LETTER: County history unique but not always good

There is often talk in the County that the history and historic heritage of the area  should be protected.

That the past is a big part of what makes this County unique and this is something to be proud of. This County is unique, there is no doubt about that.  A lot of the history is really interesting, and there are many stories to tell. I think Janet Kellogg and Suzanne Pasternak have done incredible justice to this with their research and passionate tales and songs.

I grew up in the County and also remember a lot of what took place here.  The greatest place ever was the Rickerton Castle, which was located beside what is known now as the Claramount. This was an incredible building, a real castle with hidden passages throughout that  you could sneak through after hours of dancing in the old converted boat house. We always had to be careful that we didn’t get caught by Huck Elsbury- always on guard! Some of my  best teenage hours were spent in this piece of history. The “County” tore it down, and decades later it is still one of the saddest losses I have ever known.

There was the Villeneuve Castle, too. It exploded years ago.

There were hotels like the Royal and the Globe and the Fireside, with live music and dancing every weekend.    People of all walks of life would come and everyone was welcome. You didn’t have to be in fancy clothes or have a lot of money. You didn’t have to own an SUV, when a rusty old pickup could get you there just as well.  Good- and sometimes wild and crazy- times were had by all. That is all just memories and history now.

There was a big beautiful Pentecostal Church on Main Street.  The only thing remaining from that piece of history is a sign that has been broken for a decade boldly advertising a Market that isn’t there. The County boasted some of the most beautiful lighthouses, most of which were torn down. Relics of days gone by, lost forever. The Black River Cheese Factory, where you could peer through the glass and watch the workers as the big paddles in the vats of cheese.You could get warm curd if you got there in time. Right here in our County, such a great treasure we had. We had a wind farm.  Something to be proud of. Something to show everyone that we here in the County care for our environment.

We had something to boast about, something to attract tourists and provide jobs for locals. We have destroyed a lot of history since I have lived here in P.E.C. County Council, the Mayor, MPPs, MPs are only human after all. In history, humans have always made poor decisions and big mistakes.

In the County,  history  making just continues. No one, in any part of the world, has ever built and then immediately torn down a wind farm. Three years ago we had a brand new wind farm. Today, the White Pines Wind Farm is being shredded for scrap.The hopes and memories, though brief,  of proudly being a host for wind power  in Prince Edward County are now history. That feeling of joy and pride have been replaced by feelings of loss and shame, just as the loss of our beloved Rickerton Castle caused so many people, so many  years ago.

The history of the County. Not always something to boast about.

Jen Ackerman