200 Years of Cardigan Trivia

Cardigan is a small village on the east coast of Prince Edward Island , on the banks of the river which was named by the British in 1765 after George Brudenell, the fourth Earl of Cardigan. The Mi'kmaq, who had been here first, named the area “Samkook” meaning sandy shore.

Early 1800's - the first settlers (mostly from Great Britain ) begin coming to this part of PEI .

1824 - Arthur and Thomas Owen being operating a shipyard on the Cardigan River .

1837 - A large ship (631 tons) named Thomas Bold was launched at the Owen shipyard for Robert Long.

1842 - The ship Alfred launched from the Wm. Alley Shipyard.

1849 - Donald Lamont starting teaching in Cardigan.

1853 - William P. Lewis came to Cardigan from Scotland and built mills on Lewis Creek and established the Lewis Monument Works.

1855 - An older home now owned by Herman Van den Broek was built by Donald Stewart.

1862 - First wooden bridge built.

1863 - First post office-William Alley was the postmaster.

- Lake map indicates a school located on Station Road

1864    Ship L.C.Owen 491 tons is launched  in Cardigan

1871 - Cardigan Post Office now called Cardigan Bridge Post office.

1872 - John. G. Scrimgeour elected to Legislative Assembly, he was usher of the Black Rod.

1873 - A big year for ship building, six ships launched- James E. MacDonald, Hugh Lord MacDonald, Owen and Welsh are the builders mentioned.

1874 - All Saints Roman Catholic Church erected.

- Railway service begins (narrow gauge).

- The Willie MacLaren was launched, it was a barque ( 560 tons)

1875 - Duncan MacLaren builds new home.

- James E. MacDonald builds store (40 × 25)

- James Smith builds a house; he was a blacksmith on the north side of the river.

1878 - Dr. Isidore Gallant sets up medical practice.

1881 - Meetings at Stewarts Hall to make plans for the building of the new Presbyterian Church took place; it was decided to buy land from Donald Stewart.

1885 - Cardigan saw and grist mills are built by Alex Alley.

- Dr. Stephen Jenkins is medical doctor in Cardigan.

-Vestry added to All Saints Church.

- Missionary from India formed the Cardigan St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Women's Missionary Institute.

1886 - Hugh Lord MacDonald elected to house of Assembly in PEI .

1887 - Dr. Archilbald Allan begins medical practice.

1888 - First telephone connected at home of James McVean on the Shore Rd.

- John J. Campbell operates the Cardigan Bridge Hotel near the north end of the bridge.

1890 - John Ryan begins a general merchant business where Cecil Rice now lives on Chapel Rd.

1892 - Cardigan Hall built on Water St.

1893 - John A. MacDonald comes from Blooming Point to work with James E. MacDonald for a salary of $10 a month..

1894 - Rev. John C. MacMillan beings 22 years of ministry - All Saints Church.

- James E. MacDonald builds new home on Pleasant St.

1895 - Cardigan Hall incorporated.

1896 - Dougald Morson begins new home on the Shore Road where the Station Road meets the Shore Road

1898 - Capt. Joe MacDonald who lived on the corner of Water and Chapel Streets is now, retired from the sea. His last command was on the Petrel- buys shop from Henry Bissett.

1900 - Tidal wave lifts vessel, bow sprit goes through roof of Capt. Joe's store.

- Co-operative cheese and butter factory built at Cardigan Head.

1902 - James E. Macdonald working on new store

- Capt. Shaw loses his life-Mutiny on the Veronica.

1905 - Jack Knight operates drug store in building at corner of Water and Chapel Streets.

1906 - Telephone office moved from McVanes on the south side of the river to MacLaren's on Water St.

- John A. MacDonald builds new home (builder is Pat Bradley).

1908 - John A. Macdonald elected to PEI legislature. It was about this time that John A. moved his business, John A. Macdonald & Co. (successor to James E. Macdonald) to the south side of the river to premises previously owned by James E. Norton and John Angus Macdonald begins R.J Macdonald & Co.

1913 - Wooden bridges is replaced by a steel bridge with a concrete deck (first on PEI ).

1914 - Rural routes begin at Cardigan Post office.

1915 - The first garage opens by MacKenzies. Norman, Norman's son Donnie and grandson Darcey continue the family business.

- Three Rivers steam ship Co. provides service between Cardigan, Montague and Pictou.

1916 - Cardigan Bridge Post Office reverts to Cardigan Post Office.

1917 - Edward Foley, granduncle of Walter Conohan, killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in WWI. (His name is on the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France .)

- John A. MacDonald has one of the first cars in the village

1918 - James E's old store was hauled across the ice to make a mill to prepare lumber for shipbuilding-located next to John L. Sullivan's forge.

- Lou Douglas (station agent) is the first to hear that the war is over.

- The schooner Victory Chimes is launched. Kimble Coffin is foreman. Captain Dan MacDonald takes it on maiden voyage to Newfoundland , Brazil , New York , and Cardigan. Owners were John A. MacDonald, George Thompson and Mrs. George Lyons.

1919 - The schooner Barbara MacDonald is launched in October and lost on maiden voyage off Cape Pine, Newfoundland-owner John A. MacDonald and crew except for captain are saved.

- Women's institute formed.

1920 - Schooner Anna MacDonald is the last of the wooden hulled ships to be built on PEI .

1921 - Captain Dan MacDonald had an exciting trip to Cadiz , Spain to retrieve the Victory Chimes from port authorities.

1922 - Frank MacNeil had probably the first radio (needed headphones).

1924 - New school built on Pleasant St.

- Mrs. McNichol hosts W.I.'s in the area-beginning of women's institute district conventions.

1925 - Felix Gallant runs a clam factory c.1905.

- John A. MacDonald is elected to the House of Commons.

1926 - Railway is upgraded to standard gauge.

1932 -Sigsworth's own black stallion Frisco Direct who sires many foals in this area.

1933 - Catholic's Women's League formed at All Saints. Mary MacIntyre is the first president. Fr. Michael Rooney is Parish Priest.

- Anna MacDonald joins the congregation of Notre Dame.

- Women's institute hold a masquerade dance. Florence MacEachern wins a prize for her gypsy costume.

1934 - Lewis' stone shop is moved to the top of the hill on Pleasant St. to make home for Donald Campbell and family.

1935 - Captain Jack MacDonald has to hire a diver to find a rock in Musquodoboit Harbour to clear his name. (Lady Laurier loses a rudder on uncharted rock.)

- John A .MacDonald was appointed senator.

- Captain Joe's house burns - L.V. Warren is occupant.

1937 - Hewitt factory (chicken coop) is used for a third classroom for Cardigan school.

- A liquor store is opened in the basement of Scrimgeour's, Russell McLaren is the first manager. Liquor was purchased by those having a prescription signed by a doctor. (Script, which stated that the liquor was for a medical purpose). Dr. Alban was busy!

- A vessel coming into dock at the Cardigan wharf hits the bridge, bowsprit and dislodges section of the concrete deck when backing off.

1938 -Cardigan Fish Hatchery opened

- Second post office opened-Don Sigsworth was the postmaster.

1939 - Very mild spring-John L. Sullivan plants potatoes in his garden on March 17th.

1941 - Ice bushed to make trail for traveling on ice (also for horse races on the ice).

1942 - Felix Gallant customs house.

1943 -Second post office is closed.

1944 - Francis Shepherd wounded in Italy

- Major John A. MacDonald wounded in France

- Johnny Quinn wounded in France- D Day

- Richard Quinn wounded in Africa

1945 - Dances held on Co-op store, Jack Webster provide music.

- Major John A. MacDonald elected to the PEI legislature.

1946 - Dr. A.A. Allan dies after serving Cardigan and surrounding areas for 50+ years

- Vera Rice begins hairdressing business

- Cardigan Tigers provide great entertainment for baseball fans.

- Margaret Quinn marries Johnny in England and moves to Cardigan (one of the many war brides).

- Ceilidhs held at Joachim Sullivan's home. Joachim also allows his field to be used as a ball field across from the consolidated school.

1947 - Barbara Macdonald comes to aid of week-old son of Kay and Walter Conohan. Apparently many socks were darned while waiting to give penicillin injections.

- The play ‘Cyclone Sally' was presented to the public. Friar Crocken was the director and some of the players were Florence Brothers, Urban Sullivan, Richard Quinn and Bill Brothers.

- First Red Cross swimming lessons. Grace Lewis, Daisy Agnew, Ernie

-Whale beached on the shore of Cardigan river. Camille Lanteigne tried to Pull off shore.

1948 - David Macdonald gives passengers who come on the train a lift to Annandale (Mrs. Alex MacFarlane and child) in his Tiger Moth.

- Cornelius Gallant and family move to Moncton .

1949 - Leo Griffin is manager of Co-Op store. Eddie Sharkey is manager of the Credit Union.

1950 - Spire removed from Presbyterian church.

- Urban Sullivan builds a new forge across the road from his father's house. Later, it was moved across to make a dwelling. Urban would be Cardigan's last resident Blacksmith.

- Donald MacDonald and Eugene Sullivan play hockey for the Georgetown Eagles

- A play “The Luck of the Irish” with John S Macdonald, Bernadette MacDonald Geraldine Macdonald and Margaret M acDonald as some of the players was presented.

1951 - Davey Shepherd does Belly-flop off Cardigan Bridge, Ronnie and Clifford pull him in. Red Cross tests are going on at the time.

1952 - Brothers Garage opened by Alban Brothers.

- Noreen MacDonald enters Congregation of Notre Dame.

1953 - Marion Mulligan moves Hewitt Factory to present loction and opens ice cream parlour.

- Frances Murphy joins Sisters of St. Martha.

- Fire Department formed, Alban Brothers is the first fire chief, new fire hall built behind R.J.'s

1954 - Major John A. MacDonald promoted to rank of Lieutenant-Colonel

- Harold Brothers retires after 53 years as station agent.

- Village of Cardigan incorporated, three commissioners form the government- Francis Shepherd, Dellie Scrimgeour and A.A.MacPhee listed as first councillors.

1955 - Tilmar Restaurant opens on corner across from Wims, other business on this site were Captain Joe MacDonald's general store, Eddie Redmond's meat shop and David MacDonald's radio shack.

1956 - Parish hall completed on grounds of All Saints church (south side).

- Katherine MacDonald joined the Congregation of Notre Dame,

- Clare Macdonald celebrates the first mass ordained priest at All Saints.

- First TV's in Cardigan- Harold Brothers on south side of the river and Andrew Macdonald on the North.

1957 - Lt. Col John A. MacDonald was elected to the house of Commons.

1959 - Steel bridge replaced by a causeway.

- Feed mill opened in old Co-op store by Peter Nabuurs and Martin Van denBroek

- Liquor store is moved to ‘chicken coop' (Hewitt Factory)

- Walter Conohan's house is destroyed by fire.

- Andrew MacDonald celebrates first mass as ordained priest at All Saints.

1960 - Jack Webster plays for Friday night dances at the Legion.

1961 - Cardigan sees very large funeral for Lt. Col John A. Macdonald.

- Margaret Macdonald was elected to the house of Commons, the first woman elected east of Ottawa .

1962 - First Allied Youth post at Cardigan School- Harold Brothers first president and Nora MacDonald first teacher.

1963 - Seven Mile road hockey team provide entertainment for fans- Ronnie MacDonald, Joe MacDonald, Donnie MacKenzie, Merlin Mohar, Doug Glazer from Cardigan play on this team.

1964 - Centennial celebration of first meeting of fathers of confederation, steer is barbacued.

- Gerald MacDonadl retires after 46 years as postmaster, the last mail at the R.J.'s location-November 23rd.

- New post office is built on the south side of the river, Richard Quinn is postmaster.

- Wim and Lena take over the store owned by Ray Soloman and Ray Lavandier.

- A three act comedy ‘Have a heart' is presented by members of All Saints C.Y.O.

- Francis Shepherd and family move into a new house after a fire in their house in 1963.

- Centennial celebrations held on ball field- a steer is barbecued.

1965 - Legion ladies Auxiliary is formed.

- Last passenger train.

1966 - Cardigan Consolidated School opens.

1967 - Centennial Celebrations-open air rink, begun is ‘64 is continued as a special project.

- New liquor store opens near ball field Francis Shepard is the manager.

1968 - Community school begins-Noel Wilson is the chairman.

1969 - Joe MacDonald chairs committee to organize first Red Cross day camp in Cardigan; buses were used for transportation to the beach.

- Feed mill is destroyed by fire.

- Old school is renovated to make apartments.

1970 - New feed mill built on new location near railway..

- Delli Scrimgour retires after 63 years as telephone operator.

- Girl Guide organization begins with Florence Brothers instrumental in beginning.

- Bennett Campbell elected to PEI legislature.

1972 - Cardigan Railway station closed for business. Noel Wilson is last station agent. Freight trains continued for some years.

1973 - Huge parade and other activities help celebrate this centennial year.

1974 - Cardigan Lions receive charter.

- Central Kings Juniors, Cardigan Beavers and Cardigan Mosquitoes were all Island Baseball champs.

1975 - Major work begun to make ball field's competitive-Kim Victor is right hand man.

- Railway station is moved across the road, Cardigan craft guild is formed- Margaret Quinn instrumental.

- Renovations are made to Presbyterian church (basement, kitchen, etc.)

1976 - St. Andrew's ladies guild of the Presbyterian church formed.

1977 - Longest serving general store lost when fire destroys R.J. MacDonald & Co.

- Telephone service changed to dial.

- Legion hall becomes Lion's hall.

- Danny Livingstone becomes tangled in nets; Walter Conohan comes to the rescue.

1978 - Bennett Campbell sworn in as Premier of PEI

- Girls softball organized, Ronnie MacDonald first coach.

1979 - New three bay fire hall and village office built next to Cardigan post office.

1980 - Earl C. MacDonald retires after 22 years as village clerk.

1981 - Bennett Campbell elected to the House of Commons.

- Bennett Campbell appointed Minister of Veterans affairs.

- Peter MacAulay retires- last of the section foreman for CNR.

198- - Stanley Manderson borrows Merlin Quinn's shoes to dance at a benefit concert.

- Dot MacAulay organizes and performs is many benefits across the Island .

1984 - Fire destroys feed mill. New mill built on same site.

- Senior citizens residence built.

- Rice's build new garage on site where D.C. Morson built and operated a store, Dan Rice, Danny Acorn operated a garage and car dealership- also known as ‘Lumpy's' a place for local teens to hang out.

1985 - Fire Department purchases a new F800 Ford Truck (1500 gal pump).

- James Allan MacDonald retires after 62 years as mail driver.

1987 - A big year for girls softball- Cardigan Bantams won the Eastern Canadian championship-only Ch'ship ever won on PEI .

- Cardigan PeeWees (baseball) were Island champs and went to Eastern Canadians in St. John . Cardigan midgets (baseball) were Island champs and went to Newmarket , Ontario for the Eastern Canadians. Squirts and Mites (baseball) were also Island champs.

1988 - Noel Wilson is one of the founders of the Island baseball league is recognized for his efforts in sports in Cardigan. Ronnie MacDonald and Billy Conohan are also honoured.

- Renovations begun in 1986 to All Saints church continue- a new basement, kitchen, washrooms, meeting room to be completed.

1989 - Kay Gardiner retires as village clerk, Margaret Fogarty takes over that position.

1990 - Village council increases to 7 members, Eileen Best and Martina MacDonald are the first women councillors since early incorporation when Dellie Scrimegour was on the first council.

1991 - A pig roast is held to help celebrate National Neighbourhood day.

- Urban Sullivan retires from rural route mail delivery after 33 years.

1992 - Joe MacDonald retires from the fire department; he was fire chief since the seventies. Harold Brothers is new chief.

1993 - A scene reminiscent of earlier days when there would be so many boats waiting to trade at the wharves that you could walk across the river by stepping on the boats was seen when the Cardigan Fire Department held its poker run.

1995 - Renovations to Fire Hall and Village office produce a new village office. Fireman's lounge, senior's room, tennis court and change room.

1996 - Many residents from Cardigan and surrounding areas traveled to Borden to work on the fixed link ( Confederation Bridge ).

- Mike Currie elected to the PEI legislature.

1997 - Hale Bopp highly visible in sky over Cardigan.

- Cardigan Fish Hatchery changes hands.

- Cardigan landfill site- CLOSED???

- McNichol- Best home bought by Mr. & Mrs. Canty was being operated as Cardigan River Inn.

1998 - Long time resident of Cardigan, Winifred Scrimgeour, died suddenly in June, 1998- a dedicated telephone operator.

- Nial Hughes plays for Great Falls Dodgers of Montana (rookie league team of the L.A. Dodgers). Nial is the grandson of Hattie Hughes.

1999 - Natalie Burke wins silver medal in Judo at Canada Winter games.

2000 - January 21st tidal surge causes damage across the Island , covers Cardigan wharf.