The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Acadians on PEI

 

Period     1758-1860

Rustico

Rustico's First Church

The residents of Rustico in 1792 set out to build a small church dedicated to St. Augustine. It was thirty by twenty-five feet and built of logs mortised together. In 1806, it was replaced by a second church, 45 ft x 35 ft., built close to the site of the present one.

Rustico 1774

In Patrick M. Robert's Book "A Tour Through Part of the North Provinces of America", he describes the Rustico of 1774.

"Here, at Little Rustico, is a settlement and a good deal of clear land, with good grazing for cattle; here is also a pretty good harbour, and little fishing shallops, but not water for any large vessel. Here I saw very good turnip, and cabbages. From this to Great Rustico, we travelled about six miles along a sandy flat shore; here is a tolerable good harbour for small vessels, a good deal of settlers, mostly French, and a considerable fishery carried on"

First Island Acadian Teacher - François Buote

Born at Rustico in 1795, he took up teaching as a career and is considered to be the first Acadian teacher on the Island. After Rustico(1815-1819), he taught in Miscouche(1819-1835) and then in Tignish where he retired around 1857.

Rustico Settlement 1768 Census

It is said that Louis Hache Gallant was the first to settle in Rustico c. 1763. Another family headed by a patriarch known as Jean Pitre was enumerated in the census of 1768, making a total of five families in Rustico at that time for a tally of twenty-five individuals including five men, five women, five girls and ten boys. All were reported to have been involved in the fishery with 2 vessels (called shallops) among them.

The Pitre name was eventually anglicized to Peters, and Jean Pitre is the ancestor of all present-day Peters in the community of Rustico. Eventually all nine of Louis Gallant's brothers joined him at Rustico. Louis had a home on the banks of present day Chapel Creek which was then known as Rivière à Louis in his honour.

Early Families of Rustico - 1798 Census

  • 12 Gallant families
  • 6 Martin families
  • 5 Pitre families (Jean Baptiste and four married sons)
  • 3 Doiron families (Alexis Doiron and 2 married sons)
  • 2 Blanchard families (brothers)
  • 3 Doucet families
  • 1 Chiasson family
  • 1 Muise family (a widow, daughter of Alexis Doiron)
  • 1 LeBrun family(married to daughter of Alexis)
  • 1 Gaudet family
  • 1 Gautreau family
  • 1 Buote family
  • 1 Pineau family
  • 1 LeClair family
  • 1 Blaquiere family
  • 1 Gauthier family

Many of the families had recently immigrated from the French Island of Miquelon.

Early Acadian Religious Centre

Rustico was also the religious centre for the Roman Catholic Church on PEI between 1835 and 1849, a fact that bolstered the Acadian people of the region, who were known as devoted Roman Catholics committed to spiritual life.

In 1834, plans were drawn up for a new church in Rustico to replace the one built in 1806. The dimensions were to be 90 ft. x 50 ft. with a massive 80 foot tower. St Augustine's church held its first mass in 1838 before the interior was completed.

First Island Acadian Lawyer - Stanislaus Blanchard.

Born at Rustico in 1854, he was admitted to the Bar on November 1, 1882. He became one of the leading lawyers in Charlottetown and in 1905 was appointed Judge of the County Court of Kings County.

Drawing of the first Church on PEI at Rustico

First Church

Photo of  the first Acadian teacher on the Island - Francois Buote

Francois Buote

Illustration of St. Augustine's Church. 1880, Meecham's Atlas.

Meacham's Atlas sketch of St. Agustine's Church, 1880.

Colour photo of St. Augustine's Church on display in museum

Colour photo of St. Augustine's Church

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