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The Ghost of Miss Anderson: Fundy shore love story inspires song about fisherman’s wife


HILLSBURN, NS - The Bay of Fundy is one of the great natural wonders of the world, but sometimes she takes fishermen.

Go up Parker Mountain Road at Granville Ferry, over the mountain, and suddenly you’re looking down on the water like you could fall right in. ‘Breathtaking’ begins to describe it.

You’re in Parkers Cove and a whole other world. Sometimes it’s mist. Sometimes it’s fog. The temperature drops a few degrees. It was overcast with drizzle the day I passed the busy wharf and headed for Hillsburn.

I was looking for the Ghost of Miss Anderson.

The story was that Bobby Longmire had fixed up an old winch shed at Anderson Cove some years ago and turned it into a small museum. A sign on the tiny building says, “Anderson Cove & Ghost of Miss Anderson.”

At the Crow’s Nest Dining Room, they told me to keep going down Shore Road West and turn right on Hillsburn Road. Drive to the very end. That was Anderson Cove.

There’s not much left at Anderson Cove. The wharf’s gone, the buildings are just chunks of concrete on the beach. But some say the Ghost of Miss Anderson remains

 

The Shed

It was there. That tiny red shack with the sign -- about as alone as you can get. A kilometer off the rocky shore, a fishing boat makes its way west. It wasn’t stopping here, though. The wharf was gone –just remnants. Slabs of broken up concrete from old buildings the Bay had claimed.

Round rocks on the beach speak of the power of the Bay. Even the shore can be a dangerous place.

Across the road was a fish plant and Joel Thibodeau was in his upstairs office. He can look down from his window and see the shed. He looks through drawers for framed photographs of Anderson Cove that showed the wharf, nine or 10 buildings. Decades ago. Although he was sure they were there, he can’t find them. Instead, he describes the busy community in those photographs. It was another time.

All that’s left is the shed and a smoke house. A picnic table.

Joel knows the story of Miss Anderson. It’s the same as the story Lisa Huyer had told me. She worked at that fish plant.

 

Miss Anderson

Lisa had asked her co-workers about the sign at the shed.

“They said, the story goes, this woman was supposed to get married to this fisherman and he never came back,” Lisa said. “And so, she walked the shores looking for him at night and he still never came back. She was so distraught she just got in a boat and went out to look for him -- and she never came back. So they kind of say there’s probably two ghosts down there.”

She presumes they found each other – Miss Anderson and her fisherman fiancé.

“Sometimes, people say they see her or hear her,” Lisa said. “We have little weird things happen at the plant sometimes. With certain people, we’ve had machinery act up a whole lot. And we tease them. We’ll tell the person ‘she’s mad at you today.’ It’s just for fun.”

It’s not certain when the tragic events happened, but all these years later, it almost seems that Miss Anderson is still a part of the community that bears her name.

“We joke about it all the time. If something goes wrong. If the power goes out – ‘It’s gotta be her,’” Lisa said.

Joel’s heard the story all his life and knows about as much as Lisa. He kind of brushed it aside as a tale told to kids to keep them from playing on the shore. The famous Fundy tides can catch you and kill you in no time.

When Lisa Huyer went to work at the fish plant at the end of Hillsburn Road at Anderson Cove, she wondered what the sign on the little red shed was all about. When she was told about the ghost, she wrote a song – The Song of Miss Anderson.

Read more ghost stories from around Southwest Nova Scotia here.

 

The song

It was the tragic story – the couple only able to be together in death – that inspired Lisa to write a song about it. She’s a noted local singer/songwriter living in Bridgetown. Maybe she was just a little bit haunted.

I wanted to talk with Bobby Longmire. As fine a man as you’d want to know, they say, and the person who probably knew the most about Miss Anderson. He was a fisherman and fish plant owner. But Joel said Bobby was sick. Really sick. I might drop into the fish plant down Shore Road West a bit further on towards DeLaps Cove and talk with Bobby’s son Alan. But when I got there, he’d gone home.

I didn’t want to bother the family. Bobby Longmire died three days later. He was 77.

Back at the Crow’s Nest, I had the haddock. Caught by a fisherman on the Bay, I speculated. Like the one in Lisa Huyer’s song.

 

The Song of Miss Anderson

She was pledged to be married, but the sea was his life

She was destined to be a fisherman’s wife

She was destined to be a fisherman’s wife

 

And the joy she did feel ‘cause their love was so real

And they vowed to be soul mates for life

They vowed to be soul mates for life

 

He wiped the tears from her eyes and she tried so hard not to cry

As he readied his boat for the catch

As he readied his boat for the catch

 

She returned home and she felt so alone

As she bolted the door with the latch

As she bolted the door with the latch

 

The days quickly passed like sands through the glass

Cold nights in her bed all alone

Cold nights in her bed all alone

 

And her heart it did yearn for her lover’s return

And she watched by the seaside and cried

She watched by the seaside and cried

 

The news came from town, it was brought into light

Her fisherman’s boat lost at sea

Her fisherman’s boat lost at sea

 

And she tried so hard not to cry, they pledged to be soul mates for life

And she vowed to return him once more

She vowed to return him once more

 

She ran to the pier, she was stricken with fear

As she rowed out the boat from the shore

Ne’er to be heard of no more

 

And the joy that they feel ‘cause their love is so real

They vowed to be soul mates for life

Once more she’s a fisherman’s wife

 

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