Annandale History by George Saville, M.L.A.

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Transcribed by Grace Cantelo Blackette -


By George Saville, M.L.A. Feb 1902

On a headland, separating Blackett's Creek from Grand River, and known for the last century as Banks Point, there lies a group of cottages, stores and warehouses and known for the last half century as Annandale. The place was named by the late James Johnson after his home town in Scotland. The whole settlement was known as the wharf at Grand River as most people called it before it got the name of Annandale. This portion of Kings County was settled about the year 1780. Before 1800 a Blackett family settled in Launchin just across the river. His name was John Blackett, they were English people. John and his son William took up land on the west side of the Creek where John Howlett lives now. Then after some years, he left and settled on the east side of the river or creek. He lived to the age of 102 years and 6 months. The writer remembers seeing him fishing mackeral in his hundreth year. A history of his exploits while shooting geese would be worth reading. Three of his sons are still living, Daniel on part of the old farm, Robert in Souris and William in Launchin.

A man named John Carpenter and his wife Jane settled here about the same time and he was a land lord. He owned all the land in Annandale settlement. Shortly after George Banks came, and Carpenter persuaded him to stay. Carpenter left no descendents. They built two log houses on the point. The cellars can be seen in Henry Norton's field at the shore, and they cleared land where the village now stands. When he died all the estate went to Banks. George left the point to son William and built a house and barn on the hill west of John Howletts. He planted the first orchard over three score years ago. When the grandfather of this writer was a small boy after the Blackett's left in 1812 the first Swallow's settled there for a time. Then came the Howlett's in 1830. Robert Howlett,Senior and George Chaffey came. Robert Howlett married George Banks daughter Mary and settled on part of the estate. Mr Chaffey settled on Chaffey's Point. So began the Howlett's and Chaffey's.

Some time between 1840 and 1850 John Frost arrived and started a business a mile from the village where George Banks, Junior now resides. There was a man there that came from England. His name was Thompson and he had the first blacksmith forge in the settlement. The old clinkers can still be found near where Frost's store was.

About 1845 Stephen MacDonald built the first house in the present village of Annandale and started business. But in a short time he gave way to Andrew MacInnis and in turn he to Ralph Brecken who came from Charlottetown with a supply of goods. He however did not like the place and sold out to John Frost who did business a mile from the village and accumulated considerable wealth. He married Mrs Belsen who lived at Norton's. His hospitality to strangers is still remembered by many of the older people. He traded in the Juniper Knee business. The shore could be seen for ten chains across piled with knees waiting for a vessel. In 1855 James Johnston came and joined up with Daniel McAulay & started a permanent business, first as McAulay and Johnston. Then by James Johnston himself, then by Johnston and Edwin McFarlane. Then by McFarlane and McPhee. Jonnie McPhee retired from the firm and Edwin McFarlane runs the firm on his own now. During the time of McAulay and Johnston for about 25 years there was rapid progress. It looked at the time it was a fair bid to be capital of Kings County. During this period stores were opened by Edward Goff, George Basdit, George Wisse, Robert Howlett, A.A.MacDonald & Co, Ronald Walhes, Simon Conroy & Thomas Taylor. Several vessels were built and a large trade in cattle and produce to Newfound, at St Pierre was developed by the Howlett brothers. The firm composed of Dave Jones and John Howlett. Their vessels were sailed by William B. Howlett whose exploits and hairbreath escaped still form a fireside topic on many a stormy night. Captain Howlett was drowned in the Spring of 1877 while trying to get a dory that had blown to sea. The death of James Howlett from the effects of an accidental cut received in the shipyard. And the death of David H the firm broke up. John H sold the vessel & devoted his time to Agriculture.There is a ferry between Annandale and Launching Beach that carries horses, carriages and passengers. I may say that besided those families mentioned are James and William Norton. William has the Custom House and is Justice of the Peace. James has a large farm. Four Robertson families live a couple of miles from the village . Just north of Tossel's at the head of Blackett's Creek, they were fishermen and he also farmed. Also the Clark's and Yorston's make up the families who have done so much to build up the place. P.S. In closing I trust that anyone who reads this sketch & find that his forefathers have not received due credit in the story of the village owing to the lack of records its not nearly as easy as one would imagine. I wish to do this as the village was my boyhood home. Many happy hours having been spent by me. When I remember what plans for achieving fame my playmates and myself used to evolve roaming along the shores & trudging to the old Big Run School House. I long to be back with my boyhood comrades again for just a little while, but that can never be. Many of them who were married and happy a few short years ago now sleep their final sleep in the churchyard.

Those of us who remain must work and battle with life in all its strenous phases, our boyhood dreams of times forgotton. On till our mother nature bids us also fold our arms in our last long sleep. To be laid away beside those who have gone before us where the restless sea shall chart a constant requeim long, long after those we have written about and that which we have described shall have been forgotton.

The name Annandale started in 1868 but was not till the year of 1876 that the name became the general Post Office.

There is also a lobster factory on Johnston's Wharf conducted by the A.A. MacDonald's Co. from Georgetown. Also a tailor shop run by Tossil's. A shoe Shop and Harness business run by Peter Millian. Two Black Smith Forges operated by James Taylor & William Jenkins. This all took place before 1900.

For the first hundred years no person died of T.B. and there was a population of 113 at one time, when my father went to school with James Banks. With the fourteen different names of families by the year of 1871 not one of the names remained and the winter of 1870 the population was 14.

History of The Glover Family of Annandale

John Glover came from England to Grand River in the early 1800's along with his wife and daughter. His daughter had 3 children when she came here and there is no mention of her husband. The daughter married Walter Taylor of Annandale and moved to Riverview. The three daughters went to California. Glover started the mill known as Nicklno Mills. When Glover& his wife died in 1852 Mrs Joseph Dingwell of Durell bought the place. She was the mother of Sweet William who drowned in Newfoundland (what the great song was made about). She ran the mill with hired help. Both flour, oatmeal & sowing was done. John Nicklnos came from England to work for his uncle John Frost in Annandale. He married Mrs Dingwell. They farmed, run the mill and it was worth forty thousand dollars when he sold out to Robert Howlett.

History of the Belson Family of Annandale:

Mrs Belson landed here with her sons and a daughter. First she settled across the river on Gallants place as it is now, next to Jonnie Morrison's farm of Launching. After some time she left there and came to Annandale on the farm where John Norton is now. Her sons died of small pox in a vessel in Grand River Harbour. They are buried in the old cemetery. Her daughter married William Robertson of Riverview. And Mrs Belson married John Frost. Worthy of note Mrs Belson had no cow & Frost gave her one and he used to go over and see the cow and so the courtship started. She took charge of the farming and was a great manager. She was talked about far and wide for the way she raised stock and grew crops. Frost was more of a business man. He kept store and was in the Juniper Knee trade to the States.

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