The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Farmers' Bank of Rustico

 

Father Belcourt

Animations - First Car

"Father Belcourt's Adventure"

Father Belcourt Brings the First Automobile to PEI

Jeremiah Peters was an eleven year old boy who witnessed Father Belcourt's steam operated carriage ride. He left the following account of what he saw in the form of an affidavit.

"...I quite distinctly remember Father George A. Belcourt, parish priest of Rustico from 1859 -1869. That I remember seeing the steam carriage operated by Father Belcourt. This would be about the year 1866. This carriage appeared to be an ordinary driving carriage propelled or powered by a small steam engine as a source of motive power.
-Oath declared by Jeremiah Peters, August 31, 1940"

Father Belcourt's Steam Powered Automobile

After hearing about a new form of transportation, Father Georges Antoine Belcourt wrote a letter to Mr. Aliza DeWare of New Jersey, USA expressing his interest in acquiring a carriage that would carry people without the use of horses. Soon he had purchased the steam powered vehicle. It was shipped to Charlottetown and then brought to Rustico by a team of horses. Father Belcourt's new one-seater vehicle was powered by a two-cylinder steam engine. The steam chamber was four feet tall and the motor was connected to the wheels by a chain. Even though it was simple with no suspension, no windshield and no roof, a steam-wagon was a great wonder in its day. In the Charlottetown Herald on December 19, 1865, it was reported that:

"A single seated steam wagon passed through the city on its way to its owner, Rev. Father Belcourt of Rustico. When we saw the wagon, it was drawn by horses, but it is furnished with a steam engine and can be propelled with steam. It is the first vehicle of its kind to be introduced on the Island"

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Sketch of an old steam car similar to the one that Father Belcourt bought in 1867.

The first car on PEI.

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