Jubilee In Those Days in Victoria County
What community in Victoria County has a name which is one of the most ancient references of any historical name in Cape Breton? What location recalls the celebration of the second longest reigning British monarch? Where has a geological study revealed a considerable deposit of zinc and lead? Where can a settlement be found at which immigrants found land for themselves after leaving the same place in Scotland from which the mother of President Donald Trump emigrated?
“Jubilee, Victoria County” is the answer to each one of those questions. Where is Jubilee? At the southern edge of Victoria County, Jubilee is on the inner highlands about four miles from Little Narrows on a road which stretches from the ferry across country to Mckinnon’s Harbour.
Jubilee was settled in the 1820s and 1830s by Macleods and Macaulays and Mathesons, some of whom came from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The Macleods may be of the same group of Macleods from whom Mary Ann Macleod Trump, the mother of President Trump, is descended.
In the early 1900s, eight households resided there with forty-six people among the families with surnames of Macleod, Matheson, Ross, and Morrison. The occupation of most of them was farming, although several worked on the railway which went along the Bras d’or Lake several miles away. As well, Catherine Wilson is listed as the teacher in the one room school house in that year.
In response to a petition from the people of the area, a post office was established in May of 1896 with Malcolm Mcleod as postmaster. The office was at his house. An office continued until 1965 with Neil Mcleod as the postal employee at the time of closure. The name “Jubilee” was chosen as the name for the post office and thus also the community. It was the only place in Canada with that postal designation. Why the name “Jubilee”?
People in Cape Breton were very aware of the long reign of Queen Victoria from accounts of her and her family published in newspapers, particularly in the “Family Herald.” Many households cherished a photograph of the Queen which was often framed and placed on the wall of the parlour in a place of honour.
In 1887, the Queen celebrated fifty years on the throne with a great celebration, including a large banquet to which fifty Kings and Queens, many of them relatives, were invited. The ceremonies and parades were well documented in the media of the day. The event was titled “Golden Jubilee.” Ten years later, a second Jubilee, the “Diamond Jubilee” was proclaimed throughout the various locations of the British Empire and Dominions.
The word “Jubilee” with its connotations of celebration apparently appealed to the people of the area. They recommended to the postal authorities its designation for their new office. It identified their appreciation of the Queen and her long and much respected reign.
Only Queen Elizabeth II has occupied the throne longer than her ancestor, Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth enjoyed her sixtieth anniversary in 2012 and has thus now served longer than the noted monarch whose name is still found in “Victoria County.”
What is the ancient origin of the word “Jubilee"?
As far back as the sixth century, the Hebrew people established a special event to be held every fifty years. The word has seen much alteration as it has gone from ancient Hebrew through Classical Greek and Latin in various translations of the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament.
“Jubilee” apparently goes back to a Hebrew word for “trumpet,” the instrument used to announce the time of Jubilation – a year during which people returned to the area where their ancestors of the of the Twelve Tribes of Israel had once lived.
During the year, all debts were forgiven and people refrained from active cultivation of the land. There were times of dancing, singing, feasting and special worship services. So, the word took on a connotation of joyful celebration.
The Jubilee Year has not been observed for many centuries. While the word is still found in the scriptures (Leviticus, 35: 8-13), it has taken on a life of its own. It is now used to identify a special celebration, particularly following a lengthy period of service or just a joyful time.
What are the results of geological investigation?
The Murex Gold Company drilled holes in twelve separate places in 1907. Their findings revealed a long stratum of both zinc and lead deep underground between Little Narrows and Mckinnon’s Harbour. Geological maps showed the minerals were located beneath the area of Jubilee.
Further drilling was carried out by geologists, Graves and Ruffman. References may be found on page 135 of the publication titled “Geological Survey of Canada”, published in 1988. No mining has been undertaken but one of the secrets of Jubilee is what lies
Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated on June 20, 1887 to celebrate her 50 year reign. A Diamond Jubilee was held 10 years later to celebrate 60 years on the throne.