A new car on Pictou Island …

I enjoy rekindling those years gone by when I had lived on Pictou Island. I often review my mother’s written diaries that she had always kept when living there. Sometimes certain events that she had written may revive old memories and trigger me to get my computer running. I was surprised during the summer of...

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The day the Charles A. Dunning ran aground

October 5th 1951 was a grey, foggy ghostlike day. Pictou Island’s Spike MacDonald had returned from Caribou with his lobster boat and reported that the car ferry operating between Caribou and Prince Edward Island, the Charles A. Dunning, had run aground on the Gull Rock Reef. It was blowing a gale from the northeast the...

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The winter of 1955-56

Winter set in early with about three inches of snow falling on Nov. 11, 1955. My father and Arnold MacMillan had been setting their smelt nets together in coves around the Merigomish area but had returned home to Pictou Island on November 12 because of the unstable weather. It was still blowing hard and was...

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Pictou Island mail plane saves Christmas

I was very fortunate recently to have met with and discussed past memories of Pictou Island with Don MacNeil from Little Harbour. During 1946 –1951, Don MacNeil and Colin Cantley flew the Pictou Island mail delivery. They operated their own two planes from Trenton airport for this service. One plane was a two sealer powered...

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Counting sheep

I recall when at least 15 families raised sheep on Pictou Island. Some had as few as six sheep while others had as many as 40 or more. The main requirement of the sheep was for their wool although mutton was also a delicacy. Every islander had their own personal markings on their sheep’s ears....

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New home construction, curfews and a broken washing machine …

Scott Falconer and Charlie MacMillan sailed their boats from Pictou Island to the mainland on July 16, 1962.  They transported two boatloads of lumber back to Pictou Island for the construction of Scott and Rita’s new home.  Duncan and Roy MacCallum along with Scott began construction of the new three-bedroom house on July 30th. Many...

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Pictou Island Christmas 1959

The weather during the month of December 1959 remained mild, middle to high 30s Fahrenheit, the wind blew hard from the south nearly every day and it rained a lot. Jimmie MacDonald and wife Viney were found deceased in their burnt out home on December 10. Consequently, over the next several days, Arnold MacMillan kept...

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A mail plane, a wedding and catalog deliveries …

I was very fortunate recently to have met with and discuss past memories of Pictou Island with Don MacNeil from Little Harbour. During 1946–1951, Don MacNeil and Colin Cantley flew the Pictou Island mail delivery. They operated their own two planes from Trenton airport for this service. One plane was a two seater powered by...

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Summer of 1964 …

Probably my first experiences in seeing changes taking place within the local fisheries was with rope in the late 1950s or early 60s. Fishermen up to those years used a cotton rope for all purposes. Around the late 1950s or early 60s, a much lighter plastic rope was introduced. Lobster trap trawls usually require a...

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