Sunnyville History

Welcome to Sunnyville

Welcome to Sunnyville


Ester Meads, married to Tom Pelly from Newfoundland, originally from Whitehead, delivered and was the grandmother of Ainley Clyke.


War Years

Five men from Sunnyville were in the First World War: Jim Dorrington, Tom Clyke, Tom Pelly, Henry Borden and Archibald Clyke.  Archibald Clyke lived in Sunnyville until he died; lost in the woods at the age of 82.  Jim Clyke was overseas in the second world’s war.


Women’s Work-

Mothers worked out in Guysborough and Boylston; usually as domestic help.



The MacKeens of Aspen owned a mill there and box factory located behind the current Guysborough shopping Center.  They made fish boxes and carded wool there.  And the mill was powered with a steam engine boiler.


Guysborough was an active wharf in the memory of Sunnyville citizen Ainley Clyke.  There wasn’t any rail or car traffic in the 1920’s.  Mr. Ainley Clyke, born in 1928, remembers being a little boy and watched the first car drive by…A model T.”

Native Reservation

According to Sunnyville resident Ainley Clyke a lot of Indian people lived in Sunnyville .

A brook went right through and caught the Salmon River and went down to the salt water that’s where they had an Indian reservation. There must have been forty or fifty on the reserve.  There were Johnson’s and Bernard’s; Charlie Johnson and his family plus three or four more Johnson families.   There were Cremo’s.  There was one fella there, his name was John Cremo.  He was a big man.

They’d sit on the floor.  They’d cross their two feet like that and sit on the floor.  They had no chairs.  They were smart people.  They could make a lovely axe handle.  Or a peavey handle or pick axe handle.

They lived in little huts; some made out of poles and some made of boards and things.  But before that, he guesses it was wigwams.

Child’s Play

Families had gardens and some farm animals to tend.    They had ponds and skated in the winter.   Steve Pelly’s older brother was the first kid to have a real pair of skates in the area- they would take turns using them.  They made their own fun- making slides out of old car hoods.

The main sport was baseball

The old baseball field was located in Sunnyville.  There was a game called wicked they used to play where there would be 2 players per game. Each player would get a rock and place it on the side of the road while the other player would do the same on the other side. They would use a stick and a tennis ball. One player would hit the ball with the stick to try to hit the other players rock, if it did, then it was a wicked and the other player would be out. If it didn’t hit the rock, then that player would run from rock to rock as many times as they could before the other player got the ball. If the other player got the ball and touched the rock before the player got there, they would be out. Very similar to baseball.


Depression Years

During the depression there were people who would come to the house looking for food.  There was Government relief but it came in at 3.50 a week and that was no matter how many people were in the family- Steve Pelly was from a family of 21 children.

Food and Provisions

Community members had pigs and killed them in the fall.  The land in some areas was poor for farming and they mainly bought from stores in Guysborough: Jost store, Mark O’Connor store and Ernest Grants’ meat shop (where Wonder Store is currently).

There was a fish market in a building next to where the doctor’s office is currently located –It was in the building that used to be the Legion/Masonic hall.  The building was destroyed by fire in the 1970’s.

Fish was always available.  People peddled fish out the Tompkinsville Road and through to Sunnyville proper in the 1930’s.  One such peddler was Jim Dort of Dorts Cove.  Ernie Kennedy and the Shay family peddled food stuffs such as lamb, eggs and milk out in Sunnyville

Food was not overly abundant and Steve Pelly related that once he and his brother Gordon sold some berries (5 or 10 cents a quart) in town and bought toy balls with the money.  When they arrived home, his mother told them, “You bought the ball, you eat the ball for your supper.”


Wakes were held in peoples’ homes and the length of time that the wakes were held depended on the season and the state of the body.

Coffins were made in the barn that stands on the property of Stan MacDonald in Guysborough town- they were made by one George Horton circa 1936-35.


The postal service for Sunnyville has always been located in the village of Guysborough.  The community has had power since 1948 and has had telephone service since 1970.


The MT&T building on Main Street in Guysborough was a Dr. Office and the big white house located behind the building was also a Dr’s office. There were many Doctors that worked there on and off.

Dr Foley was the longest to stay and is currently still a doctor here. Dr.Foley has worked here for over 30 years.

Some of the other Doctors that were located here back then were, Dr MacLean, Dr Buckley and Dr Hall.

Healthcards were not around the Guysborough area until sometime around 1960, before that, you had to pay a fee for healthcare and the tax back then was 7%.



The members of the community made their own entertainment by having dances, social gatherings and Pie Socials.


The women would gather at a friends’ home and bake cakes, which was known as a Pie Social. While the women were baking, the men would gather at a friends’ home and play card games. When the cakes were finished, that night at the dance, which was located where the Sunnyville Community Hall is now, the men would auction off the cakes that the women baked.


On the weekends someone would host a house party where the men would gather and play instruments. (Guitars, Fiddles…etc) Also, the women would have their own house party where they would do quilting, rug hooking and knitting. Many times, the women would hold their parties at Olivia Dorringtons home in Sunnyville.