Bedeque Historical Museum

New exhibits, guided walking tour and festival planned

The summer’s new exhibits at the Bedeque Area Historical Museum in Central Bedeque will officially open at a free public event on July 6 at 10:30 am. All are welcome. 

There is a major addition to the United Empire Loyalist exhibit, featuring new posters on the Wright and Robins families. They arrived in Bedeque in 1784 as refugees, having lost all their property during the American Revolution. Additionally, a new poster tells the story of Islanders of African descent who were brought as slaves by some of the Loyalists.

Furthermore, a new poster highlights shipbuilding at Bedeque and the significant role of the Pope family in this industry. The Clocks of the Island exhibit has also received major additions, including a longcase (grandfather) clock brought to the Island from Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1841 by the Hogg family of Kelvin Grove.

The museum is currently showcasing the talent of Wayne Wright, a well-known descendant of the Wright family, in an exhibit titled Wayne Wright–100 Cartoons, on display until September 1. Wayne has created several thousand cartoons since 1979 for the Journal-Pioneer (and more recently, the Guardian). For this exhibit, the museum asked him to select 100 cartoons, focusing particularly on the Bedeque and East Prince areas or those with a historical theme. While some cartoons are framed on the walls for viewing, most are available in folders where visitors can sit and read them. Wayne’s cartoons are often meant to be read rather than merely looked at. Visitors are invited to enjoy a chuckle or even a hearty belly-laugh, and ask themselves, as many others have upon opening their daily newspaper, “How did he ever think of that?”

The Museum is hosting two special activities this summer. The first is a guided walking tour of Holmans Island in Summerside Harbour. Participants will visit the site of the famous Island Park Hotel, learn about the Holman family legacy, and discover the current conservation efforts of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in protecting the island. Tour dates will vary with the tides, but specific times and fees will be posted on the Museum website and social media.

In addition, to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the arrival of the Bedeque Harbour Loyalists, the Museum is hosting a Loyalist Heritage Festival from August 9–11. The festival will feature craft workshops, demonstrations, historical talks, traditional children’s games, a blueberry social, and performances of traditional dance and music by Roy Johnstone and BluRobin, as well as a concert by Richard Wood.