Downtown Boisdale Tour

Downtown Boisdale Tour

 1-  Boisdale’s Red Hill; known for its refractory green clay used in stove repair.

2-  Approximately  1 km. toward’s Andrew (the Fox) MacIntyre’s farm and distillery.

3-  The most recent of Peter’s Steele’s sawmills, circa 1960’s

4-  Site of Boisdale’s old ballfield used prior to the late 1960’s

5-  Sleepy Mick Campbell’s old farm.

6-  Tour look-off; from here one can get an understanding of the general layout of downtown               Boisdale. Sorry it has grown in over the past few years

7-  Site of Boisdale Post Office at Sadie MacIntyre’s, formerly run by Dan Joe MacIntyre.

8-  Site of St. Andrew’s Parish root cellar.

9-  Site of the St. Andrew’s Parish barn.

10- Site of The St. Andrew’s Parish hall. It was a replica of the St. Mary’s hall in East Bay. It                was 2 storeys with a dance hall upstairs. Between 1951 and 1958 it was used as the Boisdale         Consolidated School. Burnt in 1974

11- Abandoned St. Andrew’s Glebe House. In the 1980’s and 90’s, it was Gillis House, run by Fr.         John Webb. It was built around the turn of the century.

12- St Andrew’s Parish Carriage House. In the mid 1970’s it was refurbished in 1975 to house the         then active Boisdale Senior Citizens Clubhouse. It was used for meetings, get-to-gethers,               card games and even as a polling station well into the 1990’s. It was later used for storage by          Gillis House

13- Site of the Boisdale Concert Field used in the late 1970’s into the 1980’s

14- Site of past outdoor rinks, the most recent used well into the 1970’s and included club houses.

15- Boisdale rink, abandoned due to structural problems. In the small portion;the  upstairs was a         community hall in the early 1980’s. the bottom was site of the Boisdale Co-op until 1990?               From then on it was used as our local A.A. rooms until their move in 2006? It was also used         by the Boisdale Historical Society for their meetings and displays.

16- Boisdale Fire station and Fire Hall. In current use the firehall is the main meeting hall in the          community used for a variety of social events, wedding receptions, as a polling station, fire            training and exercise classes, etc. Prior to it’s establishment, the main part of the building               was opened as a Texaco service station owned by Neil Joe and Rannie MacKinnon in the late        1950’s, then Rocky and Mitch MacNeil. For a while after the garage closed, George                        MacLean, a local carpentry instructor used it as a work and storage place.

17- Original highway. Also used as part of an amphitheatre for community concerts in the 1980’s

18- Boisdale ballfield.

19- Cameron’s Pond. Site of more than a few Hockey games and used by fishing enthusiasts

 20- Site of Rod MacKinnon’s general store 1910-44, then the Boisdale Co-op until its move in            1980? Some of this building was used in the construction of a nearby apartment building.

21- Site of the original Boisdale Pioneer Cemetery. Most or all of this site has been claimed by            the Bras d’Or Lakes. Used until aproximately 1850.

22- The Duck Pond. The site of more than a few hockey games and skating parties.

23- Site of Boisdale Government wharf used into the 1970’s

24- Site of the old Boisdale Train station, used until its destruction in 1977. Following that, there          was a Via Rail shelter here until 1990.


25- Site of the Boisdale Station water tower, used to service steam locomotives, it towered over            incoming trains. Water was fed by gravity from the tower. There was also a heating shelter             underneath, used in winter time to keep the main body of the tower from freezing.

26- Site of Joe Dowey’s store and (Liquor Commission) outlet.

27- Site of Jimmy Donnelly’s store, used as such into the 1950’s

28- Abandoned Boisdale Consolidated School. Built in 1958 by Archie MacKinnon of Florence,         it closed in 1996. Also in this vicinity was the home of Dougall Peter O’Handley, a local                character of note and a Commissioner of Notes.

29- The Morrison homestead. The Boisdale Post Office was here between 1950 and 1966?

30- The site of the home of Hughy R., Mary R. And Dougall R. O’Handley. Hughy R. was a                stone carver and produced a number of headstones.

31- Boisdale Train Station Water Resevoir; used primarily to feed the water tower but also fed             parish properties, the rink and several residences in the immediate area

32-St Andrew’s Cemetery, old sections and new.

33- St. Andrew’s Church; built 1929. Site of two previous churches: the first, a log structure built         in the mid 1800’s, and the second, an exact replica of St. Mary’s Church, East Bay. In the               early 1980’s an upstairs parish hall was incorporated into the building’s Gothic design. Fr.              John Webb spearheaded this effort as well as placing the lean-to style porches on the south            and west sides.

34- Parish Apartments. The primary resident is Kevin MacLean. The East Apartment is used as a          place for weekday masses (Tues & Fri.) by Rev Francis Cameron; as an AA room weekly               and periodically by the Boisdale Historical Society. Kevin has invited everyone in for tea.

4 thoughts on “Downtown Boisdale Tour

  1. I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem
    on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  2. Is there a map showing where each of locations are. I am especially interested in anything to do with the railway.

  3. Hopefully soon, Colin. Indeed, the railway forms a very important part of Cape Breton and Boisdale history. Thanks for your interest.

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