The White Fence, issue #79

january 2018


Dear friends,

This special newsletter consists primarily of requests for your assistance. The working of the Trust is largely based on the efforts of a board of directors and numerous committees. Many of us have been on these committees since their creation. We could use some new blood! And I must be clear: these are not onerous tasks. Their activities are actually quite enjoyable and very fruitful. Some committees might meet once a year or once every few months – depending on the season. So please read carefully and join us in our efforts to preserve our past if you can. If this newsletter does convince you to do so, please contact Karen Valanne at 536-2541 or write to her at and express your preference(s). You will be welcomed with open arms! And if you require some convincing that these efforts are indeed worthwhile, at the end of this newsletter read the letter and see the photos of a very special gift presented to us by Senator Stewart Olsen. It can’t get any better than this. Please join us!

We begin this newsletter with the story of a special photo. Ten years ago, Al Smith was given a copy of an old photograph taken across from his present home in Sackville. Any comments you may have about this photo and the family members it depicts would be most welcomed by Al (also via It is a beautiful historic photo and we encourage any of you who might have similar ones in your attics or family albums to pass them along to us with their respective stories.

Similarly, Colin MacKinnon found old photos of ads in the local newspaper (1879 and 1902) from the Doull brothers, cabinet and furniture makers searching for work. Many older homes in Sackville may still have fine wooden (now antique) furniture (or fancy house renovations/ decorative additions) made by the Doull brothers near, or at, the turn of the 20th century. Any information regarding these special furniture makers/carpenters from olden times would be much appreciated by Colin (see contact information with Colin’s request).

We look forward to welcoming some of you to our organization and others to pass on information to Al and Colin regarding the Palmer and Doull families. Furthermore, any historic photos of family and friends (with their associated stories) that any of you may have to pass on to us would be much appreciated.

It is for all of us to enjoy and learn from.

Peter Hicklin

This notice is to inform all of our readers that the board of Directors of the Tantramar Heritage Trust has chosen to dedicate our latest publication of 2017 on The Histories of Church Congregations in Sackville New Brunswick to the late Eldon Hay – a dear friend and mentor.

More than Just a Family Photo

by Al Smith

Photo of Palmer family in Sackville, NB May 1920

May 24, 1920 (Middle Sackville) Foreground left to right: Marion Palmer (age 15), Fannie Palmer (29), Helen Palmer (24), Gladys Palmer (21), Nita Palmer Ayer (31) holding baby Florences and in the back, to the left, is Ralph Palmer (age 12 or 13). Boy in front of Helen is unknown but possibly Truman Hoar.

It is rare that one comes across an historic photo that is not only dated but was from the neighborhood in which I grew up. The photo at right was taken on May 24th 1920 and shows members of the Palmer family standing under a large chestnut tree in front of their family home (currently corner of Main and Marshview Streets, Sackville).

There is a well-known old expression which states that “a picture is worth a 1000 words”; the photo tells a story well beyond being a family group photo. I was given a copy of this photograph over ten years ago while visiting the home of Lois and Sherman Estabrooks who lived on the old Robson property at the end of Bridge Street in Sackville. The lady in the centre of the photo, Helen Palmer (1896-1975) was Lois’ mother.

Descended from the Loyalist family of Gideon Palmer, the family grouping in this photo consists of the children of Frank (1862-1932) and Lois (Estabrooks) Palmer (1865-1946). Frank was the grandson of Gideon’s son Philip (1786-1873) who was known as “Philip the Squire”. He served 20 years as an M.P.P. for Westmorland and was also a Crown Land Surveyor and did many of the early plans in Sackville Parish. His son Charles G. Palmer (1817-1885) was also a Crown Land Surveyor and was likely the one who planted the chestnut tree in front of his family home. That tree, shown in the photo behind the group, was still there in the mid 1970s when my wife and I purchased the property directly across the street (256 Main Street). It was a tree that I played in as a child with the Kilcup children whose parents owned the old Palmer place at that time.

The 1920 photo shows a rutted and muddy springtime Main Street not paved until 1944. However, look carefully behind Ralph Palmer and you will notice a four plank wide sidewalk. That boardwalk went from downtown to at least as far as the Mariner Wood property (now the Doncaster Farm at 280 Main St.) whose buildings you can see in the distance above Ralph Palmer’s head. Possibly it went on further to Middle Sackville but as a boy I remember seeing evidence of a once functioning sidewalk only as far as the old Wood property. Plank sidewalks had long been a feature of Town streets and were fastidiously maintained by Captain William Pringle the town’s Road Commissioner. However, the town boundary at that time was near the present day Booster Pump so one wonders who paid for, and maintained, the walkways farther out.

The interesting board fence and gate (just to the left of the hydro pole in the photo) was the entrance to the Alder Trueman home built in 1855 (260 Main Street). Trueman was the bookkeeper for Mariner Wood. The fence is long gone but the house and barns are still there.

Yes indeed, “a picture is worth a 1000 words”.

1950 sketch of the former Alder Trueman property

Circa 1950 sketch of the former Alder Trueman property by J. William (Bill) Black.

Sources: 2006 interview with Lois (Robson) Estabrooks; Palmer Family genealogy; The Palmer Brothers in the Chignecto by Helen Petchey published 1990; Early History of Dorchester and Surrounding Area by W.C. Milner – 3rd printing, 1981; Aboushagan to Zwicker by Al Smith, 2004.

Information Request

For an upcoming article, I am seeking information on brothers John Wesley Doull (1849-1954) and Charles Alexander Doull (1856-1903). These men “Cabinet Makers” from Prince Edward Island, lived in Sackville in the late 1800s. J. W. Doull made furniture in Middle Sackville while C. A. Doull had a furniture shop where Ove Samuelson’s law office now stands at the corner of Squire and Bridge Streets. I would be interested in seeing any documents or photographs of these families that may have survived. Specifically, receipts, trade labels, letters, ledgers, or examples of their work… would be appreciated.

I can be reached at 506 536 4283 or by emailing the Trust.

With thanks, Colin MacKinnon

C.A. Doull advertisement 1902

C.A. Doull advertisement (Semi Weekly Post, Sackville, NB, 31 January 1902)

J.W. Doull advertisement 1879

J.W. Doull advertisement (Chignecto Post, Sackville, NB, 6 February 1879)

The Tantramar Heritage Trust

Its Mission, Membership, Tasks and Goals

by Peter Hicklin

1. Mission Statement, Vision and Principles

Promote the preservation of heritage resources in the Tantramar Region.

Stimulate public interest in the history of the Tantramar Region and its heritage resources.

• Value the history, people, places and heritage properties of the Tantramar Region.

• Contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the Tantramar Region

• Bring about awareness through engaging and interactive programs.

• Facilitate outreach and new membership opportunities.

• Engage community members and visitors of diverse and multigenerational backgrounds.

2. Collections Management

In order to fulfill the terms of its mission, the Tantramar Heritage Trust acquires and manages collections of artefacts and holds these collections in trust for the public. The Trust aspires to maintain the integrity of its collections and the associated records in accordance with professional museum standards.

The Trusts’ permanent collections are housed in the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre, the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum, the THT Archives, and the Alec R. Purdy History and Genealogy Research Centre.

3. Your Board of Directors

Barbara Jardine (president), Geoff Martin (Vice President), Paul Bogaard (Treasurer), Rebekah Cant (Secretary), Al Smith (Publications), Peter Hicklin (newsletter), Wendy Burnett (collections), Bill Snowdon (Boultenhouse), Bob Bowser (Board of Management), Christiana Steeves and Demian Hammock.

4. Membership

In 2017, our membership attained a total of 210 members made up of 22 honorary, 71 household (with numerous memberships per household) and 45 individual memberships. Every paid member is regularly kept informed of all Trust activities and events and includes: i) a vote at the Annual General Meeting, ii) free admission to the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum and the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre, including the Alec R. Purdy Research Centre and iii) copies of The White Fence newsletter sent at least four times a year. Our 2018 membership campaign was launched before Christmas and, by mid-January, we were halfway to our goal of matching, or exceeding, our previous year’s numbers.

5. Committees, members and their Tasks

Collections – Chair: Wendy Burnett with members Paul Bogaard, Barbara Jardine, Christiana Steeves, Karen Valanne and Barb Jardine. The committee reviews items donated to the Tantramar Heritage Trust and approves the acquisition of artefacts of local interest, particularly those pertinent to the history of the Tantramar region. Following an accessioning process, the artefacts and archival materials are exhibited in the museums or stored at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre and the Anderson Octagonal House.

Publications – Chair: Al Smith with members Carrie MacMillan, Leslie Van Patter, Sandy Burnett, Paul
Bogaard, Karen Valanne and Nancy Vogan. Copy editing assistance is also provided by Rhianna Edwards and Gerrie Baycroft. The Publications Committee determines which manuscripts to publish and decides on the style and binding for the publication, keeping in mind consistency as well as the look of the publication. The committee arranges for the printing, marketing, distribution and sales of all Trust publications. It also prepares Press Releases and facilitates book launches. Books are sold at our two museums and Trust functions plus at independent retailers via consignment agreements. Annual sales data and inventory are carefully maintained. The Trust has produced 32 publications over the past 20 years and sales usually accounts for about $5,000.00 in annual revenue.

Boultenhouse – Chair: Bill Snowdon with assistance from Al Smith and additional volunteer assistance for spring and fall clean-up work. This committee is charged with maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre including repair needs in the accompanying apartment. For major items, the Committee sources contractors and monitors the work while in progress. Coordination of lawn-mowing and yard maintenance is also done in coordination with a Landscaping Committee.

Campbell Carriage Factory and Blacksmith Shop – Chair: Paul Bogaard with assistance from Al Smith and additional help during the spring opening and fall closure. Maintenance, upkeep, repair, lawn mowing and mower servicing etc. are all duties done by this Committee along with major duties such as shingling repairs on the Blacksmith Shop.

The White Fence – Chair: Peter Hicklin (editor) with Leslie Van Patter (formatting/layout). Volunteers submit articles to the editor and the goal is 4 issues per year although there have been years with 3 or 5 issues printed depending on circumstances.

Research Centre – Chair: Al Smith with assistance from David McKellor and Karen Valanne. The aim of this committee is to facilitate and assist people wishing to conduct research on local families. The committee gathers books, news articles, photographs and other documents related to local history and genealogy. All items are catalogued in a database.

Exhibits – Chair: Paul Bogaard with assistance from Christiana Steeves, Barb Jardine and Leslie Van Patter. With guidance from Leslie, Paul and Christiana, students and professional designers were able to create and build “The Profession of Housekeeping” exhibit that opened last October in memory of Pauline Spatz. A popular Quilt Exhibit was also organized by Barb Jardine and prepared by the Sackville Quilter’s Guild in 2017. Numerous additional interpretive panels were added in summer 2017 to augment the messaging on the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum. Also, new genealogical
panels about the Boultenhouse and Bulmer families were installed at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre.

Workshops – Chair: Rebekah Cant. No other formal members but, depending on workshop needs, volunteers are often required. An example is the popular annual workshop on Old-Fashioned Christmas Decorations.

Events – Members: Bob Bowser, Rebekah Cant, Al Smith, Christiana Steeves, Karen Valanne, Barb Jardine (and others as needed).

Finance Committee – Members: Geoff Martin, Paul Bogaard, Mariner Black and Bob Bowser. This committee looks after Trust investments with outside professional help.

Capital Projects Fundraising – Chair: Geoff Martin with the assistance of 6 to 12 volunteer canvassers. Ad Hoc Website Committee – Members: Barb Jardine, Karen Valanne, Christiana Steeves and Demian Hammock. Our very capable webmaster is Charlie Scobie. A small website committee has been assembled and, advised by Chris MacKay, looks into recommending changes to update the website and make it mobile-friendly, among other things.

Student Hiring Committee – Karen Valanne, Paul Bogaard, Wendy Burnett and Barb Jardine are responsible for interviewing and hiring students for both museums during the summer months.

Personnel Committee – Barbara Jardine, as Trust President, provides oversight of the role of the Executive Director.

Nominating Committee – This committee is active in winter and early spring and consists of Barb Jardine, Bob Bowser, Rebekah Cant and Karen Valanne.

Membership and Volunteers Committee – Members; Barb Jardine and Karen Valanne. This committee’s function is to maintain the annual membership list, handle membership renewals and maintain the donor database. Additional volunteers would be helpful especially to assist in keeping membership, volunteer listings and the donor database updated.

6. Financial Assistance

Crake Foundation and Town of Sackville
In 2017, the Tantramar Heritage Trust received grant contributions from The Crake Foundation ($5,600) and the Town of Sackville ($5,000). Both are significant not only their generous financial  contributions but especially for their demonstration of confidence in the Trust’s activities in the Sackville community. Both are greatly appreciated! These financial contributions allow us to undertake many activities such as those described in this newsletter and others yet to be initiated in 2018.

Rotary Gold Mine Toonie Draw
The Rotary Club of Sackville collects loonies donated by Sackville residents and which are numbered; one is drawn once weekly with 50% of the donated loonies going to the person conducting the draw representing a school or institution and the remainder split, four times a year, between 13 community schools and organizations. In 2017, the Tantramar Heritage Trust was one of the community organizations chosen by the Rotary Club and we are pleased to report that the Trust received an average of approximately $600.00 each time for an annual total of approximately $2,500.00. We extend
our appreciation to the Rotary Club of Sackville for this much-needed and valued assistance. This past November, the Trust once again submitted an application for the Rotary Gold Mine Toonie Draw 2018 and we are pleased to report that our application has been approved! From all of us: Thank you Rotary!

7. Museum Visitation

As of December 2017, 1,653 visitors had explored the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre while 1,463 visitors walked through the doors of the Campbell Carriage Factory for a total of 3,116 visitors spending some valuable time at our two museums (and, we assume, the Town of Sackville!).

8. Committees currently not active and in need of chairpersons and volunteers

• Communications
• Historical Society
• Retail Sales (non-publication items for our gift shops)
• Discovery Committee

9. Heritage Events and Activities in 2017

April 11: The Battle of Vimy Ridge – interesting public presentation by Sandy Fairbanks.

May 31: Annual General Meeting – Rhianna Edwards was voted Volunteer of the Year and Dr. Hannah Lane made the presentation: Youth in Mid-Nineteenth Century New Brunswick.

June 18: Official opening of the Campbell Carriage Factory with blacksmithing demonstrations, plant sale, children’s activities and live music from Meredith and Miriam Hicks.

July 1: Annual Canada Day Strawberry Social at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre.

July 5: Make it Bake! Children’s Workshop.

July 13: Close Enough Trivia at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre hosted by our Crake intern Mitchell Gunn.

July 19: Make it Grow Children’s Workshop.

July 20: Baking Contest and Auction at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre.

July 26: Make it Paper! Children’s Workshop.

July 27: Exploring the Stars at the Campbell Carriage Factory featuring a presentation by Dr. Catherine Lovekin.

August 13: Heritage Field Day at the Campbell Carriage Factory featuring live music, folk dancing, BBQ lunch, blacksmithing demonstrations and children’s games.

September 14-16: Canada 150 Quilt Show – in partnership with the Sackville Quilter’s Guild at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. Over those three days, 150 visitors enjoyed the museum and quilt display and many more throughout the following weeks. New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant and MLA Bernard Leblanc visited the Heritage Centre and quilt display on September 15.

Fall Fair weekend – Saturday, September 16: The Campbell Carriage Factory was open between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm with guided tours and blacksmithing demonstrations. 130 visitors were welcomed by museum guide Aidan Legault and were given a tour of this historic carriage factory with assistance from Al Smith, Barb Jardine and Maria O’Leary. Paul Bogaard and John Kilpatrick opened the blacksmith shop and operated the forge, giving blacksmithing demonstrations and chatting with visitors about the blacksmithing process.

Tuesday, September 19, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Karen Valanne, Aidan Legault and Krista Nix gave a tour of the Campbell Carriage Factory to the Girl Guides (12 Girl Guides with three leaders and parents and siblings for a total of 30) and sat around a campfire until darkness set in.

Thursday, September 21: 20 grade 5 students from Marshview Middle School were given a tour of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre by Karen Valanne and Christiana Steeves.

Tuesday, September 26: Al Smith took 22 members of the Seniors College for a tour of the Campbell Carriage Factory.

Thursday, September 28: Barb Jardine began her series of four genealogy classes for the Seniors College in the Great Room of the Anderson Octagonal House. 18 people were registered and classes ran for 4 weeks.

Tuesday, October 9: Al Smith brought 22 students with the Seniors College for a tour of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre and Christiana Steeves brought 16 Grade 5 students from Marshview Middle School for a similar tour and associated activities.

Sunday, October 15 – Book Launch: At 2:00 p.m. in the old Bulmer kitchen of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre, Al Smith introduced Peter Hicklin who launched the Trust’s new publication entitled The Histories of Church Congregations in Sackville, New Brunswick along with the announcement that the book was dedicated to the memory of the Trust’s dear friend, supporter and mentor Eldon Hay. The launch was followed with a presentation by Christiana Steeves who spoke about upcoming exhibits at the Heritage Centre. Punch, tea, coffee and cookies were provided.

Sunday, October 22 – Genealogy Workshop for Families: Rebekah organized two sessions at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre held at 1:30 and 3:00 pm.

Friday, November 17 – Fall Fundraising Dinner: 67 people attended the wonderful fundraising dinner held at St. Ann’s Church Hall in Westcock. Catering was by Laurie Ann Wesselby and featured a delicious Autumn Soup followed by Maple BBQ Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Apple Cheese Cake. The tables were beautifully decorated by Wendy Burnett and Carrie MacMillan with candles, evergreens and colourful maple leaves, all of which made for a wonderful meal, bringing fundraising up to an all new level of excellence and joy! In celebration of Canada 150, the evening was very ably emceed by Bob Bowser and featured presentations on three of Sackville’s Mr. Canadas: John Fisher, George Stanley and Alex Colville, by Charlie Scobie, Geoff Martin and Sandy Burnett, respectively. Rebekah and Aidan provided handouts of celebratory Canadian songs with everyone joining in with full volume! This was followed by a challenging game of Trivia organized by Al Smith.

December 8: Christmas Decoration-Making Workshop working with natural materials and held at the Anderson Octagonal House.

Heritage Week 2018 – February 12-19, 2018: New Brunswick has adopted the theme Heritage Now! – Le patrimoine au présent! for Heritage Week 2018. The period 12-19 February includes Black History month, National Flag of Canada Day (February 15) and National Heritage Day (February 19). The goal for Heritage Week is to provide New Brunswickers with opportunities to celebrate their history at local levels. This year, in the promotion of historical thinking, all interested community organizations, individuals, schools, museums, libraries, archives, senior’s centers and historic sites are invited to reflect upon the impact of the past on our present day.

Sackville’s Heritage Day – February 18: A major change this year will be that the traditional Heritage Breakfast will not be held at Tantramar High School (or anywhere else) although special presentations will be made in the afternoon. Members will be updated once a final Heritage Day activities program is completed.

9. Senatorial Endorsement – Letter to the Tantramar Heritage Trust from the Honourable Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Senator for New Brunswick.

The following letter from Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen was received by the Tantramar Heritage Trust in November, 2017. We are especially grateful to Senator Stewart Olsen for her kind words.

Letter from Senator Olsen to Tantramar Heritage Trust
Senate Medal, front and back

Senate Medal, front and back. See Citation below.

Citation from Canadian Senate upon presentation to Tantramar Heritage Trust