TRURO – Truro’s Jon Keddy is picking up an item this week that he never expected to receive.
The owner of Ginger House, which is located across from town hall on Prince Street in Truro, is one of a few award winners who will be honoured during the annual Heritage Awards Night at the Colchester Historeum on Thursday night.
The gathering is open to the public and celebrates people who promote and preserve the history of Colchester County.
“Absolutely I was surprised,” Keddy told the Truro Daily News regarding the honour. “It’s great to be recognized for putting a great amount of work into (the Ginger House.) I think I got the award because of the amount of work done and how nice it looks and how I maintained original components.”
Keddy purchased the building three years ago. He did a lot of work to revitalize the building that was erected in 1875, including stripping the green siding off, putting “eyebrows” over the windows, removing the 30-year-old vinyl shutters and replacing them with Cape Cod wood siding. And, of course, repainting with a colour named Ginger Crunch, which added to its namesake.
The three-storey Gothic style structure, which is used by the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre on the main floor and has a total of three residential units on the other floors, also underwent interior renovations. Work was done to the kitchens and washrooms and a solar heating system was put in place, as were landscaping and lighting upgrades to the outdoor property.
“The building was very tired and it spoke of potential,” said Keddy about why he put so much time and effort into the project. “I loved the location and … the symmetry of the building.”
Keddy wouldn’t confirm how much he invested in all the upgrades, but did say he had some help through the downtown façade improvement program, which was a joint project by the Downtown Truro Partnership and Town of Truro.
He believes taking the time, effort and money to invest in properties, especially heritage ones, will reflect well on the entire town.
“It’s important to our identity and hopefully will stimulate others. Hopefully it will become contagious,” said Keddy, noting improvements offer “more pride in the community and that has an impact on crime reduction and creates the brand of our town. The downtown is vital to the community and it needs to be more diversified and unique.”
Keddy is looking forward to the awards night at the Truro museum, as is Aidan Norton, the facility’s curator. Norton said recognizing people who embrace heritage projects is important to the individual as well as the community.
“It’s highlights the work done. People put significant time and resources to improve our community … (and) not everyone is aware of all the great things being done in the county,” said Norton.
What: Annual Heritage Awards Night
Where: Colchester Historeum. The museum is on Young Street in Truro.
When: Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
Purpose: The Colchester Historical Society hosts a celebration of those who promote and preserve the history of our community.
Has taken place: For more than 30 years
1. Heritage award to Sandra Berry for her book, Elizabeth Bishop: Nova Scotia’s ‘Homemade’ Poet, a work which highlights the impact of Colchester County, in particular Great Village, on the life and writings of Elizabeth Bishop.
2. Posthumous award for High Spots: The Seagoing Memoirs of Captain James Wilbur Johnston. Though High Spotsis Captain Johnston’s personal story, it reveals the lifestyle and experiences shared by hundreds of men from the area who went to sea and travelled the world in the age of sail.
3. The Town of Truro heritage committee will present an award to Jon Keddy for upgrades to the Ginger House on Prince Street.
4. A build heritage grant will be presented by the Colchester Historical Society to Truro’s Barbie Reynolds for maintenance projects on a personal property.
Special honour: The official naming of the Marjorie Hine Heritage Costume Collection. The late Hine was a past president of the Colchester Historical Society.
In addition: Society volunteers will wear costumes from the collection and the public is encouraged to also dress in historical or cultural clothing. A silent auction will also be held and refreshments will be served.