During Rod's earliest childhood, the end of July and first week in August always heralded the hottest days of summer, and the time of greatest fear of communicable diseases. Privileged kids were still at the cottage by late August when the circus came to town in Calais, Maine and one of the Bill Lynch Shows to the midway at what was termed the "fall fair." My family held shreds in the St. Stephen Exhibition and serviced Bill Lynch vehicles in its garage and service station. They posted exhibition posters like that seen on the splash page. The "carnival" gave complementary passes to my grandfather,which trickled down to children.
The Bill Lynch Show was a carnival that was the largest in Canada during the 1940s. The Carnival was run by business man and philanthropist William Lynch (1903–1972) of McNabs Island, Halifax, Nova Scotia. "The Bill Lynch Show was first established on McNab's Island in 1920. There was one ride: a merry-go-round. He moved the business from the Island and began touring rural Nova Scotia in 1924. In 1928, he added a second ride: a Ferris wheel. The following year he brought his show to Halifax for the first time."
"By 1956 the Bill Lynch show was massive, towing 27 railway cars of rides, games and performers all around the Maritimes. Lynch hired acts such as The Turtle Woman, The Tattooed Man, The Worlds Fattest Couple, and conjoined twins Ronnie and Donnie." Their "Circus Side Show" sometimes included clowns.
This great Art Deco poster sums up the excitement created by this annual event in pre-television times. Lynch allowed disabled children to ride for free, and the owner made donations to various children's charities.
Lynch died in 1972 having been 52 years in the business. Clarence Reid ran it for another twenty years before he died in 1995. Rod's photo was taken in the 1970s when individual shows were much smaller, other forms of summer entertainment having intruded. This was on the exhibition grounds at Sussex, New Brunswick. Martin and Downes three ring Circus shared billing inside the Eight Hussars Hockey Rink. The owner commissioned Rod to create a number of acrylic paintings and this was the source photo for one of them.
See: The curse of Bill Lynch, Theorizing on why it is that when the fair rolls into the city, so too does endless, relentless rain. By Tara Thorn. Lynch Shows was divided into Maritime Amusements and Carnival Time in 2003.
That was never my experience in St. Stephen when the fair was set for late August. As it moved back into Nova Scotia in September the rains did come, and that is prime tropical storm time, the rainiest month in that Province.
To some extent traveling amusement shows have given way to periodic local shows to which travellers flock in recreational vehicles or view while staying in B&Bs, hotels or motels. On July 2, R&R slept in late and departed Dolan's B&B at the posted leaving hour of 11 pm. Since this was Sunday the attractions at the bottom of Creamery Lane were closed, so we decided to leave viewing the complex of buildings at the terminal end of this street until another visit.
Dolan's is a chain located in several communities. It has only owned this building for a few months and has eliminated an attached indoor garage, but not completed renovations.
Had they been so inclined R&R could have whooped it it at that microbrewery which is 2 minutes distant at Main and Creamery.
Still a bid overcast as they departed Tatamagouche.
One last look at the Railway Station Inn complex. While most of the rails have been pulled those on site remain on the old railroad bed.
The price range for an overnight stay is $146 - $230. Fun if one is a railway affectionado, but R&R's room was well appointed and had a gourmet breakfast thrown in at $129. Still they will probably stay here in the future.
One reviewer noted that "The town of Tatamagouche is pretty small but it has at least 2 things worthy of a visit, A train station turned Inn & Tatamagouche Beer." We have only sampled that beer a few years ago, and it was good!
Passenger trains stopped running through Tatamagouche in 1970. James LeFresne, who grew up next-door, sharing a driveway with the station. He bought the place for $500. In 1989, he was finally able to open it as an Inn. After that he started adding those box car apartments.
"The Gift Shop: Located in the original telegraph office and ladies waiting room our eclectic gift shop is extensive and easy to lose an hour or so in admiring the variety of treasures waiting to find a new home."
Ruth bought an English tea pot for $20; one she had coveted for several years.
The inn offers recreational opportunities.
They take their leave.
Fraser Cultural Centre across the road from the station.
Decades ago, the Mackay gang used to picnic at this provincial park just outside town.
Made a loop out to the coast and the Brule Point Golf Club.
Intended coffee at this bakery/coffee shop. Never on Sundays.
A little bit of Prince Edward Islands red bed soil in Nova Scotia.
Needing coffee and a pit stop R&R turned off the highway at this location.
Pictou is known for its Scottish stone buildings.
Walker's Inn has sold since R&R last stayed here and is now known as The Scotsman Inn.
An interesting specialty.
R&R do a walkabout leaving the car at a free parking spot on the main street.
Next to The Scotsman Inn. Closed as this is a Sunday.
R&R frequently stumble upon events. In this case, the Tall Ships Visit to Pictou.
As is usual there are all sorts of blown up attractions for kiddies.
Only a few ships spun off from the Halifax event.
A perfect day, warming but moderating due to that stiff breeze.
We'll let you Google these ships if interested. R&R had seen some of them before and did not participate in the free tours.
Photos do not do justice to their size and presence.
Here is one they had not seen previously, a Spanish galleon.
In the distance the occasionally sniffed cloud from the stacks of Northern Pulp at Abercrombie Point. There are still pirates attacking the land.
Here is a familiar service vehicle.
A land-based tender for this famous Lunenburg repro.
Previously the Feds were obsessed with the War of 1812, which the Americans did not win. This year the theme is World War II.
As a army cadet in the 1940s, Rod was issued a battle outfit very like this. He was 13 years of age on conscription.
Leaving the modern marine terminal...
That craft mill in the distance and the recreated ship Hector, on which Anne's maternal relatives emigrated from Scotland.
Time out. We went for mussels and brushetta.
And a local beer.
Clancy's was originally brewed in Woodstock, then Sainr John and now Halifax.
Another hour of walkabout.
Some people actually so swim in Pictou Harbour, but it is not a good idea.
This pub on the main drag went out of business years ago.
Pictou has a lot of empty buildings. However, a weekend farmer's market has persisted and is housed year around in this building.
.When the wind blows favourably Northern Pulp does not hamper the tourist trade. But, there are still days when that noxious cloud accumulates at ground level.
R&R take a long rest break inside that building, which is really quite craft oriented.
Outside the market a food shack.
R&R cast off for Black Beach.
Home again, and a bit beat.
Ruth realizes that there is a bit of cleanup to be done before dark. Looks like the vacation may be delayed.