I was in hopes of being able to gather the
information you wished for before this but was unable to get around among the
old residents earlier, and am afraid all I have gleaned will be of small value
First - Speaking of Point Lepreau - the name is
French. The first settler was David Pettingell- my grandfather. He was appointed
the first light keeper. My father - George Thomas- lived with his grandfather
from infancy-almost-and was appointed the second light keeper. In his time a Fog
Alarm Signal and Telegraph office were added with the station. He died in the
fall of 1885. At the time I was Station Agent on NB Railway and was appointed
the third Light keeper in charge of this station. Cannot find anything out about
Biles Basin... not known by that name here ... known only as Little Lepreau
Basin. Cannot get origin of name of Maces Bay.
speak of Moose Creek - We know it only as Dipper Harbour Creek. It is a marshy
creek which the tide from the Bay of Fundy flows up a mile or mile and half and
terminates in a small stream half a mile from the Little Lepreau Basin. Have
never heard of it being used by the Indians as a portage. It is said Dipper
Harbour got its name from the number of small ducks - the dippers- which
frequented its shores and creek. Numbers of them are still to be found there in
the winter months. Have never heard of any other name for this Harbour. It is
said Chance Harbour got its name from being such a difficult harbour to make in
a storm - could only make this harbour "by Chance". The entrance is
narrow and ledges outside.
are two islands connected by a sand bar lying a mile off Maces Bay called the
Salkill or Salkill Islands. Generations ago, this Salkill - a bachelor -
received the original grants of all the land at Lepreau Village and Little
Lepreau - and I believe Beaver Harbour also. He lived and farmed at Lepreau for
a number of years - sold out and moved to Maces Bay where he died. His last
request was to be buried on this Island and his wish was carried out, thus
giving the Islands the name. They have passed through hands ever since and are
now owned by R.J. Mawhinney of Maces Bay. I am sorry to say this is the only
original name I have got - it is a small matter.
thing more: There are terrible tides rise from north and south past the end of
Point Lepreau and whence a strong breeze though the water is smooth every where
else there is a very bad rip at Pt. Lepreau.
Indians camping ground is in a cove on Northern side of the Point distant one
mile. The old Indians claimed that many years ago before there were any settlers
on this part of the shore that one of their tribe tried to pass this Point and
his canoe was lost. He got ashore, bruised and worn out and lay down on the
entrance end of the Point, do die, hanging his moccacins on a stick. Some time
afterwards his remains were discovered by other Indians passing. This was a
warning to them to give up passing the Point. They made a landing place half a
mile up the Point and portaged from there across the Point within camps a
distance of about 1 mile.
can remember this Portage being quite distinct 18 years ago - now it has all
grown up. Until late years, the Indians have been afraid of the Point in rough
weather - now the old stock of Pleasant Pointers are almost gone and the
half-breeds follow the Whites. Every year there are less of them come here. This
is all I can give you now but should I come across anything original will give
it to you promptly and if there is anything more I can assist you in I will be
most happy to do so.
Submitted by: Midge Thompson
This letter was sent to NB MLA Ganong from G.H. Thomas,
3rd light keeper at The Point Lepreau Light, dated January 10th, 1889.
From the Ganong Collection – NB Museum Archives.