The Harvey Homestead in the heart of beautiful Seal Cove village has been the family home to 4 generations of Harveys. Built in 1896 by Colin Harvey and his wife Blanche Russell, it was renovated in the 1970s, and is owned by his great-great grandchildren. The house is perfect for families or groups of families who want lots of space and the comforts of home. Seal Cove is the southernmost village on Grand Manan, home to
the nicest sand beach and the historic Seal Cove seawall.
The Harvey Homestead is well used and well loved. While it may be spacious, it is not fussy. You can kick back and relax here, especially with kids. Bring your favourite games and DVDs for the playroom, while the grown-ups relax in the living room. Two of the three bedrooms have plenty of room for portable baby cribs, and we provide one pack-and-play for your convenience (but not the blankets). We also provide a booster seat for the kitchen table (attaches to the chair).
The big yard (not fenced) is great for playing yard games, so bring these as well. The verandah swing off the kitchen gets the morning sun. It is perfect for that first coffee of the day, while you watch the comings and goings of villagers as they go about their day. Be sure to say hi.
There is lots of paved parking. If you are travelling with bikes or kayaks, you can store them in the barn without worry.
As you come down over the hill into Seal Cove, the picturesque village lays before you. It was once the heart of thriving smoked herring and sardine export industries, both supported by the iconic herring weir fishery. The Harvey family was part of all of these, as well as boat building and repair. You will find a trail guide in the house to help you get the most out of your island experience. Please use it well, and leave it behind for our next guests. If you want more information, much of this history is beautifully interpreted in the Grand Manan Museum in Grand Harbour, including artifacts from the Harvey and Bleumortier fish business.
The Seal Cove Brook flows behind the house down to the Bay of Fundy. Where the two meet is called the Seal Cove Crick, a 5 minute walk from the house. Turn left and walk across the wooden bridge to The Seawall, which was the site of the smoked herring industry. The Harvey family's "fish stand," as the collection of stringing, boning and smoke sheds were called, is immediately on your right and in front, as you cross the bridge. It was sold in the 1990s after a century of providing a livelihood for the family. Many other families also had fish stands on the seawall, including the Smalls, McLaughlins, and Cooks. This industry, which supported most of the families in the village in season, died out in the 1970s, but the architecture remains, providing a ghostly sense of times past. In the 1990s, the Seawall was designated a national historic site although no funds were provided to keep it up.
A 5 minute walk along the Seawall brings you to the Seal Cove sand beach, the nicest on the island. At low tide, the exposed beach is over 1 kilometre in length, but at high tide, it almost disappears. Visit the beach at various times of day and stages of the tide, in sun and fog - each time will be different and magical.
You will find the Seal Cove breakwater where all the fishing boats tie up, down the Breakwater Road, perpendicular to the two white churches on the hill. Sea Watch Tours sails out of this port, and you won't want to miss whale-watching with Captain Peter Wilcox and Mate Durlan Ingersoll. In June they also take tours to Machias Seal Island, a bird sanctuary for puffins, guillemots, and terns. You have to book way ahead for this time-and people-limited excursion.
A bit further south is Deep Cove, the prettiest drive on the island with its views of the Seal Cove Sound and Wood Island. Jack Tar's Cave is a little known Deep Cove treasure, which the trail guide should help you find. Don't miss the Deep Cove Beach, less sandy and more difficult to access than the Seal Cove beach, but also more dramatic, with bigger waves and interesting tide effects.
A bit further along is Southern Head or Southwest Head. Islanders and visitors alike come here to watch the sunset across the Grand Manan Channel, which separates our Canadian island from the State of Maine. Look carefully and you can see the radar towers in Cutler, Maine, and the disputed Machias Seal Island, which both Canada and the United States claim. This is the site of the "grey zone" where both Canadian and American boats fish lobster side by side, and not always amicably. You can take trails in both directions across the cliffs of Southern Head for spectacular views.
Going "up the road" from the Harvey Homestead, the Brookside Golf Course (9-hole) and mini-golf are just a few minutes walk. You can buy ice cream at the office. Turn right and a short drive will take you to Red Point, the site of a geological contact, where two rock formations meet. Look off Red Point to Wood Island and bit further out, White Head. A trail to your left as you come down the hill to the point is the Boardwalk trail. It takes you from Red Point to Long Pond Beach and the Anchorage Provincial Park. Just before you get to the beach, you will find nestled among the trees, the fishermen's memorial which recognizes those who lost their lives at sea, plying their trade.
Seal Cove is the quiet village, perhaps less explored than the others, but with more magic than you can experience in any one visit. With the Harvey Homestead as your base, you will get to know and love this southern end of Grand Manan.
Grand Manan, Nowy Brunszwik, Kanada