PEI

Walking tour reveals some of Charlottetown's secrets

Uncovering some of Charlottetown's secrets and sharing them with visitors has turned into a business for storyteller Jessica Eissfeldt, who last year began Secrets of Charlottetown Walking Tours.

Jessica Eissfeldt shares folklore of P.E.I. capital in new walking tour business

'I really need to take matters into my own hands and do something,' said Jessica Eissfeldt, who created a job for herself with the walking tour business. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

When she struggled to find work after moving to P.E.I. from the prairies, storyteller Jessica Eissfeldt decided to make a business out of uncovering Charlottetown's secrets and sharing them with visitors — one step at a time.

Eissfeldt launched Secrets of Charlottetown Walking tours last year, after a year-long job hunt was unsuccessful.

"I'd tried pretty much everything on the job front and that wasn't really working out," Eissfeldt said. "I thought, I really need to take matters into my own hands and do something." 

She decided to start a walking tour business, and went to the public library to do some research. 

'Reading between the lines'

She found some old books in the reference library, including one which had an excerpt from an 1822 letter by James D. Haszard to his younger brother George, who was living in Charlottetown. In it, James offered advice on romance to George and even offered to make a match with a female acquaintance, which piqued Eissfeldt's interest.

'I feel like there's a story here that people would be interested in hearing,' says Eissfeldt . (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

"I was like wow, this is really neat — I feel like there's a story here that people would be interested in hearing. So things grew from there," she said. "It was sort of like, even though it was an historical time period — people were still people,"

Eissfeldt is a novelist and was drawn to the idea of digging into the legends and folklore of the 163-year-old city.

For instance, did you know that the house that is now the Haviland Club has a reputation for being haunted by not one, but three or four spirits? 

Eissfeld's tours, including one called Spooky Charlottetown, cost $20 and last about an hour.  

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With files from Stephanie Kelly

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