Exiting the picnic park in Welsford and continuing on Eagle Rock road south, I cross the county line and enter Kings county. The road is now called 177 or Nerepis road and this is Westfield. The sharp faced mountains give way to a wrinkly road of “knolls” as the locals call them. I found this out at the Irvin in Welsford when I had asked Linda, the attendant, if she had heard of a spring that a person could fill their water jug up with? She pursed her lips and put the question to a couple of local older fellas. The one gentlemen replies, “oh can’t be more than four or five miles down the road, over the knoll. It is on the right, has its own little house covering it.”
Finding the correct knoll is my job and so far I have missed the mark. I have gone well over several knolls and landed at Brundage Point River Center in Grand Bay.
I pull into and the center and park. This is no ordinary tourist information stop. The office is closed for the season but the center has signage posted around the property that will be helpful in locating points of interest.
This location is also another part of New Brunswick’s UNESCO Stone hammer geoparks. . I visited another geopark location in The Fundy Trail Parkway, Is Not The Fundy National Park. Brundage Point has volcanic rocks from the Silurian age dating about 435 million years old, for Geology enthusiasts. If history and geology aren’t your thing, how about art? Two of the sculpture of the New Brunswick International Sculpture symposium are here at the park.( I am following the Sculpture Trail, I mentioned another one in Sussex New Brunswick- Don’t Just Pass Through.)
I find the sign post I am interested in;
The Heritage trail. I have hopes of hiking some of it and at least stopping at most of these markers on the trail.
My interest in the Loyalists has led me to a new Provincial Historic Site previously unknown to me. A Loyalist Route brochure has the house address as 690 Nerepis Road. I’m head back the way I came. I haven’t forgotten the spring with the well, and I scanning along each house I pass. I pull over at Westfield Beach, Lingley and Sagwa of the Heritage trail markers read the sign take a picture since I am going by them anyway
Each one of these signs gives me more information about the life and the people who built this community. I ask a man walking on the trail if he could point me towards the Mount Hope Farm. ” It is just a few house up, it’s white there is a red one beside it” He says.
I thank him and pull back out onto the road, checking my review mirror for traffic behind me. I want to go slow so I don’t miss it. I see trees a house more trees, then a white house with a sign and a four-wheeled horse carriage on the lawn. This is it.
I park in the narrow drive and start walking towards an open garage door where I see a man standing. I wave and shout ” Hello.” He greets me back. I tell him I am a travel blogger I am interested in his famr. He says he is Peter Lohnes, and this is his families Mount Hope farmhouse. He is the great, great, great. great-grandson of Colonel Henry Nase. He says, the house has been occupied by his family for all those generations. “Wow,” I say, “you must feel very grounded.” He chuckles with a ” well yes” then he says. ” would you like to see the house?” I quickly agree. He tells me he is renovating the inside so it is completely gutted. He was raised in this house, but his wife wants to modernize and still keep the original charm.
I ask him if there is a provincially issued historic plaque? I hadn’t seen one. ” Yes it is upstairs” We travel up the into the gutted upstairs, The plaque is laying on on some lumber. I notice the wide planks on the floors and ceiling and he takes me to see some writing on a rafter that dated from July 1872 I believe. I snap a couple of pictures but it is not very clear sorry.
I ask if the house is open for tours? He says, “No”. He did open it a few years back to raise money for a charity but states “this is our home” I ask about Colonel Nase. Peter tells me the Colonel’s diary he wrote during his service in the American revolution is in a museum. He came here to settle the Unite Empire Loyalist on there land grants. Next I ask if the Colonel is buried in Westfield? He tells me “he is buried in the Nase Cemetery” and shares directions with me. He tells me Mount Hope cemetery is just one house over and up the hill. “It is a loyalist grave yard”
He picks up the Historic Plaque and shows me. I ask if he will hold it up for a picture, he agrees and gives the plaque a dusting off with a rag and we go outside to get the photo.
He writes down his information for me and I have one more question? Do you know of a well with a hose that spring water comes out of, where you can fill your water bottle?”
He says ” oh yes” he continues with a story of when he was a boy, there was a store on the location and the owner use to keep the pop in it to keep it cool. He gives me directions so I am sure I can find it. My stop has been productive. I got a tour of the house, pictures of the historic plaque, meet a direct decentant of Colonel Henry Nase who has given me the directions to a loyalist cemetery, Colonel Nase’s grave site and where the spring is. I wave good-by and head two driveways over.
Mount hope Cemetery.
It is a lovely yard up a steep hill surrounded by large trees in their fall dress code of orange and yellow. I walk around silently. Peter had mentioned the oldest grave is of a 2 yr old child in the far corner. I find her and pay my respects. I can’t linger I have much to see today. Back on the Nerepis road. Peter had told me when the road is directly beside the river, I will approach a knoll, just as it crests, I will find it on my right it has a wood box covering it.
The well and Spring
I cup my hands collecting a mitt full and give it a taste. It seems fresh and cold so I get my water bottle out and fill it up. I drink my water and mentally recite the directions Peter has given me; Down the road one house past the Catholic church, and the next lot is the Nase family Plot.
It is a small cemetery with only a few graves. At the back is the grave I am looking for. Henry Nase ESQ.
Next, I stop momentarily and walk on the trail at Ononette and see a Ruffed Grouse
Unity Park is next. As I drive I notice on every street post is a biographical panel of a person that was in service of our country; A wonderful display a head of remembrances day. It looks so smart I have to commend Westfield-Grand Bay, Saint John Chamber, and the Legion, on a great job.
Unity Park is a peaceful place with a picnic gazebo, benches, beautiful in season gardens and I am here for two things. The Sculpture LOVE
and a marker remembering a forest fire that tore through the town on August 6th, 1921
I am concerned with the time so I will have to skip a few heritage stops and historic Loyalist homes, in favour of a hike.
Blueberry Nature Preserve.
After a vigorous stroll I return to the truck. I head up Colonel Nase Boulevard and stop at several of the heritage trail sign posts, and read the description,
Henry Nase has one that brings the tour of his home town into focus. How he came up through the ranks from private to regimental Sergeant Majour in the Kings American Regiment in the American Revolution and came to New Brunswick on a ship from Digby to help purchase and settle land claims and build a home for Majour John Coffin and one for his family.
One last Heritage sign post and only because of the Name on it James Ready.
An early brewmaster from Westfield. He was eventually bought out by Olands brewery, You can read the story by clicking the link. I know a better way to pay tribute to the man, with a can of cold James Ready Beer.
I had really wanted to see the Watson Family Plot on the Black Loyalist Land grant I will have to come back with a hand-held GPS and find the cemetery. Westfield-Grand Bay, has so much to see, I could spend days here looking for historical loyalist homes, Loyalist graveyards, hiking trails, and excellent cycling lane, sailing canoeing. I hope you will stop and enjoy it next time you visit New Brunswick
Cheers from Maritime Mac.