Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 29 - Robt. Elmsley's "Early History of Baddeck"

Page 29 - Robt. Elmsley's "Early History of Baddeck"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (601 reads)

[12) Timber contracts were being made, and such came in large and small rafts, and boomed in by long poles shackled at the lower end of the island, just west of the lighthouse. From 3 to 4 vessels of from 150 to 400 tons came annually from Aberdeen (Scotland) and loaded with black birch squaring from 12 to 24 inches, stowed with hardwood, plank and staves. Three stevedores were available, David Corbett and (deleted) MacFarlane of Boularderie, and Colin Mac- Iver of Washabuckt, and capable men they were. George MacKay of MacKay's Point (a worthy gentle? man), acted as Surveyor. He had a wood canoe, and a capacious leather bag well provided for the busi? ness. His son. Holy John (so called) was latterly a good stevedore, and a splendid singer for the crew. Mr. Kidston laid out Baddeck in his own way. Trees were felled, and people began to multiply, and roads were laid out here and there. The Sheriff of the County of Cape Breton (A. F. Haliburton) was commissioned to divide the County of Victoria from Cape Breton and was subsequently Clerk of the Peace for Victoria County, and Mr. MacAskill of Little Narrows was custos retulorum, with Dr. Jos? eph Elmsley as Prothonotary. He was afterwards Reg? istrar of Deed, and continued so till he left for New Zealand in 1859. In 1850 Mr. Haliburton came to reside in Baddeck, and Judge DesBarres opened the first court in a small room in a wee house owned by a George Hume, situated about where Mr. Ross, the shoemaker, now resides, opposite Grave Yard Point. Mr. Haliburton and Robert Elmsley at? tended court, but no business was on the docket, . as nobody quarreled or was in debt at the time. Alex D. MacLean: Now a word of explanation with reference to the persons and places mentioned in this narrative of the late Robert Elmsley. Mr. Elmsley, who will be remembered by the older residents as one of our oldest citizens--as the above will show--was for years postmaster in Baddeck. He was of a genial disposition and noted for his dry humour. Mutton Island, of course, refers to what is now known to us as Kidston's Island. It was known successively as Mutton Island--Sherbrooke Island--Duke of Kent Island--Duffus Island--and finally Kidston's Is? land. It has held the last name for close to 100 years, and it is likely that this name will be permanent. The Mr. Kidston referred to is, of course, William Kidston, after whom the island is named. Grave Yard Point, referred to by Mr. Elmsley, is now more generally known by the less gruesome name of Indian Point. The Hector MacLean referred to was the grandfather of the late Joseph S. MacLean (crown land surveyor), and the old Knox Church is well remembered by many of the older residents. It was only removed from its old site in front of Knox Cemetery about 25 years ago. It was a pity that it was razed, as it was an historic landmark. (Dr. Bethune: "The Knox Church wasn't really razed. It became Capt. Jim MacDonald's barn. It was moved and became a barn and then burned.") I'm of the o- pinion that it was built by members of the Church of Scotland, and after 1843, affiliated with the Free Church. The Mother Gaelic referred to was a Mrs. MacLeod--her house was the present residence (1) (2) (5) 174 Ashby Rd. SYDNEY 564-8162 Ashby Nurseries Plummer Ave. NEW WATERFORD 862-3374 Your Prestige Florist for Quality and Service "Call on us for free consultation to make your wedding perfect!" i'-' Second Printing! THE WELL-WATERED GARDEN: The Presbyterian Church in Cape Breton, 1798-1860 by Laurie Stanley The Well-Watered Garden is a thoroughly researched scholarly work, as well as a thoroughly readable account of 19th century Presbyterian Cape Breton. It tells the tale of the enigmatic Rev. Norman MacLeod and the elaborate spiritual drama of the settlers who gathered "to sing the Lord's song in a strange land." Available In local retail outlets. Also available from: University Coliege of Cape Breton Press P.O. Box 5300 Sydney, N.S. B1P6L2 Phone 539-5300, Ext. 146 QUALITY CAMERAS One Stop Photo & Video Centre First in the Maritimes: ONE HOUR PHOTO Your Complete Service Headquarters Guaranteed Quality Photo Finishing Video Equipnnent - Sales & Service Darkroonn Equipnnent & Supplies Canneras & Accessories Cannera Repairs Photo and Projection Lannps Largest Stock of Photographic I Supplies on the Island QUALITY CAMERAS Kodak MIN??LTA PENTAX Canon Corner George & Dorchester Sts., Sydney (29)
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