The 1863 Lake Map. Lot 3. Source: Note Centerline Road is marked "Proposed Road"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hayes Paving Co., Alma

Above: Hayes Paving Co. - note Alma Baptist Church on the left in Background.
Photo cf. Donna Barbour MacPhee Collection
            Hayes Paving Co. began operations in Alma around 1956 with the building of a work yard which had crushing machines, an asphalt plant, workshops, stockpiles, etc.  This was located on the Western Road where the Cheese Factory Road meets the western Road next to the railroad tracks.  
            Stanford and Gertrude McNeill leased the land to Hayes Paving Co. - this farmland once belonged to Pat MacIntyre - the farmhouse and buildings were located where George MacNeill's house is today.
            The plant was situated to take advantage of rail transportation to bring in tar and gravel.   Hayes had their own rail siding, number D68A – the public siding was a few hundred feet northward by Centerline Road and numbered D68B.
            Many local and nearby men worked at Hayes Paving Co. – to name a few: Keith Bowness (night watchman), Ralph Costain, Ernie Currie, Ralph Duggan, Isaac Dunbar, Clarence Dunn, Wilfred Dunn, Ken Graham, Irving Henderson, Sandy MacLean, Lem MacLellan, Stanford McNeill, Earl Matthews, Jimmy Rix.  
            When Hayes moved in the parishioners of the Alma Baptist Church thought the plant too close to the church - the plant produced alot of dust and pollution.   
            When the old Alma train flag station was closed it was sold to Archie Dunbar who later sold it to Hayes who used it as a shortage shed ( see earlier blogpost ).
            Hayes Paving Co. was sold to H.I. Construction in the early 1990's – it was operated by the Dawson family of Crapaud who carried on road construction here.   In peak season the operation employed near 30 people.   In the spring of 2013 H.I. Construction closed and sold to local interests.  

Changes in 2013

     In 2013 three life-long residents of Alma, elders of the community, moved to nearby towns = Willie & Wanda Dunbar; Wilbert & Verna Jeffery; and Barbara Rayner.
     Willie was born, raised (with three brothers) and spent most of his life on the family farm on the Dunbar Road - living there for more than 70 years.  Willie farmed here along with driving the school bus.  Willie and Wanda sold the house and barns in the summer of 2013 and moved to O'Leary.
     Wilbert was brought up in Lauretta on a family farm with seven siblings.  Shortly after marrying Verna they bought David & Bessie Jeffery's farm the summer of 1963 following David's death.  It's at the corner of Centerline and Dunbar Roads.  Wilbert and Verna lived here 50 years raising seven children. They moved to Alberton in May 2013 - now renting the farm as a Holiday House.  
     Barbara was born, raised and spent her life here on the family farm at Alma corner - having lived there for more than 70 years.  She was an only child.  Barbara and John farmed as well, Barbara taught school and John drove the school bus - they raised three children.  Following John's death she moved to Alberton, having tenants in the house for the winter.