Friday, August 17, 2012

Canada Part 9a; Tatamagouche, River John

It seems strange that this was so long ago, but this day was probably my favourite sightseeing one of the whole trip.
The weather was nothing special; a lot cooler and overcast compared to the previous day but still we were on holiday. The rough itinerary was to head North to Tatamagouche (3rd funniest place name for men with brains of 8yr old boys after Memramcook and Penobsquis) and we had been told that there was a Maple Syrup farm along the way and also to try the Chowder House in Tatamagouche. My girlfriend was also dying to have a swim in the Atlantic and some lobster.
The drive was indeed a little wetter and as we rumbled along with the wipers going and trying to avoid the roadkill we wondered what the day would hold in store.
First stop was the Sugar Moon Farm to see how maple syrup was made.
Sadly it was shut, so I wandered around anyway and saw the pipes coming from the trees and the large tanks the sap accumulated in. We had been told back in the market that it took 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. I don't know if that was true or not.
Onward then!
Next up on the magical mystery tour was Tatamagouche. We passed the signs for the Creamery Square heritage centre and so swung down to see what that was all about.
Firstly I was surprised to see a large brick building. So much of the architecture was wood and so a red brick structure really stood out.

Around the other side were a couple of older guys building a boat. When I asked them why their response was; "someone thought it would be a good idea to recreate a French ship, and someone else thought it would be a good idea if we did it."
I think they are still making it.
Inside the Creamery we bought our tickets and had a good look around. The name gives it away a little but the building used to be a Creamery. Now it still has some of the artefacts from it's creamery days but also houses other exhibits. There were interpretive dioramas of the fossils from Brule and after finding out what used to walk and wallow around there we carried on to look at the creamery history.
I was really appreciative of the old fridges, now used as store rooms, and the thought that men used to head out and cut blocks of ice to bring back for cooling all the butter made at the plant.
Those doors are solid wood.
Around the back, in the solid brick building, was the old boiler room, complete with Pepper's Ghost exhibit of Boiler Bob.
Yes the boiler really is on the piss. The information provided suggests that the weight of the boiler caused slow subsidence but the boiler only sank so far. The flue and feed pipes were adapted rather than shoreing up the sinking boiler. Apparently it all worked fine.

Upstairs there were two more exhibitions. The first of which contained artefacts from the Sunrise Trail museum. Picture of a lovely stove for Alex-

 and a shot of a small selection of the artefacts-

which provided a look into the early Mi'k Maq life as well as settlers. There were plenty of old pieces of equipment as well as a few exhibits using QR codes to provide additional interpretive information. Another of the exhibits was covering the life of Anna Haining Bates nee Swan and it was amazing to read about the lady coined the Giantess of Nova Scotia.
After leaving the centre we went and had lunch at the Chowder House on Main Street. It was lovely, and just the job for keeping the cold and wet at bay.
On from Tatamagouche, then.
We headed East towards Pictou and the Atlantic and passing along I spotted signs for the Lismore Sheep farm and wool shop. Well I do love a bit of wool so I said to the girlfriend that if it was open we'd pop in. I think at that point she was couching that it would be shut but to my joy it was open. Hurrah!
We parked up and said hello to the owner in the shop and asked if we might have a nosey around at the livestock. Permission was given and off we went.
As well as around a hundred head of sheep, they also had highland cattle AKA Muckel Kuh's in this household, and a favourite to boot.
After hassling the poor sheep and trying to get the lambs to come for some fuss we returned to the shop. Oh what a treasure trove it was.

I came away with a cracking woolly hat and resisted the urge to buy some great looking woolly socks. All the wool products in the shop were made in the local community from wool from the farm. I know that might sound like the obvious thing to do but how often have you been into a souvenir shop and the label has read "made in China" or similar?
If you are in the area and like wool, go there!

1 comment:

  1. If you want to come back for maple sugar season tom, our house will be open!! Its usually early spring - we went in april this year and it was almost over!!