Fonds MHCA0010 - City of Summerside fonds

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City of Summerside fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Architectural drawing

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds

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  • 1897-1993, Photocopied [197-] (Creation)
    City of Summerside

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1.3 m of textual records
5 photographs
5 blueprints

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City of Summerside

Administrative history

The Town of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was incorporated in 1875 under a general act of the Legislature which allowed limited self-government to rising towns and villages. This followed an 1858 colonial statute which authorized Summerside property owners to elect 7 persons to act as assessors and fire wardens, and a further move towards municipal status in 1861 which increased the assessors' powers of collection and authorized wardens to formulate bylaws for the better government of the village. In 1873 Summerside had become the County town of Prince County.

The wardens elected under the 1875 act were David Rogers, John M. Gaffney, Robert McC. Stavert, Thomas Crabbe, and John R. Calhoun. They immediately drafted bylaws re. police, streets and roads, borrowing of money and issuing of debentures. Experiencing some difficulty in obtaining the required approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for some of these bylaws, the town turned its attention to obtaining a separate act of incorporation. Received on 18 April 1877, incorporation broadened taxation and borrowing powers but mostly consolidated statutes, local ordinances, and administrative tradition of the previous 20 years.

Under the new act a chairman and six councillors were to be elected annually to conduct all fiscal, prudential, and municipal affairs with the exception of the powers of the Stipendiary Magistrate. Various officials were to be appointed such as a town clerk, auditors, treasurer, marshal, constables, surveyors of roads, etc. The town clerk was to take and keep minutes and to receive all taxes, assessments, fines, penalties, etc. which would then be turned over to the treasurer and to publish the accounts annually.

The Council was empowered to issue all manner of licenses and to levy any necessary taxes upon real estate, personal property, and income. In return town government was responsible for all areas of municipal life including the market, wharves, streets and roads, public parks, fire prevention, street lighting, sanitation and public health. They were to establish a police force and to provide law and order including the control of vice and public nuisance.

The town meetings were held in various halls until 1885 when the new Market House on the corner of First and Central Streets doubled as a civic building. In 1915, a new brick and stone structure on Summer Street became the location of the town departments. When it burned in 1955, the Town council and its administrative offices found a home in the former Post Office constructed in 1886 on Summer Street and still occupies those premises. The town officially became a city in 1995 after the amalgamation with the adjacent communities of St. Eleanors and Wilmot.

Custodial history

The town generated the items and files in the performance of its duties and daily course of business. They were given to the MacNaught History Centre and Archives to form part of the resources available to local researchers.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of papers and publications which constituted part of an historical file at the offices of the City of Summerside. Included are blueprints of the Summerside water and sewerage systems 1897, blueprints and specifications of the standpipe 1907, and a 1908 Water Commissioners report. The fonds also contains 5 photographs of the town, a 1977 Summerside Centennial booklet, and a 1992 report on the town's capacity to provide services to new development. Miscellaneous papers deal with the following topics: the Town Hall building; Allan Rankin's history book; a 1959 agreement between the Town and Joseph Brophy, Town Manager; the town crest; official opening of the Recreation Centre in 1974; proposed ferry service between Port du Chene and Summerside; and assorted undated papers about the town's history.

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  • English

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