Glenaladale: Our Rural History…Our Rural Culture…Our Rural Renewal
Less than 15 minutes northeast of Charlottetown is the unique, 530-acre (210.4-hectare) Glenaladale Estate, a perfect place to escape and experience Prince Edward Island’s natural and man-made rural heritage, our warm and welcoming Island culture, and our projects promoting our cultural heritage, rural renewal, and sustainability.
Glenaladale is an ongoing project by the registered charity Glenaladale Heritage Trust to restore the majestic, 3-storey MacDonald/MacKinnon brick home – the Glenaladale House – and oversee the regeneration of the Estate as a cultural centre and mixed farming operation. The Estate is an ecological jewel overlooking Tracadie Bay and featuring farmland, woods, more than 2,000 feet (610 metres) of shorefront, fresh and saltwater marshes, and a nearby protected bog. ( View on Google Maps )
It includes a large 3-storey brick home dating from 1883 and outbuildings, including the Glenaladale (later Tracadie) Schoolhouse, built in 1899.
Prior to the Scottish immigration, the area served as a “good camping ground” for the Mi’kmaq and as a home to one of the Island’s Acadian families. In 1772, Capt. John MacDonald, 8th Laird of Glenaladale and 7th Laird of Glenfinnan in Scotland, brought the first Scottish Catholic settlers to what was then St. John’s Island (now Prince Edward Island). These people are now known as The Glenaladale Settlers. Because they came, many of their close relatives came, in the large settlements of 1790-91. Capt. John’s son Father John brought the Glasgow Irish in 1830, setting in motion the largest Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island – known as the Monaghan Settlers. So one can see how critical the involvement of the people attached to Glenaladale has been to the growth of Prince Edward Island and through its diaspora, to Canada as a whole.
Glenaladale was the private home of three generations of the family of Captain John MacDonald until 1905 when it was purchased by a family of MacKinnons who called it home for another three generations. Glenaladale Heritage Trust purchased the Estate in March 2018.
Through various aspects of their lives and undertakings, the MacDonalds and the MacKinnons have made significant contributions to Prince Edward Island. Capt. John MacDonald and his grandson, tobacco magnate and educational philanthropist Sir William C. Macdonald, are both recognized as persons of national historic significance.