A 19th-Century Lighthouse With Prime Views of Key West Could Be Yours
The screw pile lighthouse in Key West, Florida, was built to withstand the hurricanes that regularly batter the region.Old lighthouses around the world are available to rent on a nightly basis, and if you're looking for a more permanent situation, it's not too difficult to find lighthouses for sale in the United States. As Atlas Obscura reports, one 19th-century structure currently being auctioned off by the U.S. government offers stunning views of Key West, Florida, and a level of isolation usually limited to private islands.
MONTREAL — Archeologists digging at the site of a future light-rail station unearthed a piece of Montreal history last week when they uncovered what is believed to have been a cemetery for Irish immigrants who died after fleeing famine in 1847.
The bone fragments of between 12 and 15 people were discovered in a spot about 2.3 metres in diameter that will eventually hold one of the light-rail system's pillars, according to Elizabeth Boivin, a spokeswoman for the Reseau express metropolitain, or REM.
She said more remains could be discovered in the next few days, since archeologists don't yet know how deep the graves lie.
Mayor of Asbestos, Que., says it's time for town to change its unfortunate name
ASBESTOS, Que. — Officials in Asbestos, Que., say they are tired of their town being named after a cancer-causing mineral that is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people around the world. Asbestos Mayor Hugues Grimard said today in a news release the name carries an unfortunate connotation and it's preventing the town from developing foreign business ties. He says he wants residents of Asbestos, located about 170 kilometres east of Montreal, to help come up with a new name, which will be announced sometime in 2020.
While the bones have been sent to a laboratory for analysis, she said archeologists believe they belong to some of the estimated 6,000 immigrants who came across the ocean on overcrowded ships only to die of typhus in fever sheds erected on the banks of the St. Lawrence.
"It was in the context of an epidemic, so there was a public health problem, and the bodies were stacked up, put into coffins, but it wasn't an organized cemetery as we know it," she said in a phone interview.
She said pieces of wood, presumably from coffins, have been found with the bones. The remains are in good condition, she said.
Boivin said the REM was aware of the possibility of a graveyard on the site and hosted a blessing in June prior to beginning the dig.
Because the area is bound by railway tracks, archeologists had to work in a confined, cylindrical hole in the ground, where they were lowered by crane. She said the remains will not affect the work on the train system.
Jason Kenney denounces 'useful idiots' amid uproar over university lecturer's Holodomor denial
A day after Ukrainian students vented their fury at a University of Alberta lecturer who called the Holodomor famine “a lie,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney slammed the “useful idiots” who engage in genocide denial. Dougal MacDonald, who is listed as a lecturer in the university’s education department, said on Facebook that the Holodomor was a myth perpetuated by the Nazis. His comments led the Ukrainian Students’ Society to call them “harmful and false beliefs” that are unacceptable for an employee of the university. © Kevan Hunter Dougal MacDonald ran for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada in the recent federal election.
The sombre discovery was nevertheless an exciting one for members of Montreal's Irish community, who have been lobbying for a decade for a memorial park to honour the 1847 famine victims.
Victor Boyle, the co-president of the Irish Memorial Park Foundation, said it lends credence to the historians who say the site could be the biggest Irish grave site outside Ireland.
"It's a vindication, and it brings back to life the story of 1847, when 6,000 people lost their lives," he said.
He said other digs carried out in other locations near the site in recent years turned up artifacts but no remains.
The bodies were found near the Black Rock, a three-metre-tall boulder erected by railway workers in 1859 that is believed to be the first-ever memorial to victims of the potato famine.
Fergus Keyes, who co-leads the park effort with Boyle, says an estimated 100,000 people came to Canada in the summer of 1847 aboard overcrowded vessels known as "coffin ships."
Montreal group urging unions, employers ‘to be allied with us against domestic violence’
Domestic violence impacts not only on the women who are victims, but also the workplace.That's the message the Association of Shelters for Women Victims of Conjugal Violence wants to send to employers as it launched this year's 12 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women campaign on Saturday.
Some 70,000 of them — many sick and dying — landed in Montreal, overwhelming a city whose population numbered only 50,000.
"By September and October of 1847, we know they were running out of coffins and started trenching people," Keyes said in a phone interview. "At the end of the day, they were digging a trench and throwing in 30 bodies here, there and elsewhere."
Keyes and Boyle say the project to create a memorial park at the site will be a tribute to both the Irish victims and all the Montrealers risked their lives to nurse and care for them. That includes French-Catholic priests and nuns, British military, Montrealers who adopted orphaned children, First Nations who contributed food and money and Montreal's mayor at the time, John Easton Mills, who died of typhus after volunteering to nurse the sick.
In a time of polarizing debates over immigration, Keyes says it's important to remember the response to a group he describes as "the worst immigrants you can imagine."
"They were poor, they were hungry, they didn't speak the language, for the most part they were illiterate and on top they brought disease," he said. "And a bunch of Montrealers of every language and culture went to help them, provide food, provide care, provide comfort."
Keyes and Boyle hope the bones at the site may provide clues such as the age, gender and cause of death of the victims — and maybe even DNA that could link them to descendants. Eventually, though, they believe it would be best that they be reburied at the site.
"It seems to me unseemly that you would take bones that have been there for more than 100 years and move them somewhere else," Boyle said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov 27, 2019
Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Former SPVM officer, hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting boys .
Longueuil police believe there could be other victims, and are asking anyone with information to come forward. Lamarre was a hockey coach in the 1970s and 80s in the Greenfield Park area of Longueuil, and also went by the name "Frank." He lived on Springfield and Campbell Streets, and some of the assaults are alleged to have taken place in his home. © Provided by cbc.ca François Lamarre, photographed here in 2010, is accused of assaulting at least four young boys, and Longueuil police believe there could be more victims. Police say other assaults took place in his vehicles and at hockey arenas.