- Community Services
The community of Sturgeon is located in Southern Kings County in eastern Prince Edward Island on the east
coast of Canada. This area is approximately 20km southeast of the town of
Montague, and 45km
Charlottetown, the Island's capital city and birthplace of
Like other parts of Prince Edward Island, Sturgeon 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.
Years ago in Sturgeon, grades 1 to 8 were taught in a one room
schoolhouse. Children often would walk to school if they lived nearby; if
they didn't, they were driven to school. In the old school, there were rows
of chairs, and according to your grade, you would be seated in a certain row.
Every grade had a separate row of desks. There were other schools in
surrounding areas, and some consolidation had taken place. However, Southern Kings
Consolidated School was not built until 1973, which was of great benefit to
the neighboring communities, including Sturgeon.
On Sunday mornings, people often went to St. Mary's church travelling on
a dirt road in a horse and buggy. Although the church was heated by a coal
furnace, people had to pack extra buffalo blankets, because it was
very cold inside the church. The area called St. Mary's Road was named after
this church, because its road led to this building. By the time the church
became 40 years old, the little wooden building could no longer hold all of
its members. Just down the road a new and much larger stone church, renamed
St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church was built to replace it. It was the first
stone Roman Catholic church designed by renowned Island architect William
Critchlow Harris, brother to the famous artist Robert Harris. The church
was built by determined community volunteers by hand. Local materials were
used, Island sandstone from St. Mary's Road area, and freestone from Nova
Scotia. The exterior was finished in 1888, and by 1892, the interior as well.
St. Paul's Church is still being used by the community today. The same
community spirit is also there. For example, in March 1999, a complete
overhaul was done to the interior of the church; the old high altar has been
restored; all of this once again done by community volunteers. The old St.
Mary's church had served its function well, but was eventually torn down.
The cemetery surrounding it remains, and is still used by St. Paul's
parishioners. An accompanying church hall roof collapsed, due primarily to
old age. Father Steele rallied volunteers together to rebuild the roof, and
collected donations from the congregation to finance the project. The
building is standing today, and is used for pot luck suppers, Sunday school
classes, card plays, and dances. Ceilidhs are held during the summer months
to raise money; many volunteers from neighbouring communities donate their
My great, great grandfather was a lobster fisherman who fished in St.
Mary's Bay. His wife used to be ashamed to serve lobster for supper, because
in earlier days, it was considered to be "a poor man's meal". Today, lobster
is regarded to be a delicacy! My great grandfather's boat had no cabin for
shelter, but it had a motor at the back.
Since my great, great grandparents came to Sturgeon, there have been
many changes in my community. In the last five years, a garage which is
owned by Heath Crane, and a convenience store owned by Juanita Garnhum have
been added to Sturgeon. We use these businesses because it saves time travelling
to Montague. In the past, Sturgeon prospered with two grocery stores,
a cheese factory, a forge, a saw mill, and a lobster factory. Now, these
establishments no longer exist.
I would like to thank the following people who provided information
for my research project, especially my mother Darlene Creed, my
grandmother Lorraine Dunn, and Neil and Rita Lanigan.