Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bear River: The Tidal Village on Stilts.


Last week I drove to Bear River, a village located near the Bay of Fundy.  My friend Margie, from Ontario, has rented a wonderful place there for a couple of months of R&R.

 I'm sure you're aware of Fundy's massive tides, but did you know that rivers that flow into Fundy are greatly affected by those tides ?  The Bear River flows into Fundy, but twice every day the rising tide causes the river to flow backwards as the salt water, influenced by the gravitation forces of the sun and moon and the rotation of the Earth.  The tides on the Bay of Fundy are semi-diurnal (two high waters and two low waters each day) and because of the shape and location of Fundy, the highest tides in the world are found here. 


Due to a lack of suitable flat land, the downtown area was built largely on piers and stilts or on artificially created land held back by retaining walls.   The high river tides (7 m) and readily available wood ensured that shipbuilding and lumbering became significant and prosperous industries.

Looking across Bear River at low tide,
toward the house Margie, was renting.

Bear River in more prosperous times.
In its hey day (1890's) Bear River had six shipyards and six lumber mills and a population of 1,200.  Many affluent homes were built along the steep hillsides on both sides of the river.  It was a "happenin' place".  


But the advent of steam engines and steel hulled-boats marked the end of the age of sail and the residents were left with logging as their main source of income.

This is the church in the middle left of the above photo.
A sad, literal, sign of the times.
Today I'm told that the population is 800.  I'm not sure where those 800 people are but I would have guessed it to be more like 200 at the most.

Breakfast on the balcony of Margie's place.
Notice that the river is not as low as in the second photo.
Heading over the bridge to the shops.
We check email over breakfast.
The main industry in Bear River now, is tourism.  The area is lousy with artists and creative types.  There are a couple of nice cafe/restaurants and a lovely gallery store displaying some wonderful art created by those artist/creative types.

One of them thar affuent homes on the hill.

"Flight of Fancy" -- the must-see gallery.



I found myself captivated by the image on the front of
this book about angels.

These were created by the owner of the gallery.


Stay tuned for more about Bear River and beyond.

23 comments:

  1. Sounds...and looks like the place to be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bear River really is a unique little village.

      Delete
  2. Wow! I want to visit there someday! It looks like a fairy tale village. ;)
    It's so cool to see it through your eyes.
    Flora

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You silly goof !

      It was wonderful meeting you Flora.

      Delete
  3. Very cool. Love that shot where the houses on stilts are reflected in the water...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dawn. I was fascinated by 'em.

      Delete
  4. Really nice and informative post on Bear River. I especially like the birds on rocks photo. I should like to try this, but don't know if I could do it justice. Two of my favourite things, birds and rocks. Thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I absolutely love Bear River....we visit several times each year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rangewriter -- it's a lovely place to visit. Bit too small for me.

    Thanks Flora.

    Dawn, I found it hard to stop taking shots of the buildings on stilts. They were fascinating.

    Bonnie, DO try your hand at the birds on rocks. Nothing ventured ...

    Sara, how long do you stay ? or are you close enough to get there and back again in a day ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for inviting us to Bear River. I wanted to eat breakfast on the balcony with you...and to view the houses on stilts...oh, yes, a lovely vacation, Ms. Sybil. Nice photos, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I know you'd love it there. I'd love to show it to you.

      Delete
  8. I too love Bear River, it's just one of those special places that make an impression on you the very first visit. Thanks for the trip there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Jackie. I'd heard you'd been there and met fellow blogger, Flora, who's blog "Our Bear River Adventure" first brought Bear River to my attention.

      Delete
  9. After breakfast on that balcony, I would like just sit there and watch the tide come and go all day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very relaxing Les as it takes a very long time to come and go ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an interesting post to read and place to visit. Your photos depict it well. I would love to visit the art gallery too. Thanks for the visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my that art gallery was wonderful.

      Delete
  12. I'll bet spending some time in a place like that would cure me of being so distractable. Cure me or drown me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the whole place is distracting Gerry. And what the heck is wrong with being distractable ? I bet you see lots of stuff that others miss as they stare straight ahead.

      Delete
  13. If I never get there, I'll be extra glad to enjoy this interesting place through your eyes. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cindy. Definitely worth the visitl

      Delete
  14. We visited bear river for the first time a few weekends ago to visit the winery and check out the market. What a pretty little town!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. I really do love to read your comments.