Monday, May 9, 2011

Minister's Island, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada

Today was a typical Spring Day. Rain spattering of the roof and a wee bit of sun trying to peek through the heavy clouds. Mid-morning, the wind pushed away the rain clouds, turning late morning into a misty pallor of ghostlike sunshine.
Decided to drive to “Ministers Island”, approx 25 min journey. Walking on beach with dog, sipping hot coffee and gazing at the sun bounce across the water top make me think of diamonds glistening in the sun. I think I should mention that the only way to get to the island this time of year is by a secure path of crushed clam shell and rock when the tide is out, which one can travel on quite safely. During "Tourist Season", there is a small boat that takes passengers (not cars) across for a small fee. Most locals just wait for the tide to go out and there is sufficient parking on the other side. One does not drive throughout the island - get your good walking boots on, pack up your refreshments and lunch and spend the day with your thoughts and the beauty of the island.
The Passamaquoddy people lived on this Island, Qonasqamqi Monihkik, for thousands of years.
In 1790, Samuel Andrews, an Anglican Minister and Loyalist, built a home here, hence the name Ministers Island.
Circa 1890, Sir William Van Horne, visionary builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway, established his summer estate here.   He named his grand house Covenhoven after his father. It was a huge home with walls constructed from sandstone cut from the shore. It contained some fifty rooms, seventeen of which were bedrooms, and a grand drawing room as large as many of today's homes.
Also constructed from the quarried beach stone is the circular bathhouse where Sir William would spend hours enjoying his hobby of drawing and painting. He became quite an accomplished painter and several of his works are-on display at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, Canada and the N.B. Heritage collection in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Oh, by the way, for those of you that do not know, DOGS are now allowed on Island ON Leash as of April/2011. I took some photos on our little adventure and they are below, in video. Cheers
p.s. thanks Marie for the info on the Red "Lily" Beetle :) ....thinking later, how amusing to have a "Lily" Beetle in "Lilly's Garden" :)

Minister's Island In April by Lilly