Memories of Long Ago by Benjamin Bremner

This file has been typed into a word processor by Eileen Bremner - Benjamin died in 1938, and has presented here a lovely narrative of early Charlottetown history and life.

Memories of Long Ago, by Benjamin Bremner - Page 4


The Russian War



During the years 1854-6 the whole civilized world was profoundly stirred

over the news of the War in the Crimea. News from Europe to America came

through to us very slowly, as there was no Atlantic Cable at that time. But

when word of the fall of Sebastopol on 8th Sept 1855 arrived here, it caused

a great outburst of joy among all loyal Britons. Charlottetown news papers

heralded the event as "Glorious News", and the city was en jeie for a day or

two with bands playing and bonfires burning. It was not until 1856 that

Russia acknowledged defeat and the Treaty of Peace was signed.



Before the "Glorious News" was received, a committee of prominent citizens

here had established a Patriotic Fund in aid of sufferers by the war. I was

too young at the time to know much about the circumstances, but on scanning

old files of papers I came across the following advertisements which

appeared to me would be appropriately placed after my writeup of

"Dramatics", The following was dated April 6, 1855: -



"A Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Music for the above object, will take

place at the Temperance Hall on the evening of Thursday, the 3rd of May next.



"The entertainment will consist of a variety of new, popular and

appropriate airs, the greater part of which have been imported for the

occasion. The Vocalists will be assisted by an Organ, at present in course

of erection by Mr. Watson Duchemin. The Instrumental part of the

performance will present increased interest from the addition of Stringed

Instruments, through the kindness of gentlemen who have volunteered to assist."



"Cards of Admission - Reserved Seats 3s. , Rear Seats, 2s. - 3d. to be obtained at

the Book Store of Haszard & Owen and Watson's Drug Store, where a plan of

the Hall may be seen, for the purpose of selecting and securing seats which,

to prevent confusion are numbered. Management committee - Hon'bles F.

Longworth, Col. Swabey, James Warburton, Edward Whelan, T. H. Haviland, D. G.

Daly, M. B. Daly, chairs - Palmer, E. L. Lyiard, and Wm. Douse, Esq'rs., Mr. W.

Duchemin, Mr. G. P. Tanton. - The two latter, Music Leaders. April 6th 1855"



Also: --



Millner's Grand Dioramic Panorama of the Russian War



Has just arrived in this city from a tour of the Provinces and will be

exhibited here for the second time on;



Monday and Tuesday Evenings next, the 28th and 29th, instant.


This admirable and ingenious work of art - the production of natives and

citizens of Charlottetown - has been hailed with unbounded applause and

attracted crowded houses in the neigboring Provinces and the proprietors

have the fullest confidences that their fellow citizens here will appreciate

their efforts to make the present exhibition eminently worthy of their

countenance and support. - July 24, 1856.



When very young I was delighted to witness the unrolling of this panorama

in 1859, which I then thought was wonderful.



The late Mr. Geo. W. Millner, referred to before in these sketches was the artist.



On the 31st of January 1871, appeared a small sized sheet in newspaper form, entitled:



The Broad - Axe



In profession it was Independent and consisted mainly of editorials and

contributions devoted to the criticism of public men, societies, public

entertainment's, the conduct of public institutions, and politicians

generally. The sponsors of the paper were sub rosa, but were popularly

supposed to be - L.H. D. and R.S. there were probably others concerned. The

tone of the editorials was principally in a sarcastic vein and dealt

especially with matters political, hard knocks being directed towards the

promoters of the Bill for the proposed construction of the Prince Edward

Island railway. It bore on its front page the slogan: - "Hew to the line,

let the chips fall where they may". The leading article of the first number

of the paper contained the following:



"Today we issue the first number of the Broad - Axe...

Externally it is an unpretending little sheet. It is intended to

be outspoken and independent on every question. It will not be

subservient to sect or party. It's conductors have no selfish interests to

advance, and there's being already a keen - edged weapon, we need hardly say

they have "no axe to grind!" they start the Broad - Axe for amusement; they

will contribute to its pages as a pastime, and during the dull evenings of

long winter they mean to make its strokes tell upon the vices and follies of

the time. Having no prejudices to overcome, and no party ends to serve, it

will always be the exponent of independent thought. Correspondence to be

admitted into its pages must, above all things, possess merit. The author's

name will not be required. Jobs, monopolies and compacts will be dealt with

more fearlessly than they have ever hither to been dealt with on this Island.

Under one or another of these heads will come the corporation, the Post

Office, the Mail Service, the Hillsborough Ferry, the Grand Jury and

political family compacts generally. The relations between the Bench and

the Bar will form a suitable text for a few scathing articles for Lectures

and Theatrical Performances, the stereotyped form of eulogy now in vogue,

must be exchanged for a severe and more truthful style of criticism. This

evil has grown to such an extent that it has become a nuisance. It lowers

the standard of literary merit and vitiates the public taste and leaves

the people to feed on husks. In the meantime we do not wish any person to

believe that our journal will be the pink of perfection. It will have its

faults, doubtless, but our aim shall be to make it truthful and honest, as

well as a terror to political evil doers". Quite an ambitious programme.



But it is not my purpose to challenge any of the opinions or criticisms

contained in its pages, but merely to quote passages here and there that

might prove interesting to my readers, concerning the opinions of some who

were clever anonymous writers in that interesting period when the Railway

Bill was passed, and which later led to the entry of this island into the

Canadian Confederation.



The Broad - Axe was published fortnightly and loved

for four months, or from 31st January until 30th May, 1871 when the

following valedictory appeared: "Today we discontinue the publication of

the Broad - Axe for the summer months, unless some special emergency requiring

its services should appear. When it re - appears, the first number will

contain a sketch of the 'honorable gentlemen' of the legislative

council". I do not think it ever "re - appeared" but it was much talked of

for quite a long time after its disappearance. I reproduce here a few

extracts from the Broad - Axe taken from different dates of its publication,

and considerably curtailed, as space forbids full quotations.



A contributor (Q.C.) thus speaks of the "relations" between the "Bench and Bar": -


Ever since I came to P.E. Island, I have made it a point to attend public

dinners that I might hear the speeches of our public men. I have

invariably found "The Bench and Bar", one of the standing toasts of the

evening on these occasions, and have always listened with interest to the

responses. They have all had a singular sameness - the Judges are lauded for

their courtesy and ability and the lawyers for their independence and honor

During the last sitting of the Supreme Court in Charlottetown, I was the

witness to certain 'scenes' which effectually disposed of my preconceived

ideas of the courtesy of one at least of our Judges, as well as the

independence of some at least of our Bar. An insurance case was being tried

before Judge ____ .



I was interested in the law of the case and watched it

throughout. I wish merely to state that so far as my observation went, the

relations between the 'Bench and Bar' were not such as either could

congratulate themselves upon. The Judge was snappish and overbearing, and,

in more than one instance, insultingly rude, the counsel appeared thoroughly

cowed and received the harsh reproofs of the Judge with meek humility.

Where, I asked myself is the much vaunted independence of these men? During

the progress of the trial, one of the juniors took exception to the

admission of some evidence. The Judge listened quietly to his arguments,

which lasted only a few moments, and then addressing him with about the same

respect that is generally paid by an ill-natured man to his dog, ordered him

to sit down". I have no wish to discuss this matter further. I have

learned all and more than I wanted to know, and am convinced that the talk

generally indulged in, over dinner table, of the independence of the Bar, is

mere claptrap. (Q.C.)



"The office seekers, who fawn upon the Premier and his political associates,

are opposed to our outspoken utterances upon public men and measures ...The

electors of this colony never intended that the present coalition should

rule them.. Already the people of this colony have had a trial of the .....'s

as rulers, and the result of their sway was such that it was not inaptly

termed 'the reign of terror.' Honest men despise political tricksters who,

when previously in power, were continually getting up delegations to send

themselves around the world to 'chase butterflies' ... at the people's

expense, and who squandered the public money on troops, constables, whiskey

and jobbery".



One would be of the opinion that in view of all we read in the

Broad - Axe against the doings of certain politicians that the writers of

these criticisms would, on attaining power, excerise a different attitude

towards such actions they so piously denounced, but, alas! for the frailty

of human nature, such lofty sentiments in speech (in the opinion of many

today) did not materialize in action, either here or at Ottawa,

notwithstanding the opportunities offered.



"On Dit. That the Government purposes supplying the officials in

the Registry Office with meerschaum pipes and good tobacco. The old clays

and niggerheads are, consequently, offered for sale". -- Broad Axe.



"On Dit. That next summer, pasture on the public squares will be

free to friends of the corporation". -- Broad Axe



(on the opposite page is a pen and ink of Charlottetown Waterfront - Pownal

Wharf - West-1849)



Parties wishing to kick up a row on the streets will be good enough

to select a place at a proper distance from the Post Office, so as not to

disturb the slumbers of the policemen at the station". -- Broad Axe.



"I think it improves a comic paper to have a joke in it once in

while". -- Artemas Ward



"Personalities. Some of our local papers, for want, we suppose, of

something better to do, are busily engaged in discussing each other's

merits, or rather, demerits. One editor's garments are criticised with the

skill and ability of a connoisseur clothier; another man's business

transactions are made the text for an abusive paragraph or two; and a third

is told that some of his relations are no better than they ought to be. Of

what possible interest can this be to the general reader? The public acts

of public men are public property, and they afford ample scope for

legitimate criticism, but when personalities of the lowest kind come to be

the pastime of editors, the press loses influence and ceases to be true to

its high mission. Whether a man is six feet high or only four feet six;

whether his beard is red or black; whether he rises late or

early; ... all these things are of no public utility, and never

discussed except by lovers of gossip and retailers of scandal. These things

have no bearing upon the Land Question, the Railway or Confederation...



"They are beneath the dignity of journalism and should be avoided".

-- Broad - Axe, May 13, 1871.



The foregoing extract reminds me of one of Artemas Ward's pen

portraits of a journalist in his home town who was inclined towards

personalities when writing about his rival journalist across the street, in

which the controversy was about a plank road: "The road may be, as our

contemporary says, 'a hummbug but our aunt isn't bald - headed and we haven't

got a one - eyed sister Sal". -- A. Ward



The following from the Broad-Axe, is an abridged critique on a

Literary and Musical entertainment, given on behalf of a charitable object

in March 1871:



"Mr. C. R.'s recitation from the 'Lays of the Scottish Cavalier was

good, but would have been more effective had he contented himself with less

action. In this respect his recitations are always overdone, and the fault

is the more to be regretted, since his delivery and enunciation are

excellent. We would advise him to be in future more sparing of frantic

rushes across the stage and wild swaying of his arms. Mr. P. S. M.'s reading

from A. Ward.....afforded a pleasing variety to the entertainment, since it

was really comic throughout, and was evidently appreciated by the

audience ..... a little more animation would improve his readings, Mr. D.F.

who was the next performer, attempted to recite Poe's Raven.' We use the

word' attempted' advisedly, for though we are ready to acknowledge that Mr.

F. possesses talent of a high order, we are sure that the audience who

listened to him on Tuesday last will agree with us when we say that his

genius does not lie in recitation. We wish we could compliment Mr. MacD.

upon his manner of reading, but regard for truth prevents our doing so. He

lacks force, vivacity and clear enunciation. Mr. W. D. H. who next made his

bow on the stage, lacks all the qualities required to make a good reader,

unless to be such it is simply necessary to pronounce words one after

another as they appear in a book, somewhat as school - boys recite

'Hohenlinden" ... we cannot wonder at the unmistakable sign of impatience

shown by his hearers, while he was grinding out his 'pieces.' Mr. W. W. S.

closed the literary part of the entertainment ... by an Irish story,

which, if read quietly at home would produce many a laugh, but Mr. S's

hearers on Tuesday evening remained solemn and sad..



"We have, in this notice, spoken only of the literary part of the

entertainment. Of the musical part we are not so well able to judge, but so

far as our opinion goes, we pronounce in its favor. We must confess

however, that, in our ignorance, we had always supposed, that to be a tenor

singer, something more was necessary than to stand upon a stage with a sheet

of music held in the hand, and to utter sounds inaudible beyond the front

row of seats. We tender our thanks to Mr. D.F. for having undeceived us".



"The same paper , in its write up of a later entertainment given on

the 24th of May, thus unburdens itself:".



"There was any amount of amusement provided (by the audience) but

the entertainment would have been a failure, were it not for Messrs. P. S. M.,

C, N, and R. N. The music was good. We sometimes complain of the impudence

of the street ragamuffin, but he is modest and retiring compared to the

empty headed buffoons who, unable to read, speak or write, impudently thrust

themselves forward to take part in literary entertainments".



Political Parsons. "It is a historical fact that religious wars have

been the most bitter of all wars, and when clergymen interfere in party

politics, it only adds fuel to the strife, and ends in corrupting one set of

politicians, embittering another, and weakening the influence for good of

the spiritual guide. It is equally notorious that those who happen to have

the 'shepherd' on their side care very little for the opinions and wishes

of the 'flock.' It was so here some years since and it is so at this

moment ... At the Summerside meeting, did we not see three or four preachers

of the gospel on the platform? and one of them, though only a few weeks on

the island, and knowing neither its wants nor resources, had the good taste

to take part in the discussion. The political clergyman is a pest to society".



"On Dit that on Friday night week some desperadoes, after carrying

away the steps from the Police Station, whisked stealthily in and removed the

guard bed and stove from the premises. The precautions taken by them to

accomplish this object, without arousing the occupants were this time

successful, but care should be taken that we shall not hear of a repetition

of this disgraceful affair. No blame can, we think, attach to the officials

who were on duty at the time. A subscription list has been started to

replace the missing articles, the loss of which is seriously felt by the

members of our police Force and their friends. We need not remind our

citizens that in giving liberally to this cause they will conduce to the

comfort of those who guard us and our property whilst we sleep the long dark

hours away".



Speaking of the Opposition in the Legislature in 1871, the Broad-Axe thus talks:



"Every calamity is attributed to the dishonesty or incompetency of

the Government. A tidal wave, a dangerous crack in the Hillsborough ice, a

fall in the price of oats, a rise in the premiums of insurance - all are sins

for which, it (the Government ) alone is responsible".



"Answer to Correspondent. Poetry is evidently not your forte. Your

friendly intentions we appreciate, but publication of your Ode to Winter,

would offend the literary taste of our readers".



"Quiz: Your contribution is too dull for the Broad-Axe. Try the




A few sample "Ads" that appeared the Broad-Axe in various issues, in 1871.



"Burke, Gillian & Co., Queen Street

Wholesale and retail dealers in chimney Tops, Screw Nails, Powder and fish




"C. C. Carlton, Souris

Keeps constantly on hand, for sale, wholesale or retail, Yankee Notions,

Pork and Bean and Condition Powders".



"Ronald McLeod, Upper Great George Street,

Shoemaker and Farrier

N.B. Mowing Machines made to order, Gridirons repaired at shortest notice

and Topsies and Wheelbarrows mounted with neatness and despatch".



"Heartz & Sons

Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Notes of Hand, Dry Goods and Leather".



"James McGill

Deputy Sheriff and Horse Jockey".



"William Sanderson

Commission Merchant and Auctioneer, Trinty Corner, Georgetown. Deputy

Prothonotary, Justice of the Peace and Comissioner of Small Debts. Pine

Boards, Hair Oil and Blacksmith's Tools always on hand".



"Samuel Croucher

Hotel Keeper, dealer in "Wittles, Wine and Winegar", Commercial Hotel,




"Hunki Dori!

Just received 10,000 gents Paper collars, at Robert Young's Hoop Skirts and

Water falls in variety".



"Cheap fancy goods and Ironmongery at Samuel Nelson's N.B. Ladies Bonnets

in variety".



"William Wightman

A choice assortment of Hake constantly on hand. Gents' gloves Liquors, ect.,

Georgetown, P.E.I".



"Hardware at Baldwin & co's. Queen St. Sapolio, gimlets and crosscut Saws,

just received".



The following is a genuine Advertisement appearing in the Islander newspaper

of Sept 28, 1855, and is worth of the Broad-Axe:-



"Apples and Sofas

A lot of the above just arrived per 'Isabella", from Boston, and for

sale by Christopher Smith, North side Queen Square".



A specimen answer to a correspondent in the Examiner of 1856 edited

by Hon. Edward Whelan, that savors almost of the Broad-Axe:-



"However much we may admire the sound liberal spirit which prompted

"O. C. D". to sing the praises of the late government ... we advise him to

betake himself for the future to plain prose, for he is evidently not

destined to shine as a poet, and we fear the publication of his verses would

not advance the cause of liberalism".



Editorial Amenities



The two principal newspapers in 1855 and 1856 were the Islander the

Examiner. As samples of the style of "brotherly love" editorial matter that

passes between these two papers the following are submitted. I think readers

will admit the tone of journalism has greatly improved in the last

seventy-five years.



"A.M. is a tolerably good illustration of what sort of characters go

to compose our officials and administrations....Should any of our readers

suppose that our sketch of this man is a caricature of the officials,

including the executive Councillors, they will make a very great mistake.

they are, perhaps, all as dishonorable, if not more so, than he is, and we

believe he is the only one amongst them who can do his duty....if he would".



A (part) reply to a brother editor (1855):



"As to inventing or publishing calumnies about you, your character

has been too long black enough in the public estimation to require any aid

from my pen. You have distanced all competitors in that respect. For four

years at least, you have labored with untiring zeal to convince the little

world of P.E. Island how much you covet the reputation of an unmitigated

ruffian in preference to that of an honest man. In the language of your

country's poet, you have:



"D-----d yourself to save the Lord the trouble".



Also, another choice specimen: "No one can expect anything but lying

and foulness from a dirty, contemptible and insignificant sheet like the ___ !"



In an article in the P.E. Island Magazine, volume IV by the late

J. H. Fletcher, wherein he asks, whether the tone of the press is better

today than it was fifty years ago, he affirms that it is, and compares the

editorials of the Charlottetown papers of that time with the present, as

examples, and further states:



"It is not generally known that Milton, the great author of

'Paradise Lost', was one of the most perfect masters of Billingsgate that

ever lived ... Milton's manner was simply ferocious at times. He thus flays

an opponent scribe by reminding him that he is a knave, a pragmatical

cox-comb, a bribed beggar, a whipped dog, ... an ass, a vain and impudent

slave, a renegade, a sacrilegious wretch, a mongrel cur, a whining

hypocrite, an obscene scoundrel, a liar, and a mass of corruption.'" Quite

an arrangement!



Some Local Institutions



(Civic and Otherwise)



The first brass band I remember to have seen and heard, was


The Temperance Band



Which was organized by the Sons of Temperance Order, sometime in the late

fifties. When a youngster of seven or eight years, I followed, together

with a crowd of boys, a parade of the above order, on their way to the old

Kensington pasture (now the Exhibition grounds) headed by their band to

hold a Tea or Picnic. The members of the order were decorated with their

bright regalia, and produced quite a sensation among us juvenile spectators.

Among the bandsmen were the following: John P. Tanton, William Hoar, Robert

Galbraith and W.F. Morris.



Lobban's Band (referred to in my first sketch of the series) existed about

the same time. On the death of Mr. Lobban, there were two offshoots from

this band, viz: Dougan's and Galbraith's Bands. The former continued for

some time, and among its members were: Leader, Thomas Dougan, James Long,

Thomas Long, John Hoar, James McQuaid, John Williams, and not forgetting

the noted Kettle Drummer, Jack McIntyre.



Galbraith's Band was the outstanding organization of them all, and was in

evidence in nearly all the military parades from about 1860 and until the

retirement of Mr. Robert Galbraith in 1904. Mr. Galbraith was the veteran

leader for a great many years, and besides being a fine musician and a great

cornet player, was adjudged to be at the time of his retirement, the oldest

Bandmaster in Canada, if not in America. Associated with him were David

Bentley (Uncle of the Messrs. Bentley now living in Charlottetown), N.P.

Stromberg, an eminent arranger of Band and Orchestral Music, and whose son,

John Stromberg was a leading composer and bandmaster in Boston, Mass.,

Charles Hughes, Jas. Slate, John Boyd, Samuel Matthews, Joseph Stentiford,

*John Williams, Lemuel and Frederick Worth, (the latter three, together with

major Galbraith who joined several years later, are yet living,) John and

Henry Worth, C. Pope Fletcher, William Worth and Eli Galbraith. Quite a

formidable list. Galbraith's Band was continued for some years after the

veteran leader's retirement, under the leadership of his son, Major Galbraith.



Galbraith's Band had, in its early days, a room over the old Police

Station, in which to practice.



An offshoot from this celebrated band was known by the name of Worth's

Band. It performed good and efficient work under the Worth Brothers, viz:

John, Lemuel, Frederick and Henry. Mr. John Worth was its Leader.

Mr. Williams above referred to is still hale and hearty and carries on his

business of Florist on Upper Prince Street.



The Police Force



From about 1856 to 1860, if it could be marshalled today for the inspection

of the public, would undoubtedly cause the present generation to smile. It

might remind one, probably, of a scene from some comic opera, not because of

inefficiency, but owing to its peculiarity in dress. My recollection of the

Police of that time brings to my mind the long frock coats, and the high

hats, of the antique style of silk or "beavers", seen occasionally yet, in

some street processions. The hat band, instead of being of silk ribbon was

of black patent leather, and if I mistake not, had a leather strap reaching

to or below the chin. The policeman of that day carried his club (or

"Billie") fully exposed, and did not hesitate to use it, if necessary (and

sometimes when not necessary) on a recalcitrant offender. This club was

painted red and had a strap on the handle to hang from the wrist.


The first City Marshal in 1855-56 was Michael O'Hara, of whom I have no

recollection, but I can remember distinctly his successor, about 1858 to the

early sixties. His name was James Evans, and the members of those under

him, comprising the force in 1859 were: Angus McLeod (who later on became

Marshal,) Francis McCabe, Thomas Brennan (Father of the late Capt. Brennan

of Souris), James Hegg, Thomas White and H.H. Pollard. This was long before

the appointment of Sergt. Thomas Flynn as Chief of Police, who held the

office for many years.



City Marshal Evans had quite a personality. He had a rather prepossessing

appearance, was somewhat portly and carried himself with a degree of dignity

and importance which, no doubt, he considered was required in his position

and he did not hesitate to exercise his authority in a manner that was

sometimes resented by those with whom he came in contact. He was especially

busy at fires, ordering the spectators about in quite an autocratic way.

During a parade he would sometimes go ahead of the Band, as though he were

the great Mogul, swinging his cane, and carrying himself in a most courtly

and patronizing style. Mr. Evans, though, was certainly an efficient chief

of Police and is also referred to later on, in the write-up of the visit of

General Williams.



A story, going the rounds in my youthful days, the accuracy of which I

cannot vouch for, shows the artfulness and guile of one of our old Irish

policemen in his successful effort to arrest a slippery offender: The

officer a fore said, having doffed his uniform, came to the culprit in the

guise of a decrepit old man, and begged him thus:"Will ye please, sir,

direct a poor man to where jail is?" The former, nothing suspecting, kindly

accompanied the old man to the inside of gate of "Harvey's Brig", and was

about to leave, when he was suddenly confronted by the "ancient" who,

displaying his badge of authority, ordered his prey to remain, when the

latter was forthwith incarcerated. A good story, and probably true.



From old records I find that the first City Council after incorporation in

1855, consisted of: Robert Hutchinson, Mayor. (Just below this is the seal

of the City of Charlottetown).





Ward I: Robert Longworth and Benjamin Davies

Ward II: John C. McDonald and Donald McIssac

Ward III: Artemas G. Sims and Silas Barnard

Ward IV: Thos. W. Dodd and David Stewart

Ward V: Thomas Pethick and Richard Heartz.




The Fire Engineers



Or as they were generally called - the "Fire Wardens" were a board of

citizens appointed by the City Council and somewhat of a composite body,

functioning in part as the Fire Committee of the Council, as well as having

some sort of control over the movements of spectators at fires. They had

the authority to order citizens who were not members of the fire Brigade to

form in line and pass water buckets from the Pump to the Engines. There

were no electric, or even steam engines, in the fifties and the engines had to

be pumped by hand by a crew of firemen.



The Board of Fire Engineers in 1855 was appointed from the different Wards

of the city, and the first Board consisted the following men, prominent in

the history of the Island: George Coles, chief, A.H. Yates, Charles Welsh,

W.B. Dawson, Hon. Edward Whelan, William McGill, Frederick Nelson, Daniel

Davies, Richard Wright, Thomas Green, John Binns, James Watts, George Beer,

William Pethick, T.B. Tremaine and Thomas Heath Haviland, Sr. (I have given

then names as they appear in the civic records).



Each Warden (or Engineer) carried a red staff about five feet long,

surmounted by a gilt ball. This staff was their emblem of authority. The

Chief's emblem was a baton of a different colour, resembling that carried by

a Marshal at a parade.



There were three Fire Engine Companies, No.1 was captained by James Watts,

No.2 by Thos. W. Dodd, and No.3 by Silas Barnard.



The chiefs of the Fire Brigade of a much later date were the only ones I

remember. They were, I think, in the order named, Donald McKinnon, John

Pickard and Newton Large. The last-named held the office for many years,

and was one of the most popular and efficient Chiefs of the past. He was

the father of the Messrs. Large Bros. of this City.



A large new Fire Bell was installed during the McKinnon regime and was

named "Big Donald". This bell came to grief a few years after, and had to

be replaced by another when Mr. Pickard was Chief. The latter bell was, I

think, named "Little John".


Mr. W.B. Wellner was city clerk in 1856-57. He was grandfather of Mr.

Lloyd Wellner of this City.


Mr. John Lawson, Q.C., was appointed City Recorder in 1856 and held that

office for many years. An oil portrait of the old gentleman is to be seen

on the wall of the council Chamber. He was the father of Mr. Henry Lawson,

one-time editor of the "Patriot" and grandfather of Mrs. Henry Smith of this



The Central Academy, as I remember it, had, as it's Headmaster, Mr. John

Kenny, a brother, I believe, or near relative, of Sir Edward Kenny of

Halifax, N.S. Others who taught there at various times were E. R. Humphreys,

William Cundall, John Lepage (the poet) and John Arbuckle, Sr.


When the Academy became in 1861, the "Prince of Wales College", it had, as

principal, Dr. Inglis, from Scotland. His assistant was Mr. William Monk.

On the retirement of the latter, Professor (later Dr.) Alexander Anderson

became assistant. Dr. Anderson held the position for very many years, after

which he was appointed chief superintendent of education for the Province.

Owing to advanced age, in a few years he retired from educational work and

took up his residence with his daughter, Mrs. Kingdon, in Halifax, until his

death. On Dr. Anderson's retirement as Principal of the college, Dr.

S.N. Robertson became principal and holds that position up to the present time.



Charlottetown Young Men's Christian Association



A short time ago I attended the 74th annual meeting of the above

institution held in the Association Hall. Those who were present, and many

others, as well, will be interested in reading the following announcement

copied from an old paper in 1856, of the first meeting of the time-honored

Y.M.C.A. held here:--



"At a meeting of the members of the above Institution, held in the

Infant School Room on Monday evening the 14th ult., the following gentlemen

were elected to office:--



"President-Captain Orlebar, R.N.

Vice Presidents - Lieut. Hancock, R.N., Messrs. H. D. Morpeth,

Wm. Heard, James Desbrisay.

Secretary - Mr. Robert A. Strong

Treasuer - Mr. George Beer

Librarian - Mr. Samuel Westacot".




"Managing Committee-Revs. - Messrs. Fitzgerald, Snodgrass, Burnett,

MacMurray, and Brewster, Messrs. C. Palmer, Thos. Desbrisay, Jun.

J.W.Morrison, John McNeill, George Davies, C.F. Harris, Wm. Dawson, Wm.

Brown, and also the office bearers of the association".



"The first public meeting of the association will be held, D.V., on

Wednesday evening next, in the Temperance Hall, when the Inaugural Address

will be delivered by the Rev. Wm. Snodgrass, and the nature and design of

the Institution be more fully explained. Chair to be taken at 8 o'clock.

The public are respectfully invited to attend".



"A collection will be taken at the close of each lecture.

Robert A. Strong, Secretary".






Where the Capitol Theatre now stands was Smardon's corner where Mr.

M. W. Smardon carried on a Saddlery business, but in the sixties or seventies

disposed of the property to Mr. James Beals. Since then it has become the

property of the owner of the "Capitol".



In the third story of the tenement adjoining and facing Great George

St., the lady referred to below conducted a Dancing Academy from the fifties

and down to the seventies and perhaps later.



In the Examiner of July 1859, appeared the following announcement:-

"Mrs. Contello Burris returns her thanks to the ladies of

Charlottetown and vicinity for the encouragement she has received in

reference to her Juvenile Dancing classes, and begs to inform them she will

comply with their request, and postpone the opening of her classes until the

extreme heat of the season".



Mrs. Burris conducted about the only Dancing School in the city

sixty years ago. The dances were not One-step, Two step, Tango or Turkey

trot, but Slow Waltz, Fast Waltz, Polka, Mazzourka, Galop, Highland Polka,

Plain Quadrille, Lancers, etc., These latter were danced gracefully to

proper music, and not so called "Jazz" or as I have heard it called,

"Musical Blasphemy".




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Last Updated: 4/27/98 11:51:47 AM
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