The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sheffield New Brunswick Genealogy

We stopped in the Sheffield area along the St. John River in New Brunswick to do a little more genealogical research for Barbara.

Barbara found this plat map in the online New Brunswick archives that shows King's Land Grants that were issued in 1764.

Barbara's fourth great-grandfather, Samuel Upton, came from Massachusetts in 1764 and was awarded the plot numbered 27 on this map.  It was intriguing that the plots were 40 rods (220 yards) wide and up to 7 miles deep.  This insured that everyone had access to the river.

We happened to stay in a small campground in Sheffield associated with a country store and restaurant named Casey's.

While playing around with the map of land grants and some Google satellite imagery, we discovered that the campground just happened to sit right on the river end of Barbara's ancestor's land!

A short distance from Casey's store was this old house being reclaimed by the local vegetation.

Hopewell Rocks 2017

After Prince Edward Island, we headed down to Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick to re-visit another of our favorite places, Hopewell Rocks.  This is a wonderful location to really appreciate the tides of the Bay of Fundy.

The afternoon we arrived was the day of the solar eclipse.  While we didn't really expect to see anything, I did find that from our location the sun would be about 40% covered.  So I quickly assembled some very hi-tech gear to make my observations.  This involved a paper plate, a collapsible colander and my iPhone.

Later that afternoon we drove to nearby Hopewell Rocks at low tide, and then again the following morning at high tide.

The view from the top of the bluffs at the different tides

From another view point

From the top of the access stairs

The ocean floor below the bluffs at low tide

It was easy to see where the average high tides were in the erosion of this rock.

The access stairs at high tide

Kayak tours are led around the rocks during high tide.

Some flowers near the trails

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Celtic Music on Prince Edward Island

After Nova Scotia, we spent a few days visiting Prince Edward Island.  One of our main goals was to hear some music at the College of Piping in Summerside.  Unfortunately, we found that they had suspended public performances due to dust caused by construction activity at the college.  But we were able to take in two very good traditional music performances at other locations on the island. 

Roy Johnstone, Margie Carmichael Sciotto and Rob Drew
at the Irish Hall in Charlottetown  (8 min. 20 sec.)
(keep an eye on the fiddler's feet)

Richard Wood, Gordon Belsher and Brad Fremlin
at the Women's Institute Hall in Stanley Bridge (9 min. 48 sec.)


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cape Breton Music

One of our top reasons to visit Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, was for their rich local tradition of Celtic music.  We attended a number of music concerts, or ceilidhs as they are called locally (in Gaelic).  Below are links to some video montages from those.

The Red Shoe Pub (2 min. 35 sec.)

The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre (1 min. 45 sec.)

The Chestico Museum (4 min. 2 sec.)

The Glenora Distillery Pub (3 min. 19 sec.)

The Scottish Concert (18 min. 41 sec.)

Marshmallow Farms

One of the things we noticed driving around Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, was the large number of farms growing giant marshmallows 😊.  But we couldn't find anyone growing giant graham crackers or giant chocolate bars 😭.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Fortress of Louisbourg

Another place we definitely wanted to re-visit in Nova Scotia was Parks Canada's reconstruction of part of the French built Fortress of Louisbourg.  This site played a very important role in the early struggles between France and Britain for control of North America.

Our 2008 blog post about the fortress can be seen at:
 Fortress of Louisbourg - 2008

Luckily, a lot of documents about the fortress and its inhabitants have survived.

This 1980s painting by Canadian artist Lewis Parker depicts a busy day in the Louisbourg harbor in August 1744.  The ships depicted were all known to be in the harbor at that time.

The Desroches Tavern just outside the fortress walls

Dried cod was a major commercial enterprise for the area.

An early lobster trap
In this era, lobster was considered trash food only good for poor people and prisoners.

Entering the fortress via the Dauphin Gate

The Frédéric Gate near the harbor was the primary gate used by most people.

Scenes around the town

The kitchen in the residence of the Chief Engineer

A spit jack
(a weight driven mechanism for slowly turning a rotisserie spit)

The armory blacksmith shop

There were several nicely tended gardens.

They also sold traditionally made and baked bread loaves.

A few cannon and cannonballs

This large tripod with a windlass was probably used to hoist the cannon on/off their carriages.