Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 1 - With Lottie Morrison from Gabarus

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1 (952 reads)

With Lottie Morrison from Gabarus Where I lived--Gabarus. Oh, I suppose there were 1000 people, years ago. But to? day- -last winter, there were 40 houses closed--widows--they go away for the win? ter. And the population now has dwindled down because there isn't any industry in the world out there any more. (It was) fishing. But you couldn't buy a dried cod? fish in Gabarus, or a salt herring, today. My father had a very large store. And there wasn't any store near Gabarus. So we served all of Gabarus, all of the north shore, Kennington Cove, the French Road, Canoe Lake, Grand Mira North, South, Vic? toria Bridge, Caledonia, up as far as North Framboise. We sold everything from a needle to an anchor, including needles and anchors. We had hardware, we had dry goods, we had groceries, we had the post office, we had marriage license, birth certifi? cates. There wasn't such a thing as an un? dertaking parlour, so we had all the things for funeral supplies. My father came to Gabarus when he was a young man, in his early 20s. He came from Loch Lomond--it was 28 miles from Gabarus. At that time, Louisbourg was sort of boom? ing. And my father had worked in St.. Pe? ters with his uncle, who had two stores. His uncle made his money in the Klondike, went out to the gold diggings. Uncle R. J.--my father's father's brother. And they came to this country from Scotland. They settled in this country; there was abso? lutely nothing. Nothing. Not any govern? ment. Thank God--they didn't depend on the government. They depended on themselves. They worked hard. (His uncle) had one (store) in the centre of the village. And at that time they were building the canal, St. Peters Canal, and his uncle started a small store down there. I think they called it Pigtown,at that time. And (my father) worked there, accum? ulated $300--worked in the store, for my uncle. And he decided, well, if he could for (him), he could work for himself. So he decided he would go to see what Louis? bourg looked like. So he walked from Loch Lomond to Louisbourg. That was quite a walk--it was 50 miles. So he stayed in Gabarus overnight. He stayed with a couple that were very kind, hospitable people. And they said to him, "Oh, you're very foolish, going to Louis? bourg. Why don't you stay in Gabarus? The only store in Gabarus is owned by a Mr. Nicholson. And he has"--well, I don't know what term they used then--"failed the busi? ness. And why don't you buy his business?" My father said, "Well, I've decided I would like to go to Louisbourg." So he walked to Louisbourg. He didn't like Louis? bourg. He didn't like the lay of the land. He thought it was low. So he walked back. And he stayed with these same people, on CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER FORTY WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL -- REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014 (1)
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