Page 3 - The Plaster Quarry at St. Ann's
ISSUE : Issue 15
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/12/1
hour. And we were working 10 hours a day, I was walking home every night • There was no boarding house or anything out there the first years. Wie'd walk out there to? gether in the morning. Wfe'd take out our lunch • sandwiches and meat. And we'd make the tea out there • the vdiole bunch of us. We worked most of the winter. Used to work until about the first of March • until it started getting soft and everything was too sloppy and we couldn't work very well. (Cold?) Oh, you wouldn't mind it in the wintertime at all. No. I'd rather work there in the wintertime than the summer? time because it was terrible hot some days out there. The flies wouldn't bother you so very much but the heat was bad. You know, the face of the quarry would draw the he%t (Did you think it was a good job?) You know, when you are working for 12 cents an hour you could not think of anything else but it was a good job. Them are the days that I made ray fortune. (And did you make songs out there?) No. You couldn't sing at 12 cents an hour. (And when it was over?) There was some company up in New Glasgow bought the whole outfit. Took the tracks. I worked on that, taking up the tracks. Anything that was any good they took. The pier was here for a number of years, stood quite a long time • and you wouldn't know there was even a pier there today. There was two blocks made of logs filled with stones. There was one great big one on the outer end. And then there was one in the centre. And the rest was creosote piles. But all gone long ago. All gone long agOo Hector & Katie Carmichael; George Morrison ran the Little Engine; Jack Sam Hinkley Jack Sam Hinkley, Pleasant Bay: I worked in the gypsum quarry up there, 1909. I went from here over to Cape North • walked over the mountain • and I went on a steamer that used to run to Sydney. Her name was the old Weymouth • you ever hear of her? She went up St. Ann's in where the ferry is there • Englishtown • she went up to North River. There was a government wharf at North River about halfway between North River bridge and Goose Cove. And we landed there. There were two more fel? lows with me. One only died a year ago • a cousin of mine • John Hinkley too. And we landed there and we went over only a mile or more where the road turned up the mountain at Goose Cove. And we walked up the mountain 3 miles to t diere the quarry was. I went up some time in August and worked there till I suppose the last of November. Ihe weather began to get dirty, sleet and snow • I left and came back* They had a big crane and they had a big platform • it'd be as big as the back of two half-ton trucks, the box • and you'd fill that big platform with chunks of gypsum big as what you could lift • big as the chair, some of it • and then this crane was a fellow operating a winch and' he'd raise it up and dump it in the railway cars. The quarry was right there and they were blasting it right out of the hill. After a week or two when it'd get too far to carry they'd shift the crane in closer to the face. Then there were horse and dump carts there too. Some were breaking it smaller with picks. Some more that you'd drill a little hole in, put a little shot of dynamite in? break it small enough so you could lift it, put it in the carts. (Heavy work?) Heavy enough. Worked 10 hours. $1.25 a day for 10 hours. Then you had to pay your board out of that. But I didn't mind the work. But by God it was hot in that white gypstira, you know. It was as vdiite in the blazing sun • it was awful hard on your eyes. And you had to work there boy • the boss was right th'''-.e all the time. You wouldn't stop 5 minutes to stand. It didn't matter how slow you worked but you had to keep a-going. Cape Breton's Magazine/3
Cape Breton's Magazine