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Autumn 2001

Well I finished what I set out to do and it has taken hours and hours. Today [that is December 7th] I completed the Guardians of 1900-1920. That means that I have read at least one Island newspaper from 1787 to 1950. In the early days they were a simple four pages and were weekly, then some became semi-weekly and finally by the late 1870's we were beginning to have a daily paper [but never on Sunday]. We had a number of different publishers over the years with affiliations with different political parties, communities or religions. When we were growing up we had The Guardian that was known to be Conservative and The Patriot that was known to be Liberal. There was also the Journal Pioneer in Summerside. My tasks over the years that I've been reading the old newspapers have varied. When I began I was looking mainly for Island Furniture and Island Pottery, but it is difficult not to spread your interest so architecture some became an important concern. These last few years I have concentrated mainly on Charlottetown, but I've included almost everything I can find on the place even the people so I have amassed a tremendous package of material. You might well asked what I am going to do with it. Well first of all it must be organized for recovery . I have created 118 blocks of land in the Charlottetown area. I've got 83 blocks in the town below Euston Street and I have created fifteen blocks in the Common and 20 in the Royalty. So in these 118 blocks I place the appropriate material and to that I have added photographs, articles from magazines and things and even the people. The material covers architecture, fires, murders... anything that will add to the story of the blocks. I, needless to say, have files on Mayors and Councillors, Fire Department, the arts, etc. etc.. Now what do I do next? Well Charlottetown has been chosen to be one of Canada's "Smart Cities" ! That means we are going high tech and we should have a very complete geographic information system on computer. My vision is that with each property number we should be able to include an historic review of the property back to the days when Charlottetown was laid out and settlement began, in the very late 1760's. It is a dream and I think if we can manage some of it will add greatly to the understanding - and therefore appreciation - of our community.

Written Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 09:45 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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