Alberton Things to Do
~ Museum & Tourist Center ~
Museum & Tourist Center is found in the old Alberton Railway Station, that is now part of the Confederation Trail. The building is an excellent example of an Edwardian railway station. It is a rare granite stone construction. The hipped roof has two chimneys and also the building still maintains it's original style, size, and placement of the doors and windows
The Station incorporated the Tourist Center on one side of the Station. The employees are very helpful, they certainly know the area. The other side of the building is the Station Museum. Well not really a museum, but more like you time traveled and arrived back in the early 1900's and what it would have looked like back then.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Here is the other one.
I have already mentioned on this page about a delightful little museum / visitor centre situated in the old railway station in Alberton and also indicated that this small settlement is graced by not one but two decent little museums and this, as the title of the tip suggests, is the other one.
Before they ever set foot across the door the traveller should pause for a moment to admire the building itself which was the former Courthouse (decommissioned in 1978) and is rather splendid, not to mention well-maintained. I do hope the image does it justice. As another of my images shows, photography is not allowed inside although I did not see anything that would merit the prohibition of non-flash photography but I certainly was not going to argue the point with the delightful young lady who greeted us as we did wander in. As seemed to be so often the case in small local Canadian Museums we visited she seemed surprised and delighted to see us in about equal measure. I have mentioned elsewhere on my Canadian pages here on VT that whilst the people of the Maritime Provinces (I cannot speak for the rest of the country) are very keen to present their history and do so very well, most of these smaller Museums we had just about to ourselves even in the height of the holiday season which is a bit of a shame.
The young lady insisted on giving us a tour of the place and pointing out the main items of note as well as telling us how the Museum came to be. Frankly, I think she was glad of the company. It was effectively the private collection of a lady called Mrs. Oulton who initially kept her private collection in her barn. Thankfully, it was extended and moved to it's rather more suitable surroundings in 1980.
So what will the visitor see in this rather quaint old collection? Well, they are not going to see an ancient Egyptian sarcophogus nor an Elgin marble nor an original Picasso but rather a fairly comprehensive selection of fairly mundane artefacts from the days of the earliest European settlers in these parts and, impressive as sargophogii et al are, I think I rather prefer this type of place. I love to look at how ordinary people lived so long ago and in circumstances that we nowaday would consider very harsh.
One story particularly intrigued me and again reinforced my belief that you can learn a lot in the most unlikely places. Remember that we happened to be driving through here en route from Point A to wherever we ended up and had not even intended to stop. We did so purely because I spotted the sign for the Museum. What I learned specifically here was the story of the silver fox fur trade. In the days when such things were in vogue, there was an almost insatiable appetite for silver fox fur in the fashion houses of the world which could not be met by the normal trapping methods employed in this part of the world where the creature was indigenous. Several enterprising gents set up silver fox farms, breeding them purely for the fur and made themselves very rich doing it. Indeed, the young lady told us there were still standing some of the finest houses in the town which had been built by these sundry gentlemen with profits from the trade.
As so often on my Canadian trip, this was just really another small little local Museum in a "backwater" sort of place (I mean no disrespect at all to the delightfully friendly people of that township that we met) but I would not have missed it for the world. I walked out the door a much better informed man than I had walked in and surely that is the point of a museum. This is a great little place and should you wish to visit, here are the logistics.
Open Monday to Saturday from 0930 to 1730 and admission is by donation.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
One of two beauties.
I have mentioned in my introduction to this Alberton page that we discovered not one but two small but very interesting museums which only served to reinforce my perception that whilst Canada has a relatively short (non-indigenous or even Viking history) they are completely committed to displaying it to the very best effect and I had some wonderful visits whilst there.
We had parked basically at the side of the road a little way away (it is a pretty quiet place) and the first attraction we went to was a museum situated in the old railway station. It will come as no surprise to readers of my other pages that I love railways and so this was a delight to start with as my love for railways and all things associated is well-known here on Virtual Tourist. As I trust some of the images show, the old (long torn up rail track) is still very evident and now forms part of an enlightened walking / cycling / snowmobiling track which traverses the Province from East to West using these old railways and I believe forms part of a much, much larger trail across the entire country. What a brilliant idea and I would love to do it some day, well not all of it as I am far too old but the PEI section anyway.
To the museum itself and it is not really so much like a museum rather than just walking back a bit in time. Certainly there are a few exhibits but it is not really about that. It serves as a stopping point for those on the trail, a place to have a little light refreshment if you like and an absolute delight but it is not a Museum in the perhaps more accepted sense. It is more a chance to immerse yourself in a bygone age and imagine what life was like in the lifetime of my late Grandmother who was 11 years old (in 1904) when it was built and that was to a great extent what brought it to life for me. This is not some archaeological ruin (much as I do like them), it is a place that was a functional if originally unexciting place in the timey of ancestors that I knew.
The (presumably student) attendant was courteous to a fault and when another couple came in as they were cycling the trail described above then they were treated to extreme courtesy, local knowledge and just about all you would expect from a well-run place. I suspect this place is rather more set up to be Tourist Information than historical.
Sure this is not the British Museum or the Smithsonian but it is none the worse for that. If you want to have a look at a small portion of what life was like for many years in this part of the world then you could do a whole lot worse than stop off here.
Admission is free.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Route 12, Alberton, PEI, C0B 1B0, ca
Good for: Solo
Alberton Off The Beaten Path
Fine park with historical significance.
About five miles heading Northeast out of Alberton on Highway 12 we came upon a sign announcing the Jacques Cartier Provincial Park. In the style of our travelling we decided to pop in and have a look. If you have not read other tips of mine, I was travelling with VT member RavensWing and our "style of travelling" if it could be called a style was to get up in the morning in the RV and drive, stopping off wherever we fancied visiting in the day and then finding a place to stop for the night. My kind of trip entirely!
My knowledge of Canadian history was, and lamentably still is, sketchy to say the least but I knew that Jacques Cartier was one of the first Europeans to land in what is now Canada as early as 1534 and whilst exact historical records are not available it was somewhere pretty close to this spot that he "discovered" what is now Prince Edward Island. Whilst he obviously said it in French it is reputed that on landing he declared that it was “the fairest land 'tis possible to see!” and after well over 450 years I am not going to take issue with the man as it really is a beautiful corner of the planet.
Today the Park is partly RV / campsite, part supervised swimming beach (lifeguard available Jun 26 to Aug 26), part day picnic area and so on and I do hope my few images do it justice. It boasts a full range of evening activities in the main season (Jun 20 to Aug 22). On the way in it also boasts a rather fine statue of Cartier which the affixed plaques indicated was presented by a represenatative of Macdonald Tobacco Inc. in 1969. Given the rather draconian smoking regulations in Canada, I was slightly surprised they had not ordered this to be altered so as not to be seen as advertising for tobacco or whatever. I did rather like the pose of the statue which seems to indicate, "Right lads, we'll go that way" and so off into a brand new world.
Frankly, if we had not only covered a few miles by the time we got there I am sure we would have been very tempted to stay a night as it really is so lovely but the road was always calling. Definitely recommended for a visit if you are in that part of the world and well worth considering for an overnight if you are camping / caravanning / RVing.
Incidentally, as the template for "off the beaten path" tips does not allow for it, the full postal address should you want it for satnav etc. is 16448 Rotte 12, Kildare Capes, Prince Edward Island C0B 1B0 and GPS is N46° 50.904 W-064° 0.912Related to:
- Road Trip
- Family Travel