The article is reprinted (with minor edits) from the June 1908 (Volume 1) issue of the Shepody Loyal, which was a quarterly publication produced by the students of Riverside Consolidated School.
Great excitement was created at Riverside Consolidated School a short time ago when it was announced that Mr. F. W. Sumner of Moncton had promised a school trip on the Shepody Navigation Company’s steamer, the Wilfred C. The day fixed for the excursion was Friday, June 12th. On the morning of that day, nearly all the pupils of the school, together with many of the older people interested in the school, assembled at the Riverside Wharf.
We passed out of the Shepody River and landed on Grindstone Island. This is a small island scarcely a mile long and about half a mile wide. There is a lighthouse and a fog horn station on the island, and a man and his family stay there and tend them.
As the weather was still damp, we decided to stay on the island for about half an hour so that we could get off on the same tide. Most of us made good use of this half hour. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and the lighthouse-keeper, to the great amusement of the young people, blew the fog horn several times. Many people had not yet been to the top of the lighthouse when the steamer blew for us to return. We then sailed round the island and came close up to a large steamer that was loading deals [softwood lumber or sawn boards] in the Five Fathom Hole.*
After this, as the weather began to clear up, we decided to go to Pink Rock wharf, which is about three miles from Cape Maranguin [a point near Rockport, at the tip of the peninsula that separates Shepody Bay from Cumberland Basin]. It is so-named on account of the pink rock or gypsum which is mined there and exported by the Albert Manufacturing Company.
Just before we landed, the sun came out and we were not sorry that we had decided to stay. No sooner had the steamer touched the wharf than the passengers, with lunch baskets in their hands, scattered over the beach and adjoining highland. The day soon passed in studying botany and mineralogy and in wandering about the beach. Many of the boys went in bathing, but, as they found the water rather cold, they soon returned. About eight o’clock the steamer’s whistle announced the time for departing, and people came running in from all directions for fear of being left behind.
The return trip was delightful. The sun was just setting and its slanting rays, as they fell on the sea, made it appear beautiful indeed. The students grouped themselves all over the steamer and enjoyed the sail. Occasionally the strains of a familiar song burst forth from some merry group and some of the young ladies succeeded in getting the French cook to sing a song in his native tongue.
Amid these enjoyments, we were suddenly called to order by our principal, Mr. Trueman. It was moved by Mr. Peacock and seconded by ex-Governor McClelan,** that a vote of thanks be extended to Mr. Sumner for his generosity and kindness in giving us the boat for the trip. The vote on this motion was unanimous. It was then moved and seconded that a vote of thanks be also extended to Captain Dixon and his crew, for their efforts to make the trip pleasant. It is needless to say that the vote on this was also unanimous.
All too soon, the steamer’s whistle announced that we were approaching the Riverside Wharf.
Our delightful trip was at an end, but many of us look forward to the next year’s trip on the Wilfred C, which Mr. Sumner has so kindly promised to us.
*Grindstone Island marks the entrance to “Five Fathom Hole,” an area of tidal water with a water depth that provides a safe refuge for vessels on the eastern side of the upper Shepody Bay. In the days when ocean trading ships were sailing out of the Bay of Fundy, the ships would anchor at Five Fathom Hole to load and offload cargo by using smaller ships.
**The former Lt. Governor Abner Reid McClelan was New Brunswick’s Lt. Governor from 1896-1902. After retiring, he continued to live in Riverside at his stately home called Victoria Manor. McClelan was dedicated to bringing improvements to his home community. With a deep interest in education, McClelan contributed $5,000 (1/4 of the cost) towards the building of the Riverside Consolidated School in 1905. He was always involved and attended anything going on with RCS, so therefore he was on the Wilfred C. trip (and probably was instrumental in arranging the trip).