Tag Archives: history

Antigonish Heritage Museum

A great place to learn about the history and culture of Antigonish is to visit the Antigonish Heritage Museum.  Artifacts and photos of the settling of the town and county will give you a greater appreciation of the original inhabitants, the Mi’kmaq and the many settlers who have come over the years bringing their culture and traditions.   Of course we think of the Scots but we have the Irish, French, Dutch and others.

If you are interested in genealogy the helpful and knowledgeable staff will guide you on the local resources.  The museum is housed in the old train station which will be of interest to train buffs.

During the summer months the Summer Ceilidh features local musicians and story tellers — a great way to spend the evening enjoying traditional music of the fiddle, piano, pipes, guitar and song.

PHOTOS

For More Information

http://www.antigonishheritage.org/

Address:  20 East Main Street, Antigonish,  at the East end of Main Street before the railway tracks.

Sherbrook VIllage – Step Back in Time

 

Sherbrook Village stretches along the St. Mary’s River, a peaceful cool spot to get away from it all and relax under a shady tree and watch the river currents.   Of course in the 1860s the river was a hub of activity with gold, timber and tall ships. The village recreates life of the times with people in costume that tell the stories of the time.   The back yard gardens have pumpkins and cottage crops, cows and geese, and the washing up on the line in good Nova Scotia tradition. It is fascinating to visit the different houses and businesses, sit in the one room school house and explore inside and out.

A couple of years ago I enjoyed a 3 day Photography Camp at Sherbrook Village with Wally Hayes. It was a great way to explore the village, stay and do night shoots, explore the water mill and short hike to the lake and a couple of trips to the beach and headlands. This is a wonderful way to have a learning vacation in a unique environment. Our group learned photography tips and had the opportunity to practice and share our photos.

Other learning opportunities at the village include black smithing, sewing and hands on history.

There is a working forge with the blacksmith, a telephone exchange, a print shop all in working condition. See carding, spinning and weaving and learn how these were part of daily life. Just a short walk from the main village is the water wheel and saw mill. Here’s an example of the fun activities that are posted on the Sherbrook Village Facebook page:

Sawmill & Goldmine Frolic at The Old Mill Trail

Join us for excitement and a few laughs around the mill for our friendly woodsmen’s competition. Competitions include hatchet throw, kettle boil, double buck saw and spike drive. Competitions are free and open to everyone!

Members of the Heritage Goldenville Society will show visitors how to pan for gold (the real thing, not fool’s gold!).

There’ll be samples of our “good as gold” recipes for baked beans and brown bread.

The What Cheer Tea Room is open daily with home cooked meals. The pies are real old time pies – rhubarb, apple, blueberry, strawberry depending on what’s in season.

How to get there

  • From Antigonish via Hwy 7 (50 min)
  • From Halifax via NS-102, Trans-Canada Hwy/NS-104 E and NS-347 S  (2 hrs 41 min)
  • From Halifax via Trunk 7 shore route  (2 hrs 56 min)

More Information:

Port of Sydney - Big Fiddle, Flavor on the Water

Sydney Cape Breton

Sydney: Then and Now.

Article in The Cape Breton Star. By Denise Davies. Oct 2014

Living in Sydney in the 50s and 60s the steel plant was right in view of our front yard. We could see the billowing clouds of yellow smoke, hear the sound of the shunting coal cars and of course the “yellow snow” and coal dust on everything. At night we could see the clouds lit up and hear the dumpling slag.

The steel plant and the tar ponds are no more — replaced by the Open Hearth Park which hosted an audience of 15,000 for a recent outdoor Aerosmith concert. The park is an amazing open area with winding trails, a wonderful playground including musical instruments as well as play activities, a variety of sports fields and just minutes from downtown Sydney. No one ever thought that the steel plant and tar ponds would be gone. In fact I remember great fighting to keep the mines and the steel plant. It’s amazing to see green areas and recreation in place of industry, with clear skies and places to play and enjoy for all ages.

Audrey Chiasson 1957-2014Then and now photo – 1957 – 2014

Read the full article in the Cape Breton Star http://thechronicleherald.ca/community/cape-breton/1240503-sydney-then-and-now

 Things to do

  • Big Fiddle.  Cruise ships tie up here. Gift shops. Interesting museum on 2nd floor with culture and heritage of Cape Breton.  Flavor on the Water Restaurant.  BIg Fiddle Market,
  • Open Hearth Park.  Amazing restoration of the Steel Plant and Tar Ponds to a recreation area with playgrounds, playing fields, walking trails and greenery.  Open Hearth Park
  • Flavor Restaurants.  Eat out at one or all of the Flavor Restaurants.  Flavor on the Water is on the 2nd floor of the Big Fiddle. Enjoy the versatile Florence Sampson at the piano on Friday nights.  CB Flavor Restaurants,
  • Wentworth Park.  Great place for a walk or run.  Photo from 1928
  • Membertou Heritage Park. Convention Centre, entertainment, restaurant, hotel, shopping, museum.  Membertou
  • Trip Adviser – Things to Do in Sydney
  • Old Sydney Society – museums, lectures and cultural events. Old Sydney
  • Things to do – Port of Sydney

Slide Show

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Side Trips

 Heart of Steel – Video

Enjoy an Acadian Lunch in Pomquet

 

 

Pockets of Acadian life are found throughout Nova Scotia. Pomquet is a small village just 20 min from Antigonish and just off the Trans Canada. It has a strong community spirit and beautiful setting.

You can enjoy an authentic Acadian Lunch at Chez DesLauriers in Pomquet village during the summer months. Every week has a different menu which you can find posted on their website. http://www.pomquet.net/en/chezdeslauriers.html

The setting is spectacular with Chez DesLauriers, a white heritage home on Monk’s Head having a view over St. George’s Bay and Pomquet Beach with a view to Cape Breton. Old photographs and antique home items provide the décor in the tea room. There is lively atmosphere from visitors and locals enjoying the food and company.   We enjoyed a great lunch of Fricot or Pate’ – both traditional Acadian dishes that I remember from my childhood.

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Next door the Interpretive Centre describes the history, geology and formation of the area and the people who have lived here and their way of life.   In the area behind the house the Pomquet Acadian Walking Trails are well marked and take you across the grassy cliffs with views of the ocean, wending through the forest, or down along the beach.

In August there are two special Lobster Roll dinners to look forward to.

Grand Pré – Acadian History

 

 

Grand Pre church

Grand Pre church


Grand Pré is situated at the north east end of the Annapolis Valley.  It borders on the Minas Basin and the tidal lands of the Bay of Fundy.  The area was settled in the 1600s by French settlers from Port Royal who reclaimed the lands from the tides and made a fertile land.

Now we see the low meadowland and dikes and on the hills above, vineyards and wineries commanding a view of the area.

The history of Grand Pré is dramatic with the land being fought over by the English and French during the 1700s and the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in 1755.  The story is well told in the multi-media centre at the  Parks Canada National Historic Site.  The grounds with the sweeping willow trees and wandering stream are peaceful and commemorate the deportation.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem Evangeline to bring the story to light and the statue of Evangeline and bust of Longfellow are featured in the garden.

Sunset from Beach Breeze Motel Grand Pre

Sunset from Beach Breeze Motel Grand Pre

The church, built on the site of the 17th century Acadian village (Eglise Souvenir Memorial Church) depicts life in the village and scenes of the deportation.  Be sure to listen to the audio stories from the voices of 2 children.

The path off to the left of the church goes to the blacksmith forge with a lovely view of the dikes and fields below.  You can bike or walk along the dikes.

Just 10 minutes from Grand Pré National Historic Park there is a large and well kept campground and the lovely Beach Breeze Motel.  We stayed here and had a wonderful view of the sunset and sunrise over the vast changing tides of Fundy.

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Directions

View Larger Map

 

For More Information

Baird’s Tradesmen Museum

 

On Highway 7 crossing Nova Scotia from Antigonish to the Eastern Shore we decided to stop and have a look at Baird’s Tradesmen Museum.

Wheel Wright Tools

Wheel Wright Tools

What a happy finding.  This place is loaded with history and is a great place for anyone with an interest in craft, industry and how things are made.  The walls and display cases are well organized with tools from the past for trades that we may not even have now – but were mainstays in the turn of the century.  Anyone who works in wood will enjoy seeing how the tools they use today have evolved.  You have to wonder about the minds and ingenuity of the people who designed these implements.

The tools and trades are organized into categories: cobbler, cooper, farrier, blacksmith, woodturner, carpenter/joiner, leatherworker, wheelwright, typesetter, saw filer/fitter, weaving and spinning; also the tools used in farming, fishing, logging, coal mining, automotive, retail and ice industries over the past 150 years.

Kitchen implements

Kitchen implements

Our guide was Sally Baird who was a wonderful tour guide and explained the use of the different tools.  The museum started as a personal collection of Danny Baird who worked with tools himself and started collecting.  The collection grew so large they decided to open to the public.

The place is very large and has an upstairs area with a huge spinning wheel, a floor loom, a couple of printing presses.   The presses and type include the newspaper advertising from the early 1900s and will be valuable to researchers.

Outside there are wood tools and a fire engine.  Danny Baird continues to make wooden barrels and you can see the workings as well as the finished products.   You can easily spend an hour or two learning from these antique tools and machinery from vintage trades.

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More information

12455 Hwy 7, Aspen, NS
Guysborough County

Danny & Sally Baird
Phone: 902-833-2219

The museum is open daily from July 1 – Oct 1.  10AM to 5PM. Or by appointment.  Small admission fee.

Baird’s Trade Museum – Nova Scotia.com including a map on how to get there.

 

X Ring Featured at Cameron’s Jewellery

 

 

Do You Have an X Ring?  Chances are you have been into Cameron’s Jewellery on Main Street, Antigonish.

Camerons_Jewellery_X_Feature

The "X" featured in Floor Inlay and Chandelier

Cameron’s on Main St. Antigonish has undergone a transformation and their new look is bright and inviting.  With the interior design of Andrew Murray of Antigonish the store has a new look that celebrates the traditions of the past but adds the sparkle and modern décor of the present.

The center piece that features its “X” connection is a large black marble “X” inlay in the center of the floor area with an inlay of “1922” when the store was first opened.   Above it is a chandelier with the “X” and crystal pendants.

The X Ring dates back to 1942.  Working with the engineering class of St. Francis Xavier University, Cameron’s Jewellery designed the present X-Rings, a gold ring featuring a black enamel X within a raised gold square, with the date of graduation flanking the X on its shoulders.

The wooden oak cabinets running along the wall are the original oak cabinets with

Cameron's 90 Year Old Oak Wood Cabinets

Cameron's 90 Year Old Oak Wood Cabinets

design that highlights the oak grain.  The cabinets are 90 years old and have been refurbished by CACL to bring out the beauty of the wood.

The large fireplace on the opposing wall gives a comfortable feel to the shopping experience and highlights art work on the feature wall.   According to Donna MacPherson, the store manager “We had incredible craftsmen for the stonework, woodwork, electrical and fittings” in making over the store look.  On our buying trip we looked for new items that were not currently available in Antigonish.

Cameron’s is a great place to shop for gifts, home decorating items, dishes and jewellery.  The tasteful selection of items and the welcoming staff make this a great Main Street destination.

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In the early evening the lighting on the displays adds a sparkle to Main Street.  Be sure to stop in for a visit to see this new gem on Main Street.