I remember going blueberry picking in the bush near the cottage in Britt when I was eight or nine. Mom carries baskets. Dad carries peanuts in shells. We always bring Princess with us, my great-Aunt Ireneâ€™s German Shepherd. Princess leads the way over the granite and moss, into the desolate, dense back bushes on the coast of Georgian Bay, guarding us from the possibility of walking into sleeping black bears or sunning massasauga rattlers.
These are some of the stories I’ve collected of my grandfather, William Lamondin, growing up in a lighthouse.
The LamondinÂ family has lived in Britt, Ontario since before the town had this name. I’ve heard stories about when Britt was a logging town, when the coal docks were the centre of activity, when the railway was installed, when electricity arrived, and when the lighthouse became automated and no longer required a keeper. AsÂ my parents drive up and down the Britt road, they recite histories of the buildings and the families, sometimes going back a hundred years.