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School Community of Guernsey Cove

by Mindy
Introduction
Old Buildings
Homesteads
Past Businesses
Leisurely Activities
Transportation and Communication
Teachers
Acknowledgements

Introduction

The community of Guernsey Cove is located in Southern Kings County in eastern Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada. This area is approximately 25 km southeast of the town of Montague, and 55 km southeast of Charlottetown, the Island's capital city and birthplace of Confederation.

Like other parts of Prince Edward Island, Guernsey Cove 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.

Guernsey Cove has changed a great deal in the past seventy years. Some of the first inhabitants of Guernsey Cove were the Becks, Taudvins, LeLacheurs, Jordans, and Brehauts; the descendants of the Brehauts and LeLacheurs are still living here.

Old Buildings

Mortimer Jordan operated a store in Guernsey Cove which was situated where Andy and Marguerite MacFarlane live now; it was open during the 1920's and 30's. There is no longer a store in the community.

There also used to be a school which was built around 1884 on the Cove road. After the school closed, the building was moved to Beach Point and used as a change room for the outdoor rink. It is now situated at Lucy MacNeill's in Beach Point where it is used as a barn. This wasn't the first school, however; the first school was built in 1834.

Guernsey Cove had a fish factory which was located on the line between Gordon Belsher's and Andy MacFarlane's on the shore side of the road next to Caleb Jordan's.

There were four lime kilns in Guernsey Cove; one was at Jim LeLacheur's, and another at Fred LeLacheur's. These kilns were on the site where Gordon Belsher lives now (Gordon's house formerly being Jim's). The other lime kilns were owned by John Brehaut and Maurice Howe.

On the back lane to Gordon Belsher's house, which is called Gosbee's lane, there also was a forge.

Homesteads

homestead

This was Windsor Beck's house, now owned by Lorne Brehaut Jr. It is said that the little building beside the tree was the first house in which he and his family lived. The building in front of the one with the chimney is the second house they inhabited. The one with the chimney is the third. The building behind the kitchen ell in the big house was the fourth house in which they lived. The final house they inhabited was the big one.

In the 1940's, there were twenty-four homesteads in Guernsey Cove. Twenty of them were farms; the other four homes were owned by fishermen. Since then, there have been six new homes built. Nine of the old homesteads were featured in The Island Magazine in 1980. Eight of the ones featured are still standing. The house that isn't, the Sencabaugh homestead was torn down; John Bell's house stands where it used to be.

Another of the homes featured in the magazine was Howard Glover's house, which has a special significance to it; the home used to be the old Marconi station in Cape Bear. It was in this building that the distress signal from the liner Titanic was first picked up on Canadian territory. The house was then moved by horses from Cape Bear to where it sits now in Guernsey Cove. On the way, however, they got stuck and had to leave the station where it was, and finish moving it in the spring. The Glovers, Bob, his wife Blanche, and two children had to live in their hen-house for the winter, since the original home had burnt. Sometimes the snow would be drifted up around the hen-house so high that their neighbour had to shovel them out.

Six of the other seven homesteads featured are now inhabited by Sandra and Lorne Brehaut Jr., Kimball and Florrie LeLacheur, Eva Kearns, Don and Eileen Bernard, Ethel, Maurice and Rena Howe, Gordon and Charlene Belsher, Karen Ferguson and Steven Glover. The seventh house, owned by Janet Winsloe is now vacant. This house didn't have electricity or a phone line, and still doesn't.

The six new homes are owned by Cheryl MacLeod, June and Herb Glover, Valerie and Danny MacNeill, Donna and Melvin White Jr., and Reg and Audrey Osborne. The oldest of the six new homes, owned by June and Herb Glover was built in 1981.

Past Businesses

Farming has changed a great deal in the community over the years. In the 1800's, there were no tractors to plough the fields; farmers had to walk behind a plough which was towed by horses. Every family used to have a horse; now only two families own horses. Kimball LeLacheur remembers a day when he had started to plough around the school house and the teacher sent some pupils out to measure the length and width of his furrow. The next day they told him he had walked twenty-one miles. Today, there is only one farmer in Guernsey Cove, who raises livestock to sell.

Delivering mail was an important business in the past, especially in the winter when it was delivered by horse and sleigh. The mail route was around the loop from Murray Harbour to Beach Point, Guernsey Cove and back to the Harbour; it normally took several hours to complete the route. Howard Glover's father, Bob used to deliver the mail; Howard remembers one time when the temperature was so cold, the horse's eyes froze.

Leisurely Activities

In the evening, many people would go visiting around the community. Some would play cards and other games like Chinese Checkers and Crokinole. The families that had radios would listen to them in the evenings. They used to play hockey on a pond behind Danny MacNeill's home; there was also a good skating pond behind Arthur Davy's.

Social gatherings usually consisted of "Box Socials" in Murray Harbour. All the ladies would pack a box and it would be auctioned off. The men would sometimes go over and look at the boxes before they were auctioned to find out who owned them. Some of them would put their money together and bid on the basket of the lady which one of them liked. The lady would then have to eat the lunch with the man who bought her lunch. If she had a boyfriend, he would usually try to buy her box. They played movies at the "Box Social" sometimes too. They had to turn a crank to get the picture to show on the screen. As you couldn't hear the people in the movie talking, you had to read the words at the bottom of the screen.

Transportation and Communication

Before there were cars and trucks, community members got around by horse and wagon in the summer, spring and fall, horse and sleigh in the winter, and trains year round. They used to walk to many places too; the children walked to Murray Harbour on Saturday evenings. Today, we don't walk as much in the community. The first car in Guernsey Cove was owned by Waldo Hawkins.

They used to get a great deal more snow than we do now. There was so much that people would have to shovel some of the snow off the roads so the ploughs could get through. The roads weren't paved until the 1950's.

Years ago, most people didn't get to Charlottetown very often. This meant that when families did travel to town, people in the settlement would send for what they needed. If they took the train to Charlottetown, they would have to be on it by seven o'clock in the morning. On a freight day, they could be in town by twelve-thirty am, but on a normal day, they would be there by noon. They had to be back at the train station by three-thirty to return home. This gave them only three hours to shop; needless to say, groceries were not bought in town.

Phones were hooked up in Guernsey Cove about fourteen years before that, in 1936. There were no private lines; they had to share a party line with about eighteen people. Before the phones arrived, residents communicated mostly by word of mouth.

Teachers

The teachers in my community have changed over a period of 134 years:

1834
John Stuart
1838
Pierce Ryan
1856
Malcolm MacFadyen
1857
Malcolm MacFadyen
1858-59
James Brehaut
1861
Angus MacMillan
1862-63
Angus MacMillan
1864
Elizabeth McIntosh
1865
Elizabeth McIntosh
1866
Elizabeth McIntosh
1870
M. MacLean
1873
M. MacNeill
1874
Annie MacDonald
1875
Archibald MacDonald
1877-78
D. A. MacKinnon
1880-81
George Smallwood
1881-82
George Smallwood
1882-83
T. C. Ross
1883-84
James W. Brehaut
1884-85
John E. Jordan
1885-86
John E.Jordan
1886-87
Thomas MacLeod
1887-88
Thomas MacLeod
1888-89
Thomas MacLeod
1889-90
James H. MacLeod
1890-91
Mary J. MacKenzie
1891-92
Mary J. MacKenzie
1892-93
Alder Brehaut - Benjamin Glover
1893-94
Benjamin Glover
1894-95
Ida McEachern
1895-96
L.J. Curran - Oct. 11, 1895 to June 30, 1896
Lester Brehaut - July 1, 1896
1896-97
Lester Brehaut to Sept. 30, 1897
1897-98
Lester Brehaut - Oct. 1, 1897 to June 30, 1898
Louis Brehaut - Oct. 1, 1898 to Sept. 30, 1899
1899-1900
Louis Brehaut - Oct. 1, 1899 to Sept. 30, 1900
1900-01
Louis Brehaut - Oct. 1, 1900 to June 30, 1901
John Lamont - July 1, 1901 to Sept. 30, 1901
1901-02
J. S. Lamont - July 1, 1901 to Sept. 30, 1902
1902-03
J. S. Lamont - Oct. 1, 1902 to March 31, 1903
Louis Brehaut - April 20, 1903 to Aug. 3, 1903
Cora Brehaut - Aug. 3,4, 1903 to Sept. 30, 1903
1903-04
Cora Brehaut - Oct. 1, 1903 to June 30, 1904
Katie Shaw - July 1, 1904 to Sept. 30, 1904
1904-05
Garnet LeLacheur - Jan. 1, 1905 to Sept. 30, 1905
1905-06
Garnet LeLachuer
1906-07
Sarah C. McPherson
1907-08
Sarah C. McPherson
1908-09
Benjamin C. Keeping
1909-10
John Brehaut
1910-11
Edith E. Murley
1911-12
Eda M. Prowse
1912-13
Eda M. Prowse - Flora MacGregor
1913-14
Charles J. Richards
1914-15
Bessie Crawford
1915-16
Stella M. Welsh
1916-17
Stella M. Welsh
1917-18
Linda Minchin
1918-19
Linda Minchin
1919-20
Freeman Machon
1920-21
Cecil H. Brehaut
1921-22
Agnes M. Clements
1922-23
Cecil H. Brehaut
1923-24
Mary J. Irving
1924-25
Mary J. Irving
1925-26
Thomas. L. Harris
1926-27
Mildred Cooper
1927-28
Margaret J. Machon
1928-29
Margaret J. Machon
1929-30
Fanny G. Minchin
1930-31
Evelyn Winsloe
1931-32
Lorne Steward
1932-33
Lorne Steward
1933-34
Lawrence Stewart
1934-35
Lorne Steward
1935-36
Lorne Steward
1936-37
Doris Reynolds
1937-38
Doris Reynolds
1938-39
Hammond F. Nicolle
1939-40
Hammond F. Nicolle, Charles F. Richards, Hope Davy
1940-41
Hope Davy
1941-42
Beryle Howe
1942-43
Beryle Howe
1943-44
Mrs. Mary MacKay
1944-45
Willard Brehaut
1945-46
Willard Brehaut
1946-47
Florence Richards
1947-48
Lila Howe
1948-49
Janet Baker
1949-50
Isabel Brehaut
1950-51
Janice Beaton
1951-52
Janice Beaton
1952-53
Isabel Brehaut
1953-54
Esther Bell
1954-55
Janice MacKay
1955-56
Janice MacKay
1956-57
Florence Clements
1958-59
Janice MacKay
1959-60
Janice MacKay
1960-61
Florence Clements
1961-62
Betty Jackson
1962-63
Adeline MacKenzie
1963-64
Adeline MacKenzie
1964-65
Helen Nicolle
1965-66
Adeline MacKenzie
1966-67
Adeline MacKenzie
1967-68
Helen Nicolle

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Kimball LeLachuer and Kay and Howard Glover for helping me with the information for my project.

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