On This Island

Last Thursday wasn’t the most pleasant of days. Rain and gale force winds had cut the mainland off from the Island but we headed Up West into the Evangeline Region to meet friends at Tyne Valley. The four ladies had been been on a hiking trip of the trails along the north most tip of the Island and were on the last leg heading back home to Charlottetown. They had plenty to tell us about the food, friendly people, and glorious fall colours of a region that is often neglected – including by ourselves.

Tyne Valley is a beautiful small community a ninety minutes drive from Charlottetown. For such a small place they have a remarkable choice of restaurants including an oyster house, a pizzeria, a tea shop, and a burger joint. Though I wouldn’t really call Backwoods Burger a “joint”. Dating to the late 1800s it has served the neighbour variously as a bank, general store, post office, pharmacy, flower shop, and restaurant. As the name implies Burgers are the specialty and they have teamed with Moth Lane a local brewery. Food is great, service friendly and accommodating, and the beer exceptional. We plan to go back to the Backwoods and to further explore the area.

St John the Evangelist in Miscouche; it is one of the oldest wooden churches on the Island.
Photo courtesy of Verne Equinox at the English language Wikipedia / CC BY-SA.

Miscouche is the gateway to the Evangeline Region. In 1884 it was the location of the Second Acadian National Convention where the Acadian Flag was adopted along with many other national symbols. Since 1964 there has been the small but well curated Acadian Museum next to the beautiful Church of St John the Baptist. One of the reasons for our trip was to stop in as none of our party had ever seen it.

As well as the permanent exhibition there was a temporary display highlighting Acadian Children on the Island. It’s an interesting mix of photographs, commentary and artifacts and as always my attention fell on one or two items that I had to investigate further.

According to the description this wooden high chair was available by mail order from the T. Eaton Company in 1901. It was $2.25 – plus one would assume a delivery charge – which would be about $69.00 today.

A nice high chair to be sure but I found the leg structure rather puzzling. Why were they such and odd shape, what was that strange mechanism at the joint, and what did that lever at the back do?

An early version of a “transformer” – it would have been interesting to see it demonstrated but I had to make do with a similar chair in its rocker mode.


Thinking of how much is spent on hockey equipment today it would be interesting to know how much a pair of skates like this cost. Or were they homemade?

The word for October 13th is:
Acadian /əˈkādēən/: [1. noun 2. adjective]
1. A native or inhabitant of Acadia.
Canada: A French-speaking descendant of the early French settlers in Acadia.
US: A descendant of the Acadians deported to Louisiana in the 18th century; a Cajun.
2. Relating to Acadia or its people.
There is some discussion on the etymology. It is suggested that the name is derived from Miꞌkmaq, in which Cadie means “fertile land”. Another theory credits the explorer Verrazzano who named the Eastern coast after the Greek Arcadia and at a later date Champlain fixed its location but omitted the “r”.