Hillsborough Square: Band Concerts and Grazing Animals

Postcard courtesy of the Edward J. Rice Collection, City of Charlottetown Archives

Postcard courtesy of the Edward J. Rice Collection
City of Charlottetown Archives

Hillsborough Square was the only square, save for Queen Square that did not have another name. Named for the President of the Board of Trade, Will Hills, Earl of Hillsborough, it, like Connaught Square, was originally located on another block (the one to its west) and moved east one block to its current site. Throughout its long history, Hillsborough Square has been used in a variety of ways. It had been fenced in as early as 1825 and was used to pasture animals. At some point, the fence was taken down and the square assumed a less agricultural role with band concerts being performed and a flagpole installed. The area was not without its troubles however, as the June 1868 edition of the Charlottetown Herald reported that Thursday evening performances of Galbraith’s Band were being discontinued due to local boys destroying trees and grass. Reports of public drunkenness, the activities of “quoit players”, and complaints about people who refused to keep their grazing animals out of the square continued up until at least 1922! Eventually, the property was cleaned, trees were planted and it became the lovely greenspace that it is today.

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