Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A country drive with my Grandmother

On Sunday afternoon past my parents and I took my 92-year-old grandmother, Empress (MacNevin) McDowell,  for a drive out to the area she was raised - Milo, Brae, Mt. Royal.  Below is a photo of my grandmother and following a cartoon drawn by Wayne Wright of Summerside for her 90th birthday.
I took the following photos.  Below is the house of Horace MacNevin (son of Alan & Lulu) located on Rte. 140 in the Brae - Horace moved out of the house a short time ago.  The farm that had been owned previously by Clarence Johnstone and of which Augustine Guillemont had been the pioneer settler.  Their house had formerly been the home of Herbert Craig...  cf. Past & Present: A history of the Brae, 1979.
We continued on to Rte. 14 (Milo Rd.) into Milo and our first stop was at my grandmother's grandparents home which has been for sale now for a few years.  My great-great-grandfather Neil "Tidy" MacNevin and his wife Sarah Beer came to this farm in 1888 - it had been formerly owned by Laughlin MacLean.  Because of the Methodical manner in which he carried on his farming work and his insistence on neatness everywhere about his home, farm buildings, barnyard, fences, etc. he was known as Tidy Neil - his children were known as "The Tidy's"...cf. Past and Present: A history of the Brae.  At his death in 1926 Tidy Neil passed his farm onto his son George and his wife Nettie - when my grandmother Empress was a young woman she worked as a housekeeper for her uncle and aunt for $6/month .  George passed the house onto his son Rod and later he sold it to out-of-the-family to the present owner William Wedlock.
Below:  Tidy Neil MacNevin.  On the back of photo is written, "Pa & Evan".
Below:  the main barn on the Tidy Neil farmstead - he had all his farm building lined in a straight row behind the house.  My grandmother said he like to have a different building for different purposes.
Below: the machine building.
Below: the pig house and hen house.
The following photos are from the real estate website http://mls.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?&PropertyId=10701945&PidKey=1490376790
Below: here's a photo of all the farm buildings neatly aligned and still very tidy looking 85 years after Tidy Neil's death.
From here we drove down the road westward and saw Uncle Colin (Tidy) MacNevin's farmstead - here's his barn - the farmyard now forms part of a home-based car dealership.
Below: The next place was my grandmother Empress' home - she was the first in her family to be born in this house on September 6th, 1919.  My great-grandparents, Jack "Tidy" MacNevin and Lucy Enid Milligan kept the place tidy and nice - not much like it looks today.  The house has had its windows changed and the verandah is closed-in.  The barns are all gone and the farm has grown up into forest.  My great-grandmother Lucy use to say it made her sick to think the hard work she and Jack Tidy did to clear the land so many years ago had been re-forested.  Jack Tidy died in 1945 - a few years later the farm was sold out-of-the-family.  Lucy moved to O'Leary - in 1957 she married George Collicutt.
Below: my great-grandparents L-R: John "Jack Tidy" MacNevin, Lucy Enid (Milligan) MacNevin with their son Dave.
Below: Lucy MacNevin on her 95th brithday - at the time she was still living in her little house in O'Leary.  She died two years later on September 23rd, 1989 at the age of 97.
Below:  the barnyard at Jack Tidy's homestead - here is Jack Tidy with his daughters Orilla and Millie.
Below: my grandfather Roy McDowell sitting on the verandah of the MacNevin house, behind you can see the original house Jack Tidy and Lucy lived in before building the new Island-ell style farmhouse in 1918-1919.
We then carried on up the road on Rte 14 and on the corner to Rte. 164 is the abandoned farm of George MacWilliams - here's the barn below.
We carried on to Mount Royal on Rte. 140 and saw another abandoned home - that of Jimmy Griffin's.  A beautiful setting and much detailed Island-ell farmstead.

1 comment:

  1. Obituary of Horace MacNevin
    Summerside Journal Pioneer
    Born In: Brae PE
    Born: August 7th, 1923
    Passed on: January 1st, 2013
    At the Palliative Care Unit of Community Hospital, O'Leary, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, of Horace Adams MacNevin, formerly of Brae aged 89. Born in Brae, Aug. 7, 1923, son of the late Allan and Lulu (Adams) MacNevin.
    Horace is survived by his nieces Marion Kelly, Antigonish, N.S., and Barbara MacIsaac, Ont. He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Lloyd, Roderick, niece Alana and nephews Roderick and Gordon.
    Resting at the Ferguson Funeral Home and Chapel, O'leary, with visiting hours Friday from 12 p.m. until the time of the funeral at 1 p.m. in the chapel. In memory of Horace, memorials to the Brae United Church Cemetery would be appreciated.

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