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Page 31 - Making Bricks at George's River

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/12/1 (952 reads)
 

father died • he had a stroke • about 1905* After that we quit. I continued to use the clay later. Tennis courts used to buy a lot. They had a wonderful one in North Sydney, and Brown Street in Sydney Mines, they had another big one. That'd be getting up there to around 1915 • Every summer I was to that clay there for tennis courts or the steel works, foundries. There were two foundries then • one in North Sydney • Thompson used to run it. And another in Sydney • John Mason's I think it was. So, I had my share. They'd use the clay for the great big blast furnace in the foundries • would line it • stood fire well. Stand for 2 or 3 heatings. Wonderful to stand the fire. And it was used at the steel plant to stop the flow of metal. I used to get 60 cents a ton, shovelling the clay by hand. According to the time and the weather, the way wages were, you could make good wages. It's easier than to shovel coal • no great lumps or anything. It was hard work, though, hot work. Hot. Summers I'd be with it. I made an auger with a bit onto it and I used to bore holes down 5 or 6 feet and put a bit of dynamite in. And that'd blow maybe a carload down at one time, make it all easy to shovel. It was heavier in the spring, when the water'd be into it. After a rain it'd be heavy. Dry summer though it'd be no heavier than sand. Well, them years were different from today. You had to work and money was terrible scarce. You'd hardly believe how scarce it was, when I was younger. You might say there was none. 600 dollars in a season wasn't so bad. It was low. Prices were terrible low in all lines • sugar and tea and tobacco • all that line. (And while you were doing all this, who took care of the farm?) Oh, we'd leave the farm go. We'd take time off to put in maybe an acre of potatoes and maybe some turnips in spare time • but we'd leave the farm go for the summer. And the farm went back. It was terrible. Had to buy a carload of hay the first year we started back in. It was run back that bad. Before the bricks the farm was just fair. My father wasn't a farmer. He was a blacksmith and a carpenter and everything but a farmer. No, it was run out. It took a long time to bring it back. Plow down green stuff, and it was a hard battle. But I brought it up in good shape. Keep about 8 milk cows, 2 horses • chickens and pigs and a garden. You can't farm and' do much else. And you've got to stick to it. Every day. Yes, the farm went back terrible. The brick business was murder. We should have been in school instead of at that kind of work. Harry W. Carmichael as a young man; Harry's son, Ho? ward, with some of the molds used in making bricks; and Mr. Carmichael when we visiteds with him. He was born in • George's River. February 3?? 1883. He died May 8. 1977. Aged 94. Our thanks to Jean MacDonald. Mr. Carmichael's daughter, for her help in preparing this article. AViS Rent a C)ar Try Oi&r Weekend Special $9*95 ftom Friday I'looA to Monday 9 A?M? 9' a mile 564?'341 / 564..8265 WE TRY HARDER Flowers for All Occasions Ashby Nurseries Sydney: 174 Ashby Road 564-8162 Glace Bay: Sterling Mall 849-6292 New Waterford: Plummer Ave. 862-3374 Florists Telegraph Delivery Association
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