Story #5 Elinor describes life on the farm

Story #5 Elinor describes life on the farm

Story #5 in our heritage interview series. David Weale interviewed Elinor Murchison Gillis at her son
Gilbert Gillis’s home in Point Prim PEI on Dec 14, 2019.

David Weale: You mentioned in your little story that you were also very involved in the farm work as well.

Elinor Murchison Gillis: Yeah, dad had a farm, besides keeping the light. And so he grew potatoes, and turnips. We had to weed the turnips, the hay, we’d help with the hay, putting it in. Then the straws, we’d help make the stokes, yeah and then help take it in. It’s wonderful how we did so much. People don’t work like that now.

David: No

Elinor: Kids wouldn’t ever work that now. And, putting in the potatoes and celery and all.

David: I know there were young people, who were, they could practically take over a farm when they were thirteen, fourteen years old because they had worked.

Elinor: I know of a man, whose father had a ship and he got lost at sea. And so his son was twelve, I guess it was, or younger and he took over the farm up here.

David: There you go. Can you imagine a twelve year old today trying to take over a farm? They can’t even take over their room.

Elinor: And there was eight children on that farm, so he stayed long enough to help them out. Then he went to Argentina and he became a millionaire. It’s a relation of mine, and his grandsons visit me often, not often, but every few years.

David: From Argentina?

Elinor: Yeah, his grandson, multimillionaire.

David: So you still have relatives in Argentina then?

Elinor: Yeah, I think I have them all over the world.

David: Well there were a lot of world sailors that came out of this area.

Elinor: Oh yeah, in that little booklet, how to put that, of all the other places on the Island there was more came from Point Prim.

David: More sea captains. Yes. It was so, life was so isolated. I mean there were people all over this Island, they hardly even got to ‘town. And yet you had these men from down here who were sailing to Europe and China even.

Elinor: They couldn’t do anything else. No farming. There wasn’t much cleared land. Some but not much. Really had to go to sea. You could write a story about all these captains that came out of Point Prim and the lives they had.

David: I remember reading a, something, that there was a woman from Wood Islands, wrote a bit about that. What was her name, a very common name in Wood Islands. MacMillan? I think she was a MacMillan.

Elinor: We have a little booklet, it tells some about it. It’s called “The Murchison Family” but it tells a lot about them going to sea. You never saw that one, did you?

David: No, I’d like to see that one.

Elinor: Yeah, that’s an interesting little book. It tells about that fella I told you about, Captain Murchison. It’s in there too.