Humour in the St. Andrews Bay Pilot
As Others See Us
A “Hawkeye” View of St. Andrews
Under the banner of Her Gracious Majesty
Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, July 6
“The winter is over and gone,” the Jester said, “the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle was heard in the land. And I am the turtle; old Turtle, of Turtleville, Turtle County, this state. I am at peace with all mankind. I sail with Captain Wren, and I drive with Mallory, I sit beneath my own vine and fig tree, with no one to molest or make me afraid, and Captain Herbert feeds me, and the man in all your blasted howling Yankeeland who says he is having a better time this summer than I am is a howling liar and my address is the Argyll hotel, St. Andrews. That’s the kind of a man I am.”
We braved the dangers of the briny deep in the good ship City of Portland, whereof Captain Pike, Major Martin’s old time friend, is master and on the way much we talked of Martin of Burlington and his old home in Lubec. We did not experience the “hardest storm the Captain had ever passed through,” but no matter, we can say we did. And it is just as easy to tell one lie as the other. I is the customary thing for people who go down to the sea in ships to encounter the “severest storm the captain ever passed through,” and my family shall not fall one pace behind the times if I can ascertain what society expects.
And we are now settled for the summer. We came back to New Brunswick because New Brunswick air, New Brunswick woods and New Brunswick waters are found, by practical experience, to be more beneficial to “her little serene highness” than any other place, inland or on the coast we have ever tried. And if St. Andrews will only deal as lovingly and with the same touches of healing as did St. John two year ago, we will give a candle to every saint in much sainted New Brunswick.
“there goes a whole ship load of candles,” says her little serene highness, who is better booked on the saints of New Brunswick than the jester. “Well, never mind,” he said. There is nothing mean about me, and candles are away down now, anyhow. If the saints do their part, they can draw on me for candles at ten days’ sight.
Saint Andrews, who is the patron saint of the wanderers for this summer, is the Shiretown of Charlotte county, and is old enough to be bigger than New York. It is really about the size of Danville, but it is plenty large enough for a summer resort. Its situation is beautiful, almost beyond description. Around us the blue waters of the bay dimple and smile under skies that are radiant with sunshine whenever Vennor gives them half a chance. And encircling the bay, the mountains, crowned with cedar and pines and hemlock, outline themselves in ranging shades and graceful curves against the sky. Old Chamcook, king of the mountains bald as the front seats at a Lydia Thompson benefit and bold as a man asking for a free pass, lifts his rocky head toward the clouds and overlooks all this part of the world, from Eastport to Saint Stephen. The sails of white winged sloops and schooners dot the smooth waters of the bay, the brisk little steamer makes regular diurnal trips between Eastport and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and Calais, Maine, and the New Brunswick and Canada Railway adds variety to the scene with its flying trains. We look across the bay and see the thrifty farms of Yankee land—the slopes of the hill are covered with them; we go down to the block house and bathe, just after the tide has come in over an iceberg, and we find it very exhilarating—champagne isn’t a circumstance alongside of a bath in Saint Andrews bay, early in the season. Or we drive, you remember the old Nantucket proverb, that Nantucket was “Heaven for men, purgatory for women and hell for horses.” Well, a Nantucket horse, if he could only see a mile of the worst road in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, would lie down and die of sheer delight. Really, the best roads on this continent must be in New Brunswick. When they are in bad order, they are somewhat better than the best roads in Iowa. And when they are in perfect repair, you couldn’t make them much smoother with a jack plane and spot of varnish. And when we have a fancy for the water, we sail with Captain Wren. The bay affords the most delightful yachting, and you have old sons of Neptune who know the bay and the sky by heart to go out with you.
St. Andrews used to be a maritime town of no small importance. And there is good fishing in the bay. You can catch the codfish—the poor man’s turkey—in all his native unadornedness, before he puts on the flavor and perfume that makes him so omnipresent in a house of only ten rooms. He looks like a respectable, well conducted fish when you pull him out of the water, and as you look at him in all his natural purity, you wouldn’t think it of him. Indeed, you really wouldn’t.
And everywhere about us, are the pine woods. Everywhere the odor of cedar and hemlock and spruce and tamarack mingle with the ‘odor of brine from the ocean’. The woods grow right up to the doors of the Argyll hotel; you can hide yourself away in the shady canopies and nooks of the evergreens that cluster in the enclosed grounds of the hotel, and then down through the woods outside a delightful path, an old, disused, grass-grown road, leads you to the bay shore, down to the target and the firing range, down where you can take quite a dip in the early morning, when no one can hear you shriek; down where the restless tides rises and falls about twenty feet, for we are up in the Fundy region again you see. Oh, you’ll like St. Andrews if you’ll just come and look at it and live in it awhile.
“The most prominent building in the town is the Argyll hotel, a landmark that catches the eye from every direction, flying the flags of three great nations, Great Britain, the United States and the Argyll hotel from its turreted roof, and the greatest of these three is the Argyll. Captain William H. Herbert is a son of the sea; a native of Maine, who followed the sea long, long years until he had sailed into every port any Christian man every wanted to see or hear about, and then, having learned how to make everybody else as comfortable as himself, he opened the Grand Falls hotel, up at Grand Falls, this province, where we sojourned two years ago, and having managed that house into a big business and good reputation, he has this year taken the Argyll at St. Andrews a newly furnished house, the largest in the maritime provinces, within a stone’s throw of the steamboat landing and with a railway station of its own, with beach and woods at its doors, good living, good table, billiard room and all appurtenances thereunto appertaining, good fishing in the bay and the brooks, and good shooting in the hills and the marshes, good society in the town, good company at the house, and a good cook in the kitchen, good place to read, good place to thin good place to do everything, good place to do nothing, good St. Andrews. We haven’t found the inevitable Burlington man here yet—yes but we have too—Mr. Charles D. Corry, now of St. John, a relative of our Hendries; Mr. Corry lived formerly in council Bluffs, then he was in Peoria, for a year,--we were just talking of Charlie Allaire yesterday,--you can always ask for a Burlington man, no matter where you go. If you can’t find any one else, you can almost usually find—R. J. B.
Droll piece by the “Jester” of the Argyll piece above on the supposed absence of fog in the Bay area. Only the problem of other towns, it seems.
Nov 10, 1881
Saturday night last, a man presumably on plunder bent, placed a ladder against the side of Mr. Thomas Armstrong’s house, evidently intending to enter a bedroom window. Mr. A. happened to be in the room at the time, without a light, hearing the noise he looked through the slat of the blind, and saw the face of a man peering through the glass, he ran down to the barn, let loose his dog, and then went into the house to get his revolver. The would be robber was apparently no stranger, as the dog did not attack him. When Mr. A. got out the man had decamped, but he came back again during the night and removed the ladder, which he had brought with him. Mr. A. feels pretty certain of the identity of his midnight visitor.
One day last week Mr. G. Johnston of the parish of St. George drove into town and sold to H. O’Neill and sons an ox. The O’Neill’s suspicions being excited they afterwards interviewed Mr. Johnston, and his statement being unsatisfactory, they insisted upon getting their money back. Johnston left the animal in their charge and meanwhile skipped across the river. Monday Mr. Hugh McKinney of Rollingdam came in search of an ox that had been stolen from his son on Whitcher Ridge, and upon identification thereof the animal in charge of the O’Neill’s was surrendered to him. Johnston’s story was that he had bought the ox from a man whom he did not know, with money entrusted to him by his Mother-in-Law Mrs. Adanarim A. Gilmor, to purchase a sewing machine. Johnston wrote the O’Neills from Calais to turn the d--- ox on the road and he would go home.
Aug 30, 1883
Our attention has been called to the disgraceful practice of late indulged in by some young men and boys, who, in one of the most public places in this town, the Market wharf, in full view of the passers by, strip stark naked, run about the wharves, climb in to the rigging of the vessels laying thereat and jump therefrom into the tide. Now we beg to inform the parties indulging in such reprehensible practices, and who appear to be lost to all sense of decency, that they subject themselves to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months, with or without hard labor, or to fine, not exceeding fifty dollars, or to both, in the discretion of the Magistrate. We notify them that should occasion arise the law will be enforced. There are plenty of opportunities to indulge in the healthful practice of bathing, in and around St. Andrews, without doing it in such public places, and in the indecent manner referred to above.
Jan 3, 1884
The thanks of the Publisher of the Bay Pilot are tendered to Mr. T. Rudolph Wren, Druggist for a Coca plug, a combination of tobacco, white barley leaf and the extract of genuine Bolivian Cocoa, which it is claimed counteracts the injurious effect on the system of the nicotine found in tobacco. We recommend it to all who chew the weed.
March 31, 1887
The Boston Comedy company would up a successful season at St. Andrews, Monday evening lat, by the performances of the tragical drama, “Lady Audley’s Secret,” to a very large audience. The cast was a good one, Mrs. Webber’s rendition of Lady Audley was most natural; Miss Hillman as Miss Audley,, was a clever conception, as was Mrs. Hillman that of Phoebe Marks. Price Webber’s impersonation of Luke Marks the game keeper, was exceedingly clever, as was Eugene Sullivan’s of sir Michael Audley. The play throughout was rendered with that consideration of the details that characterises all the performances of Mr. Webber’s company, and is one of the most important reasons that makes his troupe so pop0ular. At the conclusion of the play, Mr. Weber, standing in front of the foot lights, in a neat and witty speech, thanked the people of St. Andrews for the generous patronage bestowed upon him by them and announced his intention of returning again later on in the spring or early summer. He also spoke of the comfortable quarters he and his company had in Kennedy’s Hotel, and of the attention paid to the guests thereof by the proprietor Mr. Angus Kennedy. The entertainment concluded by the performance of the laughable farce, “The Silent Woman,” in which Mr. Webber had an opportunity of displaying the versatility of his conception of Corporal Smirk, of the Campobello Home guards and the Bocabec Rangers.
America to the Front
Some of our American summer visitors have been indulging among themselves in their good natured fun, and shown us some of the means they take at home and abroad to work off that surplus nervous energy which has made the American character what it is: an enterprising and successful race of people, as well as a people luxurious their tastes and habits. They must do something, and if it is not business then they go for fun.
The low dead axletree wagon or dray, called with us a solvent or truck cart, being an object of interest and having caused considerable comment and wonderment among the guests at he Argyll hotel, it was suggested one day last week by some of the leading spirits that they take a drive in this wonderful production of luxury, in imitation of the buck board so much in vogue at other summer resorts. the ladies, not to be outdone in fun, thought if they were to ride in this luxurious vehicle they ought to dress in keeping with the name solvent, so to the surprise of the gentlemen, some thirty or more ladies and children attired themselves in all kinds of fantastic and amusing costumes, and when the team drew up to the steps of the hotel, marched down—not in beauty arrayed—but certainly as their friends never anticipated seeing them, in other words, the ladies outwitted the gentlemen (as they always do) and three two-horse teams loaded with laughing humanity, started on the road for Joe’s Point, with blowing of horns hurrahing, singing and waving of bannerettes, etc. After half a day spent pleasantly the Point, they returned to won and were photographed.
Friday night was to bring to the hotel some R. R. officials and other friends by special train, and in order to give them a suitable reception, two gentlemen a the hotel were dressed up fantastically to imitate hackmen. Upon the arrival of the train at the depot, the hackmen with a dinner bell, and all manner of shouting in true Jehu style, gave the new comers a hideous reception, while others on the hotel plaza added to the general uproar by firing guns, blowing horns and beating drums, etc., which must have impressed the new arrivals with the feeling they were approaching a palace of demons or infernal spirits.
Saturday night a collection of trees, refuse wood and branches gathered in clearing out Indian Point, having been arranged in huge piles along the shore, were saturated with kerosene and set on fire lighting up the bay for mils. the following bill of fare was served at the hotel, and as one would supposed from reading, provoked considerable mirth. the local hits on a number of our local citizens are particularly good, as well as those on the visitors at the hotel, and matters that are discussed on the street.
Bill of Fare
R. Gile’s Hotel,
St. A. (y) Harbor, La Grande Saratoge
N. B. (take notice)
(Note:--the village lamps would be lighted every evening but for the expense)
Rain of Augustus XVIII. I ate three times.
Hugh Bert, Captain
ME AND U
Corned Cobb Soup,
Whalebone Stew-Osburn’s too!
Pickled Chicken’s Ears.
Bell’s Poultry Dressing,
Capers, sloven style, Balm a Gilead Buds, raw.
Fishing Efforts, Gardiner’s’ catch
B and M Flounders,
Seals Liver, Indian style
Queen Street Polly-wogs, Glenn sauce
Little folk’s Pouts, spanking gravy
Friend Eel’s feet, Sheldon dressing,
Codfish bones, Yankee style
Booth-bay Mutton without Capers
New Brunswick Polly-Ticks, brain gravy
Custom House Duck, Gove Style
Coyled Sausage in Portland Fat
Indian Point Park Ornaments, devilled with cow tracks
Scalloped Kidneys, a la Fay
Law Point, Stevenson, Grimmer and Cockburn brand
Single Cunner, Old Colony dressing
St. Andrews Cricket Club beets
St. Stephen catch-up if you can, Let us,
Local Government salary,
Claflin Tarts, Mugwumph style, Straight Pudding, Forster sauce,
Miss take Pie, Rare-bits, Pitch pine sauce
NOIX ET FRUITS
“Chestnuts,” Tipperary Grapes,
Lord and Mayor’s Bangor peaches
Church Sociable Liquids, Cat-nip Tea, Magee’s Pilot Bread,
Steeped Wormwood, H. Oars Risford Cheese
S. Leonard’s—Royal Vintage
P. S.—Food will be charged extra
Guests furnished free with sham Cook-water from Herbert’s Hogs-heads.
All side dishes furnished by Stickney
*Guests wanting to find fault, will please consult the Lightening Doctor in the office chair.
“Parsons’ on grace before meat” can be found in the town library.
R. A. Supply Co., would be printers.