Page 27 - Robt. Elmsley's "Early History of Baddeck"
ISSUE : Issue 42
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1
Elmsley helped to cut the trees to receive the frame, and had charge of the store for years. He then bought the property and stock, and associ? ated himself with Alexander Taylor, just from Aber? deen, and Taylor & Elmsley continued the business. They built a brig, the Victoria, in 1853, and [9) sailed her in connection with the business. The Victoria was built just where Mr. Haliburton's boathouse appears--a pond was there some 3 or 4 feet deep, and the land was probably from 60 to 80 feet further out. We had a fine wharf in front, together with two warehouses. I set the trees in front of the house, and I had a dozen rabbit snares just where the tan shop was rear of McKillop's, but the woods were thick away up to Baddeck road. The mainmast for the Highlander was cut at the rear of McKillop's. I was deeply impressed with the beauty of the is? land. There was a snug house, a lovely garden and well, and a thick forest of beautiful birch and ma? ple, with only a patch here and there. On landing I stood and admired the scene--I fancied myself Robinson Crusoe and imagined myself monarch of all I surveyed. I had great fun with Mr. Kidston, who was a jolly fellow, and of whom I have much to say funny. I visited the mainland (a wilderness), no roads--I 10) found a store occupied by Joseph Campbell, an Ir? ishman, with a black beaver hat. He came from Hal? ifax in 1829--born in Ireland, went to Boston in 1854, and died. He kept a dingy shop with some nice goods, and knew how to sell them, but for hard cash and a little prigging and pressure, would come down 60% on a good article. I paid him Is.3d. for a pound of nice white ship bread. He was a great man for eels for the Montreal market. He was the first Postmaster here, and his letters, when he had any, were placed under the tablecloth. The mail came from Sydney once a week, and the Postmaster walked to and from having a canvas bag with leather straps on his back--many trips he had nothing coming and going, and sometimes one letter or paper for me which he delivered to me on his re? turn to Sydney. He often brought me some white ship biscuits and, I remember, vinegar for my salmon. His time of departure was scheduled for early morn? ing, but he would not rise till 10 or 11 a.m. for the King. In 1842 the waykeeper received no salary, but he was allowed to frank letters up to 30 ounces each mail, and received two pence for each letter mailed and delivered. Thick woods all a- round this Irishman • unless in front, no road. A Dougald Kennedy had a Little shop at the beach a- bout opposite Albert Hart's house, or a little be? yond. I think he sprang from River Denys--he evap- orated--can't trace him. Mary Crowdis, spouse of John Ingraham of Margaree, and W. W. Jones, were the first two white persons born in Big Baddeck--Mary was the first. There were several settlers in Big Baddeck, but how they got there, whether from Margaree, or up Baddeck River, or from the clouds, I could not tell, how? ever, they needed supplies, and they blazed tracks through the woods to Little Baddeck (so-called) and to civilization. There being no roads at this time the sea beach was used from Charles Campbell's store to Hector MacLean's log house, east of Knox Church, and pro? bably a track was blazed through the woods north for those who had no boat. It is remarkable, yet true, that the sea has en? croached on the land over 132 feet at Hector Mac- Lean's, and from 80 to 100 feet at Mr. Halibur? ton's. Some years ago (1900), the water could not be seen for trees from Haliburton's to Dr. MacDon- ald's residence, and particularly only as far as the pond, this means from the road at present used. TEXT CONTINUED ON PAGE 29 (11) The Treasure Cove High Quality Gifts and Hardcrafts AND A SELECTION OF QUALITY BOOKS Phone 564-8158 Corner Charlotte St. & Townsend St. Sydney High Quality Gifts and Crafts from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Abroad $jtctttc-+ Gortex Parkas and Pants by Woolrich and North Face 189 Townsend St., Sydney Phone 539-7165 (2'>
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