The Summer has been so so in PEI for people in general, though farmers are happy, a wonderful potato harvest is on the way. Corn also looks very good. This weekend is the last of August and we went to two sites outside of town on sunny days, with light winds and little humidity. Very nice all around, the tourists are leaving, THANK GOD ALL MIGHTY!!!!!
We had a funny crop of tourists this Summer, first they arrived in July when non-residents of the Island were allowed to come with proper documentation on vaccination. Then later Americans were allowed across the border but few choose to come to PEI.
So Saturday we drove towards Brudenell and Montague, two small communities about 35 minutes from Charlottetown. This area before 1745 was called Trois Rivieres (three rivers) and was home to French Speaking families (ACADIANS), they were connected to the French Fortress of Louis Bourg on Cape Breton or Isle Royale as it was then known.
Captain Jean-Pierre Roma established at Three Rivers a trading post and built 9 large building plus a large dock to load ships. What is today the Georgetown area is the deepest and best seaport on the North Coast of PEI, a great spot for trading. Roma did have some difficulties in developing the area. This was wild country, marshland and thick old growth Acadian Forest. He and his men cleared a lot of the land and managed to cultivate it. Interesting to read that in the 18th century people did not know or if they did, would not eat potatoes, thought to be poisonous, because it is part of the night shade family. So the food they grew was what you would find on tables in Europe.
In 1745 it all came to a violent and crashing end, Roma and his family had to flee to Quebec City while advancing British troops coming from New England would destroy and burn all in their path. The Acadians who were caught, were deported in an act of Ethnic Cleansing.
The site was abandoned, but then after 1765 and the end of wars in Europe between England and France, Acadians were allowed to return to PEI only if they could purchase land that formerly belong to them. Often they would find Irish refugees deported by the British on their old farms or Scots who were also cleared from their homeland in the Highland of Scotland and shipped to Canada. Both the Irish and the Scots did not own land, they were renter farmers and the owners were absentee British Aristocrats.
The Roma site at Three Rivers is interesting, you can visit the trails on the site which cover a large area, buildings have been rebuilt recently to showcase what life was like and many archeological digs in the 1960’s unearthed a lot of information and artefacts. The area where the docks were are clearly visible, the view is quite beautiful of Georgetown across the bay and Panmure Island in the distance. You can also have a nice lunch of typical Acadian food served on chinese ware as it would have been back in the 18th century.
The flag they fly at the site is the White flag of the King of France. It was quiet and beautiful like so many sites on PEI.
On Sunday we drove to the Dunes Art Gallery at Brackley Point Beach. Our friends Peter and Nash own this gallery. The expansive gardens are full of wonderful flowers, Asian stone statuary and they grow a lot of the vegetables and eatable flowers in the garden for their restaurant. The restaurant does lunch and dinner service and the food is truly first class. They have an excellent chef and this is one of the classiest places to eat, surrounded by wonderful artworks and large views of the flower garden and the sea. Really a magical place and so relaxing.
Not to worry Summer only ends on 21 September, so relax!
The restaurants also gets all its vegetables from this garden.