Wood Islands woman finds notes from 19th century on her barn's walls

·3 min read
'I couldn't believe how old it was,' Trish Carter says. (Submitted by Trish Carter - image credit)
'I couldn't believe how old it was,' Trish Carter says. (Submitted by Trish Carter - image credit)

Trish Carter feels as if she's reliving history in her barn in Wood Islands, P.E.I., after discovering notes on its walls, which date back as far as 1887.

Carter moved to P.E.I. from Ontario last year, after seeing the opportunity to own a farm. She said it's been a lifelong dream for her and her husband.

"We have always loved the Island," she said. "A lot of life changes, burned out from working in the hospital, getting sick, we just really re-assessed our life. I love looking at real estate and this farm came on the market and it had every checkbox of our dreams."

The couple bought the farm online without seeing it in person, Carter said.

"It was a wonderful video our realtor sent and we [thought] 'OK, let's go on an adventure.' It's been the most amazing decision we've ever made. It's just perfect out here."

'Walking through history'

Carter said the farm had been used by several owners before they bought it. She had seen writing on the barn's walls which detailed information about animals at the farm and storms that happened.

"There's a lot of old artifacts in the barn," she said. "On the walls, there are several different writings about when a storm hit. We had thought the oldest one was from like 1937."

It's like you're walking through history. Every wall, you find a note. It's amazing. — Trish Carter

However, that wasn't the oldest note.

"Couple of weeks ago we bought our first horse for the kids, and we were converting one area of the barn we really hadn't done much work in yet. On one of the beams, we found these notes going back to 1887 about which horse had been foaled there," she said.

"I couldn't believe how old it was. This has to be one of the original barns in the area when it was settled."

Submitted by Trisha Carter
Submitted by Trisha Carter

She hopes to keep the barn in good condition for future generations, as previous owners did.

"It's going to be here for generations to come, and it's just fabulous to have such a piece of history on our property," Carter said.

Her goal this spring is to take photographs and document all the notes in the barn. She said she has found about 15 to 20 notes spanning from 1887 to 1950.

"It's like you're walking through history. Every wall, you find a note. It's amazing," she said.

The farm got Carter interested in learning about the history of the area, she said.

"I do have some history books now, of the area. There's a lot of MacMillans in the area. For the past little bit, I've been digging through the books."

Carter hopes to learn more of her farm, and barn's history. For now, she said she will continue the trend of leaving notes on the barn's walls.

"As we're building and fixing the barn, we're actually leaving notes ourselves as well."

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