HMCS Haida, a Tribal Class destroyer, served with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1943 to 1963. During World War II, Haida destroyed more tonnage of enemy ships than any other Canadian Navy vessel. At 337 feet in length, 36.5 feet at the beam, with a draught of 13 feet, Haida was designed to be more of a small cruiser than a standard destroyer.
Opened in 1963 and closed in 1990, this iron mine stretched over 4,000 acres of land, and featured six open pits. The deepest of these pits was 600 ft. The largest pit was almost a mile in length.
This site was also the centre of heated debate when it was suggested that Toronto send its garbage as landfill in these excavated pits. Plans for this were already being drawn up as early as 1989, before the mine had even closed.
We drove down the bumpy dirt road specifically to see this house. This would be a first for me. I've explored hundreds of abandoned buildings, but never one once owned by family. We reached the end of the road, and I saw the house, and the barn.
There had, apparently, been another house on the property that had belonged to Stephen Brown who had arrived at this community around 1859. This house had belonged to one of his sons, Walter, who may have built it some time in the 1950's.
I had spotted this place in one of my frequent scans of Google Earth, looking for interesting things to check out. There really weren't any clues from the imagery as to what it was, but I could see that there was a path leading to it. It would all come down the the Mk I Eyeball.
We parked on the side of the street and took a quick hike down the trail to find a set of disused railway tracks. I doubled back, following these to where my map indicated that I should turn off into the bush. And there it was.
After a quick bite to eat, we continued on to rail spur where a couple of rail cars stood neglected. The caboose, while apparently in good repair, had clearly suffered some damage, and from what I've read, it is unlikely to be resume service any time soon.
It was a fairly short detour, but so worthwhile. You just don't see many of these anymore.
A short-lived battery, Fort Chebucto was built in 1943, and decommissioned in the 1950's. Three 6" Mk24 guns were placed here with a range of just under 14 miles (almost 22.5 km) with the idea that, without this battery, and another at Devil's Point, a German battleship would be able to bombard the port of Halifax well out of reach of existing coastal artillery.
It was a sunny, warm day, and we drove into the parking area near the container pier beside Point Pleasant Park. Only a few moments in, and it was clear that this was a popular place as I watched people come and go, and an almost steady stream along the path. I got out, map in hand, and set out in search of three particular pieces of history, the Point Pleasant Battery, Fort Ogilvie, and the Cambridge Battery.
Point Pleasant Battery:
This house was on one of the main roads, and so presented no real challenge in that respect. When I was there, there was no easy POE, but the property itself yielded a number of treasures that included the contents of a barn, some very old farming equipment, an ancient delivery van, and an even older truck that had been converted to drill wells.
Update December 8, 2019: