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New monument commemorates buildings by first settlers in Brackley

Paul Jenkins, Shirley Prowse and Robert Bryenton are shown at the new granite and bronze monument commemorating the first buildings to be erected in the Brackley area in the 1800s. Missing from the photo is Alta Acorn.
Paul Jenkins, Shirley Prowse and Robert Bryenton are shown at the new granite and bronze monument commemorating the first buildings to be erected in the Brackley area in the 1800s. Missing from the photo is Alta Acorn. - Katherine Hunt
BRACKLEY, P.E.I. —

The location of the post office boxes on the Brackley Point road is much more than just a spot to get mail.

It is where the first settlers of the Brackley area built a school and church for the community.

Although the buildings were later torn down, there is now a granite monument with a bronze plaque to commemorate the historical site.

“It’s nice to know what was there, not only for the people who have gone by or passed, but for the younger people to know the history of their community,” said Shirley Prowse, one of the members of the memorial committee to get the monument.

People can celebrate the history of the former buildings in the Brackley area by going to a ceremony at the monument on July 1 at 10:30 a.m. before Canada Day celebrations begin.

The monument was installed last November after the efforts of the committee, which included Prowse, Paul Jenkins, Robert Bryenton and Alta Acorn. The Brackley council helped fund the project.

Each of the committee members attended the church growing up, making the project close to their hearts.

“I think it’s nice to know the history of your community, and if we don’t preserve it there may not be many left who remember.”

- Shirley Prowse

“I think it’s nice to know the history of your community, and if we don’t preserve it there may not be many left who remember,” said Prowse.

The original school was built on the same spot as the monument in 1834 by the first settlers of Brackley.

“There was over 20 working farms back in the early 1800s in Brackley, and they’re all family farms. And most of them went to church here and, of course, all their kids in the community went to Brackley school,” said Jenkins.

A new school was built in 1926 across the street to accommodate more students, and the first school became a community hall where families gathered for social events and more.

“I do remember the old hall when I was going to school and my father would have gone to the original school,” said Prowse.

In 1863, the Brackley United Church was built on additional land purchased by John and Susan Bryenton, who are Robert’s ancestors.

It was decommissioned in 1998 when a new centralized United Church was built in South Wiltshire. The building was also used as a community centre until it was removed from the property.

The project to get the monument to commemorate the buildings took roughly two years.

“I think we have a pretty good final result here,” said Jenkins.

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