In the wake of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) many subjects who decided to remain loyal to Britain were left with very few choices. Forced by “Patriots” to surrender duality and swear off their allegiance to the crown, approximately 65-70 000 British subjects, later given the honorary status of the “United Empire Loyalists”, fled to various British colonies such as Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Florida, and even the Atlantic Canada. Following the Treaty of Paris which ended the war in 1783, the remaining Loyalists were evacuated from America and were provided with land grants and basic supplies, usually ranging from 100-200 acres. Roughly 2000 loyalists settled in Prince Edward Island and specifically, many resided in the Bedeque Area, leaving a strong presence in the community. The large copper pot (left) was used by the Anderson family for a variety of tasks from preparing pot ash for further production in Europe, to making lye soap, and even producing maple syrup as can be seen in the painting depicting the process. Many families who live in Bedeque can still claim ancestry to the many loyalists which populated the area. Given that Loyalist artefacts are often difficult to discover, any information, photos, or records are often welcomed at the museum, not only to expand the exhibit but to preserve and often forgotten part of Canadian history. Any information regarding the Loyalists can be sent to the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we're happy to answer any questions.
Below: One of two paintings currently on display in the museum's loyalist exhibit, completed by local artist Grace Curtis.
Well, it has finally arrived! the museum officially opened for business on June 3rd after a long winter of completing renovations on the second floor and attic space. The new display areas on the second floor each feature a detailed view into the history of Bedeque and the people who resided in the area during the early 20th century. Using artefacts which mainly came from the Howard Clark collection, the displays are also a testament to the great task undertaken by Howard to preserve the many thousands of artefacts which now fill the museum. The 2nd floor now features a wide array of scenes including everything from a chapel, to the "back-porch" which is depicted in the picture below. While items are still being catalogued and properly organized, the new displays are a must see and a perfect way to spend an afternoon!