The properties are located at Barrachois, Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia. They are approximately 20 miles from North Sydney, 25 miles from Sydney, and about 30 miles from the Sydney Airport.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION (6 PID's as follows):
- 1. PID #15554140 (Long Island Road Property):
About 2/3 Acre (27,000 square feet), on a pond giving access to the Bras d’Or Lakes. Suitable for a boathouse, but not a residence. Access by paved highway.
- 2. PID #15554025:
Originally 100 acres, about 10 acres sold off. Portions of the lower section, elev. approximately 50’ to 250’, were farmed from about 1845 to 1880. Excellent view from “The Ridge” of the mountain. Access by paved highway and by Ferguson Road at the rear.
- 3. PID #15189012:
Originally 100 acres, about 8 acres sold off. Portions of the upper section, elev. approximately 500’, were farmed from about 1845 to 1890. Excellent view from The Ridge, contains part of Ferguson Lake, and the “Donald Laing Road”, giving access between the the top of the mountain and the lower sections. Access by paved highway and by Ferguson Road at the rear.
- 4. PID #15554082:
Nominal 99 acres, most likely about 70 acres. Portions of top of property farmed from about 1845 to about 1890. Contains part of Ferguson Lake, the outlet brook, and a waterfall of about 175 feet. Excellent view from the Ridge. There is also a steep access road giving access from the top, to the lower sections of the property, through PID #15188840 (#5 below). Access by paved highway and Barrachois Glen Road.
- 5. PID #15188840:
Nominally 100 acres, but most likely about 60 acres. Portions of the property were farmed from about 1845 to 1930. Excellent view from the Ridge. Access from Barrachois Glen Road.
- 6. PID #15189038:
This property is approximately 90 acres, all at the top of the mountain, toward the rear of the previous properties. Portions of the property were farmed in the mid to latter 1800’s. It is generally a “forest resource property.” Access is by the Ferguson Road.
ELEVATION & GEOLOGICAL INFO:
#1 Property is about 2 to 5’ above sea level.
The Northwest 1/3 of Properties #2 to #5 range from about 30’ to 200’ elevation.
There is then a steep rise from about 200’ to about 525’ at “The ridge”, with the rear section of these properties between 500 and 525’.
The lower sections of the property are underlain with weathered shale, while the upper sections are underlain with rock, and overlain with glacial material.
Properties #2 to #5 have high speed WiFi Internet access.
Single and 3 phase power are available along the paved highway, Route 223. Single phase power is available to Property #5. There is no power service to Property #6.
ON-SITE POWER GENERATION POTENTIAL
The stream from the Ferguson Lake traverses #4 Property. There is a vertical fall of about 175 feet, requiring approximately 750 feet of pipe to send water to a turbine generator. Available flows are estimated to be about 3 cubic feet per second, capable of generating about 25 kW. This should be adequate for 3 to 6 homes, depending on the appliances and usage patterns.
EXISTING ROADS ON PROPERTIES
A new road, “The Black Road”, was built from Rte 223, starting on #2 Property, then on to #3 Property for about 800 feet. This road is passable by automobile. The road continues about 200’ to “The Old Highway” that was abandoned around 1900. It crosses Properties #2 to #5. The roadbed is in generally good condition, but it has been grown over. It needs re-surfacing and two culverts to be fully useable.
Sometime between about 1870 and 1890, Donald Laing built a road down the mountain, across his property and on to his brother Andrew’s property. This road can be connected to the Old Highway with a 600’ section of new roadway. The estimated cost for rebuilding the Donald Laing Road, the new section of road, a section of Old Highway, and the “connector road” to the top of the existing 800’ “Black Road.” Roadwork required to permit a road way allowing a passenger car, and a concrete mixer truck to drive from Route 223 to “The Ridge” is estimated to cost $50K CAD.
The “Donald Laing Road” continues along the top of the mountain, about 900’, to Ferguson Lake, but it is now grown in, and needs to be cleared.
Hugh Johnson made a road in the 1850 to 1860 time frame, from his home, southerly of Ferguson Lake, to the northwest, and down the side of the mountain to the lands of his brother Malcolm. This roadway still exists, and is grown in, but is steep in places.
The rear sections of properties 2 and 3, and property 6 are accessible via the Ferguson Road. There is a road from the Ferguson Road into Ferguson Lake.
The properties total 400+ acres of contiguous land, plus an additional parcel, that provides a location for a boathouse, giving access to the Bras d’Or lakes. Features of the Properties include:
- Ferguson Lake:
This lake is about 900 feet long, about 300 feet wide, and is locally known as a good place for trout fishing. It is entirely within the bounds of the property
- Power Generation Capability:
The stream from Ferguson Lake falls from about elev 500’ down to sea level, but there is a steep section where it falls about 175 feet. With about 750 feet of pipe, the stream water can be directed through a turbine generator to generate about 25 kW
There is a variety of tree cover.. White and Black Spruce, Balsam Fir, White and Yellow Birch, Poplar, Red and Sugar Maple, Eastern Hemlock, White Pine, White Ash, Red Oak, Moose Maple, etc.
- Log Cabin Trees:
There are many uniform and straight trees that would be excellent for building Log Cabins.
There are many locations where Chanterelle, Boletus, and other mushrooms can be found in season. In addition, one of the world's most nutrient dense superfoods, Chaga, has been found in several places on the property.
- Interesting Plants:
Some of these plants include Pitcher Plants, Chinese Pipes, Dogbane, and the medicinal plant Gold Thread.
- Excellent Views:
Because of the elevation, and steep fall-off, there is an excellent view from “The Ridge”, showing wonderful sunsets. From these locations, one overlooks the Barrachois Glen, the Bras d’Or Lakes, Boularderie Island, and the Cape Breton Highlands.
- View of Anchorage:
One can anchor a Sailboat at Barrachois Harbour, and from the deck of a future home built on “The Ridge, one can see the sailboat.
- Internal Roads:
The property has an existing road, running about 800 feet from Route 223, to give initial access to the property. Additionally there is the existing road from Ferguson Road into the Lake. There is an abandoned Government Highway, running across the properties. There are two roadways, requiring minor repairs, allowing access from the lower portions of the property to the higher portions. A short section of new road would provide driving access from Route 223 to the top of the mountain.
White Tailed Deer are common on the property. Bald Eagles frequently over fly it. Beavers have a small dam on Ferguson Lake.
- Agricultural Potential:
In years gone by, there were 3 farms on the lower sections of the property, and two farms “on the top”. The most recent farm was abandoned in the late 1920’s. The fields are now generally grown in. However, they would have been de-stoned, to remove larger rocks that interfere with plowing. We guess that there would be about 30 acres of land that could be brought back into agricultural production.
- Development Potential:
Depending on the Owner’s goals, portions of the property that were not important to the Owners overall plan could be sold off to defray the initial cost. Perhaps 4 to 8 lots could be sold on “The Ridge”, while a larger number of lots could be developed in the lower areas of the property.
- Privacy and Security:
The population density in the area is very low and the size of the property ensures privacy.
INTERESTING HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
In the 19th century three families found themselves in the all too recognizable posture of living in a European period of revolution, almost constant wars, and social upheaval. In fact in times that are clearly similar with the early twenty first century, breeding a discontent that led to increasing anxiety and finally - the decision to emigrate to the New World.
The families of Malcolm Johnson, Don Laing, and MacAulay joined a growing throng of fed up Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans and Scandinavians anxious to find land, a measure of freedom and religious tolerance by shipping out for North America - and the New World!
Nearly 260 years later people have begun to make the same decisions, facing the same ugly trends and reaching the same conclusions that motivated those stalwart pioneers of the nineteenth century. And this property of more than 400 acres, overlooking The Bras d'Or and with the evidence still recognizable of the efforts of Don Laing and his neighbors, is a work for the modern pioneers and an opportunity to build a small outpost community in Cape Breton.
Water - a lake, a forest of firs and hardwoods, the opportunity to raise animals, farm cleared sections of the forest, build totally private homes, and be comfortably under the radar of Big Brother is what is here.