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SKC
School Community of Sturgeon

by Lindsey
Introduction
Community Services
Industries
Acknowledgements

Introduction

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 southeast of Charlottetown, the Island's capital city and birthplace of Confederation.

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.

Community Services

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 time.

Industries

fishing boat

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.

Acknowledgments

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.

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