Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 29 > Page 19 - Pleasant Bay Fire

Page 19 - Pleasant Bay Fire

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1 (497 reads)

John Sam (Jack Sam) Hinkley: There were fires before this fire, fires before I can" remember. This mountain burned years ago-- way over a hundred years ago--my grandfa? ther, I heard him talking about it. It all grew up and it's burnt the second time now, Robert's Mountain. The most of the moun? tain was burned, A MacPherson, he lived up here. He set a fire back there and it ran over the mountain--was burning brush or something. Burnt an awful lot of timber that time. Pine and everything. There were no houses lost. And they couldn't do a thing about it. There was nothing to fight fire with. Only water, if you had some way of carrying it. The fire in 1947--most of the people were around through the park, scattered every? where, trying to fight the fire; and most of them were away when the fire came, Here there was no one to protect from the fire. The fire came down that mountain just as fast as a horse could gallop, it was com? ing so fast. And it burnt on the other side of the pond--it burned all that a- cross--then it jumped across over on this side, burned all the rest of the forest a- round here. The road was going out the bank way then. There was brush along that, and when the fire got into that, it burned the whole thing. We had a house and a barn over there, and they both got burnt. And I had ten cords of sawed-up wood ready for the stove, I had it put in the woodhouse, I had just put it in the day before, finished it. Put it in for the winter. It was dry, you know. And there was about as much outside there, too. And it burned that, too. The whole house and everything, I never saved any? thing, I had a couple of rifles, I took them down and put them in the potato field--buried them up in the ground there. I saved them. And that's about all I saved. And a few trunks of clothes, Hauled them out in a field--I saved them. The fire ran all over the fields, same as anywhere else. Same as it did in the woodland. Dry weath? er for a long time. Terrible dry weather. The day the fire came, I wasn't doing any? thing , only watching the fire. It was blow? ing too hard to go fishing--it was a rip? ping gale from the southwest. My wife and I got out of here in a boat--to Cheticamp. A big boat came down to where the lower factory (lobster factory) used to be. And we got aboard of her there. And it was so awful rough, terrible rough going up. They all were seasick going up, but the wife and I weren't seasick. Even man that was handling the boat was seasick. The Red Cross came into Cheticamp and they set up in buildings and tents there, put the people all in tents for a few days. The most of the people went to Cheticamp. Couldn't go to Cape North--they weren't much better than here. Just Cheticamp was the handiest place. And we did all our bus? iness in Cheticamp. They used us wonderful. The French people used us awful good. (Did anything good come out of the fire?) No. I don't think. It even stunted the po? tatoes, the potatoes weren't much that fall. Burnt the tops off or they'd have erown more. '3.'4' *>>. • ' ' " '" : A portion of the tents set up by the 'f ''[;.. 'v .,. ' ,.'- ?? Red Cross to shelter fire refugees, '' Correction The following should be read with the ad for Nova Scotia Forest Industries in Issue 28, page 27: 9. Hypsometer--Height gauge. 10. String Measure--Box with spools of string hooked to digit counter to measure irregular shaped wood stands for silviculture treatments. NOVA SCOTIA FOREST INDUSTRIES BADDECK - PORT HAWKESBURY - ANTIGONISH ffOtfSC located Rt 255, 5 miles from Glace Bay Port Morien 737-2408 Eniojr jmir fawrite (19'
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