Prince Edward Island Business Records and Commerce

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Prince Edward Island has long been known for potato production. Rich sandy soil on the islands are ideal for potato farming. The island has the nick name 'Spud Island'.

Early in its colonization the Islanders did not have the money to invest in boats and other fishing equipment and take advantage of the fish rich waters surrounding the islands. In 1854, the Reciprocity Treaty gave the United States the right to fish anywhere along the Island's coast and to hold property in the colony. American investments in the island aided in the establishment of a native Island fishery.

In the 1890s an economic depression, or slowdown, hit the province hard, and many of Prince Edward Island's residents moved to the United States. Boston, Massachusetts, was the destination for most people who left the Island during this period.

In 1896, Charles Dalton and Robert Oulton began to breed silver-black foxes on the Island. This quickly became an important industry, and as breeding spread and fur prices rose, some of the local fox ranchers became very wealthy. But the Great Depression of the 1930s brought the industry to a grinding halt.

Canada suffered during the Great Depression, a period of severe economic slowdown that began in 1929. Droughts, frequent crop failures, and low grain prices devastated the economy, which still relied heavily on farming. As a result, social welfare programs expanded rapidly during the 1930s.

There was some economic development in the 1940's on Prince Edward Island, but it was slower than in many of the other Canadian provinces. Agriculture was still the basis of the Island's economy, but by the 1950s tourism was becoming increasingly important. One of the Islands main attractions was the home of Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery. A national park had been established in the province in 1937, but it wasn't until the 1950s and 1960s that it was really developed. [1]