Page 35 - Starting with Our Cover Photograph" A Visit with Mary and William Crowdis
ISSUE : Issue 30
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1
call them. And there were a lot of them tailing them, hauling pulp. Mary: I stayed up on the mountain with my mother and father all the time she cooked. I stayed up there and went to school from there. I went to school down here in the valley--I walked up and down. They rented the farm and they kept horses there--well, they had to have a bunch of men there. And then there were men going back and forth to the woods from Cheticamp, even from the Madeleine Islands--from Mabou, Port Hood, all Inverness County--there'd be men work? ing in St. Ann's. And she was cooking up there. And they used to stop and get their meals on the way in, 'cause they were near? ly all walking. One day I remember of her, she gave 95 meals. (This was a sort of halfway house then....) Right. And she had a steady bunch at the mountain farm up there dll the time, William: It was a kind of a bonanza for the people here. I used to butcher for them in there once. I was hired by another man, who was Malcolm MacLeod. He was in with this Jackson, and we used to go buy? ing hay and go buying cattle. Oh, I've seen there where he lived--perhaps 50 to 100 head of cattle butchered--and they'd go in on the tote teams. So it was quite a thing for the country here to get rid of these. And they bought pork, too. And they bought potatoes sometimes, if they were short. Some of those camps had as high as 80 men, and there were a good many camps. It was a big industry, yes, for us anyway. Mary: You know, a lot of their provision came by Margaree Harbour. William: Even gasoline and kerosene. To Friar's Head. They hadn't too much of a capacity at Mar? garee Harbour for to land the stuff. And used to go to the Island and buy hay and oats and all. And sometimes it came in by rail, but if they could get it in by boat, it was much cheaper. Horses used to come in by rail, boxcars--brought in 30 or 40 horses at a time. And that wasn't all. They brought in by shipload to Murray. Now there were two sides, there was a west side and an east side. This Jackson, he had the west side. George Harvey was with the east side. It was quite a movement, I'll tell you, at one time. It's even big? ger today--but it's altogether different. You know, I worked in there for $1.35 a day. And today they're getting $60 to $70 a day. It makes me sweat. We cut pulp in there for a-dollar-something a cord, I think it was--and we paid a dollar for board. And we slept on boughs. You made poles, you know, and you put boughs across this way and fire a blanket over and that's the way you slept. Wasn't very com? fortable. And you had your shoes for a pil? low, gumshoes. 'Twas pretty rugged. (They didn't give you everything....) Oh, far from anything. And you know, I knew a fel? low that worked in there, and he had a team of horses of his own in there. Get? ting along great. And he came out for Christmas. And his wife must have made a fire on or something. And he got a cold and he never got back that winter. The heat. He was so used to.the cold. They just put moss in the cracks.' But no one was sick in there. An odd one died in there, but very odd. Mostly the flu that got them in there. But that man--he came home for Christmas and he had to get some? body else to go back and get his team--he got such a cold when he got home that he couldn't go back. And he had never had a sneeze nor a snuffle nor nothing while he was in there. (So as long as you treat them rough all the time, it's all right.) Well, it seems like that. (35)
Cape Breton's Magazine