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History

Georgetown Historic Inn

A Georgetown Landmark

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Georgetown Historic Inn previous uses:

  • General Store, Bank, Post Office, Masonic Lodge, Hardware Store, Inn
  • 1840 current Georgetown Historic Inn was built as a residence for Honourable Joseph Wightman, shipbuilder and politician
    • Classic Revival Style:
      • Two and one-half storey with a high gable pitch roof
      • Simple window mouldings
      • Corner plasters
      • Front verandah
      • Eave returns
      • Decorative frieze moulding design above and below second story on the gable ends
    • 1924 – 1944
      • Vacant
      • Warehousing (Lester Lavers)
    • 1944
      • Purchased (Raymond Soloman)
    • 1946 – 1979
      • Solomon’s Hardware Store
    • 1979 – 1989
      • Nicholson’s Hardware Store
    • 1995 – 2003
      • Georgetown Inn
      • Ken and Joan Taylor
    • 2003
      • Recognized: Heritage Places Protection Act
      • Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs
    • 2003 – 2008
      • Georgetown Inn
      • Don Taylor and Arlene Smith
    • 2008 – 2014
      • Georgetown Inn
      • Dawn Sadoway and Joel Short
    • 2014 – Present
      • Georgetown Historic Inn and Three Rivers Dining
      • Rhonda and Aubrey Brown

Rhonda has family in Montague, PE; Pictou County, NS; and Gaspe, PQ.  Aubrey is from St. John’s, NL.

Joseph Wightman (Canadian politician)

joseph-wightmanJoseph Wightman (1806 – February 6, 1887) was a Scottish-born farmer, merchant and political figure on Prince Edward Island. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1838 to 1839 and from 1843 to 1862 and from 1867 to 1874 and in the Legislative Council of Prince Edward Island from 1874 to 1882 as a Liberal.

He was born in Dumfriesshire, the son of John Wightman and Margaret Ray Armstrong, and was educated in Scotland, attending Lockerby Academy. He came to Prince Edward Island with his family in 1823. The property on which they settled was originally leased from Sir James Montgomery but the family purchased the land in 1857. Besides farming and raising livestock, Wightman was also involved in fishing and shipbuilding. His goods were exported to England and he also traded with American fisherman. Wightman married Margaret McDonald in 1838. He was a justice of the peace and served in the militia, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Wightman also served as High Sheriff for Kings County. He was speaker for the assembly from 1867 to 1870 and in 1872. He also served as president for the legislative council in 1876 and 1877. Wightman was a minister without portfolio in the province’s Executive Council from 1854 to 1859 and from 1879 to 1882. Wightman retired from politics in 1882 due to health problems. He died in Lower Montague in 1887. His daughter Mary Armstrong married James R. McLean. 

Town of Georgetown

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“Originally designed to serve as the capital centre for Kings County”

Water, rail and roads have connected Georgetown to Island communities, the Maritimes and the Atlantic.  All routes start and terminate in Georgetown.

  • Georgetown was home of Mi’kmaq Nation
    • The Mi’kmaq name for Georgetown was “Samkook” ” meaning “Sandy Shore”
    • Mi’kmaq called themselves “Epegoitnag”
    • Area was dominated by marine ocean and rivers, pine forest, fish, wild games, fruit, berries, nuts
  • 1731
    • Louis XV awarded Jean Pierre Roma a proprietary grant to the Three Rivers Region coast drained by the Brudenell, Montague, Cardigan Rivers
  • 1732
    • Area across from Georgetown on the Brudenell Point was settled by Acadians
    • Jean Pierre Roma arrived by ship with 100 crew who fed and supported the French military Fortress Louisbourg by raising food
  • 1745
    • New England warship devastates the de Roma settlement and ends the Islands first European entrepreneurial venture
    • Immigration to the area by Acadians ceases. One historian wrote: “the immigrant wisely preferred the crown to a Lord Superior”.
  • 1751
    • Colonel Franquet, a military engineer, issues an accolade attached to good, large harbours of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
    • It would “afford good anchorage to the entire navy of the nation”
  • 1755
    • A new settlement is established in the Three Rivers area
  • 1758
    • The Island, St. Jean is ceded to Great Britain
    • Samuel Holland commissioned as surveyor general
    • Holland selects Georgetown, “ in the heart of the Three Rivers area” as the best harbour for the county capital
  • 1768
    • Charles Morris, chief surveyor, laid out the Town of Georgetown in a grid pattern, following the plan for Charlottetown.
  • 1770
    • Governor Walter Patterson pressed for and obtained adequate roads to Georgetown.
  • 1830
    • Georgetown begins to grow in tune with other settlements on Prince Edward Island
  • 1831
    • 63 passengers on the ship “Stoffa” arrive  in Georgetown from Greenrock, Scotland
    • 39 passengers on the ship “Resolution” arrive from Plymouth, England
    • Post Office opens in Georgetown
    • Mail arrives weekly from Charlottetown by horseback
  • 1839
    • Ferry service from Georgetown to Pictou County, Nova Scotia is established
  • 1840’s
    • Georgetown is a major shipping point for P.E.I.
  • 1850 – 1870
    • Georgetown shipyards were manufacturing at their peak
  • 1871
    • Georgetown’s population peaks at 1,250 persons
  • 1886
    • Cornerstone of existing Courthouse is laid to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
  • 1917
    • Ferry service from Georgetown to Pictou County, Nova Scotia is discontinued