My Grandmother Eva Selina McDonald

On this day 135 years ago, my grandmother, Eva Selina McDonald, was born in the family home in the hamlet of Liscomb Mills, a place reached at that time only by ship, horseback and cart. The name reveals the main industry that pumped money and people into the area. There were several mills within walking distance, including one across the brook from where Eva was born.

Eva was the daughter of Jane Baker and William Aaron McDonald and the granddaughter of Martha and William McDonald.

Though I truly never knew her, I sense she knew hard work at a young age. I feel she was an adventurous girl who grew into a woman who loved nature and the simple things in life. My mother met her in 1949, and she told me Nan would go off on her own, wandering in the woods for hours on end. No one knew where she went or when she’d return.

I’m not sure if Nan came to this activity on her own or was influenced by her grandmother Martha, a Mi’kmaq woman. What I find interesting is that before my mother told me the stories of her wanderings, I was doing the same thing in the forest surrounding my childhood home. By the time I was 14, I’d wander into the woods, following one path then another to explore and to just be in the forest. Sometimes I’d be gone only an hour or two. Other times, I’d be wander for seven or eight hours.

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