Our latest publication
It is with a great sense of celebration that I welcome you to the next series of newsletters for fall and winter, 2006.
My enthusiasm stems from the wonderful celebration on Sunday, 24 September, when Sackville shipwrights Charles Dixon and Christopher Boultenhouse welcomed the folks of Sackville to visit the Boultenhouse home, 29 Queen’s Road, Sackville, which is now officially recognized as the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. The present issue is dedicated to this landmark event in our region. The folks of Tantramar can now boast of two unique museums in the Atlantic Region: The Campbell Carriage Factory and now the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. I personally recall when I began my involvement with the Tantramar Heritage Trust (THT) and dreamt of such events becoming reality. Not only have they become reality, I never prepared myself for the privilege of writing about them so soon after the creation of the THT, all during our first decade! And, dear friends, it could not have happened without your support, and especially devoted and noteworthy members Daniel and Kenneth Lund and Mrs. Pauline Spatz. And the indefatigable energy of Trust director and Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Al Smith who is the glowing ember that keeps the home fires burning! Thanks Al! And many thanks as well to our president, Dr. Paul Bogaard, who has never wavered in his support since our formation, and who proudly represented us on this important day.
Over 240 people participated at this official opening, including Mrs. Pauline Spatz who donated many of the beautiful artifacts displayed in the Heritage Centre and Lieutenant-Governor Herménégilde Chiasson who represented the province of New Brunswick and helped us bring the new Boultenhouse Heritage Centre into the mainstream of recognized provincial heritage. From the words of our Town Crier David Fullerton to selected speeches made at this ceremony, they (along with photos) are printed in the pages which follow.
And, this is just the beginning! Over the coming year, please bring forth your ideas to your Board of Directors who will, if possible, do all they can to make your historic knowledge, hopes and wishes, become a recognized part of our history and heritage in future years. And, if you have not yet done so, visit the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre which is open year-round:
- Monday to Friday, 10 am to noon and 1:30–4:30 pm (weekends by appointment)
And so, for now, we celebrate! Enjoy the pages which follow, knowing that the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre is there for you! We thank you for your membership in the Tantramar Heritage Trust. That, in itself, is a pledge of support and one which makes it all worthwhile for your board of directors. Thank you all for being with us and supporting our many endeavours and projects over the past ten years.
Welcome to Tantramar’s new Boultenhouse Heritage Centre
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!
I am commanded by the Directors of the Tantramar Heritage Trust to heartily welcome you to this celebration marking the official opening of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. Our history defines us as a community. Sackville is indeed privileged to have a heritage centre located in one of our most historic buildings. May you all understand and appreciate the contributions of our forebears in the development of this historic community.
Given this twenty-fourth day of September in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Six, being the fifty-fourth year of the reign our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada.
God Save the Queen.
by Al Smith
Thanks, Dave. Dave is not only the Town Crier but also this year’s recipient of Citizen of the Year award along with his wife Diane. Congratulations, Dave — well deserved!
This is a proud day for the Tantramar Heritage Trust to open this treasure of an historic building as a Heritage Centre for Sackville. This month the Trust celebrates its 10th anniversary as an organization — thus this celebration today, the opening of our second community museum, is a fitting way to observe that milestone anniversary. Eight years ago this project was conceived — it is the determination of many volunteers and the generosity of our donors which brings us here today. Take a moment to look at the flagpole and the number pennants that read 1856 — reflect back on that time 150 years ago when Sackville was a busy seaport and shipbuilding centre. The Sarah Dixon, Sackville’s largest vessel, was launched 150 years ago this week.
It is my great pleasure to introduce our special guests here with us today: seated immediately to my right,
- Hon. Herménégilde Chaisson — Lt. Gov. of New Brunswick
- Senator Marilyn Trenholme-Counsell
- Hon. Michael Olscamp — MLA-elect for Tantramar
- Mayor Jamie Smith — Town of Sackville
- Mr. Wayne Burley — Director of the Heritage Branch, Province of NB
- Dr. Paul Bogaard — President of the Tantramar Heritage Trust
- Shipwright Christopher Boultenhouse (Dan Lund)
by Paul Bogaard
It is my honour and pleasure, on behalf of the Tantramar Heritage Trust, to welcome everyone here today on this very special occasion. I wish to take this opportunity to raise three very specific points: first, that we are blessed with a wonderful range of talent in this community along the banks of the Tantramar River. Secondly, that we’ve renovated the present house (actually two houses!) outside and inside and, thirdly, mounted a very professional level of displays and exhibits. And all of it has relied upon the skills and experience residing in our own home town. One particular example from which we’ve benefited is the only laboratory in the Atlantic region for dating buildings by dendrochronology, known affectionately as the MAD lab.
Not only did the MAD lab at Mt A confirm that the lovely home built by Christopher Boultenhouse dates to the early 1840s, it also confirms that the back ell was really an even older home acquired by Boultenhouse with the land he had purchased from the Bulmer family. This older house dates to the early 1790s and may be oldest surviving house in the central area of Sackville. Most surprising of all, was their discovery that posts and beams of the older house, built by Boultenhouse when he was already an active shipwright, were all cut from Tamarack trees. This is extremely unusual and undoubtedly reflects the fact that shipbuilders of the time always had a supply of Tamarack on hand as it was the only timber from which they could make ships’ knees.
The Trust had long anticipated, since its early beginnings ten years ago, that it would need to establish two museums in Sackville, not just one. This became evident to us back in 1996 when we began work on the Campbell Carriage Factory. It provided the community with a fabulous museum, one of the only intact carriage factories left in North America, and one which provides a window on the agricultural past of the Tantramar and its emerging road system. And it also ties directly into the early tanning and leather goods story for which Middle Sackville was once famous. But the carriage factory is not the place from which to tell the story of Sackville as a seaport and a leading centre for ship-building. For that, we required the home of one of the province’s leading shipbuilders of the 1800s. What extraordinary good fortune that Captain Boultenhouse’s home should become available and that donors, who could dream our dream, would come forward and make it all possible.
It is my pleasure, along with the assistance of Mr. Charles Dixon and Captain Boultenhouse, with us today from the annals of our community’s history, and our respected special guests, to welcome you to visit the Tantramar Heritage Trust’s, and the Tantramar region’s, new Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. Thank you all for joining with us today.
Trust Opens a New Heritage Centre for Sackville
by Al Smith, Director, Tantramar Heritage Trust
(Originally printed in Sackville Tribune Post on 12 September, 2006, and edited here for this newsletter —Editor)
The Tantramar Heritage Trust was organized just 10 years ago this September with the objective of owning and operating museums for the community. The Trust opened the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum, its first museum, in June 2003 which focused on the horse era of Tantramar. With the opening of the Boultenhouse Heritage Center, the Trust completes its plans for museum facilities — a remarkable feat in just 10 years. Both facilities are considered works in progress with work being planned ahead for many years.
The new Heritage Centre is located in a very significant heritage building. Shipwright Christopher Boultenhouse constructed the magnificent Greek Revival mansion when he moved his shipyard from nearby Woodpoint to Sackville in 1842. The building contains many unique features including: original double-Christian doors with box locks, cut stone foundation with 2′ walls, original floors, trim and moldings, including wide plaster crown moldings, and original fireplace hearths (for Franklin stoves) and mantles. The mansion was attached to an existing farm house that was on the property when Boultenhouse purchased it from George Bulmer. That house was built in the early 1790s (likely 1792), and may be Sackville’s oldest existing house.
The opening at 3 pm on Sunday afternoon, September 24, featured: musical selections by the Sackville Citizens Band, welcome and remarks from special guests,a recollection (from Christopher Boultenhouse) of what the view from the front of the mansion would have been like in 1856, a short play “Sackville for Sail” by Festival on the Marsh performers, along with the unveilings of plaques: one commemorating the Shipbuilding Era of Sackville and one dedicating the Boultenhouse building. Following the official ribbon cutting ceremony attendees chatted over refreshments and visited the Heritage Centre/Museum.
Once inside, visitors relived the days when Sackville was a busy seaport and shipbuilding center. In addition to viewing display cases packed with information and artifacts, two large scale models built by Mr. Peter Manchester recreated the Port of Sackville as it was in 1887 and the Christopher Boultenhouse shipyard in 1866.
Other displays describe early settlement along with a wonderful collection of artifacts from the Wry family in Sackville dating back four generations. Depictions of merchants and manufactures in the past include foundries, stone industries, and merchandising. Early charts and maps on the walls help illustrate the town’s glorious past.
The Heritage Centre also houses an Education Room, Library, Family History Centre (under development and to focus on Tantramar area families), as well as the administrative offices of the Tantramar Heritage Trust.
The Trust acquired the Boultenhouse property in July 2001 and, since October 2005, members actively retrofitted the building to accommodate a Heritage Centre for the town. That was accomplished through a highly successful Capital Campaign, the dedicated involvement of over 60 volunteers and assistance from the Province’s Built Heritage Program.
The Trust hosted a special reception for all Boultenhouse donors and volunteers on Thursday Sept 21, but the Official Opening of the Centre occurred on Sunday September 24 at 3 pm. The public was invited to attend the Sunday event as the Trust opened the first phase of this unique new heritage facility and 250 visitors, along with invited guests, took part in the ceremony illustrated in these pages.
A vision from the year 1856
by Christopher Boultenhouse (aka Daniel Lund)
As I stand here today at the opening of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre, I look back 150 years and I have a vision. I see the gravel road in front of me called the Boultenhouse Road. As I gaze to my left i see a road leading to the marsh known as Shipyard Road. This road leads to the Tantramar River, where I see a wooden ship under construction at the Boultenhouse Shipyard.
My gaze follows the Tantramar River to the right and I see the Purdy Shipyard in the distance. My gaze follows the dyke back along the Tantramar river past the Boultenhouse Shipyard.
I see a wooden ship just completed at the Dixon Shipyard. It’s the Sarah Dixon. Just beyond, I see a square-rigged sailing ship tied up at the Sackville Wharf. In the distance to my left past the Sackville Wharf I see a covered bridge across the Tantramar River. My gaze follows the dyke back along the Tantramar River and the dyke dips inland to cross the Bowser Brook by an aboiteau.
My vision fades as my gaze returns to the dyke along the Tantramar River and all I can see is marsh grass waving in the wind. Activity along the Tantramar will rise again to celebrate Sackville’s Golden Age of Sail.
So far, we have recognized events outside of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. The following are photos to bring you inside this magnificent historic building. The Board of Directors are most grateful to Mr. Peter Manchester who created the model of the Sackville Wharf and the Boultenhouse shipyard (see below) and Mrs. Pauline Spatz, a longtime supporter and devoted fan of Tantramar’s history, who donated the beautiful and valuable artifacts of the Wry collection to Boultenhouse.
These models and the artifacts allow us to walk into a time long past, but with us to this day because of Manchester’s talent and Mrs. Spatz’s interest and generosity. This newsletter opens but a small door for you to see through. But you must go see it for yourself, because it belongs to you!
And special thanks go to…
Gerry Parker, who provided all the photographs used in this issue, and actors Sarah Moore, Alan MacDonald, Laura Turnbull, and director Ron Kelly Spurles of Festival by the Marsh for their fine performance of the play Sackville for Sail, written and directed by Valmai Goggin. The Sackville Citizens Band kindly provided the entertainment which was much appreciated by all. Thank you all on behalf of the members and guests of the Tantramar Heritage Trust who attended this very special afternoon!
I must unfortunately close this newsletter with the sad news of the passing of one of the most enthusiastic members and directors of the Tantramar Heritage Trust, Mr. Peter Bowman. At the time of writing, Peter would have left us only a few days ago and I know that he would wish us to rejoice in Boultenhouse as he rejoiced every summer in the Campbell Carriage Factory.
We gratefully and sincerely celebrate your time with us, Peter. The Campbell Carriage Factory will always carry the memory of your passion and love of the times it represents. Your enthusiasm is with us as we celebrate Boultenhouse, a place you loved (almost) as much as the Carriage Factory.
You will be missed by many, dear friend.
—Peter Hicklin, on behalf of the Executive, the Board of Directors, and many members of the Tantramar Heritage Trust who knew Peter.
Boultenhouse Heritage Centre Special Events
Memories of Sackville Christmases Past
December 7–22 — A Special Exhibit at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre
Enjoy a seasonal display of vintage Christmas cards, tree ornaments, and other family heirlooms collected over the years by various Sackville citizens, on exhibit in the Education Room for your enjoyment.
Mon–Fri, 10–noon, 1:30–4:30 pm. $2 adult, $5 family, THT members free admission.