Buried History

When I heard that Mike Parker, author of many historic books, was coming to Coles in Bridgewater for a book signing, I made plans to be there.   I had picked up “Buried in the Woods: Sawmills Ghost Towns in Nova Scotia” a few weeks back and really enjoyed it. If you’re interested in saw mill ghost towns in Nova Scotia this is a good book to read. Lots of photos as well.

My home in E. Dalhousie is not so many miles from Crossburn, a logging town that was quite a booming little place in the early 1900’s. It is also one of the “sawmill ghost towns” that Mike Parker writes about in his book.

A few years back a group of us headed off to Crossburn to see that was left of this once flourishing town.  Luckily, we went armed with a map (hand-drawn by one of the last surviving residents of the town who is now 100 years old.) Our map helped us to locate such things as the schoolhouse, the roundhouse, and the area where the community garden would have been. There was evidence of where the machine shop stood, old wells, and foundations from some of the buildings. We found old bottles buried beneath the ground and was even able to establish the area where the railroad once ran through.

Crossburn came up in a conversation I had with a friends a few weeks. This person mentioned that they had been there as well, but there was nothing left. I found this statement interesting because, as part of the group who went a few years back, I came away with the impression that the area was brimming with ghosts from the past. I could almost picture the town in my mind as it would have been so many years ago. I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the evidence of the town’s history that we found that day.

Buried In The Woods is the perfect title for Mike’s Book because it describes these forgotten towns so nicely. An open mind, as well as a little imagination, can sometimes help us to gather a clearer image of the past. I often say that what amazes me the most about history is the fact that these people who came before us were just living their lives, getting from one day to the next. They never anticipated the fact that, years later, we would we looking back on their lives with interest and recording these events for those who will come after us.

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