"I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, watchin' the tide roll away, ooo....."
All right, whose the joker that stole my dock! Where is my dock? I want my dock back, now!
Well, if no one is going to admit they stole my dock, I'm going to take my post and go home! You guys can just figure out on your own how to have an oddities post without me! *Stomps off muttering to himself* stupid jerks think they can steal my dock and not even admit they stole it making it impossible for me to do a post and ruin my day because they know I have a long day ahead of me and they think it's funny well I'll show them funny I'll run away and never come back and then they'll be sorry.......*Slams door on his way out*
*Door slowly opens*
Well, this is awkward. I've been informed that there wasn't actually a dock, and that's not actually a bay. It's a cove. Sandy Cove to be exact. And it is located in Nova Scotia. For those of you who don't know where that is, it's up on the Atlantic coast of Canada. I think a guy named Kevin lives there. Or maybe he said his name was Bruce. Now that I think about it, he might have said Dave. Or Mark. Maybe Scott. I don't know, I wasn't listening.
Not that it really matters. The subject of todays post is long gone. But it involves the town of Sandy Cove. Who here has heard of Sandy Cove? It's not to be confused with Meat Cove. Meat Cove is a totally different cove located in a totally different part of Canada.
If anyone has heard of Sandy Cove, it's most likely because of the RMS Atlantic. This was a ship owned by the White Star Line, and on the night of April 1st 1873, she sank. She had altered course to refill her coal bunkers and was in unfamiliar costal waters. Showing her crew was as short sighted as that of the other White Star Line ship you know about, the RMS Titanic, no one was manning the sounding lines to check the depths of the waters.
In waters she didn't know, dealing with costal currents, the Atlantic hi some rocks and went down. 535 of the 952 passengers and crew were lost. Close to 400 of the recovered bodies were buried at Sandy Cove.
But, that's not what today's post is about. I just included it for some history of the area. (and to show that the White Star Line really didn't have too much luck with their ships that set out from Liverpool)
Today is actually a Made Up Monday! And that means, I'm going to tell you about something and you're going to tell me if I made it up or if it's true. So, pay attention, because here we go.
On a cold morning in May in 1848 a couple of friends from Sandy Cove were doing some clam digging on the beach when they came across something frightening. In the early morning light, they could see on the beach ahead of them a body laying on it's side. Fearing the worst, they checked out the person and found a young man, about 12 or 13 they guessed, wearing a life vest. They checked and somehow, the boy wasn't dead. One of the men ran back to town to get the doctor and to rouse the town. Finding a person on the beach in a life vest could only mean one thing; shipwreck.
The doctor hurried the boy off to his office while the rest of the town scoured the cove looking for more victims. But no others were found. And not only that, no wreckage was found either. Some local fishermen had even taken their boats out and searched the seas. Nothing was found. No other traces of a shipwreck were found.
Upon closer inspection, the life vest the boy wore was unmarked. There was no way to identify the ship it had come from. And after a couple of days, when the boy had recovered enough, he was unable to answer any questions. He either didn't speak any of the languages people spoke to him in, or he remained silent out of defiance. Either way, he never spoke a word.
Town officials contacted the government, but there were no reports of anyone matching the boys description missing. If he had fallen off a ship, no one reported it. The government sent investigators to speak with the boy, but they had no success in getting him to talk either. Since he at least seemed comfortable in his current surroundings, they decided to leave him in Sandy Cove with a foster family while they continued to try and find out who he was.
The government paid a stipend every week to the family caring for him, so the boy was well cared for. Since he refused to speak, he was given the name Nicholas. He seemed to be a normal boy in most ways. He liked to play with others his age. And when asked, he would assist people with tasks they needed done. He even attended the local school where he did the work assigned to him, but still, refused to speak.
One morning, ten years after he had mysteriously appeared, he was no where to be found. All the belongings he had accumulated were still in the room he called home. People had seen him the night before and he had seemed to be normal. But in the morning, he was gone. A few of the towns folk searched for him along the cove, but no traces were found. The only clue to his disappearance was found a couple of months after he went missing. A shirt that was similar to the one he customarily wore was found, neatly folded with a small rock holding it down, on the top of Mount Schubel which was located just outside of Sandy Cove.
No other trace was ever found of Nicholas. Where he came from, and where he ultimately went remains a mystery to this day. But in 2008 a local historian named Fraser Mooney Jr wrote a book titled 'Nicholas: Solving The Mystery Of Nova Scotia's Silent Castaway'. In it he claimed to have found evidence showing Nicholas had come from Chipman, New Brunswick which was across the bay from Sandy Cove. Mooney says the boy was an Italian youth who lived there with his father. Sometime around 1845, the boys father fell though some ice on a river and was drowned. The people of Chipman took pity on him and the residents took turns taking care of him. However, the boy apparently became a problem. Instead of helping the people who cared for him, he took to petty theft and vandalism to amuse himself. Finally, the residents of Chipman got so fed up with the boy that they paid a freighter captain to take him aboard as a cabin boy. And the freighter captain supposedly took the money and once he was across the bay, put a life vest on the boy and tossed him over the side.
Mooney goes on to claim that when the people of Sandy Cove asked around about the boy, the people of Chipman all said, "Nope...doesn't ring a bell.". He goes on to speculate that the trauma of being disposed of caused him to keep his mouth shut and to act better. Mooney speculates that Nicholas either had an accident up on the mountain, or decided to commit suicide. Both of which perfectly explain the neatly folded shirt with a rock on it to keep it from blowing away.
So my friends, true or false? Is the story of Nicholas real, or did I make it up?
Stay tuned for the answer tomorrow.