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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Belfast in Queens County, Prince Edward Island — The Canadian Atlantic
 

The Early Years / Les Premières Années

 
 
The Early Years /<br>Les Premières Années Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
1. The Early Years /
Les Premières Années Marker
Inscription.  
English:
Imagine being aboard a ship on a dark, stormy night. The wind is howling fiercely, pushing large waves over the sides of your vessel. You are at the mercy of the elements. Picture a lack of navigational aids, creating a powerful sense of disorientation as you search desperately in the darkness for any indication of your ship's location. It seems like a nightmare; unfortunately, for the many seafarers sailing around the coast of Prince Edward Island in the days before lighthouses, it was exactly that.

Lighthouses were not always a common feature of the Island's landscape. Prior to 1845, our intricate coastline lacked such structures, making navigation challenging. Merchants and shipowners, whose very livelihood depended upon the safety of their vessels, and the crews that sailed them, continually faced the worry of a shipwreck. Even one could result in financial ruin, not to mention loss of life. Those employed in the fishing industry equally had much to fear.

Coastal communities were affected by this issue, particularly in Nova Scotia. In the early nineteenth century, its government erected
Marker detail: Lighthouses & Sailing Routes /<br>Phares et Itinéraires de Navigation image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Lighthouses & Sailing Routes /
Phares et Itinéraires de Navigation
a number of lighthouses. To cut costs, nearby colonies were asked to contribute money for construction and maintenance - after all, they would be using the lighthouses as well. Given its proximity, Prince Edward Island naturally invested in these projects.

• Between 1815 and 1839, Prince Edward Island contributed funds to lighthouses on Cranberry and St. Paul Islands off the coast of Cape Breton and Scatarie Island off the coast of Nova Scotia.

• Prince Edward Island's contributions came from a tax known as a Light Duty. It was charged by the tonne on all registered ships departing from customs houses across the province.

• Between 1770 and 1845, an estimated 50-100 ships were wrecked in Island waters.

Français:
Imaginez-vous à bord d'un navire, au cours d'une nuit sombre de tempête. Le vent hurle avec férocité, poussant de grosses vagues par-dessus le bastingage. Vous vous trouvez à la merci des éléments. Imaginez l'absence d'aide à la navigation et votre sentiment de désorientation et d'impuissance alors que vous cherchez désespérément dans l'obscurité quelque indication de la position de votre navire. On dirait un cauchemar, mais malheureusement, pour plusieurs marins naviguant au large des côtes de l'île-du-Prince-Édouard avant la construction des phares, c'était bel et bien la réalité.

Les phares n'ont
Marker detail: Shipwrecks / Naufrages image. Click for full size.
Courtesy PAROPEI Acc4045/2 & PAROPEI Acc4296/6
3. Marker detail: Shipwrecks / Naufrages
(left) Wreck of the HMS Phoenix 1882 / L’épave du HMS Phoenix en 1882
(right) Shipwreck in Charlottetown Harbour / Naufrage dans le port de Charlottetown
pas toujours fait partie du paysage typique de l'île. Avant 1845, notre côte échancrée n'en comptait aucun, ce qui y rendait la navigation difficile. Les marchants et armateurs, dont le gagne-pain dépendait de la sécurité des navires et des équipages, redoutaient toujours un naufrage. Un seul de ces incidents pouvait les ruiner, sans mentionner les pertes de vie. Les travailleurs de la pêche partageaient les mêmes inquiétudes.

Les collectivités côtières étaient touchées par cet enjeu, particulièrement en Nouvelle-Écosse. Au début du 19e siècle, le gouvernement local a fait ériger un certain nombre de phares. Afin d'en réduire le coût, on a demandé aux colonies avoisinantes de contribuer financièrement à leur construction et à leur entretien, car après tout, elles bénéficiaient elles aussi de ces phares. En raison de sa proximité, l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard a naturellement investi dans ces projets.

• Entre 1815 et 1839, l'île-du-Prince-Édouard a contribué au financement des phares des îles Cranberry et St. Paul, au large du Cap Breton, ainsi que de l'île Scatarie, au large de la Nouvelle-Écosse.

• Les contributions de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard étaient tirées d'une taxe nommée Droit des phares. Cette taxe était imposée sur le tonnage de tous les navires enregistrés à leur départ des bureaux des douanes de la province.

• Entre 1770 et 1845, on estime
Marker detail: The Jenny Lind & Amity /<br>Le Jenny Lind et l’Amity image. Click for full size.
Courtesy PAROPEI Acc4170/407
4. Marker detail: The Jenny Lind & Amity /
Le Jenny Lind et l’Amity
The Amity wrecked in late October 1847 and lost six of its crew before the rest were saved by the Jenny Lind, an Island ship.

L’Amity s’est échoué à la fin octobre 1847 et six membres de son équipage se sont noyés avant que les autres ne soient sauvés pal le Jenny Lind, un navire insulare.
qu'entre 50 et 100 naufrages ont eu lieu dans les eaux de l'Île.
 
Location. 46° 2.998′ N, 63° 2.376′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Prince Edward Island, in Queens County. Marker can be reached from Point Prim Road (Prince Edward Island Route 209) 11 kilometers west of Trans-Canada Highway (National Route 1). Marker is located at the southwest corner of the Point Prim Lighthouse grounds, about 50 yards west of the lighthouse, overlooking Northumberland Strait. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2147 Point Prim Road, Belfast, Prince Edward Island C0A 1A0, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 19 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Point Prim Lighthouse / Le Phare de Point Prim (here, next to this marker); Reliable Communication / Des Communications Fiables (here, next to this marker); A Lighthouse is Born / La Naissance du Phare (a few steps from this marker); The 1864 Charlottetown Conference / La Conférence de Charlottetown de 1864 (a few steps from this marker); Survey of Prince Edward Island / Arpentage de Ľîle-du-Prince-Édouard (approx. 17.2 kilometers away); Port-la-Joye – Fort Amherst (approx. 17.8 kilometers away); The Deportation of the Inhabitants of Île Saint-Jean (approx. 17.8 kilometers away); The Grand Dérangement (approx. 18.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfast.
 
Related markers.
The Early Years / Les Premières Années Marker<br>(<i>view south across Northumberland Strait</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
5. The Early Years / Les Premières Années Marker
(view south across Northumberland Strait)
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Point Prim Lighthouse, Belfast, PE
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Point Prim Lighthouse • <i>view looking west<br>(marker visible, edge-on, far left background)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2019
6. Point Prim Lighthouse • view looking west
(marker visible, edge-on, far left background)
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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