The Tantramar Heritage Trust has embarked on an exciting new phase of heritage conservation: we’re physically growing! We have added a new building to the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum – a Carriage Shed which will allow us to better conserve and display creations made many years ago by the workers in this very special historic industrial site but that until now have been hidden from view for lack of space in the museum. A very supportive member of the Trust (to be identified at a later time) has come to our assistance in assuring that these hidden heritage treasures get a home where they will be protected from the elements and serve to further educate the general public about our past. Of extra significance, this new construction has allowed us to fulfill the wishes of a beloved and respected former Director of the Trust, the late Peter Bowman. Peter knew that this site was unique, required conservation assistance and was of great historic and educational importance. We on the Board of Directors fully agree with Peter’s sentiments and are aware that old wagons and carriages built at the Campbell Carriage Factory that were hidden away and protected in barns (for which we paid a nominal fee) needed to be viewed by the public. After all, that’s what museums are for!
The following article was not only written by Paul Bogaard but also includes photos taken by Paul throughout the construction process. In this issue of your newsletter you will not only read of the progress made between summer and fall 2022 into early winter 2023 but also view the progress of this effort from readying the ground for construction right through to roofing, installing windows and preparing inside spaces for wagons, carriages and carts, a space large enough to allow visitors to mill around and to look and learn about the early days of transportation. I happily and diligently followed the work of Seamus, John, Al and Mike throughout this period and looked forward to preparing this issue of The White Fence. I enjoyed every minute of the process of construction and I look forward to announcing the date of an official opening in the coming months. Once an opening date is announced, I hope that you will all come and visit this new effort to further conserve the heritage of the Tantramar area.
The Campbell Carriage Factory finally gains a Carriage Shed
by Paul Bogaard
It was fifteen years ago in May, 2007, that we planted a Red Oak at the corner of the Campbell Carriage Factory property in memory of our friend and fellow Board member, Peter Bowman. During his years on the Board Peter came to love the Carriage Factory and was the first to suggest we should add a viewing shed for wagons, sleighs and carriages that we cannot fit into our other buildings.
We said goodbye to Peter but we did not say goodbye to his idea. By 2003 we had largely restored the old factory building and opened it as our first museum. In 2008-09 we restored the addition to the factory that now serves as our entrance and made major repairs to the warehouse. In 2011 we restored the Blacksmith Shop and created a fully operational forge. So, the complex of buildings that make up the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum has seen major additions and renovations although not including Peter’s dream of a viewing shed.
When Al Smith and I were approached by a prospective donor in December of 2021 (whose name will be revealed with some fanfare when we officially open the new building) and were asked what projects the Trust had in mind, one possibility quickly came to the top of the list: a Carriage Shed to be raised up between the existing factory buildings, just where Peter had imagined it should go.
Excited by this possibility, the THT Board established a committee, which over the winter months, settled on plans based on advice received from Mike Keech and Drew Fraser at Can-Tech. They would assist us in many ways over the coming months but as this construction company was in the process of closing down, it was clear that they would not actually be able to put up the building. This task would go to EnerGreen Builders Cooperative who we have engaged on most of our heritage reconstructions. The materials needed, and other steps taken through Plan360, however, we would manage ourselves. Following the disruption of the pandemic, 2022 was a tough year to engage in new construction with materials in short supply and contractors facing a backlog of jobs. EnerGreen warned us it would be late in the year before they could possibly begin, which was just as well since it took us through summer and fall before we were able to assemble what was needed.
By late summer Brett Beal of Beal & Inch was able to begin ground preparations so that by early September a concrete pad could be poured. This early work was greatly assisted by our own Mike Keech and our friend Allan Pooley who was on site almost every day.
It took another month before rough lumber was milled by Nova Tree in Nova Scotia; windows were brought over from Richards & Son in Amherst; and a steel I-beam and roofing was purchased out of Moncton… and winter was coming on. Even so, EnerGreen Builders Co-op decided they would attempt to construct the shed as weather permitted and that turned out to work remarkably well. They were able to complete much of the framing before taking a well-earned Christmas break.
With warnings from the Building Inspector and advice from a structural engineer and with no wintry blasts at the beginning of 1923 that would keep them from working, the EnerGreen builders set about bracing the building’s frame to give it extra strength. Once that was added in, a central post was erected to carry steel I-beams from end to end, which in turn provided the support needed for roof-rafters.
SIDING & ROOFING
Even the cold and snow that came in mid-January allowed work to continue and before the end of the month vertical siding was added to the rear and end walls and the steel roofing was installed. Eventually, the “fascia” boards (at the edge of the roof) and the vertical corner boards will be painted red, as elsewhere on the museum buildings in this compound.
ROLLER DOORS & INTERIOR
That allowed the two large roller doors to be installed by Gagnon Brothers in early February and, by the end of that month, interior work boxing-in the I-beam and building a shelf along the back wall was completed by Allan Pooley and Mike Keech.
What came to life over this last year is now nearly finished. Soon it will house the carts, wagons, carriages and sleighs for which we simply have not had enough space. This had been the dream of our friend Peter Bowman. Clearly, “His spirit lives on…”
The committee which was organized to oversee this project included Paul Bogaard, Al Smith, Logan Atkinson, Bill Snowdon, Mike Keech and Allan Pooley who met regularly throughout. Bill Snowden actually put in several days working while Paul mostly supervised from the sidelines. Peter Hicklin was a regular visitor. As indicated above, Mike’s experienced help and advice were indispensable and no one showed up more regularly and worked more tirelessly than Allan Pooley.
What’s in a Name?
I thought that it was appropriate that since this issue of the The White Fence was devoted to the new Carriage Shed at the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum, that this column should address the naming of Carriage Court. The Sackville street by that name, located at Beech Hill just off Stanley Drive, was developed by Sackville Real Estate agent Grace Nelson in 1999. When asked why she chose that name for the subdivision, Grace replied “because I have a daughter named Carrie and I have always loved carriages.” Indeed she was a lover of horse-drawn carriages and donated a very fine one to the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum around 2008.
Source: Smith, Allan D., Aboushagan to Zwicker – An Historical Guide to Sackville NB Street Nomenclature, 2004. A publication of the Tantramar Heritage Trust.
Annual General Meeting
Sunday, May 28, 2 pm
Campbell Carriage Factory Museum
Guest speaker: Donna Sullivan,
“If Brooks Could Talk: 3 of Sackville’s Brooks”
Join us for a short business meeting, presentation
of the Volunteer of the Year Award, a presentation
from our guest speaker, and a first look at our new
carriage shed. Reception to follow. All are welcome.
Official Opening of
Campbell Carriage Factory Museum
Sunday, June 18, 12-5 pm
Entertainment, games, blacksmithing demonstrations,
and the very popular annual Plant Sale.
Canada Day Social
Saturday, July 1, 2-4 pm
Boultenhouse Heritage Centre
Join us for games, tours, music, and delicious
Make It Workshops
July and August
Heritage-themed children’s workshops – details TBA.
Under the Sky Events
July and August
Community events at our museums – details TBA.
Heritage Field Day
Sunday, August 13, 12-5 pm
Campbell Carriage Factory Museum
Blacksmithing demonstrations, live music, dancing,
snacks, artisan demonstrations, tours, and much more.
Annual Fall Fundraising Dinner
Saturday, October 28, 2023, 6 p.m.
Theme: “Halloween Hauntings”
Further details to come!
To keep up with what’s happening at the Trust, follow us on Facebook or Instagram (tantramarheritagetrust) or contact the office at email@example.com and ask to be added to our email list.