Page 44 - A Legend Reconsidered "Granny Ross" by Elva E. Jackson
ISSUE : Issue 37
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/8/1
THE A THE Ceilidh aL Cabot Trail ''Trail WILL YE HO COME BACK AGAIN. No nnatter where you stay in the county of Inverness you will enjoy spectacularly beautiful There are countless little coves to countryside complemented by explore, the vt'armest beaches in a rugged dramatic coastline. t??'? Maritimes, hiking trails up to rocky mountain glens. Ask for the day trip brochures at any provincial tourist booth. MAINLAND NOVA SCOTIA HASTINGS*' "Qjr beaches have the >A/armest waters, our people have the kindest hearts." THE INVERNESS COUNTY MUNICIPAL TOURIST COMMITTEE BOX 179 PORT HOOD, NOVA SCOTIA ety in food. Game, however, was usually plentiful with many moose and caribou in the rural districts. Even this was some? times in short supply, and there is a rec? ord of the Indians suffering great hard? ships from hunger because of the shortage of moose and caribou in the winter of 1796. Salmon were plentiful in the Margaree Riv? er during the summer, and they could often be caught with only a bit of rag on a hook for bait. Blueberries grew on the barrens and raspberries appeared around the stumps in the clearings; but there was no sugar nor containers for preserving them. Salt was precious and had to be brought in from outside. Potatoes were usually the first crop to be planted, the hills being made in the first cleared ground. It is said that James Ross walked all the way from Little Bras d'Or to Margaree with a bag of potatoes on his back for his first planting. Grain would be sown on the potato patch the next year and the potatoes would be sown in a new patch of cleared and burned ground. Each settler tried to obtain a cow as soon as possible so as to have a supply of milk and butter. The cattle would be put out to pasture and some of the cleared ground would be allowed to produce hay for the winter. With settlements along the river and more settlers along the coast near Margaree Har? bour, trade began between the latter place and St. John's, Newfoundland, in the lat? ter part of the eighteenth century. Thus salt, tea, molasses, and other such sup? plies were brought in and carried on human back up to the pioneer farms. James Ross' first house--a log structure-- was built on what is now about the centre of the farm which is now owned by his great-grandson, Thomas E. Ross. Here, on the level valley, near a fine brook and close by a cold bubbling spring, they chose the spot for their home. In these homes an iron pot was a necessity and one of the valued possessions; but there were few dishes. Most kitchen uten? sils were made of wood. Wooden tubs, bar? rels , churns, and such were in such demand that each district had a cooper. In 1818 Hezekiah Ingraham, 63, and James Ingraham, 38, gave their trade as coopers in the Mar? garee district. Some of Granny Ross' pluck may be seen in the following incident. One fine summer's day the cabin waiting for the cream to set so that she might churn it into butter. As she worked inside, she heard a lapping sound outside the door; and looking out, she saw a dog which she recognized as be? longing to some Indians finishing the last of her milk and cream. This was not the first time this had happened, and violent? ly angry at the loss of her precious cream, she quickly rammed powder into the musket she had brought from Louisbourg, fired, and killed the dog instantly. Under the bearskin rug on the rough floor was a hatch leading to a dug-out where po-
Cape Breton's Magazine