Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cabot Links- Inverness, and Alexander Graham Bell

 Inverness was a coal mining town dating from the late 1800's.  The main mine went down 2500', which is hard to believe, but true nonetheless. After the mines closed in the late 1950's , the area was left with fishing and forestry as industries, and many people were out of work.  In fact the population of Inverness dropped from 3,000 to 1,500 over the next decades. 
After a few false starts, investors were found to build a links golf course in Inverness.  It opened in 2012, and has provided a much needed source of jobs and tourist dollars.  It is located on the site of the old mine between the town and the seashore .A short walk brings you from the main street of town, along the boardwalk by the golf links, and finally to the beach.
I looked up golf "links" to see what makes them a unique golfing place.  Firstly, a golf links needs to be within view of the ocean. It must have sandy soil and a natural terrain with native vegetation in the roughs. No watering is needed as the air is always moist.   I think it must be particularly challenging to factor in the wind, and deal with the unexpected rain showers, but I guess that just adds to the fun of playing on that type of course.  Some tournaments are only held at links golf courses, and they are not that common so this golf course draws people from many far flung places.
 It's hard to believe that this used to be a coal mine.  Certainly, it should encourage us that old industrial sites can be turned into useful and attractive spaces when their industrial life is over.
I like the fishing boats in the background in contrast to the golf cart that has just crossed to road to the beach.

One rainy day, we drove about an hour east over to Baddeck.  The road was rather gloomy, with thick forests and few houses, but once we arrived at Baddeck our day seemed brighter.  Baddeck is like a miniature version of Kennebunkport, Maine. It's a friendly combination of commercial fishing boats, touristy shops, and quaint B & Bs. We had a tasty lunch at the Yellow Cello Cafe that had fun decorations along the yellow and cello themes.
But what we had really come to see was the Alexander Graham Bell museum.  I am so glad we went.  It was so interesting.  I had no idea that Dr. Bell was involved in so many innovative projects.  Did you know he built a hydrofoil? Or an airplane?  Or that he was fascinated by kites? Or that he send sound over light waves?  He and his wife were also deeply involved in the running of their farm, and were attempting to breed sheep that would consistently have twins. Long before it was popular, they were interested in conservation and responsible land use. Dr. Bell was also one of the founders of the National Geographic Society.  And I haven't even mentioned his extensive work with deaf people.
He was a very remarkable person who really tried to make life better for many people. Wikipedia has a good long essay on him if you want to know more about him and his family.
I didn't take pictures of the museum - I guess I was feeling clicked out that day.  If I go again, I will definitely take pictures.
I found a great yarn shop in Baddeck -" Baadeck Yarns".  The owner has a really fun facebook page with info on yarns, and patterns, and lots of upbeat pictures of sheep! A very cheerful page.
OK, I know this post is too long. Maybe we'll be off to the races next time.


  1. I didn't know the meaning of "golf links" but now I do! How cool as I grew up near some "golf links" and wondered why that term wan't used here in Ontario! ;))

  2. A lot of UK courses are "links" courses. They have the advantage of drying out extremely quickly after rain, an important consideration particularly in Scotland. The grass was kept short in the past by grazing sheep who hunkered down in any hollow to escape the wind and eventually exposed the sandy soil - and that's how bunkers were originally formed.

  3. We enjoyed Baddeck as well. Didn't find the Yellow Cello Cafe, but were fascinated by the Alexander Graham Bell I did not know these facts either...and my friend and I also made a trip to Baadeck Yarns where we both purchased a skein of the hand-dyed yarn. Such a lovely spot!

    We're now in Middleton, and will be heading back to Halifax for our flights. I'll be sad to leave, it has been great fun with so much to see and do.

    Safe travels!