Cape Breton Island Memories
Do you have a memory or story of the island you wish to share? It might be of a vacation or maybe a special time growing up here on Cape Breton Island. Tell us your story below in the comment box, we would love to hear it!
Here are a few stories found in the Cape Breton Living archived files (on old floppy disks).
M. McDougall Barrow - October 28, 2001
My father was from Cape Breton, and every summer from the time I was 2 months old until I was 14, we spent time at his mother's home in East Bay. It was always an absolutely glorious adventure for city kids from Ontario to be on the Island, it was beautiful and clean and always felt like where I was meant to be. Uncle Archie ran the gas station and corner store, and for many years we stayed in the big white house across the street from the grade school. Aunt Marge was a teacher at the high school, and the neatest nicest person I've ever known. I have MILLIONS of memories of Cape Breton, it's hard to pick just one to talk about - getting gored by a cow named "T-Bone", running around in the pasture with Mr. MacDonald's yearlings, seeing his shetland pony's new colt "Chester", putting toads in Grandma MacDougall's wooden shoes, picking berries, fishing in little Bras D'or, swimming at the beach behind St. Mary's Church, seeing jellyfish at Big Pond (yuck!), watching seagulls bobbing in the waves off Louisburg and laughing so hard that my jaws ached, roasted corn on the beach at Mira, the Cabot Trail (WOW!)..... My father Whitey McDougall died in 1971, I've never been able to come back since. Archie and Marge are both gone; so is Uncle Jack, and Uncle Teddy died young in a workplace accident. I don't think any of my cousins are on the island anymore. I don't know a THING about my Grandfather MacDougall - if someone knows the family, knows any of the history, I'd love to hear from them (and don't worry if it's scandalous - I take great pride in my "celtic mongrel" status!!! ;~)
B. Franklin - December 12, 2001
My fondest childhood memories are the times I spent on Cape Breton Island. Both my mother and father were born there. I spent every summer from birth to 16 years old at my grandparents home in Point Michaud (located just outside of St Peters). To this day, with all the beaches I have been to, there isn't one that compares to Point Michaud Beach. My grandfather (Mike Murphy), and I walked and walked so many times. Although I have been back several times since, it has been about 3 years now and I'm saving to return this summer. I can remember spending 2 winters there while my mother helped with my grandparents. My grandfather had a huge pond and he would walk every inch of it to be sure it was safe for me to skate on. He had two small cabins in the "lower field", and they would be booked years in advance with the same people, some of whom remain lifelong friends. What a special childhood I had.
S. Campbell - January 3, 2002
My mother was born in Glace Bay Nova Scotia and from the time I was 4 to 16 we would go to "The Bay" every other year. I have not been back since 1986 and I miss it dearly. When I found this website on the internet I was thrilled. My dream is to take my kids and my husband to Cape Breton Island and visit all the sites I did when I was a kid. My grandfather worked in the mines. My mother came to the US in the early 50's and there has always been a connection. I cannot say enough about Cape Breton Island. I have many pictures of Cabot Trail and places like Inverness and Cheti-camp (sorry if I spelled it wrong it has been a while) but pictures are not like seeing it in person. This yankee loves Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in particular and one of these days I plan to go back, both my grandma and grandpa are buried in Glace Bay and I plan to go back as soon as I can to see it once again.
K. MacPhee - January 11, 2002
My Cape Breton memories..... -Christmas as a child... 1 foot of fresh new snow slowly falling to the ground, as we walk into ST. Mary's Parish in East Bay, everyone greeting eachother with a friendly smile, hand shake and a Merry Christmas... -Going to my Grandmother's house for Christmas carols and apple pie with all the aunts, uncles and cousins singing around the piano... -Midnight Mass, hurrying home so that we could get to sleep before Santa arrives... -The Rankins singing "Christmas in Killarney" on CJCB 1270 -Driving through blizzards to get to the County Rink for the annual X-mas hockey tournament... -Spring...Snow melting and flooding the ditches on Glen Morrison road.. -Mud, mud and more mud.... -Going to church for Easter in Shorts and a t-shirt... -Summer...Swimming in the Bras D'or lakes( Blarney Road in East Bay)... -Out on the Mira, need I say more... -Big Pond Concert at MacIntyre's field... -Strawberry Short Cake in the Big Pond fire hall with my God Parents, Viola and Ivan... -Point Michaud Beach... -Fall...Leaves changing to the most beautiful colors I have ever seen.. -Snow on Halloween... -Hockey try-outs at the County Rink -Waiting for the bus with my sister and my 8 cousins at the Blarney Canteen... -John D. picking us up screaming about "his Maple Leafs"... -"coastin'" in East Bay... -What's goin' on b'y? -How's she goin' today? -Not bad n' yerself? -She's some hot today buddy! -Yer hard at er'! -Lookin' at er b'y! -Christmas Daddies on ATV.... -Do you know Roddie?... -Look at it, look!.. -What's your father's name?... -Charlotte Street.. -Kelly's Mountain... -Gettin' scared going over the Seal Island bridge!!.. -"Oh look Dear I nearly Died!!"... -Pj's Pizza in Sydney Forks... -Going to Riverview dances, after hiding in the woods DRINKIN'!!... -Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!! You didn't want to hear that from your Grandfather, you were in trouble then.... -How are ya now?...
I think that's enough memories for now, I'm starting to feel homesick as I listen to Kenzie Mac Neil sing the Song of the Island....I hope that you find my memories with good spirit.....till next time....take er easy b'y.....
I live now in Abbotsford B.C. but my children, ages 7and 9, are growing up on stories of love and life in Cape Breton. I think the thing I remember best is the freedom of childhood...which I suppose is changing everywhere. Running thru fields in Alder Point, walking back through the woods to the back shore or to the old barracks (watch out for open pits!) Entire days spent down at the shore with never an adult in sight. Jumping off the wharf and swimming the gut til we were so tired we'd move slowly home. Great times with friends laughing and playing. Long summer days "up the cabin" in Boularderie, a couple of miles past Ross's Ferry. Boat rides to Baddeck for an ice-cream at Stone's Drugstore. Sneaking my first smoke bought at Zaddie's store, sneaking my first kiss (I'm not telling). How many times did we all say "My mother's gonna kill me"? My mother, Anna and my father Carl, 8 brothers and sisters, good times and bad...the home of my heart...Cape Breton...see you in July when I'll be there making new Cape Breton memories with my children...
M. Currie - January 25, 2002
As strange as it seems, I was adopted as a child, found my natural relatives, and yes, they are from Big Pond. My adopted family had a bungalow in Big Pond, in a way I was always surrounded by family but didn't know it. I have always loved Big Pond, my heart was always there, now I know my roots were there also. STRANGE ISN't"T IT!