There is no better place for a blustery late-autumn day trip than a tiny island in the harbour of a small city on the North Atlantic coast. And so it was that I took what is quickly becoming an annual fall excursion to McNab's Island. In the mouth of Halifax harbour.
What was once a thriving community and recreational weekend destination for residents of the nearby city, McNab's is now largely deserted and used only sporadically by individuals or small groups of hikers. It gives the island a desolate, lost-in-time quality, as the decaying remains of its former lives (military base, amusement park, summer retreat, year-round community, quarantine station, and jail) contribute to its atmosphere.
This year marked the opening of the newly-restored Fort McNab, on the island's southern tip. As with so much of the island, the land used for the fort was once part of the McNab family homestead. And it includes the old family graveyard. So rather than disturb the graves when the fort was constructed, they appear to have simply built the fort around it. And there it remains.
Oddly enough, while most of the grave markers seem to have received upgrades from the originals, one small wooden cross remains behind all the others. No one seems to know why, but there must be a story here. And likely a resentful ghost.