This is a complete grade 7 social studies lesson plan that focuses on the development of the Prince Edward Island Railway in the 19th century.
Trains were used a lot around 1900 on P.E.I. Trains were used to ship goods, carry passengers around the Island, and sometimes were even used to carry bodies to the graveyard for burial.
The Prince Edward Island Railway started in May 1875, and the trains stopped running in 1989 because automobiles had become so popular. For a long time, trains were the most dependable transportation in the summer. In the winter, old-time trains had big plows on the front to clear the snow off the tracks.
Trains were a big part of Island travel, so every city and town had to have its own train station. (See the map in the picture for the station stops in 1884.) Most of the train stations were just little three-walled shacks, but some of them, like the Charlottetown train station, were huge stations.
People used to use horses to pull carriages, buggies and sleighs for getting around in the late 1800's and early 1900's, just as we use cars today. These vehicles were mostly made of wood, and there were different types of vehicles for different occasions. Single-seated buggies were used to carry one or two people; double-seated buggies carried more people. Sleighs were used in the winter for travelling over snow and sometimes ice, and came in different sizes. Smaller sleighs were used to carry a few people, and large sleighs might be used for fun excursions in the wintertime. Carriages also came in different sizes, and different types were used for different occasions.
People didn't just use horses for transportation; they also used them to haul goods to the market, and carry things. Horses were also used for entertainment in the winter time. They would pull sleighs, so people could have sleigh rides. Horses also pulled carriages.
For hard and heavy work, farmers used their draft horses. Draft horses were big and very strong. The owners of the farm looked after their horses and treated them like family. They would give their horses nice names, and names that were similar to their own. The family horse was usually included in the family picture. When names were written on the back, people couldn't tell the horse's name apart from the other family members'.
Some types of transportation that people used on PEI in the late 1800's and early 1900's were horses and buggies, carriages, sleighs, trains, ice boats, horses, walking on foot, and bicycles. Some methods of transportation, like ice boats and sleighs, were only used in the winter. Others, like horses and buggies, bicycles and carriages, were only used in the summer. Still others were used in both winter and summer, such as trains and horses.