Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 71 > Page 37 - Mary Willa Littler and "The Strangers' Grave"

Page 37 - Mary Willa Littler and "The Strangers' Grave"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/12/1 (330 reads)

Joshua MacNeil was a native of Port Hood. His name appears in the 1871 Canadian cen? sus. And he is listed as a 4-year-old boy, indicating that he was born in 1867, the year of Canadian confederation. His father was John MacNeil, born in Nova Scotia, and his mother was the first wife of John Mac? Neil, Elizabeth Ellen Bull, who was born in Prince Edward Island. Joshua MacNeil was born and raised on a small mixed farm owned by his parents on the Irish Road in the district of Port Hood. His ethnic ori? gin was Irish and his religion was Presby? terian. Joshua's father John was the son of William and Catherine, who were both born in Ireland. Joshua had brothers Da? vid, John Robert, and Charlie, and sisters Jane, Sarah, and Christena. Joshua MacNeil still has a stepbrother living in the Glencoe Station area of Port Hood district. He came as an English or? phan to the MacNeil farm on May 24, 1920, when John MacNeil was 80 years of age. John MacNeil died in 1928. (Joshua's) stepbrother's name is John Guest. John Guest has told me that he often heard his stepfather speak about Joshua. Joshua ap? parently was a favourite son, and the fa? ther never fully recovered from the mining death of his son. He had a picture of his son Joshua always on display in the house. "The fact that Joshua followed mining was not unusual in that mining was one of the main pillars of Port Hood's economy in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many miners came out of the Port Hood districts...." So, I have proof that Joshua MacNeil was brought to Port Hood, but there's no phys? ical evidence at his father's grave. I went to Port Hood and visited with John Guest, with John Gillies. Like, John Guest was full of information, and just a really interesting fellow. But when we went to the cemetery, we found Joshua's father's headstone, and the fact that it said 1928, that John MacNeil died. But we couldn't see anything for Joshua. John Guest was WE BUY AND WE SELL AND WE'RE AS NEAR AS YOUR TELEPHONE Sid's Used Furniture Phone 564-6123 436 Charlotte Street, Sydney Make a Good First Impression • Letterhead • Envelopes • Invoices • Business Cards • Reports • Price Lists • Newsletters • Manuals • Resumes • Purchase Orders • Menus • Flyers • Brochures • Tickets • Booklets • DESKTOP PUBLISHING. 562-2122' FAX: 562-7937 • 200 Charlotte St. (near Dorchester St.) • SYDNEY • CENTRES COAST TO COAST • always calling him "Joshuway." And I really enjoyed that-- Joshuway. (So did we put a marker in that area?) I didn't because I couldn't physically find something. And if ever I can establish that it's to the left or to the right (of his father's grave), you know--I'm going to do something some day, but I just don't know how I can do it or when I can do it--you know. (You set a nice example.) Thank you. (You don't boast or brag about this, you just do this. Why?) Oh, I don't know how to let go of it. Mary Willa chuckles. I don't know why. Our thanks to Joe Black for introducing us to Mary Willa Littler. Mary Willa Littler is the kind of person for whom we are all grate? ful. She is still searching for information that will eventually tell who is in "The Strangers' Grave." She's out there somewhere today, sticking to this important subject, staying focused and sniffing out every clue • staying on the trail of Information that's really important to all of us. We cannot send out enough praise for that kind of caring attention. If you have information for Mary Willa Littler, or a note of en? couragement, write to her c/o Cape Breton's Magazine, Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, NS BOC 1 HO. (Eapf irrtnn Cape Breton ISLAND You're always welcome to come and enjoy the warm hospitality of Cape Breton Bed and Breakfasts - an island experience that goes hand in hand with our unique and splendid scenery. If you appreciate the personal touch and all the comforts of a home, then check into a Cape Breton B&B; on your island vacation. 1-800-565-9464 for intonnation 37
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