesses of the past have been moved
or closed down, for example, the lobster cannery, one of the most important
industries in the early 1900's. People bought their lobster at this market;
when the fishermen came ashore, they would sell their lobster catches to the
cannery. The lobster factory was on the property of Mr. John Cairns of
White Sands, lot 64. Austin and Nelson Bell operated the cannery in
White Sands until 1939. In 1941, they moved the business to Murray Harbour.
Today, when the fishermen come in from fishing, they sell their lobsters to
a cannery such as Keeping and MacKay's.
The land owned by Steven and Tammy MacLeod was once owned by the
family of James Watson and Mary Bell, who had three girls and two boys.
Tammy's great, great, great grandfather Joseph Bell was the youngest of
the boys. He was born in the homestead on July 7, 1835. His nephew Nelson
Bell, great, great granduncle to Craig Bell who lives across the road,
owned and operated a boat shop from this property near the shore.
He built many fishing boats and dories there. Watson Bell also lived in the
same house, and built two large buildings on the property. In these buildings,
he made cheese for his family; he didn't sell or market this cheese.
From 1845 to 1968, there was a school in White Sands on the
land owned by James Bell. The Church Society of London supplied the school
with Scriptures and other religious books, as well as published works. Over
the years, five male and two female teachers taught in the school until it
closed in 1968, when neighboring small schools formed one large consolidated
school, known as Southern Kings Consolidated. The White Sands school building
was moved to a location in Murray Harbour, and is now used as a home by Lorraine and
White Sands also had two churches, a Methodist Church at the
corner of the White Sands road which went farther north than it does today,
and a Bible Christian Church near Lorin Brehaut's house. The Manse of the
Bible Christian Church was directly across from the church.
The community of White Sands had a post office located in the home of
Thomas Bell who had originally come from Dumfries, Scotland. The post
office began operating in 1834, and continued in business from 1834 to 1859,
and then again from 1880 to 1914.
In the 1800's, White Sands was a prospering community with a pop factory, boat
building, schools, churches, post office, lobster cannery, and
several homes. There has been a great deal of change in this community in the
past century; many of these businesses have either moved or closed down
operation. However, farming and fishing are still important industries in White Sands.
Unfortunately, there were several tragedies in White Sands. One misfortune often remembered
is about Moses Derby leaving Pictou Island in a boat with
another individual and his dog. Moses died when he was hit in the head with
an object. White Sands residents presumed the man with him to have drowned as
they did not retrieve his body. The dog had survived and came back to shore.
Another devastating tragedy happened when Janet Bell and Janet Glover
drowned after their sailing vessel sank at sea. Rescuers could not
retrieve their bodies.
A third misfortune involved Wilson Arnold who went smelting in his shanty
down by the boat manufacturer. He rowed out to the shanty each day. One
day he didn't return, and people presumed that Wilson and the man with him had
drowned. Will Gosbee found his boat, but both bodies were not found.
I would like to give special thanks to Craig and Esther Bell, and Sarah
Jackson for providing pictures and information for my project. I would also like
to thank Steven and Tammy MacLeod, my parents, and my grandfather, Chet
Irving for helping me with the research.