Page 63 - Neil A. MacKinnon of Rear Beaver Cove
ISSUE : Issue 44
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1
Neil A. MacKinnon, on a walk a long what is left of the road to Rear Beaver Cove, in 1985. snow, but any winter--just to get all the work done.) Well, it was just--she had to depend on the neigh? bours if there was any work that the children couldn't do, she'd ask a neighbour to do a day's work, and they wouldn't charge anything. In the old days there was no such thing as welfare, only what the neighbours would give you. The neighbours had to do that because they didn't know when their own turn would come, and somebody would have to help them. And that's the way it was. But today, there's no such thing as getting a neighbour. The government has to do it.... But my God, you know, we had a hard time in the old days. It was terrific. And of course, that stood me good in the War. Be? cause I really appreciated what we went through. And I often told them there, "Now, we have it tough over here, but we had it tougher in The Rear where I come from." I worked hard when I was 9 and 10 years old. You know, when Sydney Mines was going strong, they used to take timber for the pits, carloads of it. My mother'd go down, she'd get an order for a carload of pit timbers. She'd take that home. And the ol? der boys, they'd go out cutting. I was on? ly about 10. I'd be hauling this stuff out, the trees out, to the road. And then we'd fix up that lumber--double sleighs, you know--we'd haul it in to where the train was. When we would get enough there for a carload, we'd load a carload and ship it off to Sydney Mines. A lot of work in that. But still, it was the only source we'd have for to get supplies. When you'd make a car--it would take about 160 dozen 6-footers and 6-foot-8s, hewed on two opposite sides. Two flat sides. You'd get a little more, couple of cents more, for that than the round ones. If we got a boxcar, we'd be lucky. But very of? ten they'd only give us a flatcar. We'd have to put about 36 hardwood standers, a- bout 10 feet high--that would hold the tim? ber in place. We wouldn't get anything for that--all those standers we put in. Oh, somebody was using them. But they wouldn't pay us for that. That was going with the car. And then we had to pay half of the cost of the freight, to Sydney Mines from Beaver Cove. And you had to have the car loaded within 48 hours, or they'd charge you for standing • So you had to load it pretty fast. (How long would it take you to cut enough to make a boxcar?) It'd take about a month. Sometimes a month and a half if the weath? er was bad. When we'd be through planting we'd cut possibly 50 or 100 dozen, pile them. Then after haymaking we'd start haul? ing them out. And then we'd cut more, till we'd get the carload. We'd have to haul it out. We'd have to haul it in that mile and a quarter. You'd have to cross it. Order a car, load the car, and ship it. And after all this work was done, you'd possibly get--if it was only for ourselves, we'd get about $120 for that. That's it. That's as much as we'd get, if we were lucky. And if they were condemning too m'ich, we wouldn't get that much. If there wasn't 3 inches in the small end, they could con? demn it. Very seldom they'd condemn it. Sometimes we'd make a carload, and we used to sell them to the stores. He'd give you groceries in trade. So anyway, that's the story of the days be? fore the Great War, When the Great War - FOR A REAL CAPE BRETON WELCOME TO CAPE BRETON t''ney '' The p''''' OLD SYDNEY PUB Finest Food and Beverages * Nightly Dancing * Fresh Seafoods * Everything We Serve Is Homemade * * A Comfortable Atmosphere for a Meal and a Good Time Phone 539-3003 581 Grand Lake Road, Sydney The Sydney-Glace Bay Highway, off Route 125
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