It is with great pleasure I tell you that the stories keep coming! What a great way to start our New Year and a new season of newsletters. This issue is primarily about people, past and present. On this topic, Colin MacKinnon informs us of the importance of documentation, especially about folks from our distant past. This is a lesson from which we all can learn. As for important people of today, it is with great pride that we announce our gratitude to two significant members of the Trust to whom we owe much. I am sure that you will agree. Lastly, we have the celebration following the publication the 100th issue of The White Fence. The Board of Directors surprised me with a special cake at a Board meeting following the completion of that special issue. How does that famous comment go: “Let them eat cake!” Well, I did and loved every crumb!
– Peter Hicklin
Jemima (Read) Campbell – Home for Christmas
by Colin M. MacKinnon
The following note emphasizes the importance of documentation. Sadly, so many old photograph collections contain images of family members that can no longer be identified as no one took the time to write a name or identifying information on the back. For the benefit of future generations, I encourage readers to pull out those old photos and carefully print the person’s name (and further identification such as date of birth, parents, etc.) on the image where it is legible but in a location
that does not damage the picture. The additional information may be critical as later historians may not be able to decipher a label that just says “uncle John”. Also, be careful not to use ink that might bleed through the paper; archivists use pencil.
On 10 November, 2022, I found an interesting note in my mail box from Lise Rand who lives in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. She wrote: “I walked into Value Village in New Minas, NS, and came across a most beautiful antique portrait. The lady in the photo looked so genuine, and had kindness in her eyes. I turned her around and noticed some writing on the back… Jemima Read, in green ink and what I believe to be her marriage dates, etc. I am wondering if this is the same lady in your family tree.” (Figure 1).
Fortunately, someone had the forethought to write her name and date-of-birth on the back of the frame thus allowing Lise to identify the lady in the portrait as Jemima Read (1831-1893) of Sackville. Jemima was the daughter of “Deacon” Eliphalet Jemima (Read) Campbell – Home for Christmas Read (1798-1889) and his wife Rebecca Outhouse (1799-1876) of Beech Hill. And, more importantly to me, she was my great-great grandmother.
On the 23rd January 1851, Jemima married widower and Master Mariner Seth Mark Campbell (1818-1880) of Wood Point (Figure 2). The wedding was conducted by Willard C. Parker, Baptist Minister, and witnessed by James Read and Mary Lawrence. Captain Campbell’s first wife was Sarah E. Davis (circa 1828-1849) who may have died in childbirth. On the 5th February 1849, Seth M. Campbell purchased a house and land at Wood Point from Henry and Dorcas Purdy for £145 (Deed No. 17680).
The parcel was described as follows:
“Southwesterly by the main road and a piece of land fenced off on which a Methodist Meeting house is located, North Easterly by a road two rods wide running nearly Northwest, North Westerly by lands owned by Simon Outhouse and South Westerly by lands owned by Joseph Milner”.
This was to be Jemima’s home until her passing in 1893 (Figure 3).
The back of the portrait contained one other piece of critical information regarding the creator of the work. Written in bold lettering was the following information: “Recd amt in full / S. F. TarBush / Apl 18th 99”. Fortunately, TarBush is not a common name in the Maritimes and a quick search of the 1901 census revealed a Stephen Franklin TarBush, aged 34, and his wife Sarah, 29 years old, living in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The clincher was his occupation being listed as “artist”. Furthermore, Mr. TarBush, who operated the “High Grade Art Parlor” is recorded as working from home with a significant income (for the time) of $1,000/year. As Jemima passed away in 1893 and the date on the back of the image was 1899, it appears that it was drawn after her death. Apparently, this was a specialty of TarBush who advertised that photographs could be sent to him to copy.
Jemima had at least seven siblings and, possibly salient to this story, two of her brothers were Rev. James Loring Read (1830-1905) and Rev. Eliphalet Outhouse Read (1833-1911). Both attended the Baptist Convention in Wolfville in 1869 and served, respectively, for some time at Aylesford and Berwick, Nova Scotia. We have no idea where Jemima’s portrait has been for the past hundred years or who left it at the store in New Minas. However, it is possible it resided with the family of one of these ministers named above. Thanks to the detective work and generosity of Lise Rand and the wishes of her nine-year-old daughter Mearah, Jemima is home for Christmas.
Barb gets a “Charlie”
Distinguished Service Award presented to Barbara Jardine – May 28, 2022
By Al Smith
The Trust established a new volunteer recognition award in 2019 known as the Distinguished
Service Award, not to be awarded annually but periodically to recognize Trust members who have made highly significant contributions over many, many years. This special award was first given to Charlie Scobie on June 2, 2019, at the Trust’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that year. Since Charlie Scobie was the motivation for the Trust to create the need for this award, we have come to call it a
“Charlie”, the highest level of recognition that the Trust will give out to a very select few members of our
dedicated group of volunteers.
The recipient of the Trust’s second “Charlie” award was Barbara Jardine, presented to her at the Trust’s 2022 AGM. A brief summary of her long involvement and extraordinary leadership with the Trust follows.
Barb joined the THT Board on June 10th, 1999. She initially chaired the Trust’s Historical Society Committee and organized five sessions during fiscal year 1999/2000. In June 2000, she joined the Trust’s Executive Committee as Secretary of the Board, a position the she would also serve in fiscal year 2007/08.
Barb served as the Trust’s President for an incredible 11 years. Initially, she was president for a four-year stint from 2001 to 2005 and more recently seven consecutive years from June 2015 to December 2021. The Trust is now into its 27th year and Barb has Barb gets a “Charlie” Distinguished Service Award Award presented to Barbara Jardine – May 28, 2022 served as President for 40% of that time. That is truly an outstanding level of commitment to any organization. In the spring of 2020 Barb announced that it was her intention to step down as President but when the Covid curse hit, she very kindly stayed on for another year and a half to shepherd the organization through the complexities of operating within Covid restrictions.
Under Barb’s first four years as President she saw the purchase of the Boultenhouse property (July, 2001), the creation of the Trust’s office in Bulmer House in 2002, the opening of the Campbell Carriage Factory as our first Museum in 2003 and served on the Trust’s Planning Committee in 2004/05 for the restoration of the Boultenhouse mansion to become the Trust’s second museum. Returning to the Board in 2013 she was the chair-person of Membership and Volunteers Committee, a position that she held for the next nine years.
Barb’s second term as President began in June 2015 and she immediately took on the task of organizing the updating of our Strategic Plan which included updating of our many Policies that guide the operations of the Trust. Under her leadership, the Trust has become far stronger in human resource management, communications, strategic planning, focusing on educational programming and in guidance, especially for the several older Directors to think seriously about succession planning. Barb cares deeply about the organization which was well illustrated by her exceptional level of service over many years. It was most fitting that she be the recipient of the Trust’s highest level of volunteer awards.
Since stepping down as THT President she has continued to volunteer with the Trust, joining the Fall Fund-Raising Dinner Committee, and serving as MC for that event last November. She has also served as VP of Tantramar Seniors’ College and is the current President of that organization.
THT Volunteer of the Year 2022
Citation by Al Smith
The Trust’s Governance Committee does not normally single out a current member of the Board of Directors to be the recipient of our Volunteer of the Year award. Our Board is very much a working board with all members expected to take on either leadership or supporting roles in the operations of the Trust. However, this past fiscal year, one of our Directors, Bill Snowdon, went over and above all expectations and his very considerable efforts did not go unnoticed. It was most fitting that he was declared our Volunteer of the Year for 2022.
Bill joined the Board in June, 2014, and immediately took over responsibility for operations at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. It was a job that I had done for several years so I stayed on the committee with Bill and have thoroughly enjoyed working with and getting to know him better over the past 8 years. Bill is a “jack of all trades”: painting, plumbing, carpentry, lawn mowing, repairing appliances…he does it all! Yes, a perfect volunteer to be responsible for the care and upkeep of three heritage buildings.
During the winter/spring of 2020/21 the Trust embarked on a new Capital Campaign to fund four major projects, mainly at Boultenhouse: replacement of the aging oil furnace with a heat pump, a total retrofit of the apartment bathroom, replacement of all the upper story windows and exterior painting. Bill searched out contractors and suppliers, got price quotes and assisted with organizing the Capital
Campaign. Through Bill’s direct involvement, three of those major projects were completed before the
end of 2021. Of particular note was the total renovation of the apartment bathroom. Bill spent pretty much the entire month of August, occasionally with a volunteer or two, doing that complete retrofit and, in doing so, saved the Trust several thousands of dollars. The fourth project, exterior painting of the Boultenhouse house and the trim and doors on Bulmer and Anderson houses, was also organized
by Bill; he selected a contractor who completed the work in July, 2022.
In addition to the Boultenhouse operations, Bill participates in two ad hoc committees: the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum Special Projects and Boultenhouse Shipyard Property. To this day, he remains very active in both committees.
Barque Antwerp Portrait
Donated to the Trust
by Al Smith
During the Yorkshire 250 Commemoration Weekend in mid-August, 2022, a very significant new artifact was added to the collections at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. An original ship portrait of the Barque Antwerp was professionally restored, framed, and donated by descendants of the seafaring Anderson family. Representatives of the Anderson family were on hand for the unveiling in the
Marine Room at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre Museum. Joan Grossi of Springfield, Virginia, made the donation on behalf of the family, which was very gratefully accepted by Trust President Logan Atkinson.
The donors, Joan Grossi and Beverly Papinchak, are the only remaining grandchildren of Captain Rupert Anderson (1859-1922), the eldest son of Captain George Anderson (1830-1873) and Arabella (Bella) Ayer (1838-1880). Joan’s mother, C. Gertrude (Anderson) Angus (1910-1998) traveled to Sackville in the early 1950s to visit with her younger sister Katie Belle (Anderson) Steadman (1907-1982). Katie Belle and her husband Gray Steadman (1904-1971) owned and operated Steadman’s Grocery on Queen’s Road, Sackville. During the visit to Sackville, Katie Belle gave the painting of the Antwerp (which was rolled up in a tube) to her sister who carried it back home to the States with her. The portrait was framed and hung for many years in the Angus family home in New York, USA. Last spring, the family decided that the painting should be returned to Sackville and contacted the Trust office. Prior to shipping the portrait to Sackville, both Joan and Beverly worked at having it professionally restored and reframed in Florida.
The donation of the portrait is a highly significant one as there are only five known portraits that exist of the 176 vessels built in Sackville, Westcock and Wood Point. The Trust now owns two of those five originals: Barques Cecrops and Antwerp and a beautiful full-size copy of the portrait of Brig Tantramar, painted by Sackville artist Angelica DeBenedetti. In the era before photography, commissioning a Marine Artist to paint a portrait of the vessel was the only way that builders, ship-owners or the vessel’s master could have a tangible reminder of the beauty of these amazing tall ships. In addition to their unique artistic qualities, ship portraits reveal important technical details of the vessels.
The oil on canvas portrait of the Barque Antwerp was painted by Belgian artist John Frederick Loos (1861-1895). Loos was from a family of marine artists as both his father and younger brother Henry painted vessels calling at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. He worked primarily in oils, receiving commissions mostly from British and American vessels that entered Antwerp. The portrait of the William Hickman (Dorchester) built ship J.I. Smith was also painted by John Loos. The Barque Antwerp was a 573-ton vessel, 145 feet long, 32.2 feet wide and 17.6 feet deep, launched August 29, 1874 and registered in Saint John, NB, on September 15, 1874 as ON 66982. Antwerp’s builder was 26-year old Issac Clifford Atkinson of Wood Point, NB. Three Saint John merchants purchased controlling shares to the vessel with the builder holding six shares and the vessel’s first master, Capt. William Atkinson, owning four shares. The barque sailed for 12 years and was abandoned at sea on September 30, 1886, full of water on a voyage from Saint John, NB, to Tralee, Ireland.
The builder, Isaac Clifford Atkinson was a third generation descendant of Yorkshire immigrants Robert and Ann Atkinson who arrived on the vessel Albion in May, 1774, initially settling at Franklin Manor in River Hebert, NS. Isaac Clifford was born on March 11, 1848, at Wood Point, Westmorland County, NB, the son of Captain Isaac Campbell Atkinson (1815-1869) and Clarinda Purdy (1822-1905). The 1871 census lists him as a farmer but he must have had considerable experience in shipbuilding as just three years later he is the builder of record for the Barque Antwerp. One possibility is that he worked with his next-door neighbor Charles Barnes who built the Brigantine Westmoreland in 1873. Isaac Clifford Atkinson (known as Clifford to avoid confusion with his father) likely built the Antwerp on his home property at Wood Point, a property that had been earlier owned by shipbuilder Christopher Boultenhouse. Isaac Clifford Atkinson moved to Boston around 1877 to work for his cousin Byron Atkinson. He married Emily Clara Petersilia (1854-1884) in Boston on June 27, 1878. Their first child, born on March 13, 1888 was named Issac Clifford Atkinson Jr.
The portrait of the Barque Antwerp now hangs prominently above the mantle in the Marine Room at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre. Painted with full sails set, it is a magnificent reminder of the days when Sackville was a busy seaport and the largest shipbuilding centre in Westmorland County. The Trust is deeply appreciative to the Anderson family for this most significant donation to our Museum.
Known Ship Portraits of Sackville Built Vessels
|Dyer Family (England)
|Tantramar Heritage Trust
|Barque M. WOOD
|purchased in 1869
|I. Clifford Atkinson
|Tantramar Heritage Trust
- Al Smith’s Anderson Family Tree on Ancestry.ca.
- Charles A. Armour and Allan D. Smith, Shipbuilding in Westmorland County, New Brunswick 1784-1910, Tantramar Heritage Trust, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9784100-5-6.
- Robert S. Elliot and Alan D. McNairn, Reflections of an era – Portraits of 19th century New Brunswick ships, New Brunswick Museum, 1987, ISBN 0-919362-25-0.
- Norton Wyse and Charles Valpy, New Brunswick Shipbuilders Checklist, New Brunswick Museum, 2007.
- Al Smith, The White Fence newsletter of the THT, The Brig(antine) Speck, Issue # 63, May 2014.
- John Frederick Loos biography on internet site www.artnet.com.
- Email correspondence, July 18, 2022, with Bill Snowdon of Wood Point on the Atkinson family of Wood Point.
Marking the 100th Issue of The White Fence Newsletter
by Al Smith
At a Tantramar Heritage Trust Board Meeting held on April 19, 2022, a major Trust milestone was celebrated: the publication of the 100th issue of the Trust’s newsletter The White Fence. Proud editor Peter Hicklin, for all 100 issues, joined with members of the Board in cutting a cake to acknowledge that major accomplishment.
That 100th issue of The White Fence was published in early April, 2022, 25 years after the first issue was published in January, 1997. The Tantramar Heritage Trust was incorporated in September, 1996,
and the Founding Meeting held on October 9, 1996, where the first Board of Directors was elected. Peter Hicklin was a member of that first Board and continues to this day. Early on, the THT Board decided that a Newsletter and an active Publications program would drive the printed components of the Trust’s education and outreach activity. Peter agreed to take on the task of editor for the Newsletter, a task that he has very ably tackled with much passion.
Peter decided to call the newsletter The White Fence after reading my short article with that same title which he published in Issue #1. In my youth there was a real place that we knew as “the white fence”, a rallying place just a short distance from the old Ogden School on Main Street. Back then it was a meeting place for area kids to exchange stories or to plan our play for the next few hours. Thus Peter wanted the newsletter to be the Trust’s “white fence”, a place to learn and enjoy the stories that make up Tantramar’s fascinating history. Through its 100+ issues it has certainly accomplished that early vision of its editor.
Early on, it was apparent that the newsletters were very well received by the Trust’s membership. When issue #30 was published in December 2005, the Publications Committee decided to compile the first thirty issues into a compendium which members and the public readily purchased. Filled with articles on Tantramar’s history along with an index compiled by member Jeff Ward, the compendium became a popular coffee table book. Compendium II (issues 31-60) was published in October 2013 and Compendium III (issues 61-90) in March, 2021. That compendium contains 65 historical articles that have been researched and written by 23 contributors. The formatting for all three compendiums has been done by Leslie Van Patter and Jeff Ward continues with the indexing, an effort for which the Trust’s Publications Committee is immensely grateful. Compendium IV will no doubt be published once we reach issue #120.
Initially, the newsletter was six pages, expanding to eight soon thereafter and now often contains as many as 12 pages. Annually, four to five issues are published each fiscal year with members being mailed out a printed copy or, at their choosing, receive it in digital format. A few months after the publication of an issue, it is placed on the Trust’s website where all 100+ issues can be accessed and searched. Placing the newsletters on the web has resulted in numerous enquiries from readers around the world and very often results in the Trust receiving additional historical information from this interested readership.
We are fortunate to live in a community that is so rich in history. The White Fence newsletter and its Compendiums bring snippets of that fascinating history to life for our membership and to the wider public. The Trust’s education and outreach mission is being well advanced by Peter and his “baby”, The White Fence newsletter.
Thank you Peter.