Page 28 - Lakeboats on the Bras d'Or
ISSUE : Issue 15
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/12/1
The mail boats stayed in the lakes, running twice a day between Baddeck and lona, meeting the trains near where the bridge spans Barra Straite They include BLUE HILL, LUTHERIAN. PEARL CANN and TOMAHA' • re-named SHENACADIE, It is important to our story to know that the Grand Narrows bridge over which the train passes on its way to and from Sydnev. is a multiple span bridge that opens to let boats pass through to the Upper Lake and St. Peter's Canal or simply to the wharf at Grand Narrows. We have collected here a few memories of those days and conclude with a Visit with with Capt. George Dolomont, who served on many vessels, including 15 years on the Shenacadie. the last of the mail boatsT '?? l?? J'tA'', The BLUE HILL with one stack and later with two stacks, and Capt. Dan MacRae, shown here aboard the, Catherine MacDermid; I grew up on the Blue Hill. Spent a lot of time there. My father was Capt, MacRae and he was on the Blue Hill for 25 years. It made tvra trips a day over to lona; it connected with a train in the morn? ing going west and in the evening going east. They car? ried the mails and that's how people travelled before cars. Usually tourists came in the spring and stayed the summer, iVe'd almost live in the wheelhouse. The morning trip was at 7 over to meet the train and he'd get home for noon hour • then at 3;30 he left for lona again. Well, usually we'd get out of school by then and get on the trip. Many's the time I steered, I remember my father telling me to keep the flagmast in line with the steeple of the Catho? lic Church over in lona. There used to be a stop at Washa? buck • MacKay's Point • and certain days of the week it went over to Boulardari and then up. The Blue Hill was a handsome thing. Long slim beautiful white boat, Down below, lovely big wide staircase going up to the second deck; and all around were upholstered cushions, seats all around of red plush. And through the middle of the thing the smokestacks went up with a beautiful finish all over • and around the bottom_was a big round seat. It had an organ set up there. Mirrors and all that nice finish. It wasn't a rough boat at all. It was a very fine lady-like boat. And then the Blue Hill had served her day. They were taking her down to North Sydney for repairs and stopped in New Campbellton for overnight • and the thing sank before morning, vVhe-_ ther it was an accident or not I don't know. But that was the death of the Blue Hill. Where Better Service Costs No More MacLeod's FINA Baddeck Now, if Bill Fraser can shop here, then why can't you? GEORGE'S DAIRY Baddeck Pro Dive Shop C.B.School of Diving Box 416, 500 Esplanade, Sydney Scuba Courses -- Basic & Advanced Rentals • Air Station & Repairs DIVE TOURS ARRANGED ANYTIME Telephone 539-7676 Cape Breton's Magazine/28
Cape Breton's Magazine