MacDonald-MacLean House
Kempt Head Road

Alec MacDonald, son of Eoin (gaelic for John) MacDonald, built this farmstead in 1890. He married a Scottish mail-order bride, and had a son, Jimmy, who married 'a girl from North River'. The house was purchased by its current owners from Harriet and Murdock MacDonald (formerly of Mira). A fire on the property in 1958 started when small children took matches from residents that smoked and lit a cream can full of hay and popsicle sticks on fire in the barn. All the residents and neighbours, as well as workers on the Seal Island Bridge who boarded with residents and neighbours, formed a bucket brigade to a nearby well in order to save the house. The closest fire department was in Big Bras d'Or: firefighters arrived after the fire was contained. The barn was lost, but due to a favourable wind, the homestead was saved.

Architectural Comment

This is a vernacular two storey house with two double-hung casement front windows, a front veranda, and a side ell with one single casement window. There is a dormer and one inset chimney. The house had retained its original windows when the current owner moved in. The sills are from beams in an old barn. Recent changes have included: roof, plumbing, wiring, windows & doors, vinyl siding, new flue.

Contextual Comment

This was a farmhouse with various outbuildings (none of which remain) including a sawmill. The sawmill was already torn down in 1958 when fire destroyed the last original outbuilding, the barn.

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