The Maven Gypsy was the original farmhouse in the area. Built by the Morrison family as a working farm with potato crops, an apple orchard, livestock including horses, cows, pigs and fowl. In days gone by the home was locally referred to as, “the house on the hill”. Visiting doctors servicing the surrounding community would arrive on horseback and stay in a small “apartment” in the barn shaped building beside the home. In effect this made, “the house on the hill” the original hotel in the area long before tourism became popular in Cape Breton.
The friendly people of the community still remember DJ Morrison fondly as a larger than life character.
We look forward to sharing more stories of the Morrison clan and, “the house on the hill” with you.
Lobster Canning at the Morrison Farm
Description: A. J. Morrison and D. L. Morrison open a lobster cannery in Wreck Cove. The cannery operated until 1939.
Lobsters were bought from local fishermen who anchored their boats.
Several people had the job of cracking the claws of the lobster. The claws were placed on the counter and cracked with a sharp knife and the meat was removed. Others were responsible for stamping the cans with a number. The pay was 25¢ per hour. A large steel drum was placed in the middle of the room and used to cook the lobsters. After the claws and tails were cracked, they were sent into the packing room where five or six women would line the cans with white paper and pack the claws and tails neatly inside. The cans were then put through a machine that sealed the lids. In the final stage, the cans were put in a steam boiler to ensure that all the seals were air-tight.
The original Steam Boiler has withstood the test of time and can still be seen standing tall behind the house surveying The Maven Gypsy..