Saturday, February 10, 2007

Down By The Bay

The Passamoquoddy Bay that is :o) As predicted, this time away has been exactly what DH and I needed. Time seems to stop down here. There's no rush to get anything done and there is no set schedule. The television becomes a thing of the past and serenity takes hold. I'm more than happy to stay here and the itch to wander or travel is gone.

This area is rich with history. If you look out over the bluff, you see a piece of land that juts out into the ocean. This is the tip of Oven Head -

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Up until a few years ago it remained a vacant piece of land but now one of the wealthiest families in Canada spend their summers there. When DH's parents first bought their property, I did some digging and came across a local gentleman that was able to share some of the history of Oven Head with me.

If you were to walk out to the Oven Head point, you would come across a tiny family cemetery enclosed by a small fence. Upon further inspection you would see that the gravestones date back to the mid 1800's and bare the Fisher name.

Over a hundred years ago, in the little town of St. Andrews, a 17-year-old naval officer by the name of William Henry (alias Lt. Bray) met and married a 17-year-old girl named Mary Kelly. Together they had a daughter, Martha Ann, who was born on May 26, 1792. When William returned home after a year at sea he finally confessed that he could not return to his home in England with his wife and daughter because he was the son of the King and it was not permitted that he marry a commoner without the King's consent.

Around the same time another woman, Rebecca Vernon, was being disowned by her family for marrying a British soldier by the name of John Fisher. On February 29, 1784 they had a son, George Albert. Unfortunately in 1787 John Fisher did not return home and it is believed that he was lost at sea during a voyage. Some time later, Rebecca married again, this time to James Stewart, and together they raised her son George. They settled and received one of the first land grants on Passamoquoddy Bay.

In 1819, George Fisher and Martha Henry's paths crossed and they married. Together they had seven children. Both are now buried on Oven Head. Because of the times and the lack of medical knowledge, quite a few of the Fisher children died within a matter of years. In the case of Carrie Fisher, George and Martha's granddaughter, she was to die in childbirth. In 1895, Carrie met a man in St. Andrews and her pregnancy was a result of this affair. Being a scandal at the time, Carrie requested to be buried alone, out on the tip of Oven Head. But with the winds and waves, her casket soon became exposed and Carrie's father moved her inland to the family cemetery. Back in the 1980's, the movie Children Of A Lesser God was shot there although the beach may not have been recognizable because it was bulldozed and painted for the film.

How did Oven Head get its name? As the tide pushes itself out, more and more beach area is exposed below the 100-foot cliffs located on Oven Head. There in the rock walls are several cave like hollows. Over time, the cycle of tidal movements has caused the rocks in these cliffs to disintegrate, therefore creating these many depressions. It is said that people in the early days likened the caves to a woman's oven and soon it was nicknamed Old Woman's Oven.

So there you go, a little bit of trivia for you on this peaceful Saturday night :o)


Jamie said...

Oh so glad you are enjoying yourself!! Also good information. Looks beautiful.

Karen said...

I love hearing about local history, Have a great time

Faith Ann said...

So glad you got to enjoy a weekend 'away' from it all! That's exactly how we feel when we go to my mom's... very far removed from the hustle and bustle and more in tune with nature, that's for sure.

Lili said...

Oh, I loved reading all this! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you! I've gotten so far behind in reading others' blogs. Thank you for posting on mine so I'd make myself come visit you here. ;o)
Your time at the beach sounds heavenly!! But you could have at least asked me to tag along! *lol* I'm glad it's so peaceful for you - soak it all up.
And your post of your anniversary ... I've not gotten cancer - yet. I've got some good (bad?) heredity working towards me so I have a limited understanding of having all of that hang over your head. Taking one day to have a pity party is not a bad thing but remember, with me, every day above ground is good and many of us are VERY thankful you're here with us! Many, many hugs, Cathey!

Mary Ann said...

Oh, I loved reading this! And, you can tell from the picture just how beautiful the area is!!

Mary Ann said...

Oh, I forgot--you had asked who the designer was for the quilt square I just finished. The chart is in a booklet published by Crafways called "Abby Angel". It was published in 1985. I found the leaflet on Ebay a while back.

Shannon L. said...

Thanks so much for telling the story of the Island. ! :) I'm glad you got away for a much needed break.