As the saying goes, there are two sides to every coin. When dealing with heritage, we can sometimes renovate and protect while, in other circumstances, time takes its toll and demolition becomes the only option. The summer of 2011 presented both options to Sackville — great joy and hope with the move of “our blacksmith shop” to the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum and its renovation (see accompanying article) and disappointment for others with the demolition of the J.L. Black General Store (see the 21 September, 2011, issue of the Sackville Tribune Post and the 5 October issue of The Argosy for photos and brief accounts of this building’s history). On a happier note, a book about the J.L. Black enterprises will soon be published. In the present newsletter, I bring you only good news! Ron Kelly Spurles reports on the many accomplishments of the Trust over summer 2011, while Dodie Perkin reports on the work of the Trust’s Boultenhouse Landscape Committee, hopefully encouraging other members to join this (or other equally productive) committee to do useful heritage work for the Trust.
In this issue, read of the histories of past and present Campbell and Anderson Blacksmith Shops. We also have much to tell you with regards to all the interior renovations to the transposed Anderson Blacksmith Shop but this will come to you at a later date, most likely in the December issue. I must also take this moment to most sincerely thank Mr. Dan Lund for his contributions to make the “re-creation” of the Job Anderson Blacksmith Shop on the Campbell Carriage Factory a reality. On behalf of the Board of Directors and our entire membership I extend our sincere thanks to you Mr. Lund for your long-standing interest in the Tantramar region and the protection of its history.
Colin MacKinnon kindly provided two photos of the Dorchester Cape area, shown on the back page of the newsletter, taken from the same spot, but 90 years apart! See for yourself how small Maritime communities have changed over that time period, this being but one example of many communities that have undergone similar changes. And for our upcoming November (Memorial Day) newsletter, Colin MacKinnon will provide us with compelling stories about two Sackville boys who represented us well in the service of our country in times of war. Colin’s contribution deserves an issue of the newsletter all its own over this important memorial period and so it will be. Over the next few months, expect to read more of our dynamic history and conservation efforts; there never is a dull moment in this most interesting part of the country! Read on and, as always (or so I hope), enjoy!
Our Blacksmith Shop
By Al Smith
David Fensom’s early 1970s sketch of the Campbell Carriage Factory (below) shows the old Campbell blacksmith shop neatly nestled into the factory complex — an integral component of the manufacturing site for nearly 100 years.
Ronald Campbell built the original blacksmith shop soon after taking over the factory building (originally built as a tannery) in the 1850s. The blacksmith shop’s two forges produced all the custom-built metal components needed in the manufacture of sleighs, wagons and carriages.
The old factory closed for good around 1950–51 and the defunct blacksmith shop fell into disrepair. By the mid-1970s it was a liability to its owners who had the local fire department burn it down.
The Tantramar Heritage Trust received title to the Factory property in 1998. The Carriage Factory Museum was officially opened to the public in June 2003 and, after five years of careful inventory, artifact registration and major restoration of the main building were completed. But still incomplete at that time were the renovations to the blacksmith shop and the back ell that housed, among other things, the freight elevator.
In the fall of 2002, a neighbor, Allison Ayer, was renovating his property 1 km up the road and advised the Trust that he wanted to get rid of an old blacksmith shop located on his property. That shop was about the same size as the old Campbell shop and about the same age, or possibly older. The Trust accepted the donation and moved the building down the road and placed it on the site of the original Campbell blacksmith shop. It is difficult to exactly place a date on the old blacksmith shop; the property that Allison Ayer purchased in 2001 may be one of the oldest homes in Sackville. That house was (to my knowledge) once a stagecoach stop on the inter-provincial “great” road that, prior to 1840, went through Middle Sackville and on to the High Marsh Road. The Walling Map of 1862 shows the property belonging to an H. Anderson who may have acquired the property about 1850.
In 2004, Lloyd (Bud) White donated a ledger book from this blacksmith shop to the Trust. That book dates to 1893 and was apparently the account book of Blacksmith Job Anderson (1838–1910). Job was the son of John Anderson (1798–1866) and Elizabeth Read (c. 1800–1891) and a great-grandson of the original Yorkshire family of Thomas and Mary Anderson who arrived in Sackville in 1772. Job Anderson married Emma R. Harris on March 30, 1864. Their daughter Nellie married Walter W. Tingley who moved to the property in 1907. This property stayed in the Tingley family for another 80 years.
Job Anderson was both a farmer and generalist blacksmith, shoeing horses and making items for local farmers. The ring of the blacksmith’s anvil in the old shop has been silent for many decades but returned this past August as it took on a new life as a functioning blacksmith shop at the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum. The coming summer will be the first time the fully-renovated Blacksmith Shop will be open to the general public for viewing. Don’t miss it!
- Sackville Tribune Post, August 1987 — article by Wally Sears “One of Oldest Homes In Province Is Now Being Sold”
- Census Returns: 1851, 1871, 1891
- Westmorland County Marriage Register Part 2 1857–1888
Summer 2011 — A Busy Time With Much Accomplished
By Ron Kelly Spurles, Executive Director, Tantramar Heritage Trust
Summer 2011 already seems far away with the sudden onset of cooler weather. It was a busy one, but probably the best of the three I’ve spent at the Tantramar Heritage Trust.
We had an outstanding group of student workers this year. Sarah Underhill did exemplary work as our Collections Assistant, working on our database and organizing a variety of collections-related files. All of our other students served mainly as tour guides/interpreters, but were also active with ongoing research and other projects for those times when not busy with visitors. At the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre (BHC), Kenzie Robinson worked on our Resource Centre database and fielded queries from the public while Marilla Steuter-Martin worked on a variety of projects including assisting me on promotions and drama-related activities as well as database transference and updating. Jessica Pellerin, the Lead Student at the BHC, transcribed Boultenhouse family genealogy and scanned photos for an upcoming book on the J.L. Black General Store as well as assisting with sales in our gift shop.
In addition to these students, Natasha Niles also did a second successful year of research on our healthcare history project, generously funded by Pauline Spatz and the Crake Foundation.
Charlotte Reimann was the Lead Student at the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum (CCFM) where she worked on a wide range of educational activities including the Tool Show and Family Fun Day as well as the Inventors Workshops. Mira Chiasson assisted Charlotte and created a CCFM Activity book. Finally, Lea Foy transcribed a thesis on agriculture in the area in the 18th century to be published next year.
Summer 2011 also saw us present our third annual “Under the Sky Festival” on Tuesdays at the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum. The festival played over three Tuesdays: July 12 (Writers, with Robert Lapp, Kenzie Reid, Marilyn Lerch, Al Smith, Charlie Scobie and Ron Kelly Spurles); July 19 (Old Man Luedecke); and July 26 (Janet Crawford and Drew Moore). The Writers night attracted about 40 visitors and was very moving as was Janet Crawford’s music. Old Man Luedecke attracted 180 people, the most we’ve ever hosted at an Under the Sky event!
This summer we again teamed up with the Atlantic Tool Collectors for a Tool Show which was added to a Family Fun Day and featured the unveiling of our “new” blacksmith shop with many thanks to Paul Bogaard, Paul Fontaine and Dan Lund. This was another very successful activity with approximately 200 people in attendance.
One of the final activities of our summer of 2011 was the Inventors Workshops — very successful three half-day workshops for young people on the themes of “Things that Float”, “Things that Fly” and “Things that Move”.
Students from both Museums were also involved in a variety of other activities as well, including: Bridge St. Café Saturday Market — for approximately six Saturdays in the summer we had a student attend the Saturday market as well as the Cumberland Genealogy Conference August 19-21, where we sent a representative to be present at a conference table for two of the three days; Mount Allison Day Camp (Time Travel) where the THT sent at least one student/day to assist with this week long camp. We also hosted the camp at the CCFM for a full day.
We’re already planning a very exciting summer 2012 program, including a community play celebrating 250 years since the founding of Sackville Township and the fourth edition of the “Under the Sky Festival”. Stay tuned for more details.
Boultenhouse Heritage Landscape Committee
By Dodie Perkin
The Boultenhouse Heritage Landscape Committee was set up in June 2006. Its mandate was to prepare a heritage landscape plan for the Boultenhouse property and the adjacent leased parking area. Since 2006, and working with a small committee, we have achieved a great deal! Past members have included Vanessa Bass, Meredith Fisher, Sandy Burnett, Harold Popma and Don Crenna. The present members are Al Smith, Paul Bogaard, Laurel McIntyre, Heather Smith and Dodie Perkin, with Sheelagh Callaghan as a recent addition. We also had a number of volunteers who assisted during fall and spring yard clean-ups, worked at the plant sales, and helped with many other projects. The Town of Sackville also provided considerable support towards larger tasks such as the preparation of the BHC’s parking lot, which is leased from School District #2.
Don Crenna (who has since moved from Sackville) spent many hours developing a landscape inventory of the BHC property which detailed the location of the building, trees, and other relevant features of the property. It can be viewed at he Trust office. Inventories of the plants growing on the property were also completed. Since its beginnings, committee members have had many discussions on appropriate long-term landscaping and gardening plans and some research has been done on heritage plants and gardens.
Over the past few years, the look of the property has changed quite a bit. Several trees have been removed, either because of damage or, like the Manitoba Maples on the property, are considered invasive and not “true” to the time period of the house. Other trees and shrubs have been moved: two young oak trees were relocated to the back of the property; eventually they will provide ìbuffers” between the BHC and Marshview Middle School. A third oak, planted in memory of former director, the late Peter Bowman, thrives at the Campbell Carriage Factory. Spireas and Potentillas formerly growing in the yard were relocated to Memorial Park in town. A lovely lilac was transplanted to make it more visible to visitors. A small Honeysuckle hedge was planted between the parking lot and the front of the BHC property. Most notably, a rose garden (Rosa bonica) now borders the street-side of the BHC.
Other tasks completed under the direction of the Landscape Committee were: pruning the Yew bushes and the old Mountain Ash, removing the fence which was inappropriate for the time period, digging out and moving the large old boiling pot which now makes its home in front of the BHC sign, installing lattice around the front steps, building new window wells, installing stone steps leading from the back of the parking lot to the Trust’s office door and organizing seasonal yard cleanups. Urns at the front steps are planted each year with attractive annual flowers, as is the iron pot. A small resource collection has been started, housed at the BHC, thanks to donations of heritage gardening books and the collection of information on heritage plants. Under the guidance of Laurel McIntyre, the committee has resurrected the annual Plant Sale which was formerly organized by Sackville’s Garden Club. For the past two years, the Plant Sale has raised significant funds for the ongoing use of the Landscape Committee.
There remain many projects still to be completed. In the short term, the walkway leading to the front steps of the BHC will be replaced with a wider, brick walkway. Within the next year or two, a composter will be built to help break down yard and garden waste and a Tamarack tree will be planted on the property at a yet-to-be-determined location. Tamaracks were important to the shipbuilding industry in our region; the oldest part of the house is constructed from Tamarack wood.
Other possible projects include planting a Peony garden by the front steps, installing a low stone wall or a hedge behind the flagpole and monument, building a fence behind the rose bushes, cleaning out the dead wood from the oldest part of the Honeysuckle hedge, building an arbour, turning a large old hearthstone into an outdoor bench, planting a small nursery for plants to be incorporated into the gardens at a later time and removing the large stumps from the side of the driveway. Longer term projects might include eventually burying the hydro lines, removing the asphalt from the driveway and replacing it with more appropriate material, resloping the front yard and continuing research into appropriate types of plants, garden types and landscape design.
Working with a heritage property presents unusual challenges. First, the time period of the house has to be considered in all decisions. The long-term landscape plan for the BHC must focus on the period 1840–1870. Decisions will need to be made regarding whether the plan will focus on truly authentic heritage plants or more modern plants that might be hardier, but still have a heritage feel to them. Also, since Mr. Boultenhouse was a ship builder and Sackville a port town, there is the potential to include some exotic plants of the time which might have been imported on ship voyages. The maintenance of gardens and plants are other factors to be considered, especially in the absence of an employee whose primary responsibility is gardening. And the available budget is always a critical factor for a non-profit organization such as ours.
Speakers related to the work of this committee have included Stephen Smith, a Mount Allison student who presented his work in a heritage garden at Bellevue House, and Bob Osbourne, of Cornhill Nursery and CBC Radio fame, who spoke at the Trust’s annual meeting about heritage apple trees.
We have accomplished a great deal in a short period of time, but we still have lots to do. We warmly invite you to consider joining our committee and helping us plan for a beautiful gardening future at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. Please contact the Trust office for more information.
Dorchester Cape Then and Now!
By Colin MacKinnon
The following two photographs taken at the same location, Dorchester Cape Cemetery, approximately 90 years apart reveal how our landscape has changed. Typically, many images of local farms a century ago showed far fewer trees and hedgerows. I have often wondered if this was a conscious trade off between minimizing the attacks of merciless mosquitoes in the summer versus chilling winds on an unprotected homestead in the winter.