Glenaladale News clippings


46° 21' 21.996" N, 62° 58' 37.128" W


The Weekly Examiner and Island Argus. November 21,1884.


Splendid New Farm Buildings.

          On the eastern shore of Bedford Day is picturesquely situated the residence of John Archibald Macdonald Esq. It bears the name "Glenaladale" in honor of Captain John Macdonald, the Laird, or proprietor of an estate which yet bears the same name in Scotland.

          The Glenaladale Macdonalds emigrated to this Province in the year 1772 and were landed from the ship Alexander on the shores of the Hillsboro River near Tracadie. The scheme of emigration from Inverness-shire, and the settlement of two hundred and ten hardy Scotsmen in Tracadie, was set on foot by Capt. John Macdonald. The scheme was expensive and so involved the Scottish estate of Glenaladale, that Capt. Macdonald was compelled to follow his emigrants and cast in his lot with them in the province, then called the Island of St. John. It may be partly to perpetuate the memory of the Macdonalds of Glenaladale that Mr. W.C. Macdonald, the well-known philanthropist and capitalist of Montreal, a descendant of Macdonald of Glenaladale, and a native of Tracadie, has erected the splendid mansion and stately stock building which adorn the eastern shore of Bedford Bay. These buildings are almost complete, and a brief description of them may be of interest to our readers.

          The dwelling house is of brick, fifty feet square, two stories high with a mansard, slated roof. It is finished from cellar to garret in the finest style of carpentry, and is acknowledged to be one of the finest country residences in the Province. The different apartments of the cellar have concrete floors, are conveniently arranged, clearly lighted and well ventilated. The first floor is divided into five apartments with a spacious hall running the entire length of the building. The second floor is divided into seven apartments with an L shaped hall and the third is broken into apartments for the accommodation of servants.

          The different apartments (rooms) of the residence are splendidly proportioned, artistically painted and elegantly furnished. In the front of the dwelling is a verandah ten feet wide, finished in the most modern style of architecture. The windows are protected by venetian shutters of neat design, while the doors are well proportioned, of good pattern and well made. Though not by any means picturesque, the dwelling presents a fine appearance and has every external evidence of the internal comforts which it affords.

          The barn is situated north of the dwelling and is connected with it by a walk 300 feet long, seven feet broad and about thirteen feet high. The walk, in case of fire, can be detached from either end.

          In dimensions, the barn is two hundred and seventy-seven and one half feet long, fifty-two feet broad except in the centre, where it is seventy-six feet broad and about fifty-six feet high. It is divided into various departments for stock raising purposes. The south side of the western division is set aside for poultry and pigs, while the northern side is reserved for a wood room. The poultry house in the southwest end of the building is divided into separate apartments for hens, turkeys, geese etc. Each apartment has a spacious yard adjoining and altogether the fowls have most comfortable and convenient quarters. Further on, toward the centre of the building, on the south side are a number of pig bins, fitted with the conveniences of modern piggeries which afford the porker every comfort in life. These bins also have yards adjoining, where the Berk or York may desport at leisure.

          The poultry house, ice house, boiler room, cool room and pig bins take up the western division of the barn and they are situated to give every advantage to the feeder and his stock.

          In the centre of the great barn is a large warehouse for the storage of farming implements etc. This apartment is in dimensions seventy-six by forty-two feet and has a cellar nine feet deep. The eastern division of the first flat of the barn is set aside for horses and cattle. It contains twenty cow stalls, eight box stalls for brood mares and seven ordinary horse stalls. In the extreme eastern end is the sheep house, fifty-two by twenty-seven feet—large enough to shelter Mr. Macdonalds entire flock. The second story of this building is one unbroken department for the storage of grain. Its walls are sixteen feet high, and the roof rises twenty-six feet, having rafters forty feet long. A drive ramp on the western end connects it with the ground, thus teams can be driven up and their loads deposited on the barn loft without any difficulty. Four large lookouts and five ventilators are placed at suitable distances on the roof.  Altogether the large wooden structure presents a grand appearance.  When completed it will have an efficient system of waterworks, will be fitted with all other modern conveniences for stock raising and will, without doubt, be the finest barn in the Maritime Provinces and one of the finest in the Dominion of Canada.

          The plans were drawn by Messrs Hutchinson & Steel of Montreal and the buildings were erected under the supervision of Mr. James Hodgson of this city. The

bricklaying of the dwelling was done by Messrs Jenkins and Duffy also of Charlottetown, and they performed their work in first-class style.

          Mr. MacDonald is to be congratulated on his elegant premises at Glenaladale.




The Patriot, Thursday, Aug. 18th, 1887.


The tea held yesterday at Tracadie was a complete success. There must have been about 5000 people present. A great number went from Charlottetown, and all appear to have enjoyed the occasion thoroughly. The tables were spread in the barn of Mr. John McDonald, a monster structure about 200 ft. long. Mr. McDonald also owns a fine brick residence, which was greatly admired by the visitors. The tea passed off very quietly, the usual games and amusements were provided, and the best of humor was apparent everywhere. The tea realized something in the neighborhood of $1000.





The Daily Examiner, Thursday August 18, 1887


The Tracadie Tea.


A Splendid Day, and the Largest Gathering of the Season.

Whether it was the delightful weather, or the popularity of Father McIntyre, or the good reputation of the Tracadie people, or the desire to see the big barn, or all combined;-certain it was that an unusually large number of persons were induced to attend the tea party held yesterday on the beautiful grounds of McDonald of Glenaladale.  It is computed that from four to five thousand were present, including men prominent in church and state, and women in every degree of beauty and fashion. Though an election is not now pending, both representatives of the county in the House of Commons, were there,-the senior to note (and doubtless report to an assembled parliament) the property apparent in the fine horses, fine carriages, and well-dressed people; and the junior to expatiate on the beauties and wonders of the cakes and distribute to the highest bidders.  Mr. Ferguson was there, too, enfamille, enjoying the pleasure of seeing his untaxed constituents delighting themselves, and many patronized the merry-go-round – while his opponent in the political field, familiarly and lovingly known as Donald Allan “tript the light fantastic toe,” and won smiles and admiration from the lasses assembled to share the dance in the Big Barn.  Many disported themselves, all day long, in the dancing boothe - while some applied themselves all too sedulously to the guzzling of Molson ale, which was found on tap in some of the tents hard by.  The “tea” proper, was not, however, forgotten.  Thousands refreshed the inner man, and women, by partaking of the excellent viands prepared by the Tea Party Committee and the receipts must have fully justified the highest anticipations.  Cake for the occasion was for the most part, supplied by the City Steam Bakery and reflected credit upon Mr. Quirk’s first-class home manufactory.


was, however, the chief feature and the chief topic of conversation.  It is one of the largest and finest – if not the largest finest – barn in all Canada.  Its length is two hundred and seventy seven feet; its width fifty-two feet, with a manure-house extending from the north side seventy-five feet.

In one important respect Mr. MacDonald’s cattle are better off than the people of Charlottetown, - they have plentiful supply of pure, clean, fresh water – conveyed through pipes from a neighboring spring – flowing continuously through the building and they obtain this prime necessity of animal and human life without going outside (to a pump) to obtain it.

The upper flat of the barn is one immense room for the storage of the hay and grain produced on the farm.  Some persons estimated that it would hold all the hay and grain produced in the whole settlement; but in the absence of absolute proof of this assertion we decline to accept it.  There are two points connected with this great upper flat which might with profit be noted by our farmer generally.  The first is the gradual slope leading up to it at the western end, and enabling horses with their loads, to be driven in and out of it.   This slope could not have cost much.  Any farmer wishing a similar one could make it out of clay obtained in digging a cellar. Its great advantage in the saving of labor will be appreciated by all who have, year after year, pitched their crop up into their lofts through holes in the outer walls, and passed it from one loft to another.  Instead of being pitched up, in this barn, the larger part of the crop is pitched down, saving the labor of at least one person, and lessoning the labor of those employed at least a half.  We commend the gradual slope as a practical idea by which most of our farmers, who have large barns may profit without incurring expense in money.

The second point to be noted in connection with this flat consists in the ventilating shafts which lead from the stables below through it to the roof above.  These shaft furnish at once an escape for the impure air formed in the stables, and a convenient means of conveying fodder, hay, straw, grain, etc. to the corridors below, from which the sheep, cattle and horses are fed.  There are in the big barn ten of these shafts.  An ordinary barn might be furnished with one, two, or three, to the great benefit of the cattle which would thus be enabled to breath good air, instead of the stinky bad air, which is characteristic of most of our stables – particularly those which are closest and warmest.

But the chief interest centres in the stables and machinery hall, on the first or ground floor.  The sheep house occupies a large section in the eastern end of the building.  It is well furnished with feeding-racks, which are placed around by the walls and across the building.  There are portable partitions by means of which the young sheep may separate from the old, ewes with lamb from those which are not, the male from the female, or one breed from another and different breed, according to the requirements or purposes of the farmer.  On one side there is means of egress to the ever-flowing stream of pure water before referred to, and on the other an ample enclosed yard in which the young lambs may disport themselves, and all obtain exercise and open air - so necessary to the full development of sheep.

Between the sheep–house and the horse-stable there is a corridor extending across the building from which the sheep on one side and the horses on the other are fed with hay and grain sent down through the ventilation shafts already referred to.  Along the sides of this corridor are bins containing the grain which is fed to the horses and sheep without loss of time or labor. 

The horse stable contains stalls for seven horses, and, besides, a number of box stalls for breeding mares, young horses and stallions.  The mangers are all enclosed with the exception of an aperture in each sufficiently large to admit a horse head.  Thus none of the hay can be thrown under feet, and the horse, when done eating backs out and stands so that the droppings fall down into the cutter prepared for them.  The liquid manure run into a gutter deeper than the other, from which it passes away to the manure house adjoining.  The solid manure is taken off in wheelbarrows.

The cow stable, containing stalls for thirty cattle and a number of box stalls for cows, calves, etc. is fitted up very like the horse stable.  Each cow has a separate stall, which is, however, open in front.  A smooth, round poll is fixed in about the middle if each stall, being fastened at floor and ceiling, and to this the animal is held by means of a small chain, such as are now, happily for the cattle, in common use.  The cattle are fed from a corridor in the same way as the horses and sheep, and the manure is collected and disposed of in the same way.

Proceeding westward from the cow stable, we come to the machinery hall, for waggons, carts and all kinds of machinery while not in use.  Large sliding door open to it from each side of the barn, and no machine is so large that it can’t be driven right in.

Below this is an immense cellar capable of holding many thousands of bushels.  The roots are conveyed to and from it through hatches in the floor of the machinery hall aforesaid.  Mr. McDonald intends having sliding ways with open bottoms to extend from the floor to the cellar, so that without labor the earth and small potatoes may be separated from those which are marketable.  The cellar has a solid frost-proof wall of stone; but some of the farmers who saw it yesterday think that it is rather too damp and not sufficiently ventilated.

Emerging from the cellar we may, if we choose, extend our peregrinations further westward to the piggery, turkey, duck, geese and hen houses, all of which are fitted up in the best way, regardless of cost, and have open air pens and coops, etc.  The coops for fowls are supplied with fresh water, to which the fowls have access at all times.

Between the house and the barn there is a covered way – a wooden shed – through which the farmer and his men can go without exposure.  The walls of this shed can be quickly taken down in case of fire, for they are merely held to the farm-work by means of hooks.

The house is a fine brick structure, with brick partitions from the cellar to the apex of the roof, and is said to be admirably arranged.  By the way, isn’t it strange that our wealthy farmers, generally, do not build their houses of brick or stone instead of wood.  Brick and stone houses are far more durable and more comfortable, being warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, while their cost is comparatively little more.

The site of the McDonald homestead is a beautiful one, commanding a view of Tracadie Bay, with a fine large filed sloping gently to the water’s edge; and everyone present seemed to enjoy to the full freshness of the air and the pleasures of the scene.

We heard some persons complaining that they were compelled to walk from the Railway Station to the grounds – a distance of about a mile.  But it was simply impossible to provide carriages for all.  The facilities provided by the railway were excellent and the arrangements were well carried out by conductors Thompson and Scott.

On the whole we think cause was afforded for satisfaction on the part of those who held the tea and those who went to the tea.


The Patriot, Friday, April 28th, 1905.




This magnificent property, the residence of the late John Archibald Macdonald , Esquire, is situated at the head of Tracadie Bay, almost adjoining the Tracadie Railway Station, and fronts on the St. Peter's and Black River Roads and Tracadie Bay. It contains 529 3/4 acres of land, about 200 of which are cleared. It is estimated to contain, besides other trees and a young growth, about 40 acres of growing timber fit for lumber. There are on the premises a large brick residence, and a large building giving accommodation for all kinds of stock, machinery, implements, and crop used and raised in farming operations. There is a carriage road from the ground to the loft of this building, also a large silo and a commodious manure shed. All of the buildings were specially planned and built for their respective purposes, and are in good preservation and complete. Water of the best quality is brought by underground pipes, laid by a Montreal engineer, to the residence and stables from a never-failing spring. There are also other springs on the property. If not sold very soon by private sale, this property will be offered by public auction, at a time to be hereafter fixed.

          For further particulars, apply to the undersigned at his office on King street, near the Merchants Bank of P.E. Island, Charlottetown.

                                                                             H.J. Cundall,

April 27th, 1905.                                                      Trustee




The Patriot, Thursday, Dec. 5th, 1907.


The Glenaladale barn, at Tracadie Cross, burned this morning, and at the same time another barn owned by John A. McAulay, of Black River, was burned with the loss of two horses, four cows, and two pigs, besides potatoes, grain, hay, straw, and farming implements. The MacKinnon barn was discovered on fire between 12.30 and 1 A.M.




The Guardian, February 5th, 1908.

Major MacKinnon, owner of the Glenaladale Farm at Tracadie, who suffered the loss by fire last fall of the famous Glenaladale barn, the finest building of its kind in this province, is making ready to build a new barn. The new structure will be 150 feet long, half the length of the other, but will be of the same width, 52 feet. It will be three stories, built in first class style, and promises to be, when completed, as notable a farm building as its predecessor. It will be arranged in the most modern and convenient manner. The designer of the building is Charles Large, Tyne Valley, who will also be the builder.


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