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There is a tremendous amount of interesting and colourful history to be told about Canoe Cove. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of specific stories or histories written about the Cove: a book was written by Florence E. MacCannell in 1992; Kaye Morrison's wonderful article on her father's blacksmith shop appeared in the Island Magazine, Number 49 Spring/Summer 2001; and a research paper on the history of the Cove was prepared by Robert Shaw in 2001. Are there any other written works about Canoe Cove out there? With this website (and with other activities such as the restoration of the Canoe Cove Schoolhouse), the Community Association would like to play a part in helping to dig up that rich Cove history and documenting it for all to see.
Community Church Service at the YMCA Boys Camp - July 4th, 1926.
This photograph was provided by Lloyd MacNevin of the Cove. Lloyd said the photo was hanging in his home for years. It is quite likely that Lloyd's father, Milton, knew all the people in the photograph. We have a few of the names but could use some help identifying everyone. The gentleman with the mustache at left end of the middle row is my grandfather, Duncan Alexander MacCannell, and that looks like Mack MacFadyen on the right end of the back row. Can you name any others?
A Photograph of the Cove, 1940
We would be most interested in any additional information, stories and especially photographs to incorporate in this website. Please contact us if you have any.
Florence E. MacCannell, now one of the more senior original residents of Canoe Cove, published a book entitled "A History of Canoe Cove" in December 1992. All copies of this first printing were quickly sold within months. A second printing was done the following year and although sales were not as brisk but they were steady and this printing too was ultimately sold out . One of the main strengths of Florence's history is the detail given to the genealogies of Canoe Cove residents. The value of the book will undoubtedly grow with age.
A second history was commissioned by the Canoe Cove Community Association. Using funding from the PEI Government's Employment Development Agency, we were able to hire a history/political science graduate, Robert Shaw from Summerville, for 13 weeks. Robert was given the daunting task of researching Cove history from the pre-European period through to the current day. We didn't know exactly what "juicy" tidbits of history, if any, might be uncovered so it was more a case of "look and see." As a starting point, to gauge progress, Robert was asked to group the history into rough chronological periods of pre-European, Acadian/French, early-British, main-immigration (1800's), and modern (1900's). Additionally, he was asked to make specific investigations of the Canoe Cove School (the building, school life, students/teachers, etc.) and the Robert Harris connection (sketches, journals, etc.). Because we were more interested in getting as much research as possible in the short time available, the focus was on producing a compendium of facts and leads rather than on producing a polished document ready for publishing. The final document produced by Robert was therefore more of a draft rather than a final work: a road map rather than a destination. In many ways, it forms the beginning rather than the end of research.
Cindy MacKenzie of the Cove has made available a rare find-- A Teacher's Register and Class Book for Canoe Cove School for six-month school term from July to December, 1893. The item is in very good condition considering its age and it provides a wealth of insight into our school in the late nineteenth century. The 40 page book was printed by John Coombs, Steam Printer, Queen Street, Charlottetown. The school teacher at the time was John McNevin.
The book is organised into a number of parts titled as follows:
To Teachers. This contains some instructions to the teacher for marking and grading/examinations.
Explanations. Provides details on how to fill out the book
Part I - General Enrollment of Pupils. This is a list of the pupils indicating: name, age, grade, and parent/guardian. Also, there are two other columns, When Enrolled and When Left, but these have been left blank. There were entries for 62 students!
Visitor's Report. This provides an entry for the date of visit, name of visitor, and visitor's remarks. The visitor (Mr. A(?). Campbell) visited on July 18, 1893 and had this to say "Progress very satisfactory. Repairs necessary to school building. I understand have been provided for at Annual meeting. Map of Dominion must be provided."
Part II - Register of Daily Attendance. This is a standard daily roll call checklist to record day and half-days attendance for each month. It is interesting to note that the school term started on the second week of July. There were three weeks with no attendance in October (potato picking holidays). Classes were held right up to the end of December with only one day off (Christmas Day).
Part III - Class Book containing Record of Examinations. There was space for recording examinations for four months on the term. July and December were the busiest months.
Course of Study for the Guidance of Teachers and Inspectors. Describes the lessons to be taught for each of the grades from one to eight. Grades I to IV were "primary schools," grades V and VI were "Intermediate or Advance Schools," and grades VII and VIII were "High Schools."
Abstract of Return Made to the Board of Educators. This appears to be somewhat of a summary of the subjects taught during the past term. It was signed by John McNevin on December 31, 1893.