Dayspring, Lunenburg Poor House

Greetings All! I am truly sorry for not writing on here sooner. My summer job as a barista was taking up a lot of my energy and then I started researching and writing on my newest book about Rose Fortune.

Rose Fortune, 1830s

The first draft of Rose is done, my summer job is over and I finally have a bit of time.  Over the summer while I was working as a barista, I was sought out by a number of people who had read my book A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia. Many had stories to tell me of family members in poor houses, living close to a poor house or working in a poor house.

One story in particular intrigued me. It was a story of a woman who worked at the poor house in Dayspring, Lunenburg County many years ago. The buildings were no longer being used as a poor house and were being used as something else. The woman told me that one night she was locking up and her husband came in to help her shut off all the lights in one particular building. The woman went up to the attic to check that everything was locked and lights were off; she noted the clothing hooks that still had the names of the children who had lived up here and who had put their clothing on these hooks. She shut off the lights and went downstairs.

Her husband was waiting for her in their car and, as they started to drive away, she looked in the rear view mirror and noticed the lights were on up in the attic. “Funny” she said to herself “I know I turned those out.” She had her husband drive back up to the building and she unlocked the door, went back up to the attic, turned off the lights and went back downstairs, locked up the doors and got into the car.  As they drove away, she looked in the rear view mirror and saw that the attic lights were on again. She and her husband looked at each other: “I’m not going back up there again” she told her husband.  “I think the children want to stay up late and play” he replied.  “Let’s go with that” she said. And they drove away.

The lights often went on and off up in the attic the woman told me. I left working there a while later but I often wondered if it really was the children wanting to stay up late and play in the attic.  The buildings were demolished a few years later and a new building put in its place.

Screenshot (37)
Photo courtesy of Dr. Allan E. Marble


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