ST. MARY’S — Two detachments of the RCMP are investigating at least two incidents of roadside arson along Highway 347, between the communities of Aspen and Garden of Eden, over the Easter weekend that have left residents worried and angry.
“A bridge fire in Denver was reported to [Guysborough County District RCMP] at 3:15 a.m. on April 9, 2023,” said Corporal Chris Marshall, provincial public information officer for the RCMP. “A garbage box was [also] set on fire between 11 p.m. on April 8 and 6 a.m. on April 9 on Sherbrooke Rd. in Garden of Eden and was reported to Pictou County District RCMP at 12:45 p.m. on April 12.”
Margaret MacDonald, who lives in Eden Lake, told the Journal last week that the incidents show a pattern of escalating vandalism in the area.
“Oh, it most definitely is [intensifying]…. The first I was aware of it, a bunch of mailboxes were smashed. And that was like, you know, ‘Oh, that’s really too bad.’ I lost my mailbox, you know, and so did a whole lot of other people. Yes, it felt like an attack, but when you add fire, it’s upsetting.”
She also said that “hate language” was “spray-painted on the pavement,” and that further arson occurred “at a cabin in Aspen [and] a hunting camp next to the road in Garden of Eden,” although those incidents could not be confirmed by the RCMP.
Other area residents took to social media to vent their frustration.
Accompanying a picture that depicted a burned mailbox above the word ‘sorry’ painted on the road, Mark Levy posted on Facebook: “Not a very nice way to start the day. Judging by the tracks, it looks like someone on a four-wheeler burned my neighbor’s mailbox… Maybe they were sorry for missing it last summer, when his garbage box and green bin were burned [on] French River Road, Easter Sunday.”
Another poster stated: “I had a ceramic fountain at the end of my road to give away and it got smashed all over the pavement as well.”
Added others: “What a sin”, “Unreal”, and “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Said MacDonald: “I have absolutely no idea who’s behind it. But, obviously, someone knows who’s doing this. And someone is watching this on Facebook, and laughing at us about it. Well, eventually, somebody is going to … hopefully … stop protecting them from being held accountable.”
Marshall reported on April that the investigations are ongoing and anyone with information should contact the relevant detachments of the RCMP.