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February 3, 2006
For immediate release

Museum Properties Designated as Heritage Places

Community and Cultural Affairs

Honourable Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs, today announced the designation of four additional buildings under the Heritage Places Protection Act. The heritage list now includes the Elmira Railway Museum, The Cannery at Basin Head Fisheries Museum, and the Orwell School and the Orwell Church at Orwell Corner Historic Village.

“I am extremely pleased to make this announcement today which will ensure that the heritage character of these buildings will be preserved for the benefit of all Islanders and visitors for generations to come,” said Minister MacFadyen. “These properties are an important part of the history and culture of the communities of Elmira, Kingsboro, Orwell and surrounding areas. These buildings have played a significant role in the Province’s transportation, economic, social, educational and religious history and continue to be fine examples of architecture.”

All four properties are part of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation provincial museum system. Dr. Satadal Dasgupta, Chair of the Museum and Heritage Foundation, noted that the organization has a significant role in preserving heritage.”These buildings are authentic parts of our museum sites and we are pleased to see the additional recognition and protection that designation brings.”

Built in 1911 at the eastern terminus of the Prince Edward Island Railway, the Elmira Railway Station House is an excellent example of early 20th century rural railway architecture. The Station House now serves as the Elmira Railway Museum and, since 1975, has been interpreting the province’s railway history.

The Cannery at Basin Head was built in 1941. While lobster canneries were at one time common in fishing communities throughout the province, very few survive today. The Cannery is a rare example of an industrial building dedicated to the fishing industry which had an important impact on the community’s economic and social and cultural life.

The Orwell School was built in 1895 and is a good example of classic one-room school architecture. The building, which has retained virtually all of its original character, occupies its original location and is the third school building to serve the community, the first school having been established in the area in 1825. This school has had a long and important association with the educational and social history of the community of Orwell and was used as a school until 1969.

The Orwell Church (formerly St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and later St. Andrew’s United Church) was built in 1861 by Scottish Presbyterians in the community. In 1891, an addition was added to accommodate a platform and pump organ. The congregation joined the United Church in the 1920s and held services until 1970 when churches in the area were being consolidated. The church is a fine example of functional church architectural design and is in excellent condition, retaining much of its original integrity.

Designation is the higher of two levels of recognition under the Heritage Places Protection Act's Register of Heritage Places. The goal of designation is to preserve and protect the places that stand as the most important symbols of the history of Prince Edward Island.

Places proposed for recognition are reviewed by the Heritage Places Advisory Board in light of criteria such as age, architectural style and historical associations. Places deemed to be of exceptional significance to the heritage of the Province may then be designated by the Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs. Designation provides ongoing legal protection for the heritage character of a property.

To date, seventeen properties have been designated under the provincial heritage legislation. Other designated heritage places include Government House, The Customs House, J. Angus MacLean Building, Hon. George Coles Building, and Province House in Charlottetown, The Yeo House in Port Hill, the Atwell House in Clyde River, Kings County Court House, Alberton Courthouse Museum, D.E. Clarke’s General Store in Orwell, Summerside Law Courts, the Doucet House in Rustico and Princetown United Church, Malpeque. For listings of recognized Prince Edward Island heritage places, as well as those listed from across the country, visit

Media Contact: Island Information Service
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