The Community of Indian River History

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Taken from the "History of Indian River"
1973 Centennial
Written by the Indian River Women's Institute
Hilda Ramsay, Chairman
Reta Mann, Secretary

The community of Indian River received its name from the number of Mi'kmaq Indians who made its tidal flats and adjoining low hills their homes from the earliest days. Indian River, a small but beautiful stream, is on the northeastern side of Richmond Bay, now known as Malpeque Bay. The stream flows past Tuplin's Mill, under the mill bridge on the Malpeque Road, through the woods, under the Indian River bridge, through fields into Chinchester Cove, and on into Richmond (Malpeque Bay). It was along this river that the Indians camped.

The early Mi'kmaq Indians lived in wigwams (or camps) along the banks of the river and near the woods where they could hunt and fish. History tells us that the woods and waters teemed with game and fish. The Indians hunted with bows, arrows and spears made of wood tipped with bone or stone. Stories are told in our community of how the Mi'kmaq fought the Malecites and Mohawks on the banks of the Indian river.

One of the earliest proprietors or landowners of our lot was Colonel Stewart. The situation of having absentee landlords made life very difficult for the settlers until it was removed in 1873.

In later years of the 18th century and early years of the 19th century, vessels arrived from Scotland bringing settlers among whom were the MacLellans, MacDougalls, MacKinnons, MacDonalds, Morrisons, Camerons, MacIntyres, Gillises, and MacNeilles. These settlers were met in Charlottetown and sent westward by boat to Malpeque and then by canoe to Indian River.

Indian River wasn't only to be the homes of the Mi'kmaq and Scottish settlers, for in the early 1800's settlers such as the Noonans, Hickeys, and Sheas settled here from Ireland. Many of them came out following the Potato Famine in Ireland.

Other books about Indian River are:

Try The Goose Grease!
Written and Illustrated by Mary Isabel Tuplin
ISBN 0-9693103-3-1
Dolly Tuplin (nee Mary Isabel MacDonald, 1894-1975), was the wife of Fred Tuplin, of Indian River, P.E.I., and lived all her married life at Tuplin's Mill, a lovely spot where a water wheel ran a flour mill and a saw mill. She was a graduate from the Prince Edward Island Hospital, and nursed in Massachusetts, Los Angeles, and Montreal as well as in P.E.I. She wove her novel, "Try The Goose Grease" around the people who captured her heart in the rural areas of P.E.I. Of the background for the novel she wrote: "Almost all the incidents described were my own experiences. A few were those of other nurses."

Tuplin Mill
The Tuplin Mill was a busy center of activity in Indian River. Besides the mill, the mill pond was perfect for skating, swiming and fishing. Ice was cut from the pond in the winter and stored under sawdust to be used in cold boxes in the summer. Dylan Cameron, the 10 year old grandson of Dave and Beth Smith, did his history project on the Tuplin Mill in 2010.

Click hear to see the history of Tuplin Mill