Play circa 1900

The Pond – Summer

“Ten to Twelve acres of the MACKAY farm, north of the barn and near the maple bush, was so low it remained covered with water year round, but having so much other land, Mr. MACKAY made no attempt to drain and cultivate it.

The boys having roamed the farm and bush many years knew about the pond, but were so accustomed to swimming at a special spot in the MOFFAT creek continued each summer to do so. Then for some reason, Bill IRVING tried out the pond and liked it so much better than the creek, along with being closer to the village. The creek was deserted. The ‘pool’ soon showed it had other possibilities besides swimming when one day some of the boys became tired of swimming.

The Pond – Winter

Having nothing else to keep them busy they used pieces of rope carried by one of the boys to tie together two fence rails and a few fence stakes to make a temporary make-shift raft. Soon after, more secure rafts were nailed together using slabs from the saw mill. These allowed extensive travelling over the pond to make calls at several distant ports. Non-owners of a raft had to pay a fee for being rafted over the water.”

“Once ice had formed on the water thick enough to skate and play hockey, we had a rink large as we wanted to keep free of snow. The boys were always glad to have girls along as skating partners when not playing hockey, but few came until rough seats were provided. These were made of fence rails and slabs, but proved so cold the girls soon complained. Neither did the boys enjoy the cold, so caused some one to suggest building a small shanty in which to put on their skates. The idea was discussed for months but nothing happened until Sandy MOFFAT received permission from Mr. MACKAY to build the shanty at the pool side. Although he asked no questions we suspect he knew the building would be constructed from slabs and odd pieces of boards carried from the Moffat saw mill.

It was then decided to put a call out over the grapevine to the boys for a bee on a Sunday afternoon after church and Sunday school. The boys should then find it easy to get away and the men would not be working at the mill making it easier to get the slabs and boards needed.