In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

more faces from the past

Here's another photograph from the island in days gone by. Melinda and Arthur Snow lived in what is called the Hemeon house, or Louie's, and which was built by Benjamin McNutt in the 1760s. It was the oldest house on the island until it was destroyed by fire in the early 1990s. Like most of the men who lived on the island, Arthur was a fisherman. He was born in 1862, and his wife Melinda Dexter was a year younger than he. They married in 1889, when he was 26 and she was 25.

We don't know exactly when they moved to the island after their marriage. They weren't listed among the island's residents in the 1891 census, but they were living here by 1901, along with their children Bertha, Dexter, Mary, Samuel, and Mabel. When the census was taken a decade later in 1911 they had seven children living at home, including three additional daughters: Bernice, Annie and Ruby. By then their oldest child, Bertha, had married James Goulden and begun married life in our house.

According to their death certificates, Arthur Snow died in 1942 at age 79. Melinda died two years later at age 81. They both were still living on McNutt's Island when they died, near daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. For nearly half a century they had been a central part of the island's life.

This photograph was taken just across the path from their house in a field that is still recognizable, although it is now overgrown.


Thanks to both Bernice Smith and Dan Goulden for sharing this photograph. Other sources are the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses, and vital statistics at NSARM.

1 comment:

Piecefulafternoon said...

How wonderful that you have so much history of your island. I love the pose in the photo. Do you feel the spirits of those who came before you, on the island with you?