Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 66 > Page 73 - With Jessie Morrison of Cape North - A Cape Breton to Alberta Pioneer

Page 73 - With Jessie Morrison of Cape North - A Cape Breton to Alberta Pioneer

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (322 reads)

With Jessie Morrison of Cape North- a Cape Breton-to-Alberta Pioneer From Conversations with Ronalda Reichwein in Edmonton, Alberta INTRODUCTION: Readers might be interested in learning how we came to know about Jessie Morrison of Edmonton, Alberta. We got a call from Ro? nalda Reichwein, ordering a copy of the book The Cape Breton Giant She said it was for a friend, Jessie Morrison, who had been born in the Aspy Bay region in 1904. We said, "We'll send you two cop? ies • one for yourself and one for Jessie • and in return, please sit down and do a little taping with her, ask about her life." It turned into several vis? its • hours of taping • about a family that pioneered in Cape Breton, searched for employ? ment in the Boston States, and then pioneered again in Alber? ta. Jessie told much more than we can offer in one article, but we can offer a lot. Ronalda be? gan the first visit this way: Ronalda: This is the story of Jessie Morrison of Cape North, Cape Breton. Go ahead, Jessie. What have you got to tell us today? And Jessie said: Well, I have a lot. As you know I have a long tongue!... Jessie Morrison: Well. I was born Septem? ber the fifteenth, 1904. I used to tease my mother and say, "Well, that's great. You were married on September the four? teenth, and I was born September the fif? teenth!" But I wouldn't emphasize the twelve months that elapsed between the two occasions. Now, Mother was living with her parents (at Cape North)--my Grandfather MacKinnon and Grandmother MacKinnon--and there I was born. And Aunt Grace came home from Boston to be with my mother when I arrived. So, hence my name: Jessie Grace. Meanwhile my father had apprenticed as a carpenter with one of the local (men) and he was really a very, very clever, a very skilled craftsman. And at first it was that my father would take over the Morri? son Farm (photo at right). but it just didn't work out that way. So he went to Boston and secured employment with a con Left: in Lynn, Jessie Grace Morrison, 7 years and 9 months, Massachusetts, before moving to Alberta in 1912 struction company. There were many Cape Bretoners so employed. And two years lat? er, in 1906, my mother joined my father. And this was a great emotional trauma for my grandmother who adored her grandchild-- who was me. And Mother said that Grand? mother taught me my first words. And I al? ways say that my first language was Gael COMPLETE MENU Informal family dining • Fully Licensed • 945-2244 ...Two of Cape Breton's Best... Listed in WHERE TO EAT IN CANADA DUNCREIOA' Mabou r ACC 0 nCI I on the Ceilidh TraU, Route 19 COUNTEY INN UArt 01 UtLl the Scenic Coastal Route to the Cabot Trail MABOU Fine Accommodations and Dining ON THE HARBOUR 945-2207
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