The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

May 23rd, 2012

In Olden Times

Feb. 2, 1933 The Springhill RecordIn Olden Times

In 1865, 66 and 67 a little of what the writer can remember is what was then called the Maccan Mountains.  A young lady of about 25 years of age came to my father and asked if she might teach day school there at that place as there was no school at that time.  There was very little money in circulation there then and she said she would take her pay in flour, sugar, butter or any other necessary articles of food to help feed her father’s family, as they had been living on potatoes and salt for several days.

The Methodist Church at Mapleton was built about that time by the Rev. Mr. Buckley.  The choir was then at the back end of the church.  I have known the choir leader and others after working hard all day, walk three miles on weekday evenings to church to sing and be at the service and their voices were beautiful and the clothes of the men, women and children were wool taken from the sheep, manufactured into cloth and made into clothes by hand, all in their own home.

Miller’s Corner was at that time the centre of Springhill.  There were three roads then: one leading to Athol and Amherst, one going by Wesley Herrett’s onto River Philip and the other what is now Main Street running over Clairmont.  The roads were so narrow that what few wagons there were would brush against the trees and bushes.  Where the Town of Springhill now stands there were just four homes: Mr. Amos Mills on Monument Hill; Mr. Nathan Boss, where Mr. Lavers now lives; Mr. Thomas Boss, where the Methodist Church now stands and Mr. J. Simpson about where the Post Office is.

The mining works consisted then of a pit like a well, situated in the corner of the park.  It had a windlass and a tub to let down in the pit to haul up the coal.  I think the output of the coal a year at that time was about ten ton.  The price was about eight shillings a ton and about sixteen shillings a ton to haul it to Amherst.

The reader will easily see a great difference in the times at that time to what they are now.

The writer believes there are more complaints of hard times now as there were then.  Now considering the many beautiful ways of travelling at the present time and the abundance of food, we must all thank God for the many blessings, and man can do nothing without God, and he has given us such beautiful and wonderful changes in so short a time.  We should be very careful about breaking the laws because he might not always favor us in this beautiful way.

– An Old Citizen

Apr. 13, 1933 Fighting Deportation

     Salem Mass. Apr. 5 -  The outcome of a test case which will determine the status of hundreds of Maritime Province people now living in Mass, is awaited with interest, as on the decision handed down by the Essex Co. Superior Court depends their right to maintain their present residences.

     Despite the fact that Herbert B. Atkinson, age 29, came to the U.S. from Springhill, Nova Scotia when he was five years old and he was educated in the public schools of Salem and Peabody, he was arrested by Immigration Inspector Christian Relihan and threatened with deportation.  Immigration officials say that relatives of his former wife reported him to be in the U.S. illegally.  Atkinson has worked as an expert landscape gardener on some of the most picturesque estates along the North Shore.  Recently he had been employed in Manchester.

     Two years ago, he went to Nova Scotia, remained a year and came back without seeking immigration authority to re-enter.  Had he returned within six months, he could not have been deported.  Atkinson is fighting deportation and a test case is the result.

     Since this was in the Springhill Record I had a call from a reader who informed me that the story about the Mapleton Church had some inaccuracies in it.  The Mapleton Church was not built by the Rev. James Buckley (although he was the first Minister).  The carpenter for the Church was Thomas Johnson from River Philip and he was assisted by John Bird.