Jamie W.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Provincial Heritage Fair

Hillsborough Bridge

This project describes how a small Island built a much needed bridge between Charlottetown and Southport. It also describes how it impacted the daily life of Islanders during the creation of the bridge and life after.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I have learned many interesting things while researching my project. A few of the main topics were: the bridge spans were reused from the Miramichi Bridge, Nova Scotia, the men (sandhogs) worked in dangerous working inside the caissons, and the myth about the night watchmen, Ambrose Atkins.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Important lessons that I have learned is how the bridge changed the way of life for all Islanders. It improved trade, transportation and living for all. I have also learned that through hard work and determination this bridge brought the Island together and it was a structure that made Islanders proud.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

It is hard to believe that the Hillsborough Bridge was created without the use of our modern day technology and machinery. Work was dangerous and hard, however, they knew the impact the bridge was going to make for the Island. In 1901, you could only cross the Hillsborough River by ferry which was powered by a team of horses or by horse-drawn sleighs in the winter. When I was younger, I would ask many questions about the original piers you can see out in the water. Currently, when I cross the Hillsborough Bridge, I do think of the creation of the bridge and still wonder, "It is unbelievable to think how it was built!"