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Fraser family
Family · ca. 1820s-1949

Crows Nest is an area that stretches across both sides of the St. Mary's River near Waternish, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Crows Nest farm was settled in the ca. 1820s by Simon Fraser, who was born in Pictou in 1790 and migrated to the St. Mary's River valley. He married Ann MacLean and together they had four children: Malcolm (b. 1813); John (b. 1824); Hugh R. (b. 1826); and Simon (birthdate unknown). Hugh R., who was born in St. Mary's, married Ann McDaniel and inherited the family farm. They had seven children: Rebekah (b. 1858, d. 1924); Abigail (b. 1858); John (b. 1860); Margaret (Maggie) (b. 1863, d. 1949); Charles (b. 1867); Freeman (b. 1868); and Hugh (b. 1872). Hugh R., Ann, and their children continued farming through the first decade of the 20th century, and the couple died in 1913.

Rebekah Fraser married James Coffey in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1881 and was widowed. She returned to her parent’s farm at Crows Nest by the 1901 Census of Canada and lived in the community until her death in 1924.

Margaret (Maggie) Fraser immigrated to Chelsea, Massachusetts, sometime in the 1880s. There she married Herbert B. Smith, who was originally from Mount Denson, Nova Scotia, on 4 September 1895. He died in a tragic workplace accident in 1906, and the widowed Maggie returned home to the farm in Crows Nest by the 1911 Census of Canada.

Following the death of Hugh R. and Ann Fraser in 1913, and when sportsmen began frequenting the St. Mary's River region for hunting and fishing, Maggie Fraser Smith transitioned the farmhouse to an inn that accommodated sportsmen from around the world. According to Maggie’s death record, she operated the Crows Nest House, as the inn was called, until ca. 1937. She died in 1949 in a nursing home in Apple River, Cumberland County.