The White Fence, issue #54

February 2012


Dear friends,

History is sometimes discovered via diaries and letters. At other times it requires reconstruction, as in buildings and/or their foundations, or compilations of oral histories passed on through generations. And special folks are required to make it all happen! All these tools of the heritage trade, including those special folks, are all discussed and described throughout this issue. The resurrection of the Campbell Carriage Factory Blacksmith Shop required special talented people to make it happen.

The carpenters of Energreen in Sackville cared about the reconstruction of the old blacksmith shop this past summer because they are equally interested in our local history. And it shows: just visit the resurrected Blacksmith Shop at the Campbell Carriage Factory next summer! Walk through this blacksmith shop and see and feel that special part of Tantramar history: the days when the horse was king! The Energreen carpenters’ talents and patient work is detailed in the title article of this issue and we are most grateful for their efforts. Author Paul Bogaard spent nearly every waking hour on the site last summer (whenever I dropped by anyway!) arranging for and supervising all aspects of reconstruction. We all owe him a great debt for making this happen! Read of these gallant efforts below. And did you know inventor Charles Barnes’ invention from Sackville? Likely not — learn about the invention of country-store owner Charles Barnes which was patented almost 140 years ago and is still in use today! Our sincere thanks to Bill Snowdon for unearthing the story of the Vickers Vane Pump. And dear readership, please welcome Charlotte Gleave Riemann as the Trust’s new Education and Outreach Intern. Charlotte intends to provoke, relate and reveal much to you over the coming months! Fasten your seatbelts, we have a great year ahead of us! See you on Heritage Day… we’ll talk about it!

—Peter Hicklin

16th annual heritage day ad

Resurrecting the Campbell Carriage Factory Blacksmith Shop

By Paul Bogaard

newspaper clipping (illegible)

In an article printed by The Tribune on 22 January, 1903, we read that Ronald Campbell and son George began their carriage factory in the 1850s and “a few years later they opened up a blacksmith shop.” Blacksmiths like John Brooks, Herb Beal, and Jimmie O’Neal kept two forges busy for many decades providing a surprising assortment of iron fittings for all of the Campbell’s carriages, wagons and sleighs. The fires were finally extinguished for the last time in 1951 when O’Neal decided he had fashioned and repaired quite enough iron items during his 53 years at the Campbells’ forge.

Twenty years later, as you can see in the old photos featured in Al Smith’s preliminary article (The White Fence #52, October 2011), the Campbell’s blacksmith shop had fallen into such disrepair that they had it burnt down. Nothing remains of that earlier shop except the tyring stone, which still rests half buried in the turf where for many decades it served as the platform needed for the blacksmiths to pound a heated tyre (the iron rim) onto an otherwise wooden wheel.

As that earlier article explains, we could hardly portray the work of a carriage factory without showing how closely it depended upon forged fittings. So when Allison Ayer offered the old Job Anderson blacksmith shop to the Tantramar Heritage Trust, it was exactly what we needed. Job Anderson’s shop was just as old and authentic as the Campbell’s shop. Within days of his offer, it was moved down the road and placed in the same location as the original Campbell-built Blacksmith Shop. (For those who compare closely the photos in this article with those in Al’s article from last October, you might notice that the Anderson blacksmith shop was placed on the same spot but turned 90 degrees because of the placement of its doors.) Once in place, unfortunately, it just sat there for nine long years serving little purpose other than storage. It survived because Ray Dixon and his handy band of volunteers gave it a new roof of spruce shingles and built a ramp to the front, double doors.

A more thorough restoration had always been our hope, but it wasn’t until late in 2010 when Daniel Lund and his brother Ken provided us with a generous donation which allowed us to realize this dream. We also approached the Heritage Branch about the eligibility of their “Built Heritage Program,” and when that too began to look feasible, we set to planning for thorough renovations and even the resurrecting of an operating forge. So, it is misleading to say (as suggested in the title) that we’ve been able to resurrect the Campbell’s blacksmith shop — it’s really Job Anderson’s — but we have resurrected one which had once been one of two operating forges of similar age and in close proximity to one another.

Long before this cooperative was formed, we had hired Chris Murray to lead an odd assortment of labourers to salvage the original Carriage Factory building. Years later, in 2008, with an opportunity to recreate the addition to the factory building (and other repairs), we turned back to Chris Murray and his colleagues at EnerGreen. These earlier phases had been such great successes that during the winter of 2010/11, we once again approached Chris for advice on our plans for renovating the blacksmith shop; he also provided cost estimates to enable us to apply to the Built Heritage Program.

In April 2011, we began clearing out the old Job Anderson Blacksmith Shop. It had come to us empty, but over ten years it filled with artifacts (still to be registered; many of them from the Hum Amos blacksmith shop waiting for a new home), building materials and much else.

black and white photograph of blacksmith’s shop artist’s rendering of proposed work on the blacksmith shop

Once cleared, we could properly check the structural integrity of this 150 year-old building and it looked pretty solid. But the floors were not. Our original hopes had been to re-use much of the original flooring but we realized that rotting beams and unusable floorboards would change that. With EnerGreen’s advice, we agreed to redo much of the wooden flooring for the visitor-half of the building; the flooring of the working-half of the building would be concrete — a much stronger and safer working surface for the new forge.

First, however, we needed to set the building on new foundations, following the scheme we had learned from King’s Landing that had worked so well for us on each of our other buildings. So, beginning in June, the building was jacked up (there’s Mark Spence, another of the co-op builders from EnerGreen, whose enthusiasm and experience saw us through many challenges) and a heavy concrete footing poured all around the perimeter.

Onto this concrete perimeter were placed a carefully selected set of foundation stones (local sandstone blocks salvaged from other foundations), mortar applied between them and then the building lowered onto this combination, so that when landscaping is completed, it simply looks like a sandstone foundation.

In these next photos we see Bill Cook, another EnerGreen veteran from earlier phases of carriage factory restoration, replacing the front doors (newly made, but in exactly the same manner as the originals), while inside the wooden floor is being replaced and concrete poured into the rear half to provide an especially strong pad for the forge. Before that concrete had set, sandstone slabs (from R. Brooks just down the road) were carefully placed to recreate the blacksmith’s work area.

Meanwhile, Allan Pooley (another well-known local tradesman who has worked on all our projects) worked out a scheme whereby we could provide electricity for lighting and exhibits, but so cleverly hidden you’d never know it was there! Finally, Jeff Carter can be seen finishing up some steps, the new windows (from Richards & Sons of Amherst, the only ones in our area who can still produce wooden windows to match the originals) have been installed, trim boards painted, and with some additional gravel and cleanup… the project is nearly complete.

Well, it would be complete… but there is still the new forge, and for that we’ll ask you to wait for our third article in this series.

We do not want to wait, however, to thank our friends at EnerGreen for another job well done!

Charles C. Barnes — Farmer, Fisherman, Ship-builder, Inventor

By Bill Snowdon

This article describing the life and achievements of Charles C. Barnes was initiated by a request to the Tantramar Heritage Trust from a gentleman in Vancouver. He was interested in knowing about the inventor of the Vane Pump, Charles C. Barnes of Wood Point (Sackville), who patented the pump in 1874. The response to this request is as follows.

Charles C Barnes was born in Wood Point in 1813, the son of Captain Oliver and Lucretia (Ayer) Barnes. He had two brothers and eight sisters.

Charles’ grandfather, John Barnes, was one of the first settlers in Wood Point having arrived in the Sackville Parish from Rhode Island in 1767.

Charles grew up on the land his grand-father settled in the late 1700s, the property extended from a point on the Bay back to the second tier lots, near the present day CN rail line. The point on the Bay shore was later named Barnes’ Point and was the site of a lighthouse built in 1910. Charles inherited the home property of his father, Oliver, which included wood land, cleared farm land and a long section of marsh known as “Long Marsh” at Wood Point. We would assume that at a young age Charles was acquainted with farming, shad fishing, and had been at sea with his father, perhaps travelling to foreign countries. In 1835, Charles married Jane Estabrooks and they had four boys and five girls.

Living near the sea (Cumberland Basin) and having a “Sea Captain” father, Charles would have had a fondness for ships. In 1842, William Boultenhouse, Charles’ brother-in-law and shipbuilder in Wood Point, built him a schooner called Julia Ann. In 1847, Charles built a schooner himself called “Jane”, named after his wife. Another Wood Point sea captain, Timothy Outhouse, was co-owner probably providing financial assistance. Timothy Outhouse lived up the road from the Barnes farm on property presently owned by Dale Snowdon.

In 1873, Charles Barnes built a 218-ton brigantine, a ship he called “Westmorland” down at the shore below his home. Although Barnes was the major shareholder his record book indicated the other shareholders as follows: R.C Boxall, Sackville 1/8 share; Gideon Palmer, Dorchester 1/8 share; Edwin Botsford, Sackville 1/8 share; William Black, Sackville 1/8 share; Samuel Black, Sackville 2/64 share; William Sutherland, New Glascow 2/64 share; Capt John Campbell, Wood Point 1/16 share; Capt E. Kersten, 1/8 share.

Charles Barnes also operated a country store at the rear of his home; his record book dated transactions between 1873 and 1890, showing he was selling hardwood planks and lumber to the Walter J. Roberts quarry. Furthermore, he bartered barrels of shad to merchant James Ayer of Sackville in return for boots and moccasins and also barrels of shad to the female academy (Mount Allison).The local barter system was also active in the area as his record book showed that Owen Wood of Wood Point sheared twenty sheep for Barnes in return for 1 gallon of molasses, 3 pecks of potatoes, and 116 pounds of hay. Another local man, William Ward, worked on Barnes’ dyke for 2 weeks in order to pay for his tobacco, a pig and 2 pounds of butter. Remnants of Barnes’ dyke are still present to this day; the posts protrude from marsh along the shoreline.

Owning a store meant Barnes could sell to the shareholders of the ship Westmorland the supplies necessary to put the ship and crew to sea. On December 9, 1878, his record book shows the following transaction:

To Brig Westmorland and owners

  • 2 barrels of pork @ $13.00: 26.00
  • 62 pounds of pork @ 6 Ω c: 40.30
  • 2 barrels of beef @ 12.00: 24.00
  • 65 pounds of beef @ 6 c: 3.90
  • 8 bushel potatoes @ 60 c: 4.80
  • Ω bushel beets @ 60 c: .30
  • 2 Ω bushel turnips @ 40 c: 1.00
  • Ω bushel beans @ 2.00: 1.00
  • Ω bushel peas @ 2.00: 1.00
  • Ω barrel shad: 5.00
  • 1 bushel salt: .40

The bill was paid in cash by Edwin Botsford.

It appears that around 1860 Charles Barnes built a wind-powered sawmill. Most mills in those days were built on a river or stream to provide water power but Barnes did not have a suitable stream on his farm. Wind provided the alternate source of power. Because we do not have a picture of the sawmill, we would need to make some assumptions as to its design. The windmill would have had wooden blades much like the old wind mills in Holland. In order to face prevailing winds, the prop may have been mounted on a turret so the prop could be turned to face the wind. Belts and/or wooden gears would have transferred the rotary motion down to the saw, probably an offset crankpin and rod changing rotary motion to a linear (up and down motion) of the saw. A circular saw could also have been a possibility. We don’t know how effective this mill was for sawing logs but we suppose Barnes could “saw logs when the wind blew” or “make hay when the sun shined.”

One would assume that Barnes had an interest in education, not only for his own children but for the community as well. A school house was located on his property. In the 1851 census, the teacher, William MacDonald, was boarding at the Barnes’ home.

In 1871, the New Brunswick government passed a “Common Schools Act” which meant that property-owners in a county would be taxed for the support of schools. In 1875, Barnes sold a parcel of land where the old school was located to School District #5 for $50 for the erection of a new school. Over the next 25 years, 1,600 one-room schools were built in the Province and Wood Point had one of them.

The Barnes home was the first in Wood Point to have running water. A device known as a “Water Ram” was used to pump water from a spring down across the road approximately 200 yards from the house up to a tank in the attic of the home. Water could flow by gravity down to the bathroom and kitchen taps. Because a water ram works continuously, an overflow pipe from the tank in the attic carried water out to a hogshead near the barn where the cattle and horses could be watered. Overflow from the hogshead ran down to the road ditch.

A water ram is a device used to pump water without any source of power other than a “head” of water. The flow of water into the water ram causes it to pump or ram water to a high elevation or great distances. They were commonly used in the days before electricity especially on farms located near a stream of water. Perhaps the desire to pump water to his home from the spring or pump bilge water from his ships may have led Barnes to experiment with methods of pumping water. On June 15, 1874, Barnes patented a “Rotary Vane Pump”. As described in Mario ThÈriault’s Great Maritime Inventions 1833–1950 (Goose Lane Editions, 2001 (page 53; with diagram of the pump shown): “The invention consisted of a wheel with diametrical sliding leaves which revolved in a casing that had segmental enlargement. During operation, this formed a suction and pressure chamber that communicated with inlet and outlet openings. When the wheel rotated, the leaves slid in and out against the casing, causing a continuous suction through the inlet opening and a pressure flow through the outlet opening. A check valve was installed on the inlet pipe to resist back pressure and to keep the inlet pipe full. The same design is still in use today.”

One must realize that in 1874 there would have been limited means of driving a pump. Gasoline engines had not been invented and electric motors and electricity were not available; so wind, water power, or a steam engine would be the methods of propelling a pump.

Being involved in the automotive industry for a number of years, I was familiar with the vane pump and its use on the automobile; a power steering pump being most common. We often referred to the pump as a Vickers Vane Pump; Vickers was the trade name and the Vickers still manufacture vane hydraulic pumps today. At the time I did not know that the vane pump was invented by a “man who had lived down the road”, that man being Charles C Barnes whose descendants still own part of the farm where he once lived.

Charles C Barnes died February 12, 1884, after a life time of achievement no doubt not knowing how useful and important his invention, the vane pump would be to future generations.

Provoke, Relate, Reveal — The Nuts and Bolts of Heritage Interpretation

By Charlotte Gleave Riemann

“I never realized that!”

“I had always wondered how that worked!”

These, and thoughts like them, are what I come away with when I pick up a copy of The White Fence. I would hazard a guess that you’ve had them too. They are prize words every museum interpreter hopes to hear — at least, they are words I hope to hear!

I am writing to you as the Tantramar Heritage Trust’s new Education and Outreach Intern. In November, the Trust ratified the policy of its Discovery Committee, the committee responsible for education, outreach, and programming. Over the next eight months, we will be working together to support and expand the ways in which the Trust interprets the rich heritage of the Tantramar region.

What do I mean by interpret?

James Cross, editor of A Sense of Place: An Interpretive Planning Handbook, states simply that “Interpretation is all about helping people appreciate something that you feel is special.” Dandy. But how?

Freeman Tilden, whose 1957 book Interpreting our Heritage continues to be the book on interpretation, defined the practice of interpretation in three words: provoke, relate, and reveal. That is, interpretation should provoke thought rather than overwhelm with facts. I wonder what it felt like to live through Rockport winters in the 1920s? It should relate the event or object being described to the personal experiences of each visitor. I remember waiting two days for the snowploughs to clear our road in Thunder Bay. And finally, interpretation should reveal new insight. The invention of snow ploughs had an incredible social impact on rural Canadian communities.

Physically, interpretation can be signage and displays, interactive activities, a guide who tells great stories, or a special event.

This year at the Heritage Trust, our interpretation goals include:

  • developing a permanent orientation plan that enables summer employees to exhibit best practices in interpretation (provoke, relate, reveal!)
  • increasing permanent activities for youth and families at both museums
  • further developing events, special programming and relationships with the community (e.g. summer and school holiday programming for children, Scout and Guide events, demonstration days at both museums)
  • expanding opportunities for meaningful short-term volunteerism.

If any of these thoughts tweak your curiosity or spark ideas of your own, let us know! We’d love to hear from you and have an “I wouldn’t have thought of that” moment of your own., (506) 536-2541

Tantramar Heritage Trust proudly presents the 16th Annual Heritage Day in Sackville — Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Tantramar Heritage Trust is once again presenting its popular annual Heritage Day celebrations, this year with a theme of “Glimpses from our 250 Years”, referring to the 250th anniversary of the founding of Sackville Township in 1762. All events will be held on Saturday, February 11.

The day will begin in the morning with a breakfast, displays and other activities, at Tantramar Regional High School. The delicious breakfast will feature eggs, bacon, sausage, home-baked beans, toast, orange juice, tea, and coffee from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tickets for the breakfast are $7 for adults and $4 for those 10 years old and under and they can be purchased at the Trust office or at the door.

In addition to the usual roster of interesting and fun activities that occur at every Trust Heritage Day, a special set of activities have been designed this year to allow young people to have fun while their parents visit the displays and enjoy other aspects of the morning.

Lucy MacDonald from the Owens Art Gallery will be on hand to present an activity centered around Colville House, using a computer where people can explore the interactive timeline of Alex Colville’s life and work that the Owens is developing; she will have copies of the Colville House Sketchbook to give anyone interested in doing some drawing. Along with this activity, the Trust’s new Education and Outreach Intern, Charlotte Gleave Riemann, will present activities especially aimed at young people and families.

The morning part of Heritage Day will also feature displays by the Tantramar Heritage Trust, the Town of Sackville Heritage Board, Fort Beausejour/Fort Cumberland NHS, and several others from 8 a.m. to noon. You can view the displays along with live music performed by Cecelia Jennings on fiddle and Bernard Soubry on bodhran and guitar. And Tantramar’s own popular version of the Antiques Roadshow will be hosted by Ray Dixon from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Members of the public can bring in their antiques and have them appraised for only $5.

Afternoon activities for Heritage Day will feature interesting talks on local history as well as the launching of a new Trust publication. Starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Sackville Visitor Centre on Mallard Drive, Paul Bogaard will present a talk titled The Struggle for Sackville which will kick-off the Trust’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Sackville Township with some historical highlights and an overview of Trust events for the year.

The book The Store and More — History of J.L. Black and Sons by Larry Black will also be launched and Al Smith will speak on the book and related history.

The third speaker for the afternoon will be from Acadia University. Sarah Story, chief student researcher, will speak on Acadia University’s historical research into the Beaubassin area (and their research station on the Tantramar marshes) in a talk entitled Historical Research on Beaubassin, the Tantramar, and the Chignecto Isthmus. Sarah will discuss her activities as a student researcher involved in the Beaubassin Project, with particular emphasis on the oral history of the Tonge’s Island site upon which the Beaubassin Research Station now stands, and the marshlands and uplands that surround the island. Acadia University’s Beaubassin Project is a study of the human history of the Beaubassin Research Station site, dating back to first habitation by aboriginal peoples and progressing through settlements by Acadians, Planters, Yorkshire settlers, and 19th- and 20th-century farmers.

The Trust is also still looking for volunteers for the day, for a wide variety of activities ranging from kitchen work to selling books and everything in between. For information on these events, or to volunteer, please contact the Trust at 536-2541 or visit

group with bicycles

A Country Store and More — Joseph L. Black & Sons, 1830s–1960s

A Maritime Family Enterprise, and Beyond

The Tantramar Heritage Trust is thrilled to be launching its 22nd publication on Saturday, February 11, 2012. A Country Store and More is the story of three generations of a Middle Sackville, New Brunswick, family in business, military, political, church, education, and community affairs.

History is more than the sweeping saga of great events, it is also the daily record of how people lived, worked, and interacted — the context that gives meaning to the whole. In A Country Store and More, Larry Black has integrated these two levels of historical analysis in a readable and compelling account of one Maritime family’s experience over a period of nearly two centuries. As merchants, farmers, lumbermen, soldiers and industrialists, the Blacks of Middle Sackville, New Brunswick, influenced the economic, social and political evolution of their times, not just locally, but regionally and, at times, nationally.

Joseph Laurence (Larry) Black is uniquely qualified to tell this tale. As a member of the family he has had unequalled access to their story, both oral and written. As a distinguished historian and scholar, he possesses the insight and ability to craft from this material a vibrant portrait of a community and a society making the transition from pioneer village to modern times.

  • 251 pages.
  • Launch date: February 11, 2012, during the Tantramar Heritage Trust Heritage Day activities
  • Place: Sackville Tourist Information Centre, Mallard Drive, Sackville, NB
  • Time: 1:30–3:30 pm