This was to mostly be a driving day but we did make a few stops along the way. The weather was a total mixed bag; we woke to rain, which stopped and started again a few times throughout the day, and we also had some nice blue sky. Weather predictions for the next four days are sun and cloud so if that works out it will be great.
An unusual shaped house in Pugwash, NS In a very short distance between Pictou and the next town of Caribou River we had 5 RCMP cars drive past in the other direction. We have only seen 2 or 3 cop cars on the roads so far this whole trip and here was one after another after another. Then as we were driving to our hotel in Moncton we came across 4 more either side of one intersection. Weird. Well, weird enough that we noticed such a thing anyway.
We drove the coast road as is our custom. Once out of Antigonish we headed north past New Glasgow on Highway 4 (the TCH) then turned east to the coast through Pictou. We followed Highway 6 all the way into Amherst (the geographic center of the Maritimes) which has lots and lots of gorgeous old houses, and crossed the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at 2 pm.
Once we were in New Brunswick we diverted from the main road near Sackville to see if the old Harness shop was open and we could check out the way they made tack in the old days. Closed.
Near Dorchester we planned to drive 8 km out of town to see if any of the sandpipers were still summering at Johnson’s Mills – 95% of the world’s population of semipalmated sandpipers (25 million) summer there – mid-July to early September. However….within a couple of km the road turned to gravel. We felt we had subjected poor Poppy to enough gravel and rough roads for awhile so we turned around.
We were almost through Dorchester and I spotted the Keillor House. This is a house built in 1813 by a stone mason/farmer. I had picked up a brochure about it somewhere and was happy to see it was open. In we went. No photos were allowed inside but we enjoyed the stories.
Mr. Edward Keillor was the son of a farmer and he wanted to be more than just a farmer; he wanted to move up the social ladder. He moved to the Dorchester area and applied for a land grant. He recieved 250 acres. He had his two brothers also apply for grants and they also each received 250 acres. Then Mr. Keillor bought out his two brothers. He was a successful farmer but also became Justice of the Peace and several other community honors. He and his wife raised 8 children in a log house and when the youngest two were almost out of the nest he built Keillor house – the front is cut stone, the back is wood to save money. He furnished it just grand enough to look prosperous. He was never as rich as he liked to make out he was but the house remained in branches of his family until 1969.
He also sold the lot next door to his house for a Provincial penitentiary (1880) and his brother was the first warden. It was used until a new, much larger one was built a little further up the road – which is still in use.
In the town of Memramcook there is a National Historic Site called Monument Lefebvre to honor Father Camile Lefebvre who spent three decades of his life to the advancement of the Acadian people. The building (built 1896-97) is still an education and cultural center for Acadians. But, it was closed on Sunday. We knew we would start to run into seasonal closures once Labour Day was passed.
We arrived in Moncton at 4:50 and checked into the Best Western we stayed in on our way down to tour Nova Scotia. We are here for two nights. We will then spend two nights each in St. John, Frederickton, and St. Andrew’s to finish our tour of New Brunswick before we cross the US border into Maine and make our way over to Niagara Falls.