I found to my delight a photograph where I am actually sitting on my Great Grandfathers lap!
Records for Amedie appear to be missing. It has been impossible to locate his birth, marriage and death records. His name is otherwise everywhere; death and birth certificates for some of his children.
The following information was gleaned from an essay that my uncle, Amedie’s grandson Philip Arthur LeBlanc wrote and passed on to me.
My Great-Great Grandfather Amedie was described by his Grandson, Philip Arthur LeBlanc, as being a very thoughtful and determined man who was always ready to help his friends and especially his family. On a personal note, Amedie suffered from hay fever and asthma and in the evenings he would burn a funny smelling, yellow powder called Kellogg's Asthma Relief that he would inhale and it seemed to help him with his coughing and wheezing.
[Kellogg's Asthma Relief was an old-fashioned remedy for asthma containing the ingredients stramonium and lobelia. The ingredients were burned and inhaled to open constricted airways. They were sometimes combined with cannabis leaves (marijuana). There were even stramonium cigarettes for asthmatics to smoke. Side effects of stramonium include dry skin and mouth, dilated pupils, problems with urination, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations. For these reasons, the Food and Drug Administration has not permitted medications with stramonium for many years.]
Amedie was a jack-of-all trades; farmer, cattle rancher, butcher, millwright, sawyer. He was a mixed farmer; meaning that he grew crops and tended livestock. These types of small scale farmers made up the biggest, poorest and most environmentally sustainable agricultural system in the world. As well, in the fall, after the harvest, he was heavily involved with logging and operating sawmills. Amedie was both an accomplished Millwright and Sawyer (A Millwright is a craftsman or tradesman who installs, dismantles, repairs, reassembles, and moves machinery in factories, power plants, and construction sites and a Sawyer is a person who saws timber for a living.
When he was 20 years old (1898), he and his brother Anselm Luc (AKA: Sam or Sammy) set off on their own and after moving north to Weymouth from Ohio, began purchasing parcels of land. One particular large tract of land, about 2 square miles, located east of Weymouth, on the east end of Hogan road, proved to be a very lucrative investment because in 1912, the Dominion Atlantic Railway was building a railway right through this same property and was buying up land for good prices. Eventual sparks from a train engine was said to have caused a wild fire and the entire property was consumed in flames, destroying all the vegetation in the area. Over the next few years however, the property became excellent grazing land and after the railway fenced in the line, people brought in their cattle from miles away to graze there in the summer. Many years later, the property eventually became a large forest with a good array of both deciduous and coniferous trees and Amedie founded a steam powered mill to process the lumber. The whole LeBlanc family was involved in different types of sawmills, whether they be steam, compressed steam or run by water on a water wheel usually set up on a river of large stream.
Amedie was a great conservationist and would not tolerate wasted lumber or willful damage to young trees. When hiring people to log and cut pulp wood they had to go to a four inch top diameter and the remaining tree would be available for anyone to salvage for free firewood. He also sold prepared firewood, hardwood in 4 foot lengths and also 16 inch ready for stove or furnace. Uncle Philip spent a lot of his free time at the camp with his Grandfather.
He married Irene Octavie Gaudet (1881-1924) around the turn of the century, 1900 and fathered twelve children. Irene gave birth to nine boys and three girls and the youngest son Nelson, born in 1921, suffered from epilepsy and had to be carefully monitored throughout his life. In 1924, during the birth of their last child Theresa, there were complications and Mother Irene passed away three weeks afterwards. So Amedie was left to raise the 12 kids. Catherine, who was about 19 and Lucy Margaret, 14 pitched in and helped run the household while Amedie and some of the boys took care of the farm. After Irene’s death, Amedie’s sister, Marie Eveline Gaudet and her husband Mande Gaudet took on the duties of looking after baby Nelson until his death in 1942. Initially, Amedie’s brother took care of the newborn Theresa but that didn’t work out so she moved in with Sam and his family and lived there for the remainder of her childhood believing that Sam was her father and that all of her brothers and sisters next door were only cousins. She eventually married Isaac Amero in 1946 and moved to the USA.
In those days, cattle and pigs were slaughtered on site by both Amedie and Sam, usually in the late fall and the meat was generally pickled or smoked. At the beginning of the Second World War, Amedie had about 80 head of cattle, a pair of oxen and a heavy horse. Three of his sons joined the war effort and after five years, most of the livestock had been sold. Every year, while his sons were overseas, he would plant large vegetable gardens, enough to sustain the son’s families. He always made sure that there was enough root vegetables to hold out for the winter. As well, every fall each family had a pig to slaughter and on some occasions, a cow would be slaughtered. As far as I know, the three sons returned alive from the war.
Amedie's huge white house still stands. He and his brother built it themselves and incorporated a full basement, 2 1/2 stories and it measured about 60 feet long. Amedie lived on one side and the other end, near the barn, was his brother Sam, and later another relative named Felix replaced Sam. In 1997, my Great Uncle Philip lived in Amedie's old place, the other side being rented out.
The house looks great but the barn is in poor shape. The barn was actually built first and Amedie and Sam lived in there while they constructed the house.
Their wives, Octavie and Edith were both seamstress’ and employed by local tailors in Weymouth.
Amedie’s existence is positively documented in a few Canadian censuses. In 1881, in the Province of Nova Scotia, Digby county, St Bernard, he was 4 years old; again in 1891 (same place) at 14 years of age. Note that in all known records his name is spelled differently. In the 1881 census his name looks like Amuei & in 1891, Medi and again in 1901 Media. His relatives spell it a few different ways as well; Amedie, Amede, Amedee. This initially made it difficult to find his name in the records. In 1901 he was recorded as living in Weymouth Bridge with his wife and his brother Anselme (Sam) & wife Edith.
Joint owner of 1 x Water powered sawmill (Griffiths, now demolished), Owner of 2 x Steam powered Sawmills, 1 x 1st electric sawmill in Digby County, original site property of Evelyn LeBlanc only mounting for the huge electric motor left. Weymouth, Digby County.
Amedie is buried in the St Joseph Cemetery, with his wife beside him and he also shares his plot with a few other family members. On the front you have him, his wife and my Great Uncle Philip and on the back of the headstone there are 3 other names: Joseph Nelson, Pte Gustave J. and Pte Richard C. You can easily see the headstone from the road.
Joseph Bernard - b.1901
Frederick Joseph - b.1902-d.1970
Mary Catherine - b.1903
Charles Edward - b.1905
Lucie Marguerite - b.1908
Sgt Philip Luc - b.1910-d.2004 (WW2 Veteran)
Pte Charles Richard (Bing) - b.1914 (WW2 Veteran)
Amedee Adolphe (Ike) - b.1915
Pte Joseph Gustave - b.1919 (WW2 Veteran)
Joseph Albert - b.1917
Joseph Nelson - b.1921-d.1942 (Epileptic)
Theresa Rosalie - b.1924