The Rural Municipality of North Shore brings together West Covehead, Covehead, Stanhope, Pleasant Grove and Grand Tracadie with historical roots going back two centuries and more. Founded on rich traditions of community organization, institution building, neighborliness and industry, the Community identifies with its productive land and sea resources and coastal setting and takes pride in its welcoming nature and hospitality. Situated between the PEI National Park and the Municipality of York to the North and East of Charlottetown, the Community has increasingly become a “bedroom community” for workers who commute to Charlottetown as well as a summer haven for Islanders and non-Islanders alike.
The Community of Covehead Road is between York and West Covehead along Rural Route #25 along the road to Stanhope and PEI North Shore. As the name implies, it gives access to the Covehead Bay watershed and its forests contain important springs feeding two streams emptying into Covehead Bay. One of PEI’s first roads for use by horse and carriage, Route 25 was blazed straight north from the path between Charlottetown and St Peters in early 1800. Once a self-sufficient community of small mixed farms, it now contains just a few larger farms with many residents making the daily commute to jobs in Charlottetown. Covehead Road residents have access to a nearby Community Centre with Baseball and Soccer, Churches, a modern Fire Department, fishing, golf, swimming as well as competitive auto and lawnmower repair services.
West Covehead was the local school district and it became the identifying name for a municipal electoral district when the community was incorporated in 1974. The bay and the area around it have been called Covehead since early in the 1800’s. In fact, before the sand formed a narrow channel to Brackley Bay, it was customary to call the big double bay Cove Head. The Post Office address at Confederation was Covehead, but over time it became customary to identify areas by their school district names.
The community surrounds Covehead Bay to the South of Stanhope. It is still an agricultural community, but there are fewer active farmers and the land in the Coastal Zone has been gradually developed for housing.
The Community Center, and the Fire Hall are here, as is the district’s only commercial operation, Allan’s Potato Handling Equipment.
Stanhope Cove appears as a place name in 1790 for what we now know as Covehead Bay. There is also a Stanhope farm marked out on the same map. This enterprise was the work of Sir James Montgomery to establish an estate-like farm. He also owned an estate called Stanhope in Scotland, but the attempt to replicate the model in the New World was short lived. The promise of rental of an individual farm until ownership could be achieved was more to the liking of the first settlers. And the area was attractive to Scottish settlers, as it was to the Acadians before them. Soon there were a number of farms and by the 1850’s a school.
Stanhope was an electoral district when the CIC was formed in 1974. Keeping the rural character of the community was an early concern since there were fewer farmers and more seasonal residents. Now the community is shifting to a mix of year round and seasonal residents.
The community borders the PEI National Park and contains tourist operations the Promenade, a golf course and a service station and several farm operations.