Description: A. J. Morrison and D. L. Morrison open a lobster cannery in Wreck Cove. The cannery will operate until 1939.
Lobsters were bought from local fishermen who anchored their boats.
Several people had the job of cracking the claws of the lobster. The claws were placed on the counter and cracked with a sharp knife and the meat was removed. Others were responsible for stamping the cans with a number. The pay was 25¢ per hour. A large steel drum was placed in the middle of the room and used to cook the lobsters. After the claws and tails were cracked, they were sent into the packing room where five or six women would line the cans with white paper and pack the claws and tails neatly inside. The cans were then put through a machine that sealed the lids. In the final stage, the cans were put in a steam boiler to ensure that all the seals were air-tight.
The original Steam Boiler has withstood the test of time and can still be viewed on the front lawn of The Maven Gypsy.
The Maven Gypsy was the original farmhouse in the area.
It was built by the Morrison family as a working farm with potato crops, an apple orchard, livestock including horses, cows, pigs and fowl. In days gone by the home was locally referred to as, “the house on the hill”. Visiting doctors servicing the surrounding community would arrive on horseback and stay in a small “apartment” in the barn shaped building beside the home. In effect this made, “the house on the hill” the original hotel in the area long before tourism became popular in Cape Breton.
The friendly people of the community still remember DJ Morrison fondly as a larger than life character.
We look forward to sharing more stories of the Morrison clan and, “the house on the hill” with you.
The island’s culture, traditions, and customs are diverse. The Mi’kmaq, People of the Dawn, have been here for thousands of years and today have five First Nations on the island. Our first Gaelic ancestors arrived hundreds of years ago having established the first permanent Scottish settlement at Louisbourg, in 1629. The Acadians of Cape Breton, who still maintain many of the old traditional ways, arrived here in the 1700′s. All over the island you will find pockets of English, Irish, French, German, Welsh, Slavic, West Indian and Middle Eastern peoples who either came here as pioneers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, or later in the early twentieth century to work in the booming steel and coal industries.
What is Gaelic? Gaelic language and culture originated in Ireland and spread across the Irish Sea to western and highland Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Over time, there developed three distinct Gaelic languages and cultures in these areas – known as Irish, Gaelic and Manx. In Nova Scotia, Gaelic language and culture are widely represented by the Scottish Gaels, and by the Irish.
Scottish Musical Heritage
Large numbers of Scottish immigrants settled here between the 1780′s and 1820′s. They brought with them their Gaelic language and their passionate love of music. From these roots sprang up some of Canada’s top musicians, such as the Rankins, Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac who brought the Celtic-inspired “Cape Breton Sound” to delighted audiences worldwide. The Cape Breton fiddling alone has as many styles as there are fiddlers offering a wealth of choices from the traditional Celtic tunes, to the coal mining songs, to folk and country sounds.