Dog Cove Days

There was an old cabin at Dog Cove that was owned by Arthur Herridge and Jim Herridge, who used to be partners in just about everything. Henry’s cabin was located across the cove from that one, built on the site of an old log cabin that was once used by many people when getting their winter wood. The old one was up on the bank more. At low tide you could walk across the cove, at high tide there was a little path to use. The old cabin was still there when the new one was built around 1951.

It took an hour and fifteen minutes to reach Dog Cove from Anderson’s Cove. One evening, as we passed Gull Island on the way up, I saw something showing up on the Island. I went ashore and found a piece of the keel from the ‘Dorothy P. Sarty’. The schooner had been in the area for a load of herring in the spring, with Howard Lake in control. Going too close to the island, the schooner struck a little shoal off from it and left part of its keel behind. I picked it up, took it to Dog Cove, and used it for shores underneath the cabin.

The hens were probably carried up in their house or a trawl tub. There were weasels up there so we had a yard fenced off for them. We framed the yard with sticks and then put small-mesh net, probably from a capelin seine, on the sticks. The net was dug down into the ground because weasels do not dig. The hens’ house had a flap in the roof that could rise up for feeding and collecting the eggs.

In the summer of 1952, we made good use of the cabin. Father was fishing out of Lunenberg and Mom was in Halifax with Mabel (my sister). The first time we stayed there for a few days and then we came out to get more supplies. On our way back we took the row dory in tow to bring back a load of wood on our next trip. Sophie decided to stay in the row dory on the way up to read her book because it was quieter. When we got down to go in through the tickle, I looked back and saw Sophie getting up out of the row dory so I stopped the engine, and pulled the row dory up alongside. She asked if the engine had stopped or if I had stopped it. I told her I stopped it because we could have been drowned. She asked how and I explained that when she moved up in the head of that little row dory, it stuck right down on its bow. It could have tipped over in a second and drowned both of us because I’d have to jump into the water. I started the motor again and slacked the row dory back, telling her that if she wanted anything else to hold up her hand.

Mrs. Hettie Thornhill and her two daughters, Isabel and Annie, were staying in the old cabin there for a few days at that time. Mrs. Thornhill was originally from Pool’s Cove and Sophie knew her, so it was a little bit of company. While we were up there, Phil John Evans came up from Southeast Bight, where he had a cabin, and was telling me about this moose. So we went in the next day and we walked into a big bull. We had to get rid of him fast because the weather was warm. We came out that night with our moose, a real dirty night, Sophie and I. We left Fay over in the other cabin with the Thornhills.

We tucked it all away in the pickle barrel and took some bottles with us and we left again. It was still dark, raining and Southerly wind. Not one person heard us coming or going. We had the sail up until we got down a ways, then I started the motor. Sophie was back in the stern, steering the dory, and wearing a suit of old rubber clothes. We didn’t bother picking Fay up that night after we got back to Dog Cove. We put the moose in bottles and had a few meals of fresh moose meat while we were there. We shared some of the meat with the Thornhill family too.

We came out to Anderson’s Cove again after that and Cyril Thornhill had just taken an old stove out of his boat, the ‘We Take You’. The stove had an oven and Cyril said we could have it if it was any good to us. I fixed it up with wire, salt water clay and aluminum and took it up to Dog Cove. When we got it on the pound where the old drum used to be we wanted to try it out, to see if the oven was any good. You didn’t need a fire lit for heat then because it was warm. We opened the door and the oven looked perfect. Sophie decided to try it out by baking a batch of pork buns. She baked lots of things in it after that.

One night the ‘nippers’ (mosquitoes) were so thick that we had to smoke them out. We took Fay outside in her little bed and I lit a fire of green boughs on top of the old drum. We stayed outside and watched the smoke pouring out through the door, knowing the nippers would come out with it. By the time the smoke was nearly gone, we figured it was safe to go back inside and we barred the door up tight so no more ‘nippers’ would get in.

One day I went across to Swile’s Point in the row dory to get some cranberries. When I got almost back I saw Sophie and Fay down on the point. I was kind of worried because the rocks were slippery. They were catching Connors. Fay had a little birch stick with twine on it. The Connors were plentiful there.

Another day I came back and Sophie was gone. There was a nice marsh up back of the cabin, going up towards the brook. There were woods on both sides of the marsh. A path went across the marsh, and was cleared up through the woods right to the brook. I went out by the end of the cabin and I saw her coming out over the marsh, swinging her hatchet.

I looked down and saw that she had cut her foot. It was a big cut and it was lying open. She had struck it with the hatchet while walking out. We always kept plenty of white cloth on hand for bandages. Sophie went in the cabin while I went out and got a big turpentine bladder. She based her foot with turpentine and drew the cloth around it as tight as she could get it. When we came out to Anderson’s Cove again after that, Mr. Watts and his wife was there and she told Mrs. Watts what she had done. Mrs. Watts said she couldn’t have done a better job herself. The Thornhills came out with us that time. It spoiled our trip for getting wood.

We had just finished dinner when I walked out around the cabin and saw a row dory coming. It was Freeman and Cora Hatch. Freeman came in sniffing and said that we must have had something good cooked. I said that we’d had a good dinner and he said, ‘Got nar bit left, I s’pose?’ I told him what we had and that the pot liquor was all that was left. ‘That’s all I wants!’ he said. They soaked some bread in the trout liquor and that was their dinner. After dinner they left to go to Youngeses Brook to look for trout.

A little while after that I heard a motor dory coming and I went out. I said to Sophie, ‘I would say that’s Fred Burton.’ He came in where we were and told us that the squid had struck and there was a nice bit of cod fish. He and I had agreed to go fishing together for squid. Sophie used to be out on the wharf watching us bait our gear. We each baited a tub of 10 lines. I had my 10 lines baited and Fred said ‘You don’t mean to say you got yours done already?’

I said, ‘Yes.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘I thought I was doing alright, but I couldn’t have been according to you.’
‘I was looking at you,’ Sophie said. ‘When you started Fred’s body was all motion, but he wasn’t getting anywhere’.
I said, ‘I was used to that aboard the schooner.’
We fished until the fish got scarce and then we gave up. We salted the fish and we did pretty good.

It was getting colder now so we figured we’d make another trip to Dog Cove and settle things away for the winter. So we brought out our few things and a load of wood. We knew that Father would soon be home from Lunenburg and we would be going in the woods.

When the old cabin was taken down, Jim had half the lumber and I had the other half. I used my half to seal up the interior of the new cabin, and also built a little room on to it, with two bunks. That was probably in 1953 when Marie was a baby and we didn’t go up to Dog Cove to stay.

Howard and I used the cabin after that when we went in the woods and when we were beavering. When we left Anderson’s Cove in July 1954, I gave the cabin to Henry Hatch.

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