SummersideSummerside, PEI, incorporated as a city in 1995, population 14 751 (2011c), 14 500 (2006c). The City of Summerside is located near the head of Bedeque Bay on the province's southern shore, 60 km west of Charlottetown. Until the Loyalist arrival in Prince County, the first settlers in the area had been MICMAC and then ACADIANS. Around 1800 the tiny village was known as Green's Shore, after Daniel Green, the tract's former owner. It was likely named after Summerside House, a licensed inn (est 1840). The village was launched as a shipbuilding centre when inadequate draught at his shipyard in Bedeque compelled Joseph Pope to rebuild his company in deeper water across the bay. In the 1860s Summerside was a hub of activity, which led to its incorporation as a town in 1877. After the late 19th-century collapse of shipbuilding, trade with the county's farming community sustained Summerside's economy.
Beginning around 1910, the town experienced renewed prosperity as a fur-trading centre, stimulated by Sir Charles Dalton and Robert T. Oulton's successful breeding of silver foxes in captivity. In 1920 Summerside was established as the headquarters of the Canadian National Silver Fox Breeders' Assn. Owing to overproduction, changing women's fashions and innovative dyeing techniques, this highly profitable enterprise collapsed around 1945. However, economic decline was offset by the 1941 construction of an air force base in nearby St Eleanors. As the Island's principal port for potato shipments, and with the development of a number of small manufacturing businesses, as well as the trade with CFB Summerside and the county's farmers and fishermen, Summerside is today a thriving community.