Streets and Ships in Charlottetown – Photographs from the Henry Burton Sterling Collection

Henry Burton Sterling. PARO Accession 3218.

One of the treasures of the P.E.I. Public Archives and Records office is a collection  of photographs attributed to Henry Burton Sterling. These images, most of which appear to have been taken by Sterling give us a glimpse of life in Charlottetown in the mid-1890s.

H.B. Sterling was the son of David Stirling, a well-established architect who worked both in Halifax and Charlottetown. Henry was born in 1871 and was brought up in Charlottetown. The family home was on Water Street, in a high Victorian house between Pownal and Union Streets in the west-end of the city.  Henry was an electrician and worked for the P.E.I. Electric Light Company  which had a generating plant  at the north-east corner of Pownal and Water.

Although the collection includes photos of a number of areas, it is of the area along Water Street and the wharves of the city that are of the most interest because they show a part of the city not often pictured. This part of the city, unlike the area around Queen’s Square, with its public buildings, was rarely the subject of photos, and Sterling’s pictures provide a window on Charlottetown life on and around Water Street in the 1890s.  In addition, Sterling was one of the few photographers, amateur or professional, that took outside photos in winter.

Click on any image for larger view.

4 thoughts on “Streets and Ships in Charlottetown – Photographs from the Henry Burton Sterling Collection

  1. Pingback: No better way to know Charlottetown… | Sailstrait

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