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Monday, December 27, 2010

Advocate - Light on My History.

Advocate Harbour is my father's home village.  To my father, all of Cumberland County was "God's Country" and throughout his life he kept going back, enriching his own family's life with the community of people he loved that lived between the forest and the sea.  The old homestead was in the village near Murphy's general store, across the street from the John Sheffield place.  Having sold the house and lands in the mid-1960s for about $1,000, he later bought the home built in 1888 by Captain and shipbuilder Joshua Dewis located above the Chignecto Park entrance in West Advocate.  

One of Joshua Dewis' grandsons was Rhodes Dewis.  Rhodes and wife Phyllis, lived a few houses down shore from us.  Rhodes was then in his eighties.  We quickly became good friends and before Phyllis and Rhodes sold their place to live in an assisted living facility in Parrsboro - before they parted, they gave me the wonderful gift of an oil lamp from the 1870s.  "It goes with the old house" Rhodes told me.  The lamp belonged to Rhodes' grandfather Joshua, builder of the famous ship, 'Mary Celeste.'   I treasure this lamp, that burns so brightly with the light of pure history and friendship on the wildest nights, when the power goes out - like it did last night....


  1. We are moving here in May ...this is great! The photos are tremendous. very hard to find old pics of the town....I am currently building a webiste concerning Advocate, Spencers Island and the area...can we talk about perhaps me using a few of your photo?! was great seeing these..
    Garfield Strong

  2. This is a touching little post. The postcard photos are beautiful. Can you date them?
    My Great Grandfather was born in Advocate, and some of his children were too, or grew up there for some years. He was somewhat involved in sailing and perhaps shipbuilding, and our research shows he was raised in one of the Morris families in the area.

  3. Paul, the cards here are circa 1900-1910. Thanks for visiting!

  4. My name is John Dewis. I am Rhodes' brother John Dewis' grandson with the same name. I remember visiting Rhodes as a child in Advocate. Also visiting the old house they grew up in. I live in Victoria bc now. My son now has Rhodes as his middle name. It was very neat to stumble upon this. Also neat to see that someone else is interested in Joshua and the Mary Celeste!

  5. My name is John Dewis and I live in the UK. Does anyone know where Joshua Dewis's ancestors came from. Was it the UK and if so what part.