Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 20 > Page 7 - Lobster Factories around Cape Breton

Page 7 - Lobster Factories around Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1 (416 reads)

Laurie Kaiser, Big Bras d'Or: I started buying fish when I was 13 years old. I never worked inside the factory. My par? ents used to come down to Cape Breton the last of April or the first of May. The season was the 15th of May until the 15th of July. They'd come from Guysborough to Alder Point. My mother used to come down by train and the rest of us would come down in our own boat. We all used to go to Alder Point, or sometimes my father came down here first and dropped us off at Big Bras d'Or. E. G. Whitman had a lobster factory at Alder Point and the fellow that used to look after that one was Herb Smith, and Mr. Whitman looked after this one here. Then there was a fellow by the name of Theodore Smith • and he was a timekeeper 0- ver there and an office manager at Lingan, and he had a foreman whose name was Billy Blunt and his wife was the cook • and my aunt, Mrs. John Taylor, and John Taylor himself used to buy lobsters in Glace Bay and bring them to Lingan at that time. There was a factory at Lingan. My mother was cooking at Alder Point, cooking for the employees at the factory. My brother and I collected lobsters at Big Bras d'Or. We went between 8 and 10 miles away. I used to go out Big Bras d'Or here and down around and I used to go up to Englishtown. And then I'd go down on the north side to Indian Brook and pick up the lobsters. And beyond that was D. B. MacLeod collecting the lobsters for his factory at Breton Cove. Then when D. B. went out of the pic? ture, Mr. Whitman bought the lobsters all the way to Wreck Cove • clean down to Sandy MacDermid's • that was the last call that he had to make. (Did you go into the lake?) The first year, yes, we went to collect clean to Port Bevis. We used to go up there twice a week. They were inside and they could keep them in crates. Here at Big Bras d'Or there was at one time as many as 60 girls alone working in this factory. 18 men. It was a common thing at that time to pack 60 cases of lobsters in a day. A case would have 48 tins. A lot of the girls were local help' • but there were rooms over the can shop for girls to stay • 2 or 4 to a room. They'd stay at the factory till Saturday night, then they'd come back again on Sunday night. May 15 till July 15?? that was the season • An off-shore view of E. G. Whitman's lobster factory at Lingan and an example of the labels used on cans packed at his factory at Big Bras d'Or. Beside cans, he was the only packer in Canada to use glass .jars. Cape Breton's Magazine/7
Cape Breton's Magazine
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