Page 57 - The 1929 Earthquake and the Search for John MacLeod
ISSUE : Issue 67
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/8/1
Predictions for North Sydney - November 1929 'Spring' tides Day of tiie Montii (time AST) Hindcast lunar tidal predictions for the month of November 1929 at North Sydney, courtesy of Charles O'Reilly, Canadian Hydrographic Services, Bed? ford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, N.S. The broad deep low pressure zone associated with the severe storm that came through Atlantic Canada November 18-19,1929, would have raised the high lunar "spring" tide even higher on the evening of November 18,1929, when the tsunami pulses were arriving on Cape Breton Island. of downtown Sydney including covering the Esplanade. The rising tsunami almost completely de? stroyed the large "haul-over bridge" that spanned the gap between "Januvin's [sic] Harbour and Island Madame" (Sydney Post, Friday, November 22, 1929, p. 8. col. 8). The Sydney Post article datelined Arichat, November 19, 1929, reported that the chan? nel beneath the old bridge at Mousseliers Passage between Janvrin Island and Isle Madame was now 20 feet deep at low tide; a small fishing boat of Captain Joseph Bona was also reported swept away. The article ended with the reassuring report that, "Other minor damage was reported along Centre for International Studies • DEcSOUDCE CENTDE • Over 3000 Books, Magazines & Periodicals on • Development • Environment • Economic • Other Critical International Issues ~ Available Throughout Cape Breton Phone 562-6090 Or Visit Us at 390 Charlotte Street 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday COFFEE • VIDEOS PHOTOCOPYING For SCHOOL & COMMUNITY PROGRAMS call 929-2063 or 539-5300 ext. 267 MILL DEMOLISHED, MAN IS MISSING Find No Trace Of Watchman Since Giant Tidal Wave Fear John MacLeod Perished With Cape Breton Saw Mill, Washed Away by Waters Point Tupper, Dec. 15 • 'Word has been re? ceived here by R. Dunphy that his saw mill, located at Lower River Inhabitants, was completely demolished by the giant tidal wave which swept in the wake of the recent earthquake and that John Mac? Leod, who had been employed to watch the mill, is missing. According to meagre details available it is learned that the mill was washed away by the tidal wave, which swept in with such force as to carry away the flimsy founda? tion, causing the superstructure to col? lapse into the water. The loss, however, is estimated at only a few thousand dollars. FEARS ENTERTAINED Grave fears are entertained for the safety of Mr. MacLeod, a middle aged man, who had been employed to watch the mill. Just when he was last seen is not known here, but from information reaching Mr. Dunphy it is learned that nothing has been seen or heard of the missing man since the date of the earthquake. Whether or not the man was asleep within the mill when the tidal wave swept in and along the coast and carried away the mill, or whether he is still alive somewhere is not known. Meanwhile interested parties are making inquiries within the vicinity in the hope that something definite will be found out in the next few days. from the Halifax Henald Monday, December 16,1929 this coastline, none of any great importance." A 1989 interview with Billy James MacNamara recounts his experience at Evanston on the east bank of River Inhab? itants on the night of the tsunami (Cape Breton's Magazine, 1989, Volume 50, pp. 27, 30-32) . Billy James described the river waters "swelling up" 3.5 to 4 feet high on the wall of his fish shed but he did not lose his building. Vflien asked if anyone was hurt Mr. MacNa? mara replied, "I never heard of any? one hurt." The first record we have of John Mac? Leod's loss is in a single article that appeared in the Sydney Post almost a full four weeks after the tsunami. The page 1, column 6 article of the Friday, December 13, 1929, issue heralded "Cape Bretoner Feared Drowned" with a Port Hawkesbury December 11 date? line. The Sydney Record had the same brief story from Canadian Press on December 16 (p. 1, col. 7) and reprinted it verbatim December 17 (p. 8, col. 5), correcting an error in the headline of the 16th. John MacLeod was employed as a night watchperson in a sawmill facility at Lower River Inhabitants, Richmond County, owned by R. Dunphy of Point Tupper. The tsunami surged into the harbours at Sydney, Canso, and Lower River Inhabitants; at the latter Fully Licensed Restaurant CflOW VAN f00 A Warm Welcome OPEN DAILY 11 A.M. to 1 A.M. FRI. and SAT. till 2 A.M. SUN. till MIDNIGHT Major Credit Cards Accepted Gift Certificates * Ample Parking Oriental and Canadian Cuisine in a relaxed and elegant dining atmosphere Daily Luncheon Specials Banquet Facilities Available Take Out Orders Delivered Excellent Service and Fine Food ' 460 Grand Lake Rd., Sydney 562-0088 or 539-2825
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