The First Alderwood
Built circa 1865, the house pictured above was situated next to Baddeck’s first hospital and had been the home of the Honourable David Mccurdy and his wife, Mary (Archibald) Mccurdy. As was the custom of the day, the house was given a name; in this instance, it was called “Alderwood”.
The Mccurdy family had a presence in Baddeck dating back to the early 1860’s. Their daughter, Hannah, was the first of the family to settle here. She and her husband, Angus Tupper, moved to Baddeck shortly after their marriage in 1861. Angus began business in a store located on Water Street. Sadly, by 1863, his health began to fail. It was then that Hannah wrote to her family seeking help with the running of their business. Her brother, Edward, was elected to come to his sister’s aid. Edward wasn’t here very long before he realized that the emerging town had unexplored business opportunities. So, he convinced his entire family to relocate from Onslow, on the mainland, to Cape Breton.
The Mccurdy’s left a legacy that benefited the financial development of the town (as it was called in those days). Not only did David Mccurdy establish a number of family businesses under the firm name, David Mccurdy and Sons, he was also responsible for encouraging other entrepreneurs to settle in the area - including a tin smith, a boot and shoe factory, and tanneries.
The first seniors’ home in Baddeck, appropriately named “Alderwood”, was established in 1949 in the former Mccurdy dwelling. According to Charlie Mccurdy’s annual report to Council on Jan. 10, 1950, there were seven seniors in residence at that time. The second Alderwood Rest Home was located on Jones Street on the site of the former Hotel Baddeck - it opened in 1971 and served the area for thirty-nine years. The third, and present Alderwood opened in 2010 and is located just west of the village proper on Alderwood Lane off of Shore Road.
Many thanks to Donnie and Margot Macaulay for making the photograph available to the archives. Also, I notice the picture was signed - M. Anderson. Can anyone help to identify the photographer?