Book Launch: Nova Scotia Ghosts and Great Stories

Millie Macumber was a long time telephone operator in Maitland in the days when the operators, known as ‘central’ often worked alone. They knew practically everything that went on in the communities as listening in was almost a part of their job. This night a call came in for Gwen and Eugene Hirtle. When Millie answered and forwarded it on, there was no answer at the Hirtle home. The caller then said she would call again to which Millie replied that she didn’t need to bother; the Hirtles were away for the weekend and wouldn’t be home until Sunday night.

That’s just one of the stories you’ll find in Hattie Dyck’s book, Best Kept Secrets – From a Generation Past (2010, 231 pages). It includes home remedies, old traditions, community stories, news events, ghost stories and much more.

Here’s a wee bit more:

There was molasses in an old wooden puncheon (barrel), bananas (in summer) on a large stock which hung from the store ceiling, ice in the nearby ice house, 90 lb blocks of cheese, kerosene oil in the outside oil house, and coal in the coal shed.Hattie Dyck

That’s just some of the wide variety of items that was offered in the J. S. Davidson’s General Store in Debert.

James Davidson started the large store in the 1920’s during the depression years when many had a tab there and could only pay once a month.

In Hattie’s own words, she states, “It’s important that we remember the struggles, the glory and the hardships of those who came before us. We are challenged to also remember and respect the trials and tribulations they suffered to build this nation which we enjoy today.”

Hattie was born in Shubenacadie, NS, and raised at Lower Selma. The mother of nine children, former school teacher and former reporter for The Chronicle Herald, both in Dartmouth and Truro, continues to write as a columnist for the Truro Daily News.

Hattie’s eighth book, Nova Scotia Ghosts and Great Stories, will be launched Saturday January 28, 2012 between 2pm and 4pm at St. Andrew’s United Church, King Street, Truro. The price is $20 (no tax). Three dollars of each book sale will be donated to the church’s benevolent fund to help the homeless.

Nova Scotia Ghosts and Great Stories is filled with short and entertaining stories that capture life in rural Nova Scotia. It contains three sections: ghost stories, great stories, and critter stories.

After January 28th, Hattie’s newest book will be available at MacQuarrie’s (Truro), Nova Scotia Emporium (Prince St., Truro),  Conley’s Store (Noel), Anthony’s Freshmart (Kennetcook), Glooscap Trading Post, Glooscap Heritage Centre (Truro) and from the author. Best Kept Secrets – From a Generation Past and Hattie’s other books are also available at most of these locations, as well as, Coles, Truro and at several local libraries.

Hattie is an indie publisher, writing and publishing all her books because they fall under the radar of traditional publishers. She can be contacted by email: and by telephone: 902-897-6587.

The Wednesday January 25, 2012 issue of The Weekly Press , Enfield, NS has an article detailing Hattie’s writing history and her latest book.

3 thoughts on “Book Launch: Nova Scotia Ghosts and Great Stories

  1. Sounds like a book I’d enjoy reading, Diane. Oh how I remember the stories about calling Central. Growing up, we were on party lines and had crank telephones.

    Wow! That really made me feel old… 🙂


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