"Down By The Old Mill Stream" by Janis Davis
It was located at the mouth of South West Brook, That ran into Alexander Bay, Almost by our Burry's Point doors. They spend most of the long summers days(When not swimming on the Beach farther away) playing in and around brook, which was shallow, and safe for children. There would be a "boom" of logs, waiting to the taken inside the mill to be sawed into lumber and a favorite pastime of ours would be running across those logs in our barefeet. I can still feel the knots which was hard to avoid, as we had to jump from logs to logs quickly, before the log went into bottom. This was called "Flipsying" in our Newfoundland Vocabulary. Also we had a fun rowing in the Flat-bottomed boats called "Dories". We could not always handle them properly, so it was easy to be throw into the water, of course we did not blame ourselves. We said the boats were "Cranky". Maybe the best fun of all was playing in the "Shoat", The trough through which the water was brought to the mills, to turn the large Wheel, provide the power to set the machines in motion. This shoat was about four feet wide and two feet high, It was about twevle or fifteen feet high, went across the main road, all the way to the dam up the brook, a distance of two hundred feet or more. When the water was turned off, we laying in the shoat. Which was dry then, we even had pinics there. When the water was running, We also had fun there too. We had to be in the dam in order to get in the shoat. One day Louise Burry dropped her bathing suit in the shoat, by accident, and naturally. It was carried out to the mill, went through the water wheel, and was later retriedned before going out to the Alexander Bay. As I writing this I am filled with Nostalgia. "Those were the days!" "Down by Old Mill Stream" is not an empty Phrase - It is a loaded with meaning.
Written by Janis Davis, in Summer of 1987.