By Shirley Brinkhurst
Efforts underway to raise funds for Jack and Zack
The new season is upon us and the Margaret Fawcett Norrie Heritage Centre in Creamery Square opened its doors again on Victoria Day. Now that July and August are here, opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. If you want to check us out please go to our website at www.tatamagoucheheritagecentre.ca.
During the winter, the heating is kept low — just enough to preserve artifacts, but not warm enough for volunteers to work happily. However, archivists are a hardy group and have met every Wednesday (with supplementary heating) to create temporary displays for showing in the window of the former Sunflower Gift shop on Main Street, sort archival materials, reorganize photographic collections, get information on to the computer and rearrange book collections. They’ve even started to collect individual memories from various “locals” and are searching for Tatamagouche-related materials on World War 1 prior to a commemorative exhibit later in the season.
The theme for Canada Day this year is the Charlottetown Conference and Confederation. We plan to have a small display on our part in the proceedings, but it’s quite a challenge to find appropriate materials.
Talking of material, does anyone still have lurking in an attic or basement any old flour sacks? The sort made into dresses, shirts, bed linen — you name it. We would really like to have one or two.
Thanks to a grant from N.S. Communities, Culture and Heritage’s Support 4 Culture, we have a new display area for photographic exhibits — currently on the local forestry industry in days gone by. If you visit us and can identify some of the people and places, we would be delighted. If anyone has some of the early equipment used by individuals — such as a bark spud, cant dog or side dogs — and no longer wants them, we would like a spare set. It seems strange that for all the logging on individual farms in the past, we have only one of each piece of equipment. They must be lurking in barns somewhere.
Other photographic displays from the past are planned, covering shipbuilding, canneries, mining and the wide range of service industries all found within our area. Be sure to check on the website for things happening at the centre. Of course, if you have pictures and information to contribute, it will be most welcome.
Some of the larger artifacts have been moved into a section where they can be better seen. We’ve also added some items from our storage area. Part of the fun of our heritage centre is the possibility of seeing something similar you recognise from a family home some time ago, or used yourself in the past. “I remember that on my grandparents farm,” is a familiar quote. For some reason, it makes one feel good to be connected with the past.
If you have bored children or grandchildren, there are plenty of “hands on” things for them to do in the centre, so bring them down. However, they must be accompanied by an adult. If the day is fine, bring a picnic, enjoy the deck and water views, and take them along the Butter Trail using our free and colourful Find Out guide (pencil provided). You might find men working on the chaloupe or it might be the weekend of the Quick and Dirty Boat Building Competition. Why not join in and build your own small boat, but hurry to register as space is limited.
An exciting event coming up on July 27 is our first annual motorcycle “poker” run, which we’re calling The Buttermilk Run. Starting at noon in Creamery Square, we hope the bikers will enjoy the course planned and join us for food and possible music some hours later. So if you have a secret yearning for a Harley Davidson, or whatever make takes your fancy, then watch out for more information and join us at the Heritage Centre.
Now there’s a sad situation to report. Jack and Zack — our two-headed calf — has been having all kinds of adventures in the Heritage Centre. Perhaps you’ve been following them on Facebook. Alas the calf is beginning to feel its years; it’s over 100 after all and starting to look a little weary.
The Heritage Society is launching an appeal for Jack and Zack. If you saw it when you were a child and maybe have brought your children to see the calf, and would like to think people in the future will be impressed by this unique creature, then you might like to contribute to the Jack and Zack Appeal CSHS, 39 Creamery Rd., Tatamagouche, N.S., B0K 1V0. Or join us at our hot dog barbecue, book and yard sale outside Tatamagouche Scotiabank on July 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also visit Jack and Zack, and the rest of the Heritage Centre, and leave a donation.
Of course, if you have the time and nothing to do but enjoy old objects and working with people — both local and visitors — then please come and help. We are all volunteers and always in need of an extra pair of hands. Perhaps we’ll see you during the coming season!