Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 55 - A Visit With the MacLeods at Belfry

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1999/6/1 (225 reads)

tell stories like that. They even believed it themselves, you know. Flora: Yes, I guess so. Roy: There was a ship landed on the shore in Crooked Lake quite a few years ago... Flora: Shipwreck! Roy: ...Before, while those people were still living on the farm down there. Dan Norman's father was living, Malcolm MacLeod and Dan MacLeod were their names--Jimmy's un? cle, this fella I'm going to talk eibout. So he used to go to Sydney--to the city--once a week or every second week, and he'd always bring a bottle home with him emd he'd hide it in the bam. He wouldn't bring it in the house. Bot? tle of rum, you know. And this time--the ship? wreck--there were people got drowned, and they took the bodies and they put them in his bam on the threshing floor and covered them. So he came home and dropped off at the road, I guess, and went into the bam. And he saw this cemvas on the floor and he lifted the canvas up and there were three bodies. So he came in? to the house and of course, he was white as a sheet. He didn't know anything edsout the ship? wreck, emd I guess it was quite a thing for him at the time. They had to tell him after he got in what happened. You hear edsout that? Jimmy: No, never heard that one. Rov: No? I often heard that. Florence (Flora) and Roy MacLeod. They are also our cover photograph, taken at their summer trailer on Flora's old family farm (Murdock MacDo? nald homestead) in Malquish • Malquish Lake and ocean in the background, upstairs and she come down with this bottle and she gave me a hot toddy. "Now," she says, "This is some of the white rum." Now, you can figure it out yourself, you know. Flora: Yeah, from the African Prince. Jiimny; From the Afri? can Prince in 1912. Flora: Imagine! Jimmv: How much she had. Well, I don't know. Ranald: Do you remember any of the stories about treasure, that they used to tell? Jimmv: No. There was no treasure. I know once there in 1912, the African Prince came ashore, load? ed with irum and Douglas fir. Well, the rum was in 90-gallon barrels • that's a big keg • 90- gallon barrels emd she come ashore down here on the beach, down below MacCormicks'.... Ra? nald: Down at Belfry. Jimmv: And it broke all apart and these steel drums were on the beach in the wintertime. Needless to say, they're out in the country now. So they sent a custom officer from HalifeLK. And this was scattered, rum was scattered between Belfry Gut and Wing? ing Point emd one mem to pa? trol that. Now, you can fig? ure it out for yourself. Ranald: Winging Point in Gabarus? Jimmv: Yes. Flora: Well, the women those days never drank really. Jimmv: No. Flora: They had it for med? icine. Jimmy; She might have only had a gal? lon, possible. Jimmy: And there was a lot of it stored.... Lena: Well, they used it for medicine • that's what they used it for. Flora: Yes, yeah, for colds. It was the aspirin of the day, I guess. Jimmy: They even hauled them and cut holes in the ice in the lake, dumped the barrel and never got it. "Course, a 90-pound barrel, you cem't • that's the same as one of those big mo? lasses puncheons. You cem't hemdle that! Well, I guess they got some of it, but most of the peo? ple got it and took it home and hid it in the woods. It was all over the place--for years and years. White rum, it was white rum. Well, I'll tell you one thing about it • I don't remember it, but I remember working up in the valley 1939, '39 or '40, and I come home emd I went to Munroes??, Mrs. Munroe's. I had a bad cold. And she went (DtecFfixm HEARING AID CENTRE LTD. Helping People Hear Since 1961 • WCB Authorized • Counselling • Complete Hearing Assessments • Repair / Leaner Service • DVA Taps Cards Accepted Two Locations to Serve You Commerce Tower 173 Esplanade Sydney, Nova Scotia Canada B1P6H2 Renwick Place 157 Commercial St. Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Canada B1A3B9 (902) 539-5881 (902) Wednesdays 849-8656 Toll Free: t 1-800-565-5881 C STOP AT DINO'S fresh baked goods * souvenirs magazines * film * charcoal gifts * novels * camp fuel * ice Ingonish One Stop Store & Restaurant 'am STAY AT DING'S Trailer Park Laundromat . close to the National Park Ingonish 55
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