William Brophy and Katherine Ryan

To View Dorothy Brophy Knight's Family Tree CLICK HERE
To View Janet Brophy Slaunwhite's Family Tree CLICK HERE
To View Margaret Brophy Blackburn's Family Tree CLICK HERE
To View Cecil Blackburn's Family Tree CLICK HERE

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Brophy Family Photo Kate Brophy Photo Mary Anne Ryan Photo Theresa Norris Photo Old Brophy House Photo

Growing up on the rocky shores of Lower Prospect families were close, and none more so than the Brophy's. William Brophy and Katherine Ryan had six children, one boy, William, and five girls, Margaret, Mary, Lyla, Dorothy and Janet. As the Brophy family grew up life in Lower Prospect was simple, most families fished and the residents were content. There were only a few other houses in the cove, owned by either Norris', Ryan's or Brophy's, most of whom were related.

These families had migrated over the years from Mars Island, to Ryan Island and finally onto the mainland to settle the village of Lower Prospect. Ancestors of the Brophy's were living on Mars Head in 1893 when the S.S. Atlantic went down on its shores. The original family homestead of their mothers family was at one time the village school- house, close by had been the location of the original church in the area, although that had long gone by the time the Brophy children arrived. They all remember their parents lovingly. Their Father fished up until 1950, while their Mother kept a simple, but perfect home.

Young William, Billy, used to help Dad out with the fishing and chores around the fish store. The girls were kept busy with chores to help Mom run the house. Margaret, affectionately called Babe, recalls scrubbing the clothes on the washboard under the cold water from the original well at the bottom of the hill. There used to be a flat rock right under where the water came out of the ground she remembers.

Their Mother was a true homemaker. With very limited income she always provided for her young family. Working long hours to clean cook and care for everyone, Katherine still found time to teach each of her daughters to sew, knit, crochet and cook. The children loved the outdoors, but would never stray too far. They spent all of their free time in the summer swimming, playing games and making camps along the shore. Favourite winter activities included skating and sleigh coasting.

Their parents knew the importance of education. Everyday the children would walk the 2 kilometres to the school at the crossroads in Terence Bay, and then walk home for lunch and back for the afternoon. Most of the Teachers at that time were Nuns belonging to the Sisters of Charity from the Star of the Sea Convent. Dorothy, affectionately known as Chook, remembers being taught by Sister Veronica Marie from grade primary to grade 6. School would be cancelled in really severe storms, although the Brophy children remember going in all weathers.

Growing up, the closest store would have been Miss Umlah's or Miss Little's in Terence Bay. Whatever was needed, the children would be sent to the store. Around 1946 Aunt Alice Brophy opened a small general store in Lower Prospect. Chook and Babe both recall their Mother regularly making arrangements to pay one of the few car owners in Terence Bay for a drive into Halifax, which is where she would buy most of the supplies the family needed. Mr. Rhuda and his son used to make door-to-door deliveries at one time, as did Carl Crowe. The children would get milk from Miss Little's although at one point in time their Aunt Ada Ryan used to own a cow on the far side of the cove. Chook recalls vividly being scared to death of the cow.

The family regularly attended services at Star of the Sea and the church played a big part in their family life. At that time there were about ten Nuns living at the convent and they were extremely active in the community. Several halls accompanied the convent, situated next to the church. One large one that was used for community gatherings and functions and two smaller ones used as training facilities flanked the road. On one side was the men's woodworking hall and on the other the women's craft hall, where the Nuns taught weaving and nursing. As teenagers the Brophy girls remember dances at Harries Hall at the bottom of Back Bay Hill, and in the Star of the Sea Hall -which is where Chook met her husband Reg Knight. They also recall fondly "Buddies Canteen" as a great place to meet friends, listen to the jukebox and share an order of fish and chips and a bottle of coke.

Billy started fishing with his Father when he was about 14 years old. One by one the girls started working too. Mary, Babe and Chook all got jobs at Moirs chocolate factory. At the time there were a lot of people from the area working at Moirs, so it was never a problem for the girls to get a drive to work from someone in Terence Bay. In 1950 their father gave up fishing and went to work in Halifax for National Sea Products. Transportation finally lead the family to make some changes, which resulted in them packing up and moving into Halifax to live.

At first the younger Brophy's found it exciting to live in the city, but it Lower Prospect was always their home and they returned often. The family returned to Lower Prospect upon the death of their father. They moved back to the family home, although by this time they were each forming relationships of their own. As the Brophy children married most of them stayed close to Lower Prospect, except for Lyla, who made her home in Cape Breton until her death in 2002.

Over time the Brophy's have seen Lower Prospect grow and change. Today they reveal that it often feels as if the village has been invaded by tourists, who flock into the area to enjoy the natural splendour, that used to be enjoyed only by the people who lived there. Residents sometimes feel as if the village is on display. The constant stream of traffic is proof that the original settlers who chose the location, chose wisely.

The Brophy family has remained very close over the years. The sisters enjoy each others company and share the special bonds of raising their families in such a unique community.