Sunday, 3 June 2018

ANNIDALE The Story of an Abandoned NB Community

ANNIDALE The Story of an Abandoned NB Community

We have recently received several copies of a newly published book on the community of Annidale from the author, John R Elliott.

In 1891 Annidale (located some 13 miles from Sussex) was described as a thriving community with a train station, a post office, saw and grist mills, a blacksmith and a commodious public hall. Sixty years later the community had ceased to exist. The book traces the settlement from the early 19th century through to its final years in the mid-twentieth century, and includes brief genealogies of the 40+ families who once lived there.

Annidale - From Wilderness to Wilderness is now available for purchase at the Museum.




Tuesday, 29 May 2018

LAND GRANT MAPS

LAND GRANT MAPS
One of the projects for this past winter involved finding a better way to store and utilize our New Brunswick Land Grant Maps. We have now organized the local ones into an art rack (which in this case would be better labeled as a map rack) which displays the local land grant maps in a protected and easily accessible manner. If you are researching your family tree it is great to be able place the grants geographically and see who your ancestors' neighbours would have been. We currently have the map rack in the main exhibit room, just in front of the 1862 Walling Map which shows the landowners from that year. Come see!





Sunday, 13 May 2018

Dog Fur Coats

Dog Fur Coats
During our exploration and reorganization of the textiles in our collection we came across several dog fur coats. During the early 20th century it was not uncommon for the less wealthy who desired a fur coat to wear coats made of dog fur. We have several in our collection in various sizes from child to man. Pictured below are two ladies coats.
Although fur was worn as clothing in early history, as early as the 11th century, fur was worn as a symbol of wealth and social status rather than just out of the need for warmth. European royalty regularly wore fur coats, fur capes, and fur accessories made from mink, sable, and chinchilla fur. By the 1300s, laws were introduced that regulated which social classes were allowed to wear which types of furs.
The wearing of fur became more widespread during the Victorian era. The fur coats that were worn by Victorian men typically were lined with fur on the inside and crafted of other materials on the outside. Women’s fur coats were generally lined with fur at the collar, wrists, and hem.



Sunday, 29 April 2018

FEATHER IN YOUR CAP?

FEATHER IN YOUR CAP?
Feathers have been used as ornament for centuries. Marie Antoinette (last Queen of France) is quoted as saying, "It is true I am rather taken up with dress; but as to feathers, every one wears them, and it would seem extraordinary if I did not." I am sure she would loved the feather capelet and epaulets that we have discovered in our textile collection. Made of peacock feathers, it was brought to Hatfield Point on a sailing vessel by Captain Solomon Davis, which would make the latter part of the 19th century. We don't know if his wife ever wore the caplet, but if she did she must have felt very elegant in it. It will be part of summer display this year.


Sunday, 22 April 2018

The First History of New Brunswick

The First History of New Brunswick

This book by Peter Fisher was first published in 1825 under the title Sketches of New Brunswick. Below is an excerpt from the section on Kings County. I was surprised at the population (2011 population 69,665):

"It contains seven thousand nine hundred and thirty inhabitants.

It comprehends the Long Reach, the Kennebeckasis (sic) and Belisle (sic), and is divided into the following parishes - Westfield, Greenwich, Kingston, Springfield, Norton, Sussex and Hampton. Kingston has a Township regularly laid out, which bears the name of the Parish. It has a neat Church, with a resident Minister, and a number of neat buildings, which make a fine appearance. The Court-House, however is a considerable distance from the Town. The settlers in most parts of this Parish have the appearance of comfort and affluence, although the land is inferior in fertility to most of the other Parishes.

. . . There are two quarries of excellent Plaster of Paris on the river Kennebeckasis. There is likewise a salt spring in this part of the country, from which small quantities of salt have been made by the Indians and the Inhabitants settled near the place, which has proved of an excellent quality for the table, and there can be no doubt of its possessing valuable medicinal qualities; but no attention has yet been paid to analyse it. Great quantities of sugar are extracted from the sugar maple in this county, upwards of ten thousand pounds have been made in a year, of that valuable article in the Parish."

Monday, 9 April 2018

1923 Spring Flood

1923 Spring Flood in Hampton
As each Spring arrives many of us are looking at the rivers and creeks around us and wondering what the water levels will be this year. In a newspaper account from 1923 it was reported: "This last week is one that will be remembered for many years to come on account of the severe freshet that has covered the bridges and railway tracks, surrounding and entered a number of dwellings at the village and station.This is the first time since 1887 that boats had to be used to get from the village to the station. The bridge over the creek is completely covered in water and partly washed away, and the road for several rods is covered by water [Note: a rod is approximately 16.5 feet]. The houses along Langstroth Terrace have to be reached by boats and several houses nearer the river bank are completely surrounded, one family having to live upstairs as the water had entered the downstairs. Several barns are washed away. The amount of damage done is great."
The 1923 flooding along the Saint John River and its tributaries resulted in estimated damages totaling $532 million in today's dollars.New Brunswick's River Watch Program for the 2018 freshet season started on March 12, 2018 and as of yesterday there are no flood risks reported.If you want the latest information on flooding this spring you can go the government website or access the mobile app at https://www.watercanada.net/new-brunswick-flood-forecast-d…/

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Letter Writing

Letter Writing
Many of us "older folk" lament that cursive writing is becoming a lost art. There was a time when elegant handwriting was a status symbol and there were schools in penmanship. While penmanship is still taught in Europe, North American schools have largely eliminated it from the curriculum. The invention of the typewriter in 1867 began the movement away from penmanship, and the growing usage of electronic devices has largely eliminated the related skill of letter writing.
Schools in early Kings County spent many hours teaching first reading, then cursive writing, and then instructing in the proper form for letter writing, as this was the principle way of communicating. Young men away at war wrote letters home and eagerly awaited letters from parents and wives to get the news from home. Young women who married and moved with their husbands to new communities wrote letters home. Siblings could go their whole adult lives not seeing each other, but remaining in touch through letters.
If you want your children to experience the joy of writing a letter, you may be interested in an up-coming event at the Saint John Public Library in which your child can compose and type a letter on an old typewriter, perhaps similar to the one pictured below. This typewriter from our museum collection is a Woodstock No. 5, manufactured in Woodstock, Illinois between 1912 and 1922.