The Mira River was once an important commercial waterway in Cape Breton. Along its banks major shipbuilding, milling and brick-making industries served nearby settlements, including the construction of the Fortress of Louisbourg in the mid-eighteenth century.
Today, thousands of cottage owners enjoy a variety of year-round activities on the 30-mile length of the river. My design does not depict an actual location, but rather a nostalgic composite drawn from old photos and beloved memories. The two ice 'fishermen' in the foreground are from a photo of my parents. The green and white cottage was our cottage before it was sold and renovated beyond recognition. The church at Albert Bridge on Route 22 to the Fortress of Louisbourg was used as a model - though I had to remove the steeple due to the scale of the Aida cloth. And I slipped in the modified A-frame - it is actually a friend's cottage near Arnprior, Ontario.
History revised?? On researching another project I came across a paper by a local historian, David Dow, who believes that pirates may well have had an important influence on the river's early history. Whatever industry that existed - shipbulding, sawmills, even farms - existed originally, he claims, for the purpose of serving their needs. This would indeed explain several anomalies in Cape Breton history: for a time the native peoples were absent from the area; Europeans settled all around us but not here, until later. And it would, of course, explain a sympathetic inscription on a monument, miles up the river, dedicated to Captain Kidd. It reads: "Deprived of mercy 170.." (the last digit indecipherable).
For other Cape Breton designs:
See our Cape Breton Collection