Visitors to the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum enter via the reception area at the left rear of the main building. This area features a reception desk, historical displays and a gift shop which sells Tantramar Heritage Trust publications (see Publications), t-shirts, and various other souvenirs related to the Campbell Carriage Factory. This level also has washrooms and office space, while the upper level provides a loft for meetings, dramatic presentations, poetry readings, and other community events.
The rear portion of the main building has its own fascinating history.
In 1905 an addition was made to the original carriage factory established in 1855. The Campbells purchased a 66 year-old Baptist meeting house and attached it to the backend of their carriage factory providing space for finishing and trim work, and the addition of a large hand-operated freight elevator. This part of the building is still seen in the photo showing the state of the building in 1981.
By the 1980s the rear addition to the carriage factory had deteriorated to such an extent that the owners, the Campbell family, decide to have it demolished in the interests of safety. This photo shows the addition in process of demolition. However, in 2008 a unique opportunity presented itself to restore the former addition.
The Trust was able to rescue a 200 year-old timber frame structure from Smith’s Creek, NB. As seen here, the different sections of the frame were erected with an old-style “barn-raising” or “timber-raising” held on Tuesday and Wednesday 10–11th June, 2008. The work was undertaken largely by a group of local volunteers.
Construction of the frame was completed on Thursday, 12 June, 2008. All timbers were joined by means of mortise and tenon joints and wooden pegs. No modern nails or bolts were used in construction of the frame. In keeping with ancient tradition, a leafy green bough was affixed to the peak of the structure at the topping out ceremony.
A view of the new addition looking north from the centre of the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum compound. Work on the addition continued throughout the summer of 2008, with the installation of siding, windows and flooring. Work on the interior of the building was completed in 2009 and the addition was fully equipped to serve as the new visitor reception area.
View from Reception area looking out over the Great Marsh. Photo: Shaun Cunningham