Keppoch in pictures

Just to the east of Charlottetown Harbour mouth, bracketed between Sea Trout Point and Lobster Point lies the community of Keppoch. Named by an early landowner, Alexander Macdonald, for Keppoch in Invernesshire  it has long been a beach community and a summer resort.

Bayfield House c. 1895 with the bare headland of Blockhouse Point and Holland Cove in the background

Bayfield House c. 1895 with the bare headland of Blockhouse Point and Holland Cove in the background

Although less than five kilometers from Charlottetown the area has been, for more than a century, a summer community for city residents and a few “Islanders away”.  Formed as a slight cove where several creeks came down to the sea and with water warmed on the sandbars it soon became a popular destination, especially after the construction of the Hillsborough Bridge across the harbour in 1905. The cove was home to the residence of Admiral Bayfield who was responsible for the charting of much of the Gulf and River St. Lawrence.

Keppoch Beach Hotel ca. 1900

Keppoch Beach Hotel ca. 1900

The area soon had a summer hotel which continued operations into the 1950s. The proximity to Charlottetown was an advantage over Holland Cove as the latter location was more than twenty miles by land from the capital and its attempt to become a resort was unsuccessful. With the closing of the hotel public access to the beach area was foreclosed by lack of access roads. The current residents of the area jealously guard their privacy as the only access to the beach is across private land.  In recent years the summer character of the community is changing as more and more cottage properties are converted into year-round dwellings and the subdivision of land between Keppoch  and Charlottetown had eliminated the divide between the cottage community and Stratford, across the Hillsborough River from Charlottetown.

Chart of Keppoch

Chart of Keppoch

From the sea-side the area is much less popular as a destination than Holland Cove just to the west of the Harbour Mouth. Keppoch faces, rather than shelters from, the prevailing south-west breezes and the character of the populated  shoreline is quite different from the predominately forested shore of Holland Cove.  The area can scarcely be credited as a cove as there is hardly any shelter to be found in any but a north wind.  Further, there are considerable rock outcrops extending west and south of Lobster Point.  It is rare indeed to find boats at anchor off Keppoch although on the same day there may be dozens anchored and rafted up in Holland Cove.

However, like Holland Cove, Keppoch attracted visitors and where there are visitors there is a post-card market. The cards below draw heavily on the dramatic rock outcrops which flank the harbour mouth. Click on any of the images to create a slide show



6 thoughts on “Keppoch in pictures

  1. Valerie Paton

    The photo which says “Keppoch Beach Hotel ca 1900”, is not Keppoch Beach Hotel, it is Bayfield house, owned by Admiral Bayfield and his wife, and later the Jaynes. Keppoch Beach Hotel was in East Keppoch, Bayfield is located still in middle Keppoch, between East and West!

    1. sailstrait Post author

      Although similar in massing, Bayfield House and the Wm. Welsh House (later the Keppoch Beach Hotel) each have several identifying features. The Bayfield House has three windows across the front while the Welsh House has five. In the 1890s photos the Bayfield House verandah continues around the east side of the house(as it still does) while the Welsh house verandah is across the front of the house only. The Welsh House also has a gravelled circular drive which can be seen in all of the photos. There is no evidence of such a feature at the Bayfield House. Both houses appear to have had latticed trellises as verandah supporters at the time although this feature can now be seen only on the Bayfield House.

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