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School Community of White Sands

by Becky
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 Confederation.

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.

boat building shop

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.

Community Services

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 Al Reynolds.

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.

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