The so-called Town of Mahone Bay was the site of a Mi'kmaq summer encampment called Mushamush. Settled by German and French speaking Protestants after 1754 stands on Mahone Bay Harbour a relatively small body of water, at the western end of a very large complex of inlets and bays which constitute Mahone Bay proper, a massive body of water bounded on the east by the Aspotagan Peninsula and the west by Lunenburg Peninsula. It was first charted by Thomas Dureel as Baye Mahone in 1736. There is general agreement that mohonne was a French word of Turkish origin used to describe a low, sleek pirate vessel used by Mediterranean pirates.
Google Mahone Bay and you won't find an immediate reference to the great sweep of water after which it was named. Note that Chester (population 2,348) is larger than Mahone Bay (1,036) and nearby Chester Basin (2,000) which are also on Mahone Bay have larger populations. The Town of Mahone Bay is about a hour west of Halifax, and occupies the southwestern side of Mahone Bay Harbour. Google Maps.
Direct entry can be made from the Fishermen's Memorial Highway as see above. The bounds of the town are larger than suggested on this map, but they do delineate the historic old town, incorporated in 1919.
Town sponsored maps have often often convention by showing Mahone Bay as seen looking from the north, but this is the geographically correct orientation. Rod has very roughly delineated the boundaries. Surrounding areas are under the governance of the Municipality Of the District of Lunenburg.
Here are the actual bounds. At the head of Mahone Bay Harbour the Mushamush River serves as part of the eastern boundary, boundary. The Anney River is found at a location where the words, "Mahone Bay" are enscribed. Some locals name it the Anney Anney, Little Anney or alternately Ernst Brook. Before the period of English colonialism, there was a small trading post at what is now the Town of Luneburg in the 1740s. There are no references to them settling what is now Mahone Bay but there was a mill built by French colonists at Maders Cove.
There are claims that a New Englander named Ephriam Cook was the founder of Mahone Bay in 1754 He was a fractious merchant and his properties were repossessed by the Crown in 1795. Foreign Protestant farmers were sparse settlers of lands between the two rivers from that tie forward. Cook's sawmill at the Mouth of the Mushamush River became one of five operating locally. Alexander Kedy was a British immigrant to Lunenburg township who acquired large blocks of land and built a sawmill at Lilydale north west of that settlement. His son, Alexander Kedy Jr. and his brother William, bought the Mushamush sawmill and lands. The sawmill (large orange circle) was built next door in 1777, while his son John William Kedy built his domicile west of it in 1799. As you can see Kedy's Inlet was backed by steep drumlin hills, the leavings of the last glacial age.
At that time, this area was known as Clearland and since this family was in the lumbering business you can guess why. Rod took this photo in the early spring of 2017, The yellow house was that of John William Kedy, whose dad's place is out of view at the right. It had a single entrance but was a colonial duplex inhabited by the family until 1854, when it became derelict until restored by antique dealer (later Lunenburg undertaker) Dana Sweeney in 1954. An associate of Rod and Anne as a member of the Maritime Antique dealer's Association, he was an acquittance at shows mounted in the Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax. That business closed in the 1980s and since that time additions have been put in place to house shops and restaurants.
A few weeks later. April was a mild month, but slow in greening. The John Kedy House is again clearly seen, but Alexander's former home is hidden at the right by trees. Here the bridge across the Mushamush can be seen in the distance beyond that right hand tree. This photograph looks north eastward.
This photo exposed at Clearland circa 1890 views the inlet and an earlier bridge and the Kedy sawmill dam and buildings at the mouth of the Mushamush. Oakland is left of the bridge, Mahone, to the right. Alexander Kedy's gambrel-roofed house can be seen as a white-painted building, nestled in against the hill, but not hidden by trees.
MOTHER'S DAY MEALS SPONSORED BY ALLISON
Away, away to Kedy's Inlet, about 1:45 pm, May 16, 2017. Calvin & Hobbes were not quite aimed at the pioneer cemetery, a bit to the south of the Inlet.
Zwicker's Inn Restaurant moved here after selling their location at 662 Main Street across the bay. They maintained their menu but called the place Kedy's Innlet Restaurant. That was cause from some confusion and the placed used to google under the older name. It stood empty for a few years after landlord/tenant difficulties. It reopened housing Spring, an aromatherapy etc. business, and Rebecca's restaurant.
This is the restaurant at its old location on nearby Main Street, where our daughters treated us to a post-Christmas meal. They had very good food, but the quarters were cramped and noisy and their business was thriving and needed to expand. They jumped ship in the spring of 2017.
The building just beyond Ruth houses a physiotherapist. Dea Sagnella is the proprietor of Sprig Marketplace/Apothecary, 249 Edgewater St, Mahone Bay. They were not open that day.
Rebecca's Restaurant advertises itself as "A place to call Mahone." (https://www.rebeccas-restaurant.ca/). On Thursdays they sponsor a happy hour for local Saltbox Beer. Summer Hours: 11 am - 4 pm, except Saturdays 11 to 9 pm. They do not accept reservations because they are constantly busy. That is partly because their menu is very different from that of other restaurants in town. Have a look?
At this point in time the patio was not attracting a crowd. "Located on the water's edge in the scenic town of Mahone Bay Nova Scotia is Rebecca's, a quaint restaurant offering local food and beverage with a cozy and coastal atmosphere. Culinary Team Misty Thibeault (chef), Patrik Peter, Corey Thorpe, Colton McLeod."
"Parking Lot parking, Price Range $$, Specialties, Serves lunch and dinner, Services, Walk-Ins Welcome, Good For Groups, Good For Kids, Take Out, Waiter Service, Outdoor Seating."Free-standing building to the east, a tax accountant.
"Beginning in April, every second Wednesday, Rebecca's Hosts Songspeak. Songspeak is a variety of local artists from the South Shore sharing songs and stories with you. Our weekly hosts are Paul MacLellan and Michael Hermiston."
Paintings are for sale.
View of Kedys Inlet.
Delicious. Ruth seeking her gift certificate. We had Pulled Lamb Melt and Beet Salad and a couple of Halifax beers for about $50.
Ruth seeking her gift certificate. When we entered the outside the temperature was cool.
Rod's view of the bar area from the table. Nova Scotia restaurants now allow patrons to had two beer without ordering food.
But R&R were full and needed exercise, so we started to follow that Lighthouse Route eastward, since we knew from past experience that there was a sidewalk across the bridge.
Deflectors have meant that fish have returned to the Mushamush. The dam at the mouth of the river was only recently destroyed allowing for remediation of a badly polluted body of water. We were not thinking to walk far.
Does not look the part but this gambrel-roofed building is the aforementioned home of Alexander Kedy, with a shed dormer and veranda added to the front facade. His brother William got into the drink and out of hand, and had to sell his interest in the Kedy business to Alexander. He then moved to Flake Island out in Mahone Bay.
Alexander soon became the largest land owner in the region. Because of extensive renovations it does not look like a 177 dwelling but inside it retains original woodwork, hardware and fireplaces. Harry Eisehauer, the local Imperial service station franchisee bough the house in 1932 and made those additions.
The mill buildings are long gone.
From the bridge looking westward.
From the walkway, looking toward the north, up the Mushamush. Note that brand new palace off Janes Road.
Nearing the end of the bridge.
This guardrail has a run-in with a snowplow. Dandelions in full bloom.
Ruth forges ahead away from the highway up Janes Road.
With the sea breeze left behind the day becomes idyllic. Looking across the Musamush at the former Alexander Kedy property. He expired in 1818.
Serious land clearance.
What a day.
These pics explain why R&R would like to stay on at Mahone Bay in spite of some negative features. On stays out of grass because of the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease.
Janes Road terminates here but there is a woods trail connecting with the groomed Dynamite Walking Trail. However were are not appropriately dressed to travel through woods and turn back.
This Edwardian home was crumbling into the ground before being turned last year into a summer cottage.
The owner of this place is going for that Clearland look.
Back to the Lighthouse Route.
A few moments in the sun on the deck that substitutes as a lawn.
That evening. yachts on the Mahone Bay Marina wharf had not been launched although the "Resort" had cast off its collection of boats stored over the winter. View from the former Zach & Nemo building.
Rainbows are signs of hope?
We hope so, since a lot of angst-ridden garbage accumulated this spring.
Overnight company is always appreciated and this time Mark Connell brought with him an additional overnight guest, who had just been honoured in Halifax for crafting this book about Yarmouth-based painter, Lucy Jarvis. Inserted my life study by Lucy in her student days.
We had not seen the two of them together in five year.
Had my hair cut short in anticipation of this visit, otherwise Mark and I would have appeared quite similar. Ruth trimmed my eyebrows.
Photos by Ruth.
Late meals at Rebecca's thanks to Mark.
Following morning, May 19.
Breakfast at O My Cod on Main Street.
Mark surveys weather and erosion damage at the Anney Anney River.
The mandatory departure photos. It was five years the last time. That's not all fat there are glasses cases, Kleenex, wallet and keys in the jacket pockets.
Fare thee very well!
Having just lost our lease on May 28, we use up the remaining credit on Allison's gift certificate. We sit in a quiet corner next to the original 1799 fireplace and enjoy an even better meal.
This is an interpretation of the official Mahone Bay Coat-Of-Arms, which actually does have a mahonne resting the torse and it flys a Jolly Roger. Did pirates sail here? Privateers did, but that was decades later.
One thing is certain, there are still pirates at work in this little village, and that makes it an interesting place in which to live. Creative anachronism forever?