For years Dad would take us to the Taylor Head beach (before it became a provincial park) to swim and visit the old McCarthy homestead (I'm a McCarthy).
|The McCarthy houses, from the beach|
Both houses are still used today as summer homes for various members of the extended McCarthy clan. The day we went to visit, one of Dad's cousins' sons was there painting and fixing up the yellow house. Dad's cousin, Vera, was also there staying in her cottage further off from the original houses.
|Wendy, Mum, Gerald, Me, Vera|
I think in almost every family there's one person (at least) who is the keeper of the family history...either officially or unofficially. For the McCarthys, it is Vera Stone...an amazing woman who loves having family stop by for a visit. I never knew my grandfather - he died when Dad was only 10 years old, but Vera knows enough stories about him to make him come alive for us. Although they've never met, her nephew, Jim, and my oldest daughter have been corresponding via email for years now, comparing notes and family history information.
Vera gave us some neat tidbits of history. For instance, I've always loved lighthouses, but until that visit I didn't know that my grandfather had, at one tme, been the keeper of the Sheet Harbour Light, not far from Taylor Head. And it had been one of my Dad's dreams to retire to a lighthouse.
|Sheet Harbour Light with seagulls roosting|
After Taylor Head was made into a Provincial Park, the government allowed the McCarthys to keep their homestead and the two additional cottages they had built for summer visiting, and the beach in front of the family's homestead as the only privately owned land in the park. There's a small access road, called McCarthy Road, leading to the homestead.
|The McCarthy Girls - Wendy, Pat and Meta - 2005|
|The boardwalk down to the beach|
|Lloyd and Me in 2005|
|Looking out from the houses - Psyche Island in the middle of the picture.|
Nobody lived on it but the McCarthy's used to graze sheep on it until
it was sold to the Provincial Government in the late 1990s.
So that's where my roots are and where I want to go back to - for a visit. No matter where I live I think I'll be a Bluenoser forever!
Take a minute if you'd like and listen to the anthem of all displaced Bluenosers - Farewell to Nova Scotia. It's an old folk song about a young man who is leaving Nova Scotia to go to war. The video scenery is nice as well.