Cape Bre­ton Book of Days

Geist - - Findings - PAMELA NEW­TON

From The Cape Bre­ton Book of Days. Pub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Bre­ton Press in 1984. New­ton is the au­thor of three books, in­clud­ing The Book of Sea­sons: The Search for Our Ru­ral Roots. She lives in Cape Bre­ton, NS. April 16, 1747

“Worst Spot on Globe”

Charles Knowles, Bri­tish gover­nor of Cape Bre­ton from 1746–47, doesn’t like his post­ing at Louis­bourg. In a let­ter to Eng­land, he writes “… in gen­eral I can only say it is the worst spot upon the Globe… for my part I have strug­gled hard to weather the win­ter, which I’ve done thank God, though was not above three times out of my room for 5 months.”

June 26, 1833

Pickle Pa­tron­age?

A lo­cal man is ap­pointed to be chief in­spec­tor of pick­led fish for Cape Bre­ton County.

Jan­uary 1, 1862

Source of Ten­sion

Nine young men from Main-à-dieu and Louis­bourg join the crew of the Amer­i­can fish­ing ves­sel, “Hir Crue.” Lo­cal fish­er­men don’t like the Amer­i­can fish­ing fleet com­ing into the lo­cal ports and re­cruit­ing the young men to join their crews. In fact, lo­cal fish­er­men don’t care for Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans fish­ing in their wa­ters at all. Au­gust 4, 1874

“Thicken With Flour”

Bar­rels of flour are re­leased from a sink­ing ship off Cape Rouge this sum­mer. Many Cheti­camp res­i­dents res­cue three or four bar­rels, but Martin De­veau finds thirty-eight bar­rels. Dur­ing the storm, some of the other bar­rels break open and the flour spills out into the wa­ter, mixing with it and thick­en­ing it, so that the stormy seas are calmed.

De­cem­ber 9, 1886

The Strong Woman of Be­nacadie It is said that Cather­ine Cameron Macin­nis of Be­nacadie, daugh­ter of “Big” John Cameron, is the strong­est woman the area has ever known. She gains her rep­u­ta­tion one mar­ket day. With­out a team to haul goods two miles away to the boat, her hus­band Don­ald starts off car­ry­ing two large bags of oats on his shoul­ders. He is sur­prised to hear Cather­ine com­ing be­hind him through the woods with a car­cass of pork on her shoul­ders.

Fe­bru­ary 24, 1896

You Think Cel­sius is Con­fus­ing Changes in the Weather Code: Dense fog be­comes chill; light fog be­comes chilly. Dense haze be­comes chip; light haze be­comes chippy. Dense mist be­comes crisp; light smoke be­comes crispy. Th­ese words will be used in­stead of fog, haze or smoke. April 13, 1907

First Class?

Res­i­dents of Syd­ney Mines com­plain about mail de­liv­ery from Syd­ney. Mail takes twenty-four hours to reach them from Syd­ney. A let­ter leaves Syd­ney early in the morn­ing and reaches Florence by 9 o’clock. Syd­ney Mines is only about one and a half miles away, but the let­ters aren’t de­liv­ered un­til the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

De­cem­ber 14, 1908

“Gem of Canada”

In a re­cent book­let, is­sued by the Depart­ment of the In­te­rior, nat­u­ral­ist Prof. Ma­coun has writ­ten about Cape Bre­ton in glow­ing terms. “I con­sider Cape Bre­ton the gem of Canada. The cli­mate is grand… never too hot, never too cold.”

Au­gust 22, 1930

Big Raid

Three booze joints are raided in the first seizure of liquor to be made at North Syd­ney since the New Act came into ef­fect. All po­lice can find at the Queen Ho­tel is an empty pitcher that smells of liquor.

Novem­ber 1, 1932

Rats as Big as Deer

It is brought to the at­ten­tion of coun­cil in Glace Bay that there are huge ro­dents “some as big as a buck deer” liv­ing in the cov­ered drains at No. 11 and th­ese are a dan­ger to children. Coun­cil replies that the coal com­pany is re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of the drains. March 12, 1950


Mrs. Effie Ben­nett of Upper Prince Street gets more than she bar­gained for when she pur­chased half a ton of coal from the Do­min­ion Coal Co.’s de­pot on Ge­orge Street. Get­ting up early this morn­ing, be­fore her eight children were up, to kin­dle the kitchen stove fire, she dis­cov­ers a stick of dy­na­mite in her load of coal. Fe­bru­ary 6, 1951

North West Arm “Mon­ster”

Rube Chislett of Upper North Syd­ney gets a sur­prise when he in­ves­ti­gates a log float­ing just off­shore. The log turns out to be a “sea horse” about seven feet long, which dis­ap­pears as the ice forms in the har­bour.

The Lit­tle Watch­ers (2016) by Lu­cie Bosquin. 13˝x13˝, pa­per col­lage. Bosquin is a col­lage artist and fur­ni­ture up­hol­sterer. She lives in Mon­treal. See more of her work on the cover of this is­sue and at lu­cie­

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