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Part 2
Jeddore to Sheet Harbour &
Ecum Secum - at the eastern edge of Halifax

As the old saying goes, don't blink or you'll miss it, but slow down a bit and you'll discover that some of your best vacation memories await you along this stretch of Atlantic coastal highway. You only need to travel the roads leading to the sea to find adventure and to experience 'old Nova Scotia' in one of the many fishing villages that dot the Shore.

The West Jeddore Road for example, you could visit Pleasant Point and the lighthouse on the property of Ivan and Mildred Kent. Many visitors become addicted to the flavour of this seaside place and to Ivan Kent's old sailor and ghost stories.

Down each road, you'll find your own stories to tell. Take your time. Talk to locals and explore! Pick roads named 'point' or 'head' and you'll be sure to find some spectacular Atlantic Ocean vistas. Chances are, you'll be the only tourists around, but the 'natives are friendly'!

Salmon River Bridge


Watch for the turn at Pleasant Point - a little side trip - there's a lighthouse with a beautiful view over the ocean. Natural beauty envelopes you in spots like Pleasant Point. You'll feel the city stress disappear.

Ostrea Lake, East Jeddore, & The Fisherman's Museum

The drive to Ostrea Lake and East Jeddore should be a leisurely one. Here one can find two wonderful treats. The Fisherman's Museum features a walk into the past , the life and work of the eastern shore's inshore fisherman. The museum is only open from May to Mid October and 'the Oyster Pond Walk' covers an area of approximately two kilometers between Oyster Pond and Navy Pool.

The location was once host to a lucrative saw mill, carpentry shop and general store and still is home to two century old churches. Many "haunting"stories have originated from Navy Pool from vessels that have anchored there and mysterious spirits are sometimes seen. People still congregate in these areas and talk about days gone by.

Upper Lakeville Just a few kilometers up the road from Salmon River Bridge you can find the sign to Upper Lakeville Road. Take a left off the Marine Drive and travel along Lake Charlotte, a large inland lake and prime recreational area. Come an camp here at Webbers campground Lake Charlotte!

Enie's Loft: Antiques and Collectables Mrs.Joan Ryan is the owner of this beautiful antique and collectors shop where you just might lose track of time. The little shop, designed in honour of Mrs. Ryan's grandmother has an open loft where she proudly displays the old couch from her grandmother's original loft. Fine china, wooden tables, crystal plates, paintings, books, and so much more can keep the visitor there for hours. Don't miss it.

Webbers - the Original Log Store. Webbers store, further along the Marine Drive in Lake Charlotte is still owned by members of the original Webber family. Built in 1932, Webbers Store was originally a dance hall and canteen and ever since then, the Webber family has saved bits of history - light fixtures from the1940's, gas pumps from their original Imperial Esso Garage, signs, posters, telephones, stamps, tools, a working ball mill, mineralogy and surveying equipment, mining machines and maps...now, all of thes saved "things" have turned Lake Charlotte's history into a "living museum" called Memory Lane.

Memory Lane
Memory Lane is a project that combines economic initiative with community preservation. This "living museum" is located on the land surrounding the pond behind Webber's Store. It consists of 12 small buildings, each housing artifacts with a certain theme from Lake Charlotte's past. The buildings include a cook house, wagon shed, barn, Imperial Esso garage, dock house, ball mill and water tower, assay office and the Webber family home.

Each building contains information and artifacts that can be "worked" or experienced by visitors. For instance the cook house replicates a 1940's lumber camp kitchen, complete with woodstove, where visitors can eat traditional food and experience the atmosphere of that time.

In short; "Memory Lane" has become a community run and owned tourist attraction, providing a stopping place for tour buses and travellers who normally pass by Lake Charlotte. The project is managed by a not-for-profit society called the Lake Charlotte Heritage Society.

Clam Harbour Beach

When you have some of the best beaches in Nova Scotia, it's inevitable that you would want to build a sandcastle. Clam Harbour Beach is well known for the Sandcastle Contest, held every summer in August, but you can walk along these beaches even in winter!

Return to the Marine Drive and head toward Ship Harbour and Tangier. Plan to pick up a feed of mussels, right off the boats, then at Tangier, don't miss sampling Willy Krauch's famous smoked salmon and head for a beach to boil the kettle enjoy the special sea harvest this region produces.

If you are still hungry, try Family Fries on the right hand side of the road. Maritime friendliness and 'down home' cooking will be experienced when you meet owner & cook Pearl Newcombe.

Just past Pearl's, there's another another side trip down to a beautiful harbour. Turn left off the Marine Drive just past Family Fries and head for Lower Ship Harbour and DeBaies Cove.

Moose River - More Gold! Continue on the Marine Drive then turn off at the Mooseland Road which is located about 5 km. east of Tangier . Following the Mooseland Road inland, we arrive at the Moose River Gold Mines, a provincial park. The park is closed in winter. Moose River was one of Nova Scotia's earliest and richest gold mining regions.

Moose River Mine Disaster In 1936 the Moose River Mine disaster happened here.. Although gold was already discovered about 1866, it was not until 1876 that prospecting began in earnest. Moose River Gold Mines reached its great days between 1890 and 1909 when several gold mines were in operation. In all, over 26,000 troy once of gold were taken from this area. This gold mine was one of the more productive gold districts in the province. By 1910, the industry was declining; the gold mine at Moose River operated some years afterwards but was finally abandoned.

But then in 1936 a gold mining syndicate brought renewed hopes of prosperity to the Moose River Gold Mines. The team was headed by Herman Magill and by Dr. David Robertson of Toronto. The mining operations began again despite evidence that the mine was not safe. All of the gold removed from this mine came from rock pillars which had been left as roof supports. With the gradual removal of these supports the mine became increasingly unstable, but no one recognized the actual danger.

On April, 12, 1936, Magill and Robertson and Alf Scadding the mine timekeeper, entered the Magill shafts to inspect the work. Shortly afterwards, the weakened mine collapsed trapping the three man at the 141-foot (43 m.) level. Within minutes, men arrived from Moose River Gold Mines and immediately began rescue operations. They were soon joined by miners from nearby Caribou Gold Mines and within days several hundred man, some from as far away as Ontario had answered the call for 'single men with guts'!

After six days of continuous rescue efforts there was still no sign of survivors. Just when officials were about to abandon the rescue work, a government diamond drill reached the 141 foot level and contact was made with the entombed men. Tragically, Herman Magill died hours later of pneumonia. Armed with the news that Robertson and Scadding were still alive, the rescuers redoubled their efforts. It was decided that the only hope of rescuing the two survivors lay in re-opening the Reynolds shafts, which had earlier been condemned by mine officials as too dangerous. Finally after ten days of determined effort and incessant toll, the rescuers reached the trapped men. On April 23, 1936 at 12:45 am, Dr. Robertson was greeted with wild cheers of triumphant miners as he emerged from the rescue tunnel. Alf Scadding followed shortly afterwards and later the body of Herman Magill was brought out.

The daring rescue efforts, widely chronicled by the news media, captured the hearts of millions across North America and Europe. The broadcasts of J.Frank Willis of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Company, later CBC, were carried by over 700 Radio Stations in Canada, the United States and England, establishing a record for consecutive live broadcasts from one location. These broadcasts represented North America's first major " media event " and are claimed to have changed the course of radio in Canada.

How to get to the park? The Mooseland road starts on Highway 7, just 5 km. east of Tangier. Follow it inland to the community of Moose River. Complementing the park is a museum operated jointly by the community of Moose River and the Musquodoboit Valley Tourism Association. Here visitors can see an interesting collection of gold mining artifacts and learn about the area's rich gold mining history. The museum is only open during the summer months but is worth the visit.

For more information please contact the District Office, Dept. of Natural Resources , Middle Musquodoboit, Halifax Co. Nova Scotia, BON 1XO
Thanks to Debbie MacDonald, Moose River for sending the information to Highway7.com.

Continuing on the Marine Drive beyond Tangier, visitors will pass through a number of small interesting communities: Spry Bay, Popes Harbour, Spry Harbour and Taylors Head Beach, a Provincial Park.

Taylors Head Beach is a beautiful ocean side park with lots of interesting and well marked hiking trails. Whales and seals are often seen from this beach and its a bird watchers paradise with many island nesting grounds just offshore.

Next stop is Sheet Harbour, a mere 20 minutes away!

lupSheet Harbour Entering Sheet Harbour from the West, there's a small rest area by West River with biffys and picnic tables. Soon, you'll cross over West River with its rapids tumbling to the sea. Just beyond, on the right is McPhee House & the Visitor Information Center. Stop for a break and a chat. The girls, mostly local summer students, are friendly and helpful.

Looking down towards the harbour mouth, you may see a huge conveyer belt silhouetted against the sky in the distance. A ship is moving into the harbour - a Transatlantico coming to pick up chips for making wood pellets and particle board. You'll pass this on the right as you head east.

 

The Port of Sheet Harbour is one of Nova Scotia's newer offshore terminals with shipping facility. Completed in 1988, the Industrial Park and 500 foot Common User Docks is the closest marine facility to the Sable Island Offshore Oil Fields (150 miles). Sheet Harbour has another advantage. It is only a fifty mile steam from the great circle shipping route linking North America to Europe.

Sheet Harbour sits at the crossroads where visitors can go on in any direction: Cape Breton, Stellarton, Truro, New Glasgow, the Trans Canada Highway or Halifax. The community of Sheet Harbour has always been the commercial centre of the Eastern Shore and could accommodate a significant increase in population given its present level of educational, medical and other community services. At the moment there is lobster fishing, tourism, forestry and an active business sector coupled with the Industrial Port and the Industrial Park.

Sheet Harbour is a lovely coastal town offering gas, food, lodging, a hospital and shops. Located approximately 90 minutes north-east of Halifax/Dartmouth, the port was given its name by early sailors to distiguish it from the multitude of other ports and inlets along the shore. A rock formation at the entrance to the harbour resembles a sheet drying in the wind.

Here, one can find a place to wash or gas up the car with an Irving Station at the western end of town and an Esso station on the east. A number of food take-outs can be found along the highway, but for a good sit-down meal, there are several choices with year round restaurants at both motels and Dooneys, just under the East River bridge. Ralph Leblanc's Fairwind Motel in the town centre offers the better view with its location on the harbour and the deck is a good place to be in summer. You'll find a mix of visitors and local people who meet for lunch or dinner, or coffee and fresh muffins. Everyone enjoys the view towards the harbour from the outside terrace. There are a number of other shops & souvenir places, a supermarket, florist, a post-office, library, a bank and credit union, RCMP, a hospital and a liquour store.

Travelling east towards Cape Breton, just before you cross East River bridge, you'll see a new bed and breakfast named "Back in Thyme" and to the left, the road leads to East River Lodge Campground & Trailer Park. Beautiful scenery and a nice spot right on the East River awaits you.

(We are now 115 kilometers away from Greater Halifax.)

Up Highway 374 to Malay Falls and New Glasgow

Malay Falls is the site of an old Nova Scotia Power hydro station. It's a fascinating walk about, but be careful! Further along the 374, ( the junction with Highway #7 is just on the eastern outskirts of Sheet Harbour), you would eventually arrive at New Glasgow.

The Bay of Islands Region

Thousands of small islands dot the coastline between Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke. The islands that make up this long archipelago are the exposed tips of 'Eastern Shore drumlins' formed during the last Ice Age. Mariners gave the region its unique name in the 1800's but the name had been lost over time and forgotten until recently.

Now resurrected by a local economic development group, the Bay of Islands Center in Moser River has re-defined this area by its natural attractions of forest, river, lakes and seacoast.

Port Dufferin 14 km. east of Sheet Harbour will bring you to Port Dufferin. The Black Duck Seaside Inn, a new bed and breakfast is open year around and offers a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean from the observatory deck.

A little further along, you'll find the Marquis of Dufferin Seaside Inn, under new ownership in 2005. Waterfront accommodation, set in spacious grounds overlooking Beaver Harbour. All rooms have private balconies with a superb ocean view. Complimentary continental breakfast. Quiet, clean and comfortable. Visit their Facebook page.


East & West Quoddy, Quoddy Head, Harrigan Cove
Take a right, any right. Almost any road leading to the right will end at the ocean with a beach or small fishing village and always, islands as far as one can see. See someone walking? Chat them up! Locals here are friendly for the most part and love to tell stories about the old days!Chances are , you'll meet someone from the U.S or Europe. Many have built large summer homes in the area and headlands particularly have fallen prey to developers.

Moosehead - Some say that the top of Moosehead Hill is the only cell phone reception on this part of the Shore. At the bottom of the hill is Moosehaead Beach. Here, a certain moss can be seen that only can be found in one other part of the world - on the African coast. Moosehead Moss, rich in nutrients has been used here for centuries as a natural organic fertilizer. You'll often know you're in Moosehead, even in the dark, by the strong aroma of this unique moss. The island just off shore with the sheer cliff face on its western end is Ship Island, once the location of a lumber mill

Moosehead is the location of another abandoned gold mine, where walking can be treacherous. Watch for a old shafts in the small quartz beach area at the end of Moosehead Road.

Moser River, Necum Teuch, Ecum Secum
Soon we arrive at Moser River, established in 1783 as a way station and lumber town. Moser River once boasted several stores, three service stations, even a hotel in the shipbuilding era when lumbering employed many people, and not the huge destructive tree harvesters used today.

Seaside Park on the right is featured on the Marine Drive Nature Tour for its interesting river estuary and tidal pools. The park offers a small playground and picnic tables. There's a credit union, post office and school just across from the park. In the back of the Post Office is the Moser River CAP Site where you can check your email for free - if you're lucky enough to find it open (usually in the mornings).

On the west side of the bridge, the 'town centre' houses two community halls, an Esso service station and the Quickway Convenience Store - the latter both unfortunately closed on Sundays, even in summer! (Hint - If you're really stranded, the owners live behind the store, so walk around back and they'll oblige you with a smile.

On the east side of the bridge, the Bay of Islands Sustainable Living Center offers a warm welcome to visitors, especially hikers and ecotourists. Stop at the Trail Stop Country Market just east of the Moser River bridge for some local pointers on where to hike the back country. The Center offers some roofed accommodations (hostel style), good food, a washroom, web access and loads of rough camping in field, woods or by the ocean. Sometimes, you can barter a night's stay or two by volunteering to help with various events, workshops and projects at the Center. Ask at the Trail Stop.

A mile or so up the coast, you will enter Necum Teuch, (pronounced "Neecum -Taw"). This village was once a busy ship-building center with its deep water anchorage. Many residents here are descended from the 'Foreign Protestants' from Germany who settled originally on the South Shore near Lunenburg. Necum Teuch was once home to Angella Geddes (the Scarecrow Lady), a childrens' book author. Some of Angella's scarecrows can still be seen at "Aunt Mary's House". If you stop by, ask for Ken. Maybe he'll play you a tune on the antique organ!

Ecum Secum is an Indian name that replaces an even earlier one -originally the Mi'kmaws called it Megwasagun meaning "a red house" or "a red river". The side roads here are home to many local lobster and crab fishermen. The wharf is down the way a bit at Ecum Secum West. If you're here at the right time, this wharf is a great place to catch mackerel.

At the Ecum Secum Bridge we leave Halifax at its eastern-most boundary. Yes, you've been in the City of Halifax all along!

Marie Joseph - Just before the village of Marie Joseph, there is a small provincial park overlooking the ocean - a place for a picnic with a amazing view. And -- one of this area's few outdoor privys!


Wait, there's more!
Continue with Part 3 of our tour along the Marine Drive on the way to Cape Breton -
or return to Part 1


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All contents © 1995 - 2013 Highway7.com unless otherwise attributed
Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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