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Province house, a souvenir of Prince Edward Island history

Prince Edward Island History; The Birthplace of Canada and Anne of Green Gables!

Like other Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island history has deeper roots in the past of Canada. From the first days Europeans explored the eastern coasts of Canada, Prince Edward Island had been a point of interest to them.

But the length is not the only noteworthy point about Prince Edward Island’s history. One of the most defining moments of Canada’s history, if not the most defining moment, has happened in Prince Edward Island. In 1864, in Charlottetown. If you want to know more about this and other important moments of Prince Edward Island history, stick around, you will learn about them all soon enough!

Prince Edward Island History timeline

Prince Edward Island’s history goes back to when the indigenous people occupied the area, and not surprisingly, they did for thousands of years. In the 16th century, Jacque Cartier explored the island.

In the following centuries, Prince Edward Island had been a part of Acadia, just like New Brunswick, so everything that we know and talked about in other articles applies to Prince Edward Island too. When Acadia was captured, many Acadians fled to Prince Edward Island. This made the British capture this island and deport all the Acadians in 1758. They named the Island St. John, a name that did not last long.

But the most important moment in Prince Edward Island history happened in 1864, when Fathers of Canada had a meeting in Charlottetown, debating how to unify Canada. Many call this meeting the birth of Canada, and Charlottetown could be called the birthplace of Canada.

In the table below, you can read about the significant events of Prince Edward Island’s history.

Important events and dates in Prince Edward Island history
Before the 16th centuryIndigenous people occupied the Island, and it was a part of Mi’kmaq lands.
1534Jacque Cartier discovered the Island.
1603The Island was claimed for France by Samuel Champlain, being called Ile-St-Jean.
1720After losing Acadia to the British, France decided to populate Ile-St-Jean, Port La Joye was established.
1745The British seized the French colonies.
1748The French regained their colonies.
1758The British captured the Island, deporting the French people (Many Acadians had fled there during the Expulsion of Acadians). The Island was renamed St. John Island.
1763Treaty of Paris, the Island along with other French colonies was ceded to the British, under the governance of Nova Scotia.
1764The earliest survey of North America was done by Samuel Holland.
1765Charlottetown became the capital of the colony.
1769The Island separated from Nova Scotia and acquired its first governor.
1799Simply because there were too many items named St. John (Colonies, Rivers, etc.), the Island was renamed as Prince Edward Island.
1864“Fathers of Canada” had their meeting in Charlottetown to discuss the unification of Canada.
1873Prince Edward Island joined Confederation as a province.
1908Lucy Maud Montgomery, a famous writer born in Prince Edward Island, published Anne of Green Gables.
1922Princes Edward Island gave women the right to vote.

As you read above, Prince Edward Island History is not only about events of the past, but about moments that their effects are still alive in our everyday life. For example, the famous book series, Anne of Green Gables, inspired by which many movies and series are made, was written in Prince Edward Island.

Historical Sites of Prince Edward Island

In the next part, we learn about some historical sites in the province, which played significant key roles throughout Prince Edward Island history.

Province House

Province House is the place where the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has held its meetings since 1847. The most notable moment for this national historic site, designated in 1973, happened in 1864 when a conference was held there by the Fathers of Confederation to discuss the unification of provinces  and leave an everlasting mark in Prince Edward Island history, along with Canada’s.

Province House, Charlottetown, 2005, a token of Prince Edward Island history

Province House, Charlottetown, 2005

A postcard of Province House, 1910s

A postcard of Province House, 1910s

Green Gables Heritage Place

Anne of Green Gables is not only known through Prince Edward Island history, but it is well known among many female teenagers in the world. She is a very famous character from a series carrying the same name, based upon books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Green Gables Heritage Place was the setting for her well-known stories. After she published her novels, the attraction to the estate increased; in 1936, the Government purchased it and preserved it as we see it today.

Green Gable House, 2014, a remainder of Prince Edward Island history

Green Gable House, 2014

Green Gable House, 2006, a souvenir of Prince Edward Island history

Green Gable House, 2006

Last Words on Prince Edward Island History

Prince Edward Island history is connected with Canada’s history and Acadia’s. Who would have thought this relatively small Island and province holds this much importance in Canada history? Or who would have thought that books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery would become this famous throughout time? Maybe what we do today in our lives will be a big boom in the future; who knows?

Here we get to the end of our article on Prince Edward Island history; hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

If you are interested in other provinces’ history, check out other articles about them, and leave your feedback. We would be glad to know your opinion, anytime.

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