Page 2 - When the Ross Ferry Got Lost
ISSUE : Issue 8
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/6/1
George MacKay's Ross Ferry Song It was on a Thursday morning In the year of '46 Captain Arsenault gave his orders Pushed his boat from Burchell*s slip. It was by their faithful soundings That they followed that rugged shore And when they ran on Urquhart's lobster crates They knew it was North Shore, Boston had her engines running smoothly The captain says, "It is a pity As they headed out for sea That Buchanan is not on board All the boys were on the lookout For he'd know this northern country Henry Matheson at the wheel. It was here where he was born," As they rounded Point Aconi And the fog it did increase And the bouys they v/ere following In the fog they disappeared. So they set her chart and compass On a course they thought for sure That would take them to safety In the waters near Bras D'Or, After many hours of sailing Farther from their port of call "Holy Gripes," says Murdoch "That's the foghorn at St, Paul." So they set a course to westward As her mighty engines roared And how they missed Cape Smokey No one else will ever know. Boston was so hungry And in tones so loud and sure "I'll arrest you Captain Arsenault If we ever reach the shore," Henry said, "You need not worry We have food enough and more When I'll cook up the herring That we bought down at LeMoine's." Murdoch says, "It's time to swap her Beach her somewhere near Big Bill's Give her back to Angus Louie In remembrance of her thrills," It was some time in the morning That they finally reached the dock It'll go down in naval history Of the trip they took up north. It was only 5/8ths of a mile but as Tina Morrison told us, it was the doorway to all of North America, It was the road through to Sydney and North Sydney (and from there to the rest of the world) for the people of Margaree and Baddeck, The people down north usually came via Englishtovm and over the old rough road on Kelly's Mountain and crossed on the sister ferry from New Campbellton to Big Bras D'Or, Both ferries ended with the opening of the Seal Island Bridge, Roddy MacMillan told us: "I don't know how long they've been ferrying there • as long as anyone living can remember, I remember Angus Ross on the Boulardarie side. They called him The Admiral, Philip Fraser was another one on this side who ferried. He was doing that when I was a child. The last ferry just before the motor ferries was run by Mr, Matheson, He had a scow that carried horses and passengers, operated by a sail and oars. Not a regu? lar schedule • just when people came along, any hour of the day and night. Then the government decided they wanted to ferry some cars there and they got him to put a device on the scow that a car could drive aboard • sort of troughs, you know, over the stern • it was a square-stern boat," (Jess Matheson told us that up to that time his mother and father ran the ferry together, the both of them at the oars. The de? vice used to ferry cars was troughs made of logs, burnt and then dug hollow. Accord? ing to the Post-Record the first car officially to cross was owned and operated by Charles E, Coleman, Queen Street, North Sydney • the last Sunday in August, 1917, But Jess told us the first car ever to cross was ferried on August 17, 1910; it was driven by a MacDonald fellow running away with his bride,) Roddy MacMillan: "Mr, Traditional Foods Ltd Iwrite por priceli 1588Barrington St..Halifax,N.S.(902)423'630j Cape Breton's Magazinc/2 J. W Stephens Limited lUILDERS SUPPLIES HARDWARE AND PAINTS WOODWORKERS AND MILL WORK Phone the Lumber Number 564-5554 Sydfxey . rXoVA. Scotid' A member of the BOLD organization
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