Page 17 - A Visit with Max Basque, Whycocomagh
ISSUE : Issue 51
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/2/1
My father only worked there about a month, I guess, and he got all choked up, and a daughter told him he had to get away from the quarry. See, this stone dust--the same thing that stopped him from working in the coal wharf. So, we moved to--him and John Abraham, they went looking for a job, and they went to Millview. And they got a job there. My father, building a new sawmill, or making a bigger expansion to the saw? mill that was there for Moirs Chocolate-- Moirs Chocolate factory was right there, but they were building a big sawmill for boxes. And my father worked there; he was quite a carpenter. That was 1920. And we lived up near that first dam. There was a pipeline from the dam--I don't know what it was running-- down by the mill. But there was this big iron pipe all the way down. And there was only my father and John Abraham. John Abraham died in Truro here just a few years ago, and his wife died only about a year ago. But there were only two camps there. And that's when they paved--started paving the first road that was ever paved, I guess, in Nova Scotia, from Bedford to Halifax. And of course there was a lot of hand labour and pick-and-shovel work. And finally by the end of the summer, the latter part of summer, I think, there were around 60 camps--wigwams and shanties--up near the lakes there. I know my Uncle Henry Sack came there not too long after we ar? rived there. I suppose the word spread there was lots of work, 1920. And he was a foreman on the road where there were all these Indians that were working there. A lot of them were from Cape Breton--Eska? soni and Wagmatcook--Nyanza--and, it seems to me not too many from Whycocomagh. But there were a few: Charlie Poulette and Wil? liam Poulette. And then some Goulds. But I know there were lots of Indians there. But my father still worked in Moirs' mill. That was 1920. And 1921, we stayed there Siuberges iiunnoLvn - Inns - Welcome''''' You to 50 Lovely, Newly-Renovated Suites & Fine Dining at Family Prices A Fully Licensed Dining Room featuring Fresh Seafood WANDLYN INN 100 King's Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia B1S1A1 (902) 539-3700 TOLL FREE: 1-800-561-0000 (Canada) 1-800-561-0006 (U. 8.) Senior Citizen Discount Max's father, Simon Basque, son of Benjamin and IVIary Barrington Basque, circa 1880-90 all winter. First we had a wigwam on top of that grade. And he built a good-sized shan? ty- -tarpaper shack back in the woods a ways. I'm not sure if he built that in 1920 or '21. But I know there were some people from Chapel Island--no, Barra Head--they lived a little further along, back on a little old road going into the woods. And then, there were camps all over the place. And that fall, my mother went to Maine. Her mother was over there. She had been there since, oh, the early part of this century. Her and my Grandfather Sack--they separated, early part of the 1900s. And Same Old Gift Shop Located on the Cabot Trail (Cheticamp, N. S. 902-224-2916) I OPEN: 9 AM. to 9 P.M. June 2 to October 251 ALL CAPE BRETON HANDCRAFTS *Folkarts * Handmade Quilts * Ice * Hooked Rugs * Souvenirs * Film * Ice Cream U. S. Currency at Banl< Rate * All Major Credit Cards Accepted See the Head Bones of the Great Fin Whale Inquire here about Horserides SERVING CAPE BRETON • READY MIX CONCRETE • CONCRETE SEPTIC TANKS • PATIO BLOCKS PRIME BROOK, SYDNEY 539-5217
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