In a preceding paragraph
mention was made of the discontent, that prevailed amongst the early
settlers at Scotchfort.
Besides the hardships and
inconvenience incidental to life in a new country, they were greatly
dissatisfied with the system of land tenure, that obtained upon the
Tracadie Estate, and grievously disappointed in the fact that the
expectations they had formed and the roseate dreams they had caressed when
leaving Scotland showed no signs of realization. Hence it was that many,
as already stated, took advantage of the first opportunity to leave the
neighborhood of Scotchfort, and go elsewhere in search of homes. This
movement began almost immediately after the coming of the first
immigrants, some of whom crossed over to Cape Breton Island, whilst others
not wishing to go so far from their kindred took up lands on Lots 37 and
38, in places contiguous to Scotchfort.
In a short time Lot 37
attracted a considerable population, and its steady growth seemed to
indicate that it would eventually surpass in importance the original
settlement. This fact did not escape the keen vision of Father MacEachern,
who was alive to every interest of his flock, and as the almost ruinous
condition of the primitive Chapel at Scotchfort made it imperative, that
it should be replaced by a larger and better edifice, he made up his mind
that the original site should be abandoned and the new Church erected at a
place more to the Eastward, where it would be convenient to a greater
number of people.
This plan however, did not
please all concerned.
Captain John MacDonald of
Tracadie was strongly opposed to it. He did not wish to have the Church
any farther from his home, and he had sufficient influence with his
tenants to bring many of them around to his way of thinking. Personal
considerations entered thus into the matter, and as often happens in such
cases, the interested persons were not sufficiently unselfish to
appreciate aright the real motives of the change. But Father MacEachern
was not a man to take hasty action. He patiently left the matter in
abeyance till the coming of Bishop Denaut of Quebec, who made a Pastoral
visitation of Prince Edward Island in the year 1803. His Lordship, when
seized of all the facts, saw the wisdom of Father MacEachern's contention
and accordingly gave it his entire approbation.
He forbade the further use
of the Chapel at Scotchfort, as a place of worship, and selected a site
for a new Church farther up the river and near the Eastern boundary of Lot
37. He directed Father MacEachern to commence building operations without
delay, and chose for Titular of the new Church the National Patron of
Scotland, St. Andrew the Apostle. In the following year the Church was
built and put in shape for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, and for
upwards of fifty years it served the people of the neighborhood as a house
of worship, and at the same time gave its name to the entire settlement.
[This Church was hauled down the river ice to Charlottetown in the month
of March 1864.]
A separate Mission was
subsequently established at Tracadie a little to the West of Scotchfort.
About the year 1838 ground was broken for a Church near the Head of
Tracadie Bay, on the Old Glenaladale Estate. This building having been in
use as a house of worship for upwards of sixty years was converted into a
Parochial Hall, while close by was raised an imposing edifice, the present
beautiful Church of St. Bonaventure.