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Alberton
Alberton (2006 Town Population 1,081; UA population 1,081) is a Canadian town located in the western part of Prince County, Prince Edward Island. It is situated in the township of Lot 5.
Roughly equidistant between Tignish and O'Leary, Alberton is situated along the north shore of the island, fronting the open Gulf of St. Lawrence. It has a land area of approximately 5 km▓ and has geographic coordinates 46║49'N, 64║04'W.
Alberton is a service centre for local fishing and farming communities and is adjacent to the community and harbour of Northport.
The majority of the Alberton work force is employed in the service sector, serving a surrounding population of 5,000 residents in western Prince County.

History
Long settled by the Mi'kmaq Nation, Europeans first ventured near Alberton in 1534 when French explorer Jacques Cartier recorded making landfall at nearby Cape Kildare during his journey of discovery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and St. Lawrence River. Acadians settled on the island in small numbers through the 17th and 18th centuries but only moved in greater numbers to the western part of Ile-Saint-Jean and specifically north of present-day Alberton to the Tignish area following their explusion by British military forces in the late 1750s.
Following British victory over France, the island's sovereignty passed to Britain in 1763. In 1765, Captain Samuel Holland surveyed the island and the British government instituted a feudal system of land ownership. The township of Lot 5, which contains present-day Alberton, was granted to Edward Lewis, a British Member of Parliament in the 1767 land lottery.
Alberton proper began to be settled in the 1780s after Lewis made plans for a small trading town. "Lewis Town" was established in June 1788 and was first populated by local Acadians who had escaped expulsion three decades previous, as well as Scottish and Devonshire settlers brought in by Lewis to settle his township.
A local shipbuilding industry and lumber trade brought prosperity to the town throughout the 1800s, although this went into decline as more forested areas were lost to agriculture, on account of the excellent soils in the area.
The community underwent several name and location changes; it had originally been located at the mouth of the harbour (now the location of Northport) and is now located approximately 2 kilometres west of the harbour. The shipbuilding, lumber and shipping industries had resulted in a sustainable community which was a major trade centre in western Prince County and in 1862 it was named in honour of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII and who had visited Prince Edward Island in 1860. The community was named Alberton on June 27, 1862.
In 1872, the Prince Edward Island Railway was constructed, making the port at Alberton (Northport) its western terminus and connecting Alberton with communities to the east such as O'Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown, Georgetown and Souris.
The western terminus was subsequently extended further from Alberton to Tignish in a sharp diversion just east of the Alberton passenger station, where a wye was constructed and a small railway yard, leading to the spur to Northport. Alberton had come into its own during this period, with various mills, manufacturing businesses, stores and services. The community became a village in 1878 and became home to a court house and justice centre for western Prince County that year.
Alberton became the centre of the world-wide silver fox industry when Charles Dalton and Robert Oulton began farming the fur-bearing animals near the town in 1894, bringing tremendous prosperity to town residents and business owners. Despite a fire that devastated part of the town the following year, Alberton quickly bounced back. Reflecting the growing economic importance of the village, the railway constructed a new passenger station for Alberton in the early 1900s entirely out of stone, one of only two such stations on the island (the other being in Kensington.
The fox farming industry brought increased growth in the population and tax base for the community, which resulted in an upgrade from village status, becoming an incorporated town in May 1913. Silver fox farming remained profitable through the 1940s and many distinctive houses in the community are a reminder of the fortunes that were made during this period.
The Western Hospital was constructed in 1945 and was the first hospital built west of Summerside. The public library opened in 1951, followed by the federal government building in 1962 and the Jacques Cartier Arena and a community museum in 1964. The Maplewood Manor nursing home opened in 1967.


Alberton Map