Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 15 > Page 4 - The Plaster Quarry at St. Ann's

Page 4 - The Plaster Quarry at St. Ann's

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/12/1 (349 reads)

(Where did you stay?) There was a big boarding house there and there were two MacDonald fellows • the old man had one end of it and the son had the other • and they kept boarders. The company owned it first, then sold it out to these Mac? Donald fellows. And the young fellow, he worked in the quarry too. We'd come in for dinner. Only had to go maybe 300 yards to the boarding house. We'd have herring pretty often. I liked it. But there was two fellows and there wasn't a meal but they grumbled about it • and they hadn't one-half as good at home. And the people were nice. Ihe most that were working in the quarry had their homes around and went home. The few out? siders • perhaps a dozen or so • were staying in that house. There were 3 or '4 from Pleasant Bay and some from down Cape North, Ingonish and from there all the ways up. There were no French then but they had been there before that. Al? most all Scotch, down the North Shore. There was a MacLeod fellow there right at the foot of Smokey • his house got burnt when the fire was on • was he ever a nice man. Me and him slept together. Tall straight man • you couldn't wish ever for a nicer friend than that fellow. There was an old fellow there, they used to call him Murdoch the Woods • and he must have found the time pretty long. Every day • I suppose 25 times a day • he would ask me in Gaelic, What time is it. I pretty near flung my old watch away. And there was a Jack MacDonald • big man. There was a pair of cartwheels and an axle in it • about that high • just a good chance for to lift it • and there were two fellows was with me • that Hinkley boy and that George Timmons • them two fellows could lift it and that Jack MacDonald could lift it and that was the only three worked at the quarry • and I'll bet there was 50 men there • that could lift it. I couldn't lift it and I could lift quite a bit. I couldn't budge it. (Why did you leave?) Well, the winter was coming on and the weather was kind of bad and you'd only get paid for the days you worked. If it was ba'd and slushy you wouldn't be working. So I thought I'd go home. I used to go trapping in the winter? time. I was anxious to get back at that. I'd make more money at trapping than I did there. Malcolm DeajQ, Tarbot: I was about 15 vdien I went to work in the quarry. The two of them were going, then. What they called the Old Quarry and the New Quarry • what they called the Little Quarry, over by the lake. I worked first in the Little Quarry, driving a horse. They were dumping in the lake • the muck • the stuff that was no use to go out for plaster. I drove a horse in a dump cart a lot of time. I was filling the cart. When it was loaded I'd be going out to the lake with it and dump it there. Kenny MacDonald was on the dump to see that the horse wouldn't go in the lake. Dump was high, you know, the water was a way down. Kenny was out there waiting, watching the teams turning around. He'd put a big stick behind the cart before the horse would back over the dump. You'd back the horse to the stick, then open the cart and dump the load in the lake. Then • to tell you the truth • I must say that I was fired out of there for running rhe bctaton institute of cape breton studies The Beaton Institute of Cape Breton Studies is a depository of Cape Breton history and the Archives of the College of Cape Breton. It consists of more than 14,000 historic records, the literary and graphic outpourings of Cape Bretoners. Whether to satisfy personal curiosity or if you have something to contribute, the Institute will remain open from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p. m., Monday to Friday, or phone or write: THE BEATON INSTITUTE OF CAPE BRETON STUDIES THE COLLEGE OF CAPE BRETON P. O. Box 760 Sydney, Nova Scotia Telephone 539-5520 GEORGE HI'S SEAL FOR THE COLONY OF CAPE BRETON DESIGNED IN 1785 Cape Breton's Magazine/4
Cape Breton's Magazine
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