Lake Annis
Yarmouth Nova Scotia Canada
Lake Annis History by Jim Vickery in 1963.

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The church at Norwood which serves the community, was built in 1886 and George Cossar gave the wood for the floor. The erection of the church was instigated by a man named Crosby who built the Frank Clark place across from Norwood Station.

It is part of the lake George circuit which includes Cedar Lake, Lake Annis and Norwood and when there is a minister attached to the circuit, he is responsible for holding services.

On several occasions students have filled the pulpit during the summer vacation. One young man is well remembered - he used to play the hymns on his guitar and travelled by bicycle carrying the guitar strapped over his back.

Organists who have played at the Sunday service include Star Vickery, Edith Farish, Paul Veka, Ellen Moore and Lillian Hewey.

In 1930 under the direction of Merle Crosby, a number of repairs were made to the outside of the building including strengthening the stone underpining. At the same time some interior decorating was done with the summer visitors assisting. The minister that summer was a Mr.Patten who found it a little difficult to work on the high scaffolding so was induced to stay on the ground. The author was a member of the work party and recalls the trouble with a hornet’s nest in the attic just inside of a high window where the work was being carried out.

In 1952 under the leadership of the minister Ross Porter, the Interior of the church was redecorated with the summer visitors helping as usual.

Merle Crosby often uses his truck to go to church and is always most willing to pick up passengers as he passes through the village.

On a number of occasions over the years, Sunday services have been held at Sunnyside.

The cemetery behind the church has some fifty people buried there - such names as Cleland, Cossar, Clark, Eldridge, Crosby, Jones, Mullen, Pierce, Allen appear on the headstones and a Solm Taylor from Heotanooga has a fenced-in plot. There are no unusual epitaphs on the stones, such as one often finds in rural cemeteries.

There is record of a Christmas Concert being held in the church in 1916 when the place was packed. There was also a wedding held there at one time but details are not available.

The local people are very grateful to Doug Eldridge, Everett Killam and Merle Crosby who see that the alders and bushes do not overgrow the place; and particularly to Doug Eldridge who keeps it mowed in the summer time.

NO. 1

This large and prepossessing house was built in 1897 by Charles Grantbam, who was at that time the manager of the Cosmos Cotton Mill in Yarmouth. It was used by his family until he moved to Hamilton.

The grounds in years previous to building the house, had been used for picnics and known as Cossar’s Picnic Grounds.

The property was sold to Dave Saunders, the well—known lumber king of Lake Annis and in turn to George Cain as you will see in the story which follows.


Camp Mooswa for Boys came into being in the summer of 1909 on the property hitherto known as “Breezy Brae” • Whether it was given that name by the Granthams or by Dave Saunders is not certain.

The property at that time consisted of approximately eight acres of lard, the large house mentioned above, cook-house, barn and a summer house or pavilion on the lake shore.

George Hogarth Cain of Yarmouth ( incidentally the principal of Milton school, when the editor of this volumn was struggling through the early grades), and his wife the former Mildred K. Parker, also a native of Yarmouth, spent the summer of 1908 with their two sons Victor and Carroll, in the Harry’ Lewis cottage. It was in the course of that summer that the decision was made to purchase “‘Breezy Brae” with an eye to establishing a summer camp for boys.

During its infancy the camp was very small with a total membership seldom over fifteen. It was through the untiring efforts of “Pater” and “Mater” Cain, that the Mooswa family grew slowly and steadily until the time when its enrollment was large enough to establish a formal program.

Curtailment of transportation facilities when the Boston-Yarmouth boats were taken as troop-carriers during War War 1 posed a serious set-back. Few American parents could be persuaded to let their sons travel to and from Nova Scotia by way of the round-about trip through Saint John. For this reason the war years were lean ones for Mooswa as they were for many Canadians. With the resumption however of the Boston-Yarmouth steamship service, the camp began to grow again.

By the thirties both sons had become teachers and were adding their efforts to that of their father in enrolling campers for Mooswa. Carroll, better known as “Gint” would bring boys from New Brunswick, and Victor would bring a contingent from New York and, environs. With their combined effort and the fact that the Eastern Steamship Co. was then providing a service from both Boston and New York to Yarmouth, the camp grew to a most respectable size.

This halycon decade however was short lived. World Wnr 2 again disrupted traffic and the Boston and New York boats again went into troop service.  Pater was not too well and had retired from his teaching in the United States as well as from active camp management, leaving the chore to Vic and Glint.

By this time Gint had become Guidance Counsellor at the Belmont Junior High School and Vic taken over the position of Assistant Headmaster of the Calvert School in Balttnore, Maryland. With the renewed wartime restriction on transportation, Vic found it necessary to convey his contingent of campers by auto caravan over the road to Saint John and thence to camp.

Clint was called to the colors and served in the United States Navy for most of the war years so that Mooswa was again obliged to operate modestly under reefed sails for several years. Graduate study work and other obligations forced (lint to give up active participation in the operation of the camp throwing the burden entirely on Vic.  Pater had suffered a heart attack and lived with this serious condition until June 1946.

Steamship service from Boston was re±ored following the war and Mooswa once more enjoyed the thrill of a healthy enrollment for the ensuing eight years.  The physical plant was at its best in the history of the camp and all was in readiness for the 1955 season, when along came hurricane Edna in the fall of ‘54 doing frightful damage to the Mooswa property. This together with the discontinuance of the Eastern Steamship Company ships presented a problem sufficiently large to discourage further operation. The die was cast and Camp Mooswa held its final closing banquet in late August 1957.

Over the period covered by the forty-eight seasons the reciprocal influence of the camp on the community and the community on the camp are worthy of mention. The playing field at Mooswa reflects the many hours of back-breaking labor by Charles Eldridge who with his team of horses cleared the land of trees, stumps and stones. His son Douglas has left his imprint in the form of the building which comprises the western half of the cookhouse.

Joseph Charles, a MicMac from Hectanooga, is well remembered for the canoes he built as well as some of the buildings used to house the campers. Arch Cleland of Norwood filled the post of caretaker and handyman for many years.

The newer part of the property known to the campers as Sherwood Forest was acquired from George Cossar, who in the early days served the camp in a myriad of ways as did members of his family in after years until the final closing.

Other names some of them property holders today, have at one time or another been members of the Mooswa family -Everett Killam as caretaker; Bert Perry as Counsellor and tutor; Dr. Norman McLeod as camper;  John Whitaker as camper and Counsellor; Paul Vaka as counsellor and tutor; Leslie Green as camper; Chris Nolan as camper; Clem Crowell as senior counsellor. Probably no family has occupied such an intimate place in the Mooswa household as Willard ,Lillian and Donnie Hewey.

It is worthy of note that over the forty-eight years from the founding to its close, Mooswa enjoyed a repatation for relatively fine food. This is due to the good fortune of having good chefs and an administrative policy of high standards in. this department. For thirty-five years only three chefs presided over the culinary department — Celas Surretts of Pinksey’s Point, Chester Ferry of Atwood’s Brook and Gordon Allen of Pembroke.

Campers and counsellors at Mooswa came from many parts of the world. The rolls include such places as England, Eastern United States as far west as Missouri, Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, San Salvador, Columbia, South Africa not to mention Ontario and Quebec and all the Atlantic Provinces. The fame of Camp Mooswa spread far and wide.

Some of the following names taken from the camp roster may be familiar aid recall incidents long gone by — Zaldivar, Oxley, Longley, Mackay, Snowden, Oland, Scott, Stanhury, Tatban, Bowes-Lyon, Stanfield, Bliss, Haire, Perry and Gunning.

The contributor of this story and his wife Betty, are endeavoring to hold the property intact pending the time when the pendulum of circumstance may swing again into a favourable position prompting one or more of the younger generation of the Mooswa family to reactivate the camp. Possibly one of the three grandsons of the founder may follow a profession which could allow the time and energy to bring Mooswa cut of retirement and into active life again. V. K. C.

Editor! a Note - a column-long clipping from one of the Yarmouth papers forms part of  the Master Volumn. It describes in great detail the formal closing of the 17th season of the camp. It lists the winners of the various cups and prizes for both the Junior and Senior boys as well as Certificates and other awards.

NO. 2

This cottage on the Mooswa grounds was built to be used as the private home of Pater and Mater Cain; where they might go for a little rest - away from the turmoil of camp life.

Vic has this to say in his story of the camp -‘Mater, wife of the founder, continued to spend each summer at her cottage on the Mooswa grounds where she and Pater had found their mutual "snug harbour" for most of the years of their retirement hoping always to see the day when the clamor of youthful. voices would announce to her that Mooswa was alive once more.” She passed away in Belmont, Mass. where she was spending the winter of 1961 with her younger son and his family.


The original cottage was built by Andy Kirk, probably in 1920, and purchased by Benny Cann. It burned down and was rebuilt by Benny and, on his death, left to Charlie Mumford. Tammy Kirk bought it from the widow of the latter and has lived there in the summer season since 1950.


This tiny cottage called “Gum Drop’, was built in one day in 1918 by Andy Kirk and his carpenters, to house them while they were rebuilding the cottage now owned by Paul Vaka for the McLeods.  It was sold to Benny Cann and left to his brother Chelsea, and is now owned by Chelsea’s son.

NO. 5

This cottage was built in 1958 by Hugh and Margery Cain, a daughter of Andy Kirk. They spend time there each summer aid enjoy going on the lake in their motor boat.

NO. 8

The building was erected in 1949 by Gerry Thibeau as a combined store end dwelling. It is near the road and close to the Cossor homestead on land belonging to Mildred.

When the store was in operation it was very popular, being the only one for some miles. Gerry and his family have moved to Ontario and the building remains empty.


Number nine on the sketch shown in dotted lines, was aa ice-house. It was built by Dave Saunders and used principally by him to keep butter which he bought by the case. All trace of this building is gone.

Today with electric refrigerators keeping our milk, butter and meat during the hot weather there is no problem. It was very different in the early days when cottages only bad an icebox or refrigerator. In those days we could go down to Dave’s ice-house with a wheelbarrow and get a block or have one of the Cossor boys bring a piece from their supply.

If the previous winter had been very cold the ice would be thick and the stock last out the season. This was not always the case and many cakes of ice were brought from Yarmouth or one had to take other steps such as using a covered box buried in the woods or banging the perishable food down the well in a bucket or basket.

Roy Cann, Roy Wyman, Arthur Gardner and Stan Horton used to come to Lake Annis in the winter to help cut ice. Stan Horton the cook and the joker, would make a stew and once brought in a wet rabbit’s paw which he said was a mouse found in the stew.

While on the question of food one should mention the problem of getting’ fresh meat. There was the odd meatman or fishman who came through the village but not a very dependable source.  A guest bearing such commodities was always most welcome.

NO. 10

This cottage was built in 1957 by Bill Crowell, son of Clem Crowell, and very close to his father’s house. They call it ‘The Stockades” and occupy it for a month each sumner during the holidays.

NO. 12

As mentioned in the story on No.11, Glen Crowell bought the property in 1944. After cleaning out the old cellar, he turned it into a patio with a very fine flower garden. It makes a beaubiful place to sit out in on fine days.

The first part of Glem’s house was put up in 1945 just behind the old back cellar wall. This was when carpenters received 35 cents an hour. In 1947 the living room was added and in 1959 he completed the cottage. With the furnace which is now installed it is very comfortable all the year round.

NO. 14.

This cottage was originally the store owned and operated for some years by Dave Saunders and first located on the northeast corner of the station road No.13.

Mrs. John McLecd who owned it in 1918, engaged Andy Kirk to move it across the road and build on a snporch,and gave it to Herbie McLeod for his own use. It was occasionally rented by Horbie for the summer season and in 1931 or 1932 he sold it to Paul Vaka who comes to Lake Annis every summer.

NO. 16

This bungalow was built in 1908 by Arthur Stoneman, a brother-in-law to Harold Lovett who owned the cottage next door (No.17).

It is now the property of Mrs. Sadie Green, who purchased it after the death of Mrs. Stoneman. Mrs. Green usually rents it each summer, often to decendants of the families who formed the original summer colony.

Nothing remains on the site of No.11 except the celler wall which forms a ntio far the Clem Crowell house.

Probably this site has more history than any other in the village.

The first house was built by Josiah Ellis at the same time that he erected his sawmill in 1878. It was occupied by his employees in the mill at one time, probably after he built the Elmer Cossar house in 1887. He bad. a sawyer by the name of Tedford who was no doubt one of the occupants.

In 1894. as near as is known, the house became the property of John H. Killam and with his family occupied it until 1897 when he built the house which was called “Orchard House” and shown as No.31 on the sketch.

Joe Pierce and his mother Eliza lived here for a time, following the Killam occupancy, Mrs. Pierce used to sit in a rocking chair on the veranda making aprons and fancy sunbonnets which, stiffly starched, were sold to the visitors. Mrs. Henry Lewis always wore one. Black-eyed susans used to grow in front of the house in abundance as well as wild strawberries.

It was next acquired by Dave Saunders and. used as a store and living quarters. It burned down one evening in the spring of 1908 and some of the summer visitors sat on the railway track and watched the spectacle.

The story goes that this Saturday night the neighbourhood men met in the store as is the custom, doing their shopping and spending a social evening. “Tammage” son of William Hewey,was the storekeeper and he at that time was living in the cottage now the property of Paul Vaka. Mr. Hewey closed up and Doug Eldridge’ a father, who had been one of the men in the store, just bad time to wafl home to Norwood when he turned to look at the lake and saw a big red reflection in the sky. He came back rousing everyone with the cry of “fire”. The building of course was completely burned to the ground. It is thought to have been started through oily rags on the second floor.

The night of the fire Henry Lewis, Nathan Chipman, “Lucy” Gray, Karl Baker and Clem Crowell were staying in the Lewis cottage. They were first on the scene and salvaged 5 - 5 lb. boxes of Moir’s chocolates and for once they had more chocolates than they could handle. Clem also salvaged a case of “Whites liniment for man and beast” and took it home to his mother who, taking him by the shoulder, said to him “Clement where did you get this?” and when told Clement was admonished and told he must return it to Mr. Saunders. His mother called Dave up and said “We have a case of Whites liniment which came from your store at lake Annis which you may have if you will come and get it”.  He never did, but one day later on at the Lake Annis Station, he encountered Clem and asked if he were the boy who took the liniment which Clem had to admit that he was.

Following the fire Dave rebuilt as a summer hotel, but this in turn burned before it was ever opened. The cellar walls have remained and are used by Clem Crowell, as a patio.  After Dave left the area for good, the property was sold at Sheriff’s Sale and bought from the Saunders estate by Dr.  John MacLeod from whom Clem bought it in the fall of 1944. The old cellar had been used as the village dump from 1913 to 1944 and over 1000 wheelbarrow loads of rubbish were removed including a birch tree 30 feet high growing out of the refuse. Nobody seeing the lovely garden there today would know of the labor involved in clearing out the old cellar.

The Killams always kept Log Books and in one is found - “Lake Side Villa”, July 11, 1894. This apparently is the name they gave the house. Another entry reads - “Moved to Orchard House, Jan. 1897”. This cottage is described as #31. Another interesting entry dated Aug.7, 1894 is as follows:- “In May, Nelson Corning with Rufus Corning, Jacob Moses and Ben came here to make repairs and alterations to the house. Later came Chas. Bath who with the writer and Camber ornamented the house. Mr, S. A. Crowell, during the progress of repairs, came occasionally to take notes and get ideas re alterations on his own establishment called Beachwood; being of a generous disposition the writer did not charge him anything for the ideas he obtained”.


Dave Saunders, “Sawdust Dave” as we used to can him to distinguish him from another Dave Saunders, who was a butcher, had a combined store ann living quarters on this site, just next to tin station road.

It was a common occurrence if the train was very late, to sit in Dave’s front living room and dash to the platform when the train blew for the crossing. Dave had a wooden walk from his front door to the station platform.

Ernest Crosby was one well-known person who kept store fir Dave, his family living in the McGray house No • 25. They also lived over the railroad track in No.18 after the McGray house.

The building when the store was finally closed, was first sold to Fanny Allen and acquired later by Mrs. John McLeod. The barn immediately north of the store and used by Dave for storage, has long since been torn down.

For a time the McLeod’s had a tennis court on the ground which had been occupied by the store. This has all grown up and there is no evidence that any buildings ever occupied the site.

The residents, summer visitors and people for miles around patronized Dave’s store. At one time Dolf Burridge was storekeeper and used to measure out molasses and kerosene by the gallon, each customer bringing his own container.  Matches were always in great demand as everyone used kerosene oil lamps and burned nothing but wood. The old fashioned chocolates and penny candies were a great attraction for the youngsters and the store always had a pleasant smell of wood and oil.

Talmage Hewey known to all the residents as just “Tammage” and a cousin of Willards, also kept the store at one time.

NOS. 18 and 19

These two cottages were built by Dave Saunders in 1904 for occupancy by some of his senior employees. As mentioned elsewhere, Em Crosby and his family lived for a time in No.18; while William Hewey occupied the Fan Allen cottage, No.19. Hiram Goudey rented No.18 for a summer or two about 1910.

In the settling of the Saunder’s estate which took some time, they were sold at auction in 1913 for $200.00 each and purchased by W. Roy Cann and Fannie Allen.

At the time they were up for sale, the boys - Henry, Nathan, “Lucy”, Clem and Karl Baker wanted to buy one but could not raise the $150 necessary for the purchase.

No • 18 is now the property of Bert and Olive Perry, daughter of Roy Cann and they renovated it in 1963. The cottage is usually rented each summer for the period not required by the Perrys.

The Fan Allen cottage has become the property of the Wetmore girls, nieces of Fannie’s. When the nephew Jack Allen and his wife come east, they always stay there.

NO. 20

This building was pit up originally by Stan and Dot Horton on land sold by L. B. Wyman to Dot. In the beginning it was rather small but has been enlarged from time to time.

It was later acquired by Dr. Howard Bere of Natick, massachusetts, a brother- in-law and has been converted into a very nice bungalow. The Beres come to Lake Annis each season, sometimes making two trips.

As Dr. Bere is a dentist the cottage has been given the appropriate name of "Tooth Acre”.

NO. 22

In the spring of 1962 John Whitaker of Maryland and Washingbon, bought a part of Willard Hewey’s orchard and during the summer of that year had a very nice house built, equipped with furnace and comfortable for all year living. John was a former Mooswa boy who came to take Annis for so many years it seems like home to him for he loves the lake, the rivers and the woods.

NO. 21

This permanent home was built by Harry Hamilton in 1890 when he was employed it Saunder’s mill. It is understood that Harry whose home was in Pleasant Velley, First came to take Annis as the engineer at the Ellis mill. He acquired quite a Large property including pasture and woodland and did some farming besides working at the mill.

The records show that Harry bought three acres from Josiah Ellis in 1886. This was probably the house lot. In 1893 he purchased another twenty acres from Josiah for which he paid $200.00. Again in 1907 he bought some land from Elmer Cossar, probably woodland which adjoined Elmer’s.

As the Hamiltons can be classed as “permanents" and so well respected some mention should be made of the family.

Mrs. Hamilton was a former school teacher and never refused to supply milk, cream, eggs and vegetables to the summer visitors as long as the supply lasted. Harry’s barn was always a parking place for one’s horse and a garage in later years.

After he left the employ of the mill he concentrated more on farming, but would willingly take a day off to act as guide for a day’s fishing. A number of the cottagers kept their extra key hanging in his kitchen.

Harry was the road foreman for years and the section extended to the river at Norwood and just short of the lake Jessie railway crossing. On one occasion Edgar Vickery did a day’ s work with pick and shovel in Harry's gang in lieu of paying the Vickery family school tax.

He had a family of three, one son Arthur being killed overseas in 1916. Percy still runs a successful machine shop business in Yarmouth. Thyrza, the daughter suffered greatly with asthma. She used to sit in a rocking chair by the window and did beautiful tatting and crochet work. One of her greatest pleasures was to talk ith the summer visitors who wore always dropping in for one reason or another.

Atribute in which we an concur, was paid to Harry by Frank Day -"An excellent guide and a fine gentleman”.

The step in front of one of the back doors is the iron centreboard from the .Lark owned by E. J. Vickery and given to Harry when the boat was broken up.

After the Hamiltons died the house was operated by Nellie Cleland for one immer for summer boarders.

In 1935 the property was purchased by Willard Hewey who had lived at Mooswa for eight years. Willard is an accomplished builder of boats, canoes, furniture etc, and had added a woodworking plant to the barn.


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