Page 18 - 3 Strays: Art Langley Sr., Port Hawkesbury
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
3 Strays: Art Langley, Sr., Port Hawkesbury Art Langley, Sr., has appeared twice in Cape Breton's Magazine: a talk about his life and work as a marine salvager, In Issue 22, and a note on just how dirty politics can get, in Issue 25. Some people forget just how close Port Hawkesbury was to being fin? ished as a town in 1955. Art Langley was mayor, and he told us that it was the coming of the pulp mill that saved it from a ghost town • and that was only by luck.... You know, Port Hawkesbury depended a lot on the ferries across the Strait of Canso. And when (the causeway opened and) the ferries stopped (August 13, 1955), it was a black day here. Yes, sir. We knew the causeway (and thus the end of the ferry service between Port Hawkesbury and Mul- grave) was coming. Well, I guess people were glad to see it. The first off, it was to be a bridge, not a causeway. And I was definitely against a bridge. I put pieces in the paper about it, what could happen. Just picture a swing bridge up there and a vessel going through with a 3- 'or 4-knot tide going up there--and she'd take a swing with that tide one way or another and hit that bridge--just what would happen? It was very risky, I thought. I fought against the bridge. And not too much against the causeway. But I did say this, that I doubt whether a crossing would ever be made. I got that advice from the chief engineer. He and I were very good friends. His name was MacLaughlin. You see, I made all the surveys for that thing here. I had the equipment--the scows and the boats and everything to work off of. And they came down here. And a man named Carter--he and I were great friends. Both he and Mac? Laughlin said it would never be built. He said, "They've been after this for years, and it'll never happen." He said, "The ferries are doing the job." And that's why I was so cocky. I said it would never be built. I had good reason, but I wish I'd never said it. I said it at A "stray" is a portion of an interview that was not included in the final article In Cape Breton's Magazine • but remains Interesting and worth sharing a public meeting... and if I could have got that back, my son.... I guess he figured it was playing politics. They'd beeh playing politics for years. And besides, I was concerned with what was going to happen to Port Hawkesbury without the ferries. Look at Mulgrave.l It's a ghost town. It's only by luck that we got started here with that pulp mill. Yes, we fought hard to get that. I was on that Four-County Association, and we weren't sure anything would come. If a pulp mill would come, well, it'd be a won? derful thing. Eventually it did come, but we had nothing sure about it. And it was luck. One day I got a call from Boston, from J. T. Mann, who had the con? tract to make the survey here, for me to get diamond drills. "We got a plan in the mail to go to you today, and you prepare to make a survey according to those in? structions." I said, "My son, you don't know who I am, I'm in the ship repair business." "We know all about you," he said. "We want you to go ahead and we'll be down there after awhile--see what's go? ing on." Anyhow, I did it. I got fellows who owned the drills in Halifax and they came down and we did the survey and kept the borings. After a few months or so, -one Sunday, early in the morning, rap at the door. The head fellow from J. T. Mann down here. "Where are those samples? Now, let's see the holes." They went down, see if they went the full depth, see the holes, looked at the core. And there were some done in Mulgrave as well. And when they went over there, looked at the cores there--"There's no pulp mill will ever come here (Mulgrave). We went down there a . hundred feet or more and it was all muck and soft. No hard pan." They wanted a hard pan. And it was down 3 or 4 feet on the Correction to Issue 52: In the article "Ella Smith and Joanne Donovan: a Visit," page 33, where Ella Smith discusses phases of the moon and the timing of childbirth, it might mistakenly be read to mean that some doctors are actually using the phases of the moon to determine when to expect a birth. Ella Smith has asked that we make it clear that this is not the case. • The Editor CASSETTE TAPES 1. Mike MacDougall's Tape for Fr. Hector One-hour cassette of fiddler Mike MacDougall, with Tim Donovan on guitar. Nova Scotia $6.60 • Canada $6.00 • Outside Canada $7.00 2. Cape Breton Fiddlers on Early LPs Rare recordings of Dan R. MacDonald, Dan Joe Maclnnis, Donald MacLellan, Theresa MacLellan, & Johnny Wilmot (with accompanists) • one-hour cassette Nova Scotia $7.70 • Canada $7.00 • Outside Canada $8.00 3. Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald: House Parties and 78s A 90-minute cassette of all the currently unavailable 78s, plus home tapes that Winston made for friends • solo fiddle, and accompanied by piano or guitar. Nova Scotia $11.00 • Canada $10.00 • Outside Canada $10.00 Cape Breton's MAGAZINE WRECK COVE CAPEBRETON BOC IHO NOVA SCOTIA Edited & Published by Ronald Caplan with the help of Bonnie Thompson Paul Cranford • Carol Kennedy JANUARY 1990 Cape Breton LIVES: A Book from Cape Breton's Magazine Stories from the Lives of 45 Cape Bretoners • A Book of Great Voices Over 300 Pages • A Beautiful Paperback • 121 Photographs $19.95 - for mailing outside Canada, include $2.00 postage per book The Cape Breton Giant by James D. Gillis The 1893 Classic • $5.95 Paperback • 80 Pages SUBSCRIPTIONS: 4 issues In Canada $11.00 • 4 issues outside Canada $15.00
Cape Breton's Magazine