Page 70 - With Dan Angus Beaton, Blackstone: Farm Life, Dredging on the Great Lakes, and Tales
ISSUE : Issue 47
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1
The Beaton family at the farm at Blackstone, c. 1910. Front row, left to right: Dan Angus; father Finlay J.; Catherine Agnes; mother Mary (Beaton); John Finlay (small child in dress); John Alex; Joseph Ronald. Back row: Catherine; Annie May. that two yefeirs before it came into being that we were paid for working on the road. And when we started working (for pay), we were paid a dollar a day for 10 hours. And then, after we did get started to get paid on the road, we got paid (only) once a year, in November. It didn't matter how much you worked. You'd only get maybe 4, 8, or 9 days (in the year), or whatever. But you only got paid once during the whole year, that would be in November. (The job would only be 8 or 9 or 10 days.) That's it, that's it. There was no steady work, period. And all bridges under 6 feet were main? tained by the provincial government, and over was by the federal, at that time. And what was over, you got paid 50 cents a day, or whatever, for working--and everybody wanted to get work on it, putting those bridges in--federal money. That would be a little money that you could get to pay the taxes. Money was hard to come by. Oh, it was awful hard to come by. Now, when the railroad went through, I re? member ourselves as making ties for the railroad. That was in later years, in 1917, even after th'w''ia'''a'e''''''''''' But you couldn't get any money for those ties. You'd have to go to some merchant. The merchant got a contract from the com? pany for so many thousand ties. And you'd get a contract from the merchant for so many ties, 200 or 400 ties. And you only got merchandise from the store. He got the money. You wouldn't get any money--none at all. The money was hard to come by. And you were very fortunate to get, even money to get groceries from the store. Do you under? stand me? (Would the merchant pay your tax? es?) No, no. I don't think so. Money was awful hard to come by. (Well, how would you pay your taxes then?) It was awful hard. Now, if you did have a deal with the merchant, that ydu had 10 cents or 15 cents coming back, he might give you that. And you had to be very care? ful that you'd save that, each time that you had business to do in the stores, that by the end of the year you'd have enough to pay your taxes. But your taxes were very small, they weren't too big. They weren't like they are today. A man that paid we'll say $25 tax was highly taxed. (And these railroad ties....) Now this was the funny part of it--they wouldn't take a tie that was sawed with a sawmill. You had IJr OVERLOOKING SYDNEY HARBOUR VistJiotel nin Tel: (902) 539-6550 Toll Free: 1-800-565-9409 ' 59 Units * Open Year Round Licensed Dining Room open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. witti Home-Styled Meals 140 Kings Road SYDNEY Nova Scotia BIP 6J9 uQT nm (70)
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