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Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall

822 Trans Canada Highway, Route 1, Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/07/08

Showing front elevation; Wood Islands Women's Institute, 2004
Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall
Showing side elevation; Wood Islands Women's Institute, 2004
Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall
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Other Name(s)

Wood Islands West School
Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall is located in the former Wood Islands West school building, which dates from the early 1840s. The wooden shingled structure is located near the highway. The registration includes the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Wood Islands Women's Institute Hall is valued as an example of one of the few surviving former rural school buildings in Prince Edward Island. The first official mention of a school at Wood Islands appears in 1845 with the teacher listed as Malcolm MacNeil. The original small building was enlarged considerably by 1945 and continued to serve as a school until consolidation in 1968.

The former school is also valued for its association with the Hon. Dr. Cyrus J. MacMillan (1882-1953) who was born at Wood Islands and attended the school as a child. MacMillan would go on to a distinguished career as an academic at McGill University, becoming Associate Professor of English. During the Great War in 1915, he was active in organizing the 7th Canadian Siege Battery. Later, in public life, he was appointed by Prime Minister King as Minister of Fisheries in 1930. As an ardent writer, he penned several popular books of his day, including the history of McGill's first century: "McGill and Its Story". MacMillan kept in touch with his home province, lecturing at Prince of Wales College, writing editorials for the local Charlottetown Patriot newspaper, and vacationing at his cottage in Bay Fortune, where he died in 1953.

The former school building has operated as a community centre since 1969 when it became home to the local branch of the WI (Women's Institute). It has undergone several renovations in its history, but continues to be the site of local meetings, community socials, and political rallies in the Wood Islands area.

The architectural style is typical of schools of the period. It has a gable roof, wooden shingled exterior, and a row of paned windows on the front facade. Another common element is the school's sign denoting the community's name.

Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the gabled roof with brick chimney
- the wood shingled exterior
- the row of eight 6 over 6 style windows running consecutively along the front facade
- the small black sign with while lettering reading "Wood Islands West" under the row of windows
- the side porch



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club


One-Room School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Located in the Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-30/W1

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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