The Community of Spring Valley History

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THE BLACK HORSE



In 1869, the community of Spring Valley met to vote on a request from Thomas Tuplin to allow him to open a tavern in his lodge at the crossroads of the Old Town Road and the Irishtown Road. This procedure was in accordance with the "Scott Act" which dealt with the opening of such taverns. Permission was granted and Mr. Tuplin named his tavern "The Black Horse" after a black stallion that he owned.

In 1880 Mr. Tuplin gave up the business and moved to Indian River where he started a mill. The tavern was taken over by a Mr. Underhill who operated the tavern for another ten years. Mr. Underhill died and it was up to his wife and family to continue. A man wrongfully got control of the tavern and property and forced the family to move out. His plans were to tear down the tavern and use the salvaged wood to build a house.

The kindly neighbors knew the wrong that was done to Mrs. Underhill and her family so they took matters into their own hands and put a torch to the tavern. When he returned the next morning, he found only ashes.

The crossroads is still called the Black Horse Corner, and in 1964 a marker depicting a noble black stallion was erected by men of the community to mark the spot where once stood a tavern for people to rest on their way to Princetown via the Old Town Road.

A picnic area is maintained by the community and the Women's Institute at this site where many tourists stop for a lunch and a rest.



THE SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY HALL

The Community Hall is our only public building in Spring Valley. It is the focal point for all social activities on the community...

It opened as far back as 1895 and was built with a group of shareholders of the community who paid $5.00 a share. This share gave the individual a right to a vote when decisions had to be made regarding any business decisions of the hall. The shares could be obtained by cash, labour or contributing building materials. Five Trustees were in charge of the hall and property. One new trustee was appointed each year who replaced the one who had the longest term of office.

In 1949, a kitchen was added to the building and in 1980, the hall ceased to be a co-operative and the name was changed to Spring Valley Community Hall and now is called the Community Center.

Every kind of event was held there but over the years the kind of event changed with the passing years. Now it is used for Women's Institute meetings, showers, anniversaries, card parties, wedding receptions, Women's Institute conventions, concerts, plays, fund raiser suppers, and Canada Day Celebrations.

On the walls are Rural Beautification Awards won by the community and the Honour Rolls of the veterans of World War I and World War II.

The community has a sense of pride in their hall and when the call comes for something there to be repaired or maintained, there is always someone to get the job done.



SOME HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF SPRING VALLEY
  • 1836-Glebe Lands set aside in each lot for schools and churches was located in Spring Valley and bordered on the Old Town Road. An ad was placed in the P.E.I. Times saying that on July 2, 1836 all Glebes in Prince County were to be sold at St. Eleanors Court House. The 130 acres was divided into 3 equal parts and bought by three Malpeque men.
  • 1840-The first school "Fermoy School" was built and was paid for by the rate payers of the community.
  • 1866 - The last bear in Spring Valley was shot by Mr.John Champion.
  • 1869 - Mr.Tuplin was given permission to keep a tavern at Black Horse Corner.
  • 1890 - The name of the community was changed from Fermoy to Spring Valley.
  • 1897 - Spring Valley had its own post office.
  • 1910 - The first baseball team organized in the community.
  • 1935 - The Spring Valley W.I. was organized.
  • 1953 - Mr.Jim MacNeill was recognized as Maritime Potato King.
  • 1956 - Ira Champion brought the first television to Spring Valley.
  • 1975 - Spring Valley School closed. Alice Lockhart was the last teacher.
  • 1980 - The community won first prize for Community Improvement and Litter Control.
  • 1984 - The Spring Valley Historical Society printed a history of the community.



WASHWOOL CORNER IN SPRING VALLEY

Washwool Corner is a name quite familiar to the residents of Spring Valley area.This refers to the area at the corner of the Ramsay Road, near the brook. Many years ago,the area farmers gathered in summer near this brook to wash their year's supply of wool.

The spot became a friendly gathering place and the work turned into a social time rather than a time of work. The wool when it was washed was taken to Johnson's Mill in Long River to be carded into rolls before it was taken home to be spun into yarn and later knit or woven into warm garments.

The coming of the woolen mills in certain parts of the province made the work of washing wool no longer necessary. Over time the gatherings at Washwool Corner disappeared.



BEAR HOLLOW IN SPRING VALLEY

On Nov.27, 1866 William Champion of Spring Valley set out to hunt foxes in the Ramsay woods in the Baltic. This was a common sport as foxes were a nuisance to farmers and their pelts were worth two to three dollars.

William was carrying an axe. He came across what looked to be a fox hole. He poked into it with the axe handle and roused a huge bear! William threw down the axe and ran for home. He returned a short time later with his father John Champion . They were both armed with shot guns. Several shots were fired before the animal was killed.

Neighbours came in sleds to see the huge carcass. Some thought he crossed on the ice from the mainland. The men skinned the bear and the hams were sold in Summerside.

Some verses about this story" were composed by Amy Bryanton for the Spring Valley History.