Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 59 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Page 59 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (266 reads)

only could see so far. He hunted there for 3 or 4 days, couldn't locate him. Well, that winter was a pretty heavy win? ter. So in the spring of the year the fish? ermen here generally used to be putting net out now and then, testing if there was any herring coming in, or any fish of any kind. So there was a Hayes man over here, Rode? rick Hayes. He went out to set a fleet of net in the spring--it was sometime the mid? dle of April or last of April. And when he was coming back home after setting the net --pretty well under his own shore--he saw this object floating in the water. He thought it funny. He went over to where it was, and here it was a man. And of course he knew all about Carter being drowned, and he suspected it was him right off. So I guess he took him ashore, and tl:].ey fitted him out there. He waked him thejre, and (Carter's) people came down and-took him home. He must have been under the ice all winter. They (had) lifted the engine up, they brought her up. (But Carter wasn't in it.) No, no. Well, he had gone, see, he was un? der the ice all winter. And that's away up there, where that bridge is, and it's about 2 miles down to here. He was found away down here in the spring of the year. Over 2 miles. He must have been all winter under the ice. And when the water kind of warmed, in April, see, he swelled up and came to the surface. A man'11 do that. Generally when the water gets warmer, after so much, he'd swell up and float. (What was your grandfather doing for his living?) Well, he was farmer, mostly, and fisherman. (Which was he more, a farmer or a fisherman?) Now, I don't know. Probably more a fisherman than he was farmer at the time. That's where they made their living. This harbour here, if you notice-- there's an old house over there, too--you notice all the front doors were all built towards the waterfront, towards the river. The big? gest traffic was in the river here. The vessels coming in with lumber. The vessels coming in in the fall of the year with po? tatoes, turnips, and oats, all that. The biggest traffic was here. There were no cars here then. And the road here then was only the width of a wagon wheel. Mud road. This road that went down here that time. It was just for wagons and horses. That's all you'd see. There were no cars to be seen at all. The first car I ever saw here was, I think, 1912. Dr. Harold MacDonald, he had (When did you two marry?) Clara MacNamara: 1925. (Where did he find you?) Not very far! I lived up the road there apiece. He didn't have to go very far.... We had 13.... There's two dead; the rest are all living. I've got 11 living. Billy James: Pretty hard to keep a family, now, of 13, in the city.... People survived on farms years ago. They couldn't do it in the cities, time of the Depression. There never were more potatoes or gardens put in, at the time of the Depression, as what they were put in around here then. There was no money, hardly much money to be made in any shape or form. People all started putting in stuff in the ground; they had enough to eat, anyhow. Turnips and potatoes and everything. her from Port Hawkesbury. (When you say they all faced and used the river--were individual people using the river too?) Oh, yeah. (When I say "using the river," I mean more than just the ships coming in with loads of lumber. That would be for .the merchant, I suppose. Or did they bring it to each home?) Well, no, anybody who wanted it. The vessels would anchor out there. Anybody wanted lumber--they were building their barns and building their houses--they'd buy the lumber. I heard my PIPER'S TRAILER COURT Featuring: Fully Licensed Dining Room * Guest House * Swimming Pool Ocean-Side Campsites * Laundromat * Mini-Mart 929-2233 Indian Brook on the Cabot Trail Halfway Between Baddeck and Ingonish 59
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