The Garden of the Gulf
GERTRUDE E. S. PRINGLE
WHEN first Prince Edward Island is seen rising out of the blue sea, its low red cliffs crowned with verdant green, one understands why it is I called the Garden of the Gulf. Its luxuriant vegetation, its red winding roads bordered with hedges, and serene pastoral beauty recall certain portions of rural England. But while English hedges are chiefly of hawthorn, these as a rule are of fir, spruce or cedar, whose greenery must be cheering to see amid winter’s snows.
Motoring on the island, with the scent of countless wild roses mingling with spicy odors of spruce and balsam, is a joy never to be forgotten. At times the way will wind through dim twilight woods, but always there is the red road between banks of verdant green. Everywhere are farmhouses. The farms, not large, averaging about seventy or eighty acres, are well cultivated. From one end of this one hundred and forty mile island to the other, the land is tilled. And when it is I said that the people are largely of Scottish j origin, that ninety-eight per cent, own I their farms, and that the educational I facilities of the island rank high, the long I list of eminent persons who were born there is no longer to be wondered at.
Brackley Beach, on the north shore, and ten miles from Hunter River, is a most attractive summer resort. One of its best known hostelries, a happy combination of farmhouse, hotel and country club has been in operation for thirty years. Each summer a congenial coterie of people from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, meet there and renew pleasant acquaintance at golf, bathing and bridge.
Rustico, also reached by motor from Hunter River, is similar to Brackley Beach, having the same wonderful surf I bathing and beach. A French settlement there consisting of descendants of the j original Acadians, has an interesting old church. Not far away at Cavendish may I be seen the original of Green Gables, the I home of the irrepressible Anne.
At the extreme east end of the Island is Souris, a quaint old Acadian fishing village, which Rose Coghlan discovered for herself and Broadway. In the old cemetery, an inscription on a tombstone erected to a lady of advanced age states that she once danced with George III at a ball in Edinburgh. How much more illuminative of character than the usual j text is this touch of worldly vanity.
After the clamor and noise of large, j motor-infested cities, Charlottetown, the j capital of Canada’s smallest province, appears strangely tranquil and leisurely. A casual survey only is needed to see that men are largely catered to there. Drug, grocery, confectionery and barber shops, have their windows so given up to displays of smokes and pipes that it requires some observation to determine just what other goods are behind. Natural perhaps in view of the masculine type of industries that flourish there—fishing, farming, foxraising and shipping.
Historical interest attaches to this old town, which under French rule up to 150 years ago was known as Port La Joie, the Island being then called St. Jean. Solid and plain-looking is the Colonial Building, as they name their parliament building—and surrounded by a pleasant open square. In close proximity are the court house, post office, customs, public library and covered market, all points of interest.
While the older houses are built close to the street in old world style, and show decided signs of their age, the better residential quarter has most attractive homes set in well-kept grounds.
TWICE a week all Charlottetown goes to market. The farm people drive in early—many in motors—and the ladies of the town, their eyes bright, their color high, congregate there, armed with capacious bags in which to stow away their careful purchases. In a separate room is the interesting fish market, well supplied with sea food. At the various little stalls, the farm-women offer their appetizing looking golden prints of butter wrapped in snowy napkins, cream and fine big eggs and a wonderful array of vegetables and fruit all intermingled with homely, sweet little bouquets of oldfashioned fragrant flowers. The tourist feels like indulging in a shopping orgy and buying up the whole show. Even if he did not know this million-acre farm were a fine agricultural country, the market would tell the tale.
There are many interesting facts to be learned about this small green crescent— this verdant isle that nestles in the hollow of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. F or instance, its potatoes, being singularly free from disease, are in great demand for seed purposes. The United States growers are willing to pay fifty per cent, duty to secure them. Then there is an endless quantity of the finest sand used for making the best glass. Another free product is a pretty white sea weed known as Irish Moss, used for concocting blancmange and jellies. Another sea weed, used for the packing of mattresses, for polishing purposes and for roofing, sells in Chicago at $40 a ton. A winter crop of value is the mussel mud, which farmers scoop up out of holes cut in the ice that forms thickly over the salt water, ponds and streams. This wonderful natural fertilizer is formed of organic matter resulting from millions of dead oysters, clams and mussels. Ordinary sea weed, of which there are countless tons, is also used for fertilizing the land, as well as the head and bones of cod. It is said that if anyone takes home a plant from Prince Edward Island, the way to make it thrive is to stick the head of a fish at its roots.
In one way Prince Edward Island leads the world, and that is in her fox farming industry, which originated there. There are about 400 fox farms on the island, and the present annual value of this industry is not less than two million dollars a year.
Next in value is the fish catch, which in 1922 was worth more than one-and-onehalf million dollars. Lobsters are the principal catch and during April, May and June, a little army of men and women are employed at the two hundred canneries.
There are many other subjects of interest on this delightful island. The student of history will find fascinating material in the French occupation, their two-hundred year-old Fort Lajoie, the coming of the Acadians, driven from the land of Evangeline, and the problems of the early British settlers. The sportsman will enjoy learning about the many wild birds and fine fishing there, and the artist can revel in the blue of the sea, the blue of the sky, the red soil, the green crops and the silver birches. He named it well who named it “The Garden of the Gulf.”
Old New Brunswick
By A. M. RAYMOND
1AM thinking of a house—an ancient and lovely house. It was built to be at once a place of shelter and of siege. In it are housed ancient and memorable things. On all sides the approach to this place of beauty is pleasing to the eye. All around are fair field and fairer stream. A country which will sustain a man if he will but search it for the things of a full life; fish and game, big and little; luscious fruit and healing herb. And over all this smiling land is an abiding peace.
I, the urbanite of a pampered generation, love this house not the less, because its present tenants have made it comfortable to my debilitated senses. Science has combined to soften whatever of harshness and discomfort it may once have held. It is suave as well as beauteous.
I have mentioned the house because it seems to symbolize perfectly the province
of New Brunswick and it is of this province that I am writing. Of New Brunswick as a cool haven of refuge for the dweller in crowded cities; of a new and tonic experience for those of us who feel the heavy tyranny of towns and marts of business.
New Brunswick the Historical
IT IS good for us, who live in a crowded and forgetful age, to betake ourselves, at times, to a place that holds reminders of the effort of our forbears which made possible to us the Canada of to-day. It is good for our souls to tread the pathways that the pioneers once trod, to look upon rivers and streams which once they saw, for the first time, with the triumph of discovery. New Brunswick’s every acre brings back memories of past glorious days for us.
Its history starts with records of the days of the great Spanish sea adventurers. Five years after Columbus had opened a road to the western continent, John Cabot sought audience of Henry the Eighth, and was granted letters-patent and a man-of-war, the Matthew, with equipment worthy of the undertaking. He set forth on a voyage whereon he first visited what was afterwards to be known as Acadia, of which New Brunswick was an important part. A year later, in 1498, Cabot returned with his son Sebastian and laid claim to these lands which furnished the basis for disputes which engaged the English and the French for over two centuries.
Francis the First sent out Verazzano, a Florentine, on the same quest in 1524. He penetrated North America as far as New Orleans and gave the name New France to all the territory he visited. Then followed Thomas Thorne, under the patronage of Henry the Eighth and the famous Jacques Cartier of France, Humphrey Gilbert, a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh and many others.
It was not until 1761, however, that New Brunswick was really settled as an English colony and the province is actually a creature of the American Revolution, for in 1783 three thousand loyalists settled there who had been driven from the United States for their political views. In passing, it should be noted that the United Empire Loyalist element is, to this day, the backbone and sinew of the province.
One could go on for hundreds of pages recounting the stirring historical events which centre in and about New Brunswick, but suffice it to say that the love of things ancient, which is inherent in most of us, can be gratified to the full by all who make expedition to this strangely old-world province.
Where Nature Blooms
THE approach to New Brunswick, from whatever direction, is full of interest. The visitor from the United States may make the journey from the Maine border, for example, by a delightful if brief, sea voyage or he may use the allrail service from Boston which provides a journey through arresting scenery.
Unquestionably the most popular route is that by way of the old and colorful city of Montreal. Here the traveler takes to either the open highway or to the steel rails and travels through country of wonderful beauty. He sees, in passing, the juncture of the famous Matapedia and Restigouche Rivers and watches their passing into the entrancing Bay of Chaleur. At every point of the journey the eye revels in the beauty of rolling hills painted with every tint known to the artist’s palette. Vistas of northernseeming birch and solemn spruce give, at times, the sensation of looking through the aisles of cathedrals at twilight.
And the crown of this voyage of noble approach is found in the pastel beauty of the Gaspe Peninsula.
Game and Fish
IT MATTERS not what may be the A stopping point in New Brunswick, the surrounding country will be found to teem with creatures whose capture will thrill the sportsman. Hardly an athlete of note but takes a hunting trip at least once a year to this sportsman’s paradise. Jack Dempsey and his lesser satellites, Tyrus Cobb and the mighty Ruth, each of these men of brawn, finds that the combination of keen sport and a climate unparalleled in its tonic properties, makes a visit to the province an occasion which pays big dividends in restored health and vitality.
At their appointed seasons may be found the noblest of big game, such as the caribou and moose. Only a few of the lesser creatures may be mentioned, but deer, lynx, fox, marten, musk-rat, beaver, wood-grouse partridge, wild geese, ducks and wild fowl of all kinds, abound in the forests of New Brunswick.
For the ardent disciple of Izaak Walton this “land of many waters,” as the Indians term New Brunswick, offers splendid sport with inland fishing for salmon, trout and black-bass. These same Indians, Micmacs and Malicites, still furnish sportman-guides, not excelled in the world.
New Brunswick’s Rivers
THE rivers of New Brunswick, in addition to the sport which their finny inhabitants provide, are of quite unique interest.
The largest, the St. John River, is over five hundred miles long and flows through country indescribably beautiful. It is navigable for steamers eighty-six miles, as far as Fredericton, and for small steamers 186 miles to Grand Falls. A point of great interest is Jemseg at the outlet of the Great Lake for it was a famous fort in the old colony days and was taken from the French in 1654 by Cromwell’s expedition under Sedgwick.
Then there is the Kennebecasis which flows in about five miles above its mouth from behind a coast range. It finally reaches the sea at the head of St. John harbor, flowing through a narrow gorge between walls of rock 100 feet high. Here is presented the unique phenomenon of a reversing fall about which may be added a few words of explanation.
The river, which at Fredericton is half a mile wide and in its lower stretches much wider, is here forced to flow for 400 yards through a gorge only 400 feet across. The tide in St. John harbor rises from twentyfive to thirty feet and the gorge is so narrow that it can neither admit the tide quickly nor discharge the river promptly; for the tide recedes faster than the outlet can permit the water to flow through. At low water the level of the river is eleven to fifteen feet above the sea, and at high water the level of the sea is eight to twelve feet above the river. There are, therefore, two falls at every tide, one in and one out. The spectacle here presented is seen nowhere else in the world.
St. John And Other Cities
THE cities, too, are full of interest.
The largest, St. John, enjoys the distinction of being the oldest incorporated city in the Dominion and is of great historical interest. It was named by the famous French exp.orer Champlain, on St. John’s Day, June 24, 1604. Its early history is a succession of thrilling chapters telling of adventure, conquest, love and romance. It was the scene of numerous Indian wars and Madame La Tour’s defence of the fort is an incident familiar to every schoolboy. Its port is of first-rate importance, being the winter harbor of the great vessels of the Canadian Pacific Line. The ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine also sail from St. John on voyages to the West Indies.
Fredericton, Woodstock, Campbellton and Edmundston'are all cities of real historical interest and provide starting points to expeditions amidst glorious scenery.
In the last ten years over $10,000,000 has been spent by the province of New Brunswick on the improvement of its roads and motorists are unanimous in declaring that the highways of the province are second to none in the Dominion.
So then, this smiling land of New Brunswick, offers everything which he who desires rest from the noise and clamor of modern cities can desire. In addition, he who makes, for the first time, a voyage to its forests and.rivers will find a quiet and peaceful country, infinitely restful and pleasing to the jaded senses, and breathing from its four corners a lavender fragrance of days once gloriously lived and worthy of everlasting remembrance.