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Prince Edward Island, Canada
27th February 2004

I have mostly been getting caught up with all the outstanding admin these past few days but have had a chance to have a couple of good sessions with Fred at the Wyatt Historical Buildings and we're in the midst of planning several trips out around PEI to visit the various museums and historical areas on the island.  While most of the museums are shut right now he thinks they might open a few of them to let me take pictures and get a sense of what can be found in them.    He's also going to try and get me some pictures of what the island looks like in the summer as all my pictures are of course in the Winter so perhaps not showing its best.

I did spend some time in the local library in Summerside where they were very helpful and found me an absolute gold mine of information in a book, "Past and Present of Prince Edward Island" by MacKinnon. Fred is in the process of producing this book for his own web site and when it is up I will include a link to it. 

Outside of the Library

Looking each way from the Library

Pictures of the inside of the library and their genealogy collection

I also visited a local book shop along from the library and found a book "Cavendish - Its History, Its People - It's Founding Families Simpsons, McNeills, Clarks and their kin" by Harold H. Simpson. I confess to enjoying this book and in a local way it does what I came to North America to find, an account of settlement and the progress made up to the present day. It was published in 1973 so obviously still under copyright but I am going to see if I can get permission to put up the whole book for you to read. What I like about it is the detail it goes into about the problems of settlement and how they gradually built a community around the area together with the first church, school, community organisation, etc.  So it really shows the practical problems and opportunities of settlement and how a good settlement evolves to the present day.

I am still hunting figures for PEI but it would seem around half of the population is of Scots descent with Irish, French, Arcadian and the local native Indian people making up most of the balance. The MacDonald's have a large presence on the island.

I've also been up to the local Toyota garage in Charlottetown where I saw Kurt MacLeannan the dealer principle.  He's going to see how I might approach Toyota either here in Canada or the USA about sponsoring me by providing a Toyota Highlander to get around in.  Seemed like an interesting idea and Kurt while not knowing anything about this has said he'll get in touch with the Head Office to see what might be possible.  As my old grandmother used to say... "If you don't try, you don't succeed" :-)

I also got an email in from Nils Ling inviting me to his 50th birthday bash this coming Saturday (28th) and he tells me there will be lots of local artists there so the music will be great. Nils has a web site at and I'll see if they'll be ok for me to take a few pictures while I am there :-)

Today (Friday) the island got closed down again due to more snow. You could only drive on the road if it was an emergency.  So I seem to have arrived at a particularly difficult period for the Island.

And this was a picture from (inside) the house looking out at the snow coming down. It was more the wind that was causing problems as with so much snow it was being blown out over the road causing white out conditions and there were several nasty accidents reported. A great time to get my rental car from "Rent a Wreck" :-)

I had some fun the other day while looking to cross the road.  I was waiting for a break in the traffic and noted a driver had stopped his car and was looking at me... he then shook his head and drove off.  Didn't know what to make of that at the time.  Anyway... as I returned at the same point I noted another two cars stopped and I just thought everyone on the island was being nice about stopping to let pedestrians cross.  It was only when I crossed and looked back that I spotted the sign across the road "Walkway" so now I know to look for those signs above my head.  Of course in Scotland we have pedestrian crossing where there are white and black rectangles that go across the actual road so I just wasn't looking for a sign above my head.  You live and learn for sure :-)

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