It is with great pleasure that the Tantramar Heritage Trust Board of directors wishes to announce that Rhianna Edwards has accepted the position of Administrator with the Trust. She will be working at the Trust Office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Welcome back, Rhianna!
Tantramar Historical Society Meeting
- Thursday, November 10th, 8:00 pm, Sackville United Church
- Paul Surette will be speaking on The Resettlement of Memramcook after 1755
Welcome to a new season of Tantramar discovery! Our first White Fence of the fall season 2005 begins with a remarkable coat of new paint with lots of bright new colours! Back in The White Fence No.13, we had printed a photo of a picnic poster and I had asked if anyone had information about this very public picnic which was being announced at the time. Well, Al Smith knew all about the annual Labor Day Picnic in Sackville and went out and dug out old newspaper articles describing those very special events in Sackville. So join Al and I in reading articles from the 1928 and 1929 Tribune about the annual picnic at Silver Lake as well as notes about “the old days” in Sackville as told back in 1929. Thanks so much Al! And, as you will soon see, you thought that the Town and Gown “conflicts” in Sackville were a quiet affair! The accompanying story on this subject may surprise you as much as it did me! And on a completely different playing field, the fascinating story of Daniel Lund will bring the American Civil war much closer to home than you ever thought! Thank you so much Kenneth Lund (brother of Daniel Lund in Sackville) for telling us about your most interesting ancestor! Furthermore, Colin MacKinnon takes us back to Tantramar’s native history as more of his discoveries from the banks of the Tantramar River continue to make their appearances on our pages. I hope that many other readers will respond to our continuing request for information as Al and Kenneth and Colin did and that many of our readers will follow your examples and send stories about historic events and family stories in Tantramar. Always remember that The White Fence cannot exist without your participation! But I cannot waste more space here with my words as I am starting to worry how Leslie will fit it all in!
So I welcome you all to a new season of Tantramar stories and may you, as I continue to do myself, discover more about this fascinating region of Canada that we are all so lucky to call home! Read on and, as always (I hope), discover and enjoy!
PS: And a special note, on behalf of all the members of the Tantramar Heritage Trust to congratulate one of its founders and regular contributors, Mr. Al Smith, on being voted Sackville’s Citizen of the Year. Congratulations Al! We owe you much and thank you even more! This issue of The White Fence is all yours, dear friend!
Atlas of the Acadian Settlement of the Beaubassin 1660 to 1755
Now available from the Trust.The Trust is pleased to see the completion of a project that has been in the works for over two years. Author/Researcher Paul Surette has completed a 204-page atlas that is a momentous work which presents a detailed chronology of events leading to the settling of villages. The atlas maps the locales of families who founded these new settlements along the edge of the Tantramar Marsh and can be used as a road map to visiting these historic locations. It will be of great interest to all readers interested in Tantramar’s early settlement history, particularly during the period 1660–1755. The English edition of the Atlas is currently available from the Tantramar Heritage Trust at the price of $35.00 Cdn. The French version is expected soon.The Trust office is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays or you could call 506-536-2541 or email
The Labor Day Picnic
Thursday, August 23, 1928
PICNIC FOR LABOR DAY
Posters are out announcing the annual Catholic Picnic, which has been held on Labor Day for many years. It is the last big outdoor event of the season and this year it is the only one to be held at Silver Lake. As usual a well chosen committee will take care of the hungry and supper will be served.
All the usual attractions will be found along the midway. Swimming and running races will be conducted. Big Jumbo is again ready to take the air during the afternoon and for the evening a new attraction is being provided.
PICNIC ATTRACTION FOR LABOR DAY
Monday, 27 August, 1928
Catholic Picnic at Morice’s Lake Will Provide Entertainment
Once more Silver Lake will be a scene of action for it is on the banks of this beautiful lake that the annual Catholic Picnic will be held next Monday afternoon and evening. Strange to relate it will be the only picnic held at this ideal place this season, although scores of young people are to be found either swimming or boating there each day. Students attending the summer school passed many pleasant hours there. Next Monday an opportunity will be given all to enjoy the beauties of the lake. Motor boats will be operated, while sail boats and small craft will be out on the water. A live midway with new features will give you a chance to play your favorite game. Band concerts will be given by the Citizen’s Band. Swimming and running races, open to all, and prizes for the winners, will prove interesting. In fact, it is to be a real old time get-together picnic, and, do not miss seeing the elephant hit the clouds, or, the balloon ascension; both are worth the trip to the lake. Come and bring the family.
Afternoon and Evening Programme
1.45 — Running races, four classes
2.00 — Band Concert — Midway attractions of every description during the afternoon
4.15 — Swimming races, two classes
4.30 — Band Concert
5.00 — Big Jumbo takes the air
7.00 — Midway in operation during the evening
7.30 — Balloon Ascension
9.30 — Prize drawing and auction
Thursday, August 30th
Labor Day Picnic
AT SILVER LAKE (MORICE’S POND)
AFTERNOON AND EVENING
GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS OF ALL KINDS
BAND CONCERTS AND FREE ATTRACTIONS
BOATING AND BATHING
SUPPER SERVED AT 4.30
The last big picnic of the season
September 6, 1928
BIG CROWD AT SILVER LAKE ON LABOR DAY
Catholic Picnic Was Pleasant Affair, But Rain Cut Short Evening Program
The Catholic Labor Day picnic held at Silver Lake, Middle Sackville, on Monday last, attracted a big crowd in the afternoon, but unfortunately rain started about 5 o’clock, putting a damper on the celebrations which were concluded at an early hour.
Swimming, boating and races were the principal attractions of the afternoon, and the midway was well patronized. Hundreds of visitors sat down to a delicious supper daintily served by the ladies, and delightful music was furnished by the Sackville Citizens’ Band. The balloon ascensions did not materialize on account of the rain.
Mrs. John Carter and Mrs. Hector Sutherland had charge of the organization work and with the able assistance of the various committees carried on the work in a very efficient manner.
Winners in the sports were:
- Running races, girls under 12 — 1st, Florence Stokes; 2nd, Jean Ayer; 3rd, Margaret Lorette. Girls under 14 — 1st, Vera Stokes; 2nd, Elsie Lorette; 3rd, Hazel Phinney. Girls under 16 — 1st, Nora Hicks; 2nd, Fay Balsar; 3rd, Alma Bulmer.
- Running races, boys under 12 — 1st, V. Beal; 2nd, F. Carter; 3rd, A. O’Neal. Boys under 14 — 1st, E. Hachey; 2nd, A. Fullerton; 3rd, T. Best. Boys under 16 — 1st, W. Hicks; 2nd, G. Fullerton.
- Senior race — 1st, J. McDonald; 2nd, R. Milton; 3rd, J. Estabrooks.
- Swimming race, 50 yards, boys under 16 — 1st, H. Fagan; 2nd, L. Dupuis; 3rd, E. Rogers.
Daniel Lund — American Civil War Veteran
Editor’s note: Most Sackville residents have little knowledge of Sackville’s contribution to the American Civil War. A conflict that pitted North against South during the years 1861–1865 seemed very distant from our shores, but at least one Sackville-built vessel, the steamer Westmorland, from the Boultenhouse Yard, was used as a troop transport. Additionally, at least 25 Sackville-area men served in military units associated with the conflict. One of those veterans was a young lad from Cookville and we are most privileged to have a brief account of his life researched and written by Kenneth Lund, a grandson.
Daniel Lund 1845–1919
Daniel Lund was born in the community of Cookville, County of Westmorland, Province of New Brunswick, in 1845.
Cookville was then a subsistence-farming area with emphasis on tending the ditches of the nearby Tantramar marshlands and harvesting its nourishing salt marsh hay at the end of the summer. With the coming of winter, attention shifted to the cutting of virgin evergreen forests, sometimes on the farm woodlot for next winter’s fuel, and sometimes working for wages in the area’s lumber camps. To perform both, horses were essential and their care and feeding underlay all farming life.
The sea was also nearby, pressing to force its way through the laboriously-maintained dykes during the spring and fall high tides or calling the young men to go down to the sea in the ships that docked at the recently-constructed Sackville wharf (1841), or slid from the slips of the many shipyards in the great ox-bow of the Tantramar River.
Family oral history has it that Daniel listened to the call of the sea and shipped out of the Port of Sackville with Captain Lise (Elisha Stiles) Towse, Master Mariner, a relative and close family friend. In the Lund family, the exploits of Captain Lise Towse were legendary and young Daniel could not have a more protective and knowledgeable seaman under whom to learn the rigours of sailing.
On one voyage, the crew tested their Captain who boasted that he could recognize any harbour in the world in a fog if given some muck from the anchor to smell. Young Daniel had previously taken a handful of earth from an aunt’s flower garden and smeared it on the anchor in the dense fog of Boston Harbour.
“The saints preserve us!” Captain Towse yelled with the anchor mud stillat his nose. “We’ve had a terrible flood in the night and we’re tacking directly over Aunt Alice’s geranium patch!”
Daniel made a number of voyages including at least one along the Maine coast to visit Lund relatives who had settled there. In the fateful year of 1865, he was in Brooklyn Yards, New York, when an apparently golden opportunity presented itself. He was made a substantial cash offer to serve in the northern forces for a three-year term in place of the son of a wealthy merchant. At that time, the war was coming to a close. Wilmington, guarded by the formidable fortifications of Fort Fisher, was the only port kept open by the Confederates and their sole lifeline to supplies from the outside world. He accepted the offer and joined the Northern navy on January 3rd, 1865, appearing on the Muster roll of his vessel (#287 Roll 3) as having a dark complexion, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes, standing 5 foot 7 ½ inches. His occupation was shown as mariner.
At that time, the Northern leaders were massing to attack, for a second time, the stronghold of Fort Fisher. Included in this preparation were several gunboats including the U.S.S. Chippewa, a wooden screw-steamer gunboat of 507 tons armed with one 20-pounder and two 24-pounders. Able bodied seaman Daniel Lund first served on the U.S.S. Malvern but was later assigned to this ship and sailed on it with the attacking flotilla to the mouth of Cape Feare River.
Before Fort Fisher could be attacked, the outlying Fort Anderson at the river’s mouth had to be traken. So, on February 18, 1865, the Chippewa and the other gunboats moved to within a thousand yards of Fort Anderson and opened a rapid and well-directed fire. The defending Confederates returned fire for about half an hour before seeing that their position was untenable and retreated to Wilmington.
Unfortunately for Daniel, the defender’s shells were well-fired and the Chippewa was hit. Lieutenant-Commander David D. Porter wrote the following: “I have to report that on board this vessel (U.S.S. Chippewa) in the engagement of today, William Wilson, 1st (captain of forecastle), was killed and Daniel Lund (ordinary seaman), wounded in the left arm (arm since amputated).” The amputation was above the elbow leaving a short stump. He also sustained a 4 ½” flesh wound in his left thigh and a bowel rupture which would later be contained by a truss. After less than seven short weeks and one long day in the service of the Northern navy, the seafaring career of Daniel Lund came to a painful end.
After convalescing at the U.S. Receiving Ship, Vermont, Daniel was discharged from the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1865, with a Navy pension of $8.00 per month. He initially directed that it be sent to Portland, Maine, where it is presumed he went immediately following discharge. Some of his later pension papers show him living for a period in Calais, Maine, but he eventually returned to his birth community and began the difficult task of reshaping his life as a one-armed farmer and woodsman.
His pension must have helped greatly as it increased over the years to $15.00 in 1866, $18.00 in 1872, $20.00 in 1874, $24.00 in 1875, $30.00 in 1885 and finally $35.00 in 1903. This would have been a substantial sum in the then cash-poor communities of Cookville and Sackville.
He continued to enjoy good health and learned to use his stub left arm for holding objects or the reins of his horses by pressing it tightly to his body. He prospered sufficiently to persuade Amy McPhee, a young woman from Upper Sackville, one year his junior, to marry him on December 25, 1869, and to start farming on a homestead on the Aboushagan Road. His farming life thus began shortly after the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and he appears to have prospered as the country did: slowly and with much hard work. He and his wife remained there for more than 30 years and raised a family of five sons (Thomas, Seth, Gordon, Frank and Daniel Jr.) and two daughters (Mrs. Richard Smith and Mrs. Norman MacLeod).
He was a muscular man with great vitality and his sinews were kept strong by his active farm labour. He once borrowed a steel plow from a neighbour and hoisted it to his shoulder to carry home. At the Four Corners, he met Reynolds Weldon and chatted with him for half an hour, and, all that time, he kept the plow high on his shoulder. He was also a strong swimmer and on annual picnics by train to Cape Tormentine, he would swim out of sight into Northumberland Strait.
He was strict with his sons and would not allow them the luxury of a horse to drive to drive to Sackville to court their girl friends; he believed that after a day’s work, his horses had earned their rest.
He was a community man who regretted that there were often not enough young people in the school to justify hiring a teacher. If Daniel Jr. is an example, his high-spirited children may not have made easy students. Daniel Jr. told of reporting to school with this boast: “Look at what I did! I came in through the window even though the door was wide open!”.
He did take a leading role in the building and maintaining the church hall. During its construction, an argument arose about which denomination the church hall would be. Some threatened to lay down their tools and go home if their denomination was not chosen. Daniel resolved the dispute by stating that it should be a church for all denominations, and, in this spirit, it was erected. He was a staunch conservative throughout his life, voting for, and vocal in, his support of the administrations of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir John Thompson and Sir Robert Borden. His ability to present a point of view forcefully resulted in his being asked by less articulate neighbours to speak on their behalf; he earned the reputation of being able to plead a case of law as well as any lawyer.
By 1866, the wound in his thigh began to cause problems. He suffered numbness and pain to the extent that his ability to walk became restricted. His oldest sons were now able to help and he continued to farm his homestead until the turn of the century.
On leaving his farm, he bought a house outside the Town of Sackville, on Squire Street Extension, and began to operate a meat and fish store on Bridge Street. He appears to have had a good business sense and bought additional property, on which he built another house as the clouds of the First world War began to gather. He sent one son, Daniel Jr., to that war.
As he and Amy grew older, he withdrew from business. He knew, and was known by, most of the residents of the town. His obituary was to say that he was well-respected and highly-regarded. He had astutely prepared for his death by distributing his assets among family members so that at the time of his death, he had nothing except his war pension and the agreement of his son Daniel Jr., to maintain Amy and himself for the remainder of their lives.
By the end of his life in his 74th year, his war rupture caused increasing trouble. On May 24th, he took the train to Moncton to the nearest hospital and surgeon. He was operated on immediately and the operation appeared, at first, to have been a success. But the ordeal was too much for his ageing body and he died on that day in 1919.
He was the first of three generations of Daniels who served in the armed forces. He, of course, served in the navy and was badly wounded. His son Daniel served in the Canadian army in World War I and was also wounded but not so severely. His grandson, Daniel, served in the Canadian Air Force in World War II and was the only one of the three not to suffer wounds.
The Sackville Tribune — 28 February, 1929
TELL OF OLD DAYS IN SACKVILLE
Lads at Wood Point Way and Upper Sackville
Rather Resented the Academy Settlement — Organized Squad Attacks ______________
A writer in the Moncton Times tells of old days at the Sackville Academy, and incidentally refers to things around Sackville seventy five or eighty years ago. For instance, the writer says the year after the Academy started (1843) a shipbuilder at Wood Point, Christopher Boultenhouse, opened a shipyard on the banks of the Tantramar. During the next thirty years it was rarely his yard did not contain two or three vessels on the stocks. He sold them in the Liverpool markets. Charles Dixon commenced building about 1850. His last vessel built in 1856 was the Sarah Dixon — 1400 tons. To show the ups and downs of the business, he refused £14 per ton for her, but later sold her for £8. Six-oxen teams with huge logs from the forest were seen continuously passing the Academy to the shipyards. Broad axemen and pit sawyers fashioning timbers were much in evidence, and on Saturday nights gangs of ship carpenters visited the taverns, filling themselves up with rum then commencing their real enjoyment in playing the game of raw heads and bloody bones, making the nights hideous.
It is recorded that the lads at Wood Point way and also Upper Sackville father resented the Academy settlement as an intrusion which they manifested by organized squad attacks. These were vigorously responded to by the Academy boys while the slugging was spirited, no real damage was done. Capt. Thos. Robson at the Great Bridge was highway master and he warned out the boys to do highway work. Some went; others did not. The leader of the latter was one Harry Tuck. He was summoned and fined. He refused to pay the fine and in default was arrested and conveyed to the jail in Dorchester, where he served out his time. When he returned he was acclaimed as the hero. He later became Chief Justice of New Brunswick. The chief games of the boys were hurley and handball. The champion of the former was a tall lad named Howard Sprague. The ball from his stick flew like a cannon ball, clearing a track through the avenue of boys. The Principal, Dr. Pickard, was an expert handball player. He was then, coat off, on springs, every bit of a broth of a boy.
A Heritage Centre for Sackville
by Al Smith
In July 2001, the Tantramar Heritage Trust acquired Christopher Boultenhouse’s gracious old Georgian mantion, constructed by the shipwright in the early 1840s. The property, located at 29 Queens Road, was purchased by the Trust thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor with the final installment on our four year bank loan being paid off in July 2005. Rental income from the two apartments in the building has offset the costs of maintenance and restoration of this historic property and since the fall of 2002 the back section has housed the Trust’s office and meeting room.
When the property was purchased in 2001 the Trust announced that its long-term plan was to develop it as a Heritage Centre commencing in the fall of 2005. Thus, during the winter of 2004/05 a planning committee was very active developing details for a phased conversion of the property to a Heritage Centre for Sackville. Initially the downstairs main floor and the 2nd story above the Trust office will be retrofitted to accommodate exhibits and displays, an education room, the Family History Centre and a research library and depository for donated artifacts. The upper level of the main house will continue to be rented for quite some time to generate rental income to help offset costs of operation of the Centre/ Museum.
When open to the public in the fall of 2006, the Heritage Centre will house year-round displays and exhibits. Visitors will be able to relive the days when Sackville was a busy seaport and shipbuilding center, and depictions of our industrial past will focus on quarries (grindstones, building stone), foundries, leather goods and agriculture. Early settlement history will be highlighted around a rich collection of Wry family artifacts dating back four generations of residency in Sackville. Additionally, early maps and charts will help illustrate our glorious past.
Opening of the Heritage Centre will allow the Trust to establish a permanent administrative home with a full time staff person augmented by volunteers. That will greatly benefit all of the Trust’s many heritage projects as it will permit a more focused approach to planning, securing of grants and access to various employment programs.
In order to facilitate the conversion of the Boultenhouse property to a Heritage Centre the Trust is launching a one-year major capital campaign with a target of raising $60,000. Those funds will be necessary to retrofit the space (using contractors and up to 300 hours of volunteer labour). Work will include upgrading of wiring, heating and plumbing along with the installation of security and humidity controls. Carpets will be removed and floors, walls and ceilings restored to the near-original appearance. The funds will also allow for exhibit design and installation along with development of large-scale models of the Port of Sackville and of the Boultenhouse shipbuilding yard.
The capital campaign will commence in November 2005 with six levels of suggested categories of giving. All contributions will be tax receiptable and can be spaced over a period of five years if the donor requests. Donor recognition plaques will be prominently displayed at the Heritage Centre.
This is a major new endeavour for the Trust and we are most hopeful that the membership will respond positively to our request for assistance. Canvassers will be going out to the community in November and will provide much more detail on the capital campaign and its intended use. For those of you outside the immediate Tantramar area a capital campaign brochure will be mailed to you.
Sackville is a community with nearly 300 years of settlement history. Help us establish a unique Heritage Centre that will bring to life many aspects of Sackville’s storied past. Please consider making the Trust’s Boultenhouse Heritage Centre project a priority with your charitable giving over the next year.
For more information contact the Trust office at 506-536-2541 or any member of the Heritage Centre Capital Campaign: Peter Hess (chair), Frank Chisholm, Leslie Van Patter, Al Smith.
The “Coles Island Site”
Evidence of late archaic–early woodland people on the Tantramar River, New Brunswick
by Colin MacKinnon
It is well known that early inhabitants of this land used the waterways much as we use roads today. The larger river systems in New Brunswick, such as the Saint John and Miramichi Rivers, are dotted with aboriginal camp sites of great age. Nearly every fishing hole, portage route and headland showed evidence of prehistoric use. Small flakes of stone found scattered on the beach, refuse from the aboriginal artisan, is all that remains to tell the story.
We don’t often think of the Tantramar River as having a beach. The steep sides and muddy bottom generally hide any evidence of past human use. It is for this reason that as part of the author’s ongoing search for evidence of aboriginal use in the Chignecto Isthmus, the “River Brouillée” (the early French name for the Tantramar river meaning muddy or murky) was not a likely site to yield positive results. So, it was of some surprise that while searching for waterfowl along the edge of the river above Tingley Neck and adjacent to Cole’s island (site of Radio Canada International), I not only found an exposed beach but a beach not covered with mud but with sandstone cobbles and bedrock. At this location, the exposed face of the river bank was a snapshot of the history of the Tantramar Marsh. There, buried under about 3.5 m of tidal silt and mud, was the remains of an ancient tree (a hardwood of some type) made visible by erosion. The roots were still buried in a compressed layer of peat and grey soil while the trunk was encased in marsh mud (Figure 1).
Under this shallow peat/soil layer was a bed of sandstone, probably the an extension of the rise of land that constitutes present day Cole’s Island.
The result of my search of the beach was a very sparse lithic scatter, and an oval stone knife made of what is probably a local material commonly referred to as chert. On a later trip, I found a beautifully well-proportioned yellow/tan colour knife of sugar quartz (Figure 2). The few associated stone chips were a high quality, possibly exotic, unidentified material.
Especially noteworthy was the look of some of these stone fragments which resembled true flint, a relative rarity in New Brunswick. These few samples, discards from the flint knapper, are not at all common from other sites I have found in the border region and more closely resemble materials I have seen originating from Cape d’Or or Blomidon in Nova Scotia. My impressions that the stone chips were probably not from a local source was supported by the following observation on the quartz knife (Figure 2) provided by Michael Deal of Memorial University: “I am almost certain that the specimen is made from White Rock quartzite which is found in an extensive geological deposit that runs from the Gaspereau Valley to Middleton [Nova Scotia]. The lithics from the St. Croix site (near Windsor) consited of more than 30% of this material and it is probably more common on sites along the Gaspereau River (where it was likely collected). You often see the colour change that is present in your piece (i.e. a reddish brown to tan)”.
The estimated age of the above artifact, based on the typology, or shape characteristics, points to the Late Archaic or early Woodland period. This would suggest sometime between 0 and 1,000 BC (2,000 to 3,000 years old). Sadly, there was no associated charcoal, or other materials, that could be more closely dated or provide evidence of a more complete history of use of the site. However, the past history of this beach, as suggested by the buried tree and peat/soil layer, resting on a raised bed of sandstone, suggests that the “Coles Island Site” was once much drier and two to three thousand years ago would likely have been an area of comparatively high and dry ground to the river, maybe even at the head of tide. This short note on prehistoric human use of the Tantramar River, and potential trading or transporting of lithic materials from the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, adds yet another small and fragmentary piece to the prehistoric puzzle of the Chignecto Isthmus and hints at the extent of regional trade, or transportation of goods, that occurred thousands of years ago!
Acknowledgements: A note of thanks to Pat Allen, Albert Ferguson and David Keenleyside for their speculations on site age based on the typology of one artifact and to Michael Deal thanks for identifying the potential lithic source of the quartz point. Provincial designation for the site is “MacKinnon — Coles Island”, and Borden designation is “BIDb-22” (Map 21H16).
The Sackville Tribune — July 12, 1928
WORKED ON BAIE VERTE CANAL SURVEY 57 YEARS AGO
Mr. Dominic Leblanc, of Moncton, Tells of the Survey Made by a Party of Quebec Engineers in 1871
Moncton Times — Recent discussion on the Baie Verte canal project recalls to the mind of Mr. Dominic Leblanc, veteran employee of the M.T.E. and G. Co., of this city, the time he worked on the survey of the proposed Chignecto canal some fifty-seven years ago. Speaking to The Times in reference to survey made away back in 1871, Mr. Leblanc said he was employed on the work some eighteen months. The survey party, composed principally of Quebec engineers, was headed by a man named Bélanger. He recalls names of a number of members of the party such as Walsh, Thompson, Rosier, Sauvé, Giroux and an engineer named Munro, who belonged to Baie Verte. The late Geo. P. Thomas, who later became a barrister, also worked for the party about eight months, taking the data as to the rise and fall of the tides at Baie Verte.
A complete survey was made of the country through which the proposed canal was to run. The engineers three lines, the shortest of which was about fourteen miles. Crews of men worked at distances about 500 feet apart and they bored to a depth of 500 feet to ascertain the nature of the soil and rock. Extensive soundings in Baie Verte Harbor and in the Bay of Fundy were made, Mr. Leblanc says, and very complete data as to the feasibility of the scheme was recorded in maps made during the operations.
In all the survey party had 30 or 40 men employed on the work for nearly two years and at the finish the crew was increased to 150 men to rush the survey to a conclusion before winter set in. Soundings at Baie Verte at the last were made through the ice, Mr. Leblanc recalls.
At that time the railway between Sackville and Amherst had not been completed. Prior to going on the canal project survey Mr. Leblanc, who was then a young man of 21, had worked eight days on railway construction in that vicinity.