Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We Traverse afar...

Spent the day with a fellow scribbler at Point Traverse, Prince Edward County. The mission was to capture images of the remaining commercial fishing premises on the point, in face of the federal government's stated intention to demolish this little bit of history - and local commerce. The Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service bulletin screwed to the side of a weathered little red steel-sided building reads:

"Please take notice that this structure is now the property of the Crown and will be demolished on or about March 4". 

Uh-oh. Today's March 7. No sun, but let's not wait. Next week we may have sun, and no buildings.

The local newspaper ran a story about the place on Monday. Four generations of local folk have fished the lake out of this harbour.

I remember going there as a kid, with our dad, being surprised to learn that people farmed the lake just like we farmed the soil.

But the fishermen's lease is to be terminated, and the buildings and a way of life will be demolished in an eye-blink.
The Intelligencer outlines the story, and the involvement with a local federal politician in defense of the way of life. For 200 years, fishing families have called this inlet off Lake Ontario their home harbour. Despite this, the owners are informed that their homes are "temporary buildings [and that] sheds and/or equipment remaining on this lot are now the property of the Lessor and will be demolished and removed..." Hard words, no matter whose side you're on.
'Save Commercial Fishermen and their Leases'
The point's other resident is the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. I suppose the government intends to take what belongs to it, and return it to the birds.

Look for an article by John Martinello about the Point Traverse commercial fishery in an upcoming issue of County and Quinte Living magazine.

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