History on the move

Brett Poirier newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on July 7, 2014

Charles McKenzie holds one of the hundreds of bricks remaining from the old monument, dedicated to local ferry and rail workers, erected before the Confederation Bridge was constructed in Borden-Carleton.

Brett Poirier

The Borden-Carleton Marine Rail Historical Park has undergone major renovations in recent months.

The Borden Area Development Corporation has stripped bricks from the walkway of the monument that featured hundreds of names of those who worked on the ferry between P.E.I. and New Brunswick and for CN Rail in the area prior to the opening of the Confederation Bridge in 1997.

“I bought a brick there in 1999 or 2000 for me and my brother,” said Kevin Ranahan, a former ferry captain based in Borden-Carleton. “The memorial is a nice way to commemorate history on P.E.I.”

The waterfront park is dedicated to those in the former marine, iceboat and railroad industry.

Before the Confederation Bridge was opened, hundreds of people across the Island worked in industries that have since gone into the shadows.

“A few of the bricks began to deteriorate,” said Charles McKenzie, chairman of the Borden Area Development Corporation. “We have a plan in place to continue honouring those who bought a brick.”

Originally more than 800 names were part of the display.

A steel plaque is being constructed that will feature the names of everyone who purchased a brick.

“The plaque will last a long time,” said McKenzie. “We were starting to lose bricks, but this way the names should always remain visible.”

Over 15 years ago, local workers were given an option to buy a brick with their name on it that would be laid in a walkway.

Ranahan purchased two bricks, at a coast of $25 each.

He and hundreds of others plan to pick up their bricks as a keepsake.

“We have all the bricks laid out,” said McKenzie. “So far a several hundred people have come to retrieve theirs.”

Anyone looking for a specific brick can find it in the industrial parking lot across from Amherst Cove Consolidated School.

They will be there until late August.

Ranahan is looking forward to getting his brick, but has no plans for it yet.

“I don’t know what I’m doing with it, but I paid for it, so I’m taking it.”