The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

February 2nd, 2012

The Record, Oct. 24, 1979Mrs. Roy McQuillan’s 95th birthday on Oct. 28

     Mrs. Roy McQuillan (Ida Rae), who was born in Springhill, will be celebrating her 95th birthday on Oct. 28.

     Ida Rae was the daughter of Harry Rae, a pioneer, who came to make his home in Springhill during the 1870’s.  Harry Rae had a farm on Herrett Road.  The same house is now occupied by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Blanche Rae.  Ida’s father sold water to many of the town’s residence, and at one time helped to police the town.

     Mrs. McQuillan, attended school in a building on Herrett Road until she was taken out of school at the age of 12, to help look after a relative’s family.  Later she moved to the United States, where she married Roy McQuillan.  This remarkable woman, who is called Aunt Ida by most of her friends, lost her husband, a daughter (Muriel) and a son (Roy Jr.).  She is the only survivor of her family.

     Being a deeply religious person, she attends church and bible study nearly every week.  Until the last two years, she has visited her home town during the Summer.  Ida especially enjoyed going to the Senior Citizens and meeting the senior people.  Sometimes, when she was in Springhill, she visited her old school chum, Vincent Ward.  In later years, these two friends have exchanged cards on their birthdays.

     Aunt Ida likes to reminisce about the olden days, and she can tell many interesting stories about the early events in Springhill.

     Mrs. McQuillan is now residing with Mr. and Mrs. Layton Remick in Rye Beach, New Hampshire.

     ED. NOTE:  the following is a newspaper story dated January 27, 1878, about a hunting adventure in which Mrs. McQuillan’s grandfather, Alex Rae, took part.  (This should have read Mrs. McQuillan’s Uncle Alex Rae)

From the Chronicle Files dated January 27, 1878

Springhill, N.S. – Samuel Russell and David Bigney, killed a large bear near the mine slope today.

      This note from the past recalls an old bear story.  Bears were plentiful in the old days, and many stories are still told of their visitations, the land only partly cleared, with pasture lands to the left, probably in the vicinity mentioned.

     In the party were four of the earlier settlers of Springhill, Samuel Russell, (S.G. Russell’s grandfather), Alex Rae, (Alpin Rae’s father) and Harry Rae (Walter Rae’s father) and David Bigney.  It is not remembered now which one “got” the bear, but they shared equally in the spoils.  Each had a share in the meat and oil, the latter being valued for rubbing and as a basis for liniments.  Harry Rae had the pelt; but most interesting of all was the saving of the two little motherless cubs.  These were carried home, under his coat, by Mr. Russell, who later presented them to Dan Coghill, hotel keeper.  They did well at first, but one night they cried a great deal and Mr. Coghill gave each of them a large bottle of milk.  Both were dead in the morning – killed by kindness.

     Following is a note on early mining, also from the Chronicle Files, under the date of January 31, 1878.

      At a meeting of the directors of the Springhill Mining Company, Senator McFarlane was re-elected president.  This company shows a profit of $44,000 on last year’s business, and paid a dividend of 7 per cent, besides leaving a balance of $11,000.

Springhill Record – 1951 – Twenty Years Ago

     The Springhill Board of Trade appealed to Mr. N.S. Sanford, Census Commissioner, to see that the utmost care be taken in covering the local district.  In the previous census part of this district had been credited elsewhere.  The Board also appealed to R.K. Smith, M.P., to impress upon the railway authorities the need in keeping the Saltspring Station open.

     The weather man upset plans to open the Springhill Park after a remodeling program had been carried out.  Difficulty was experienced in getting good competition for the Busters.

     Announcement was made that milk prices in Springhill would drop from 12 c. per quart to 10c.  Cream was dropped from 60c. to 50c.  Many matters were discussed at a meeting held at the home of Tillot Smith.