Lauchie Rankin

Jack with his wife Mary Rankin raised a family of nine children on Pictou Island during the 1900s. There was Laura, Duncan, Dolina, Annie Mae, Lauchie, Vernie, Florence, Joan and one granddaughter Lorina. The three Rankin boys, Lauchie, Vernie and Duncan married their Island sweethearts. Duncan married Verna who was the daughter of Billie and...

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Our Pictou Island nurse

It is a known fact that those of us who lived on Pictou Island during earlier years had our own Florence Nightingale. I had always known her as Margaret Jack, wife of Jack (Happy) MacDonald. Margaret was born in 1897 to Charles and Ann MacCallum of Pictou Island. Her ambition as like many young girls...

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My brother-in-law, Scott

My brother-in-law Scott, son to late Ernest and Hazel Falconer was raised on Caribou Island. His home was on a farm that was situated along the south portion of Caribou Island. Their long driveway protruded through the woods and connected onto Caribou Island’s only dirt road. Scott calls to mind when the Caribou Island School...

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Visiting our island

First snow of 1966 occurred on January 7th. That was our third winter living on the mainland. I’m assuming that Mom was getting a little homesick for she wanted to spend a few days visiting with our former Pictou Island friends. On January 21st at 9 am, mother flew to Pictou Island from Trenton airport...

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Newspapers of years ago …

My son Jason was recently remodeling his century-old farm home and came across sections of old newspapers. They were found placed behind the original cedar shingles that protected the 27-inch wide spruce boards that the walls were constructed with. We are assuming that those newspapers were used for insulating purposes. The newspapers are in spectacular...

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New Year’s Eve 1959 …

This is a follow up to my last story of Pictou Island Christmas 1959. Our island Christmas concert on that Tuesday evening was appreciated by all. It was a special event just having the older scholars home for the holidays. That winter storm on Tuesday, December 22nd 1959 was one that will go down in...

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Menacing weather in strait claims lives …

The great strait of Northumberland was a winter menace in every respect. Storms were often sudden and severe. The ice was repeatedly piled high over which the ice boat was to be pulled or pushed. The greatest danger of all was what the boatmen called “LOLLY.” This consisted of great bodies of snow and slush...

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Rum running and quick thinking …

Several years ago, large sailing schooners loaded with kegs of rum from other countries would bootleg their products around the shores of Nova Scotia. For fear of being caught, those schooners would often lay approximately 15 miles off shore. Small, fast, local boats known as rumrunners would transport the rum from the schooners to various...

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Golden wheat fields and fun on the island …

I recently viewed an areal picture of Pictou Island dated 1954 and was stunned at the amount of visible cleared land comparing to today. The picture brought back memories of beautiful fields of grain, wheat or hay grown for all island farms. Those many fertile fields are now covered with trees, brush or weeds. All...

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A boat SO big …

It was the autumn season of 1960 and my father was preparing to build himself another boat. The planking for his boats had to be of perfect choice and without any knots. He knew of a lumber yard in Merigomish that would provide such materials and he took a load of this planking in his...

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