Beaching – In Other Times

While I have been waxing prosetic* on outings to the beaches of PEI over at SailStrait Harry Holman has been looking back on outings in the days when beaches were not as accessible as today.

Prince Edward Islanders gather for a picnic by the shore – circa 1880
Photo: Canada’s History Magazine

So pack up your picnic basket, bring out your sunshade, dust off the straw boater and make sure Aunt Maev has her shawl for later in the day. We’re heading down to harbour for an afternoon’s outing one sunny August day in 1877.

*Yes I’m aware that it isn’t a word but it should be! If I can wax in verse I should be able to wax in prose.

Sailstrait

On hot summer days it is refreshing to think that for many of us getting to the beach is only a matter of jumping into a car and heading out. This ease of access to the sea shore is a relatively recent phenomena for Charlottetown. In spite of being a port the shoreline is remarkably inaccessible as there is not a really good beach within the city limits. There was bathing at Victoria Park and Kensington Beach and for the uninhibited there was always the attraction of swimming off the wharves. But this was hardly a family or social activity. Accessing a real beach meant a train ride to Hunter River or Bedford and then by wagon to Rustico or Tracadie where there were summer hotels, a round trip that could easily take all day.  Or one could take the Southport ferry and then go by carriage to Keppoch or…

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Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

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