Thursday, June 11, 2009

Belly up to the Trough

As I was walking up Lower St. George Street earlier today, my eye caught an interesting artifact which is located in the playground. While it is located in the center of the playground, it is a somewhat overlooked and forgotten artifact. In fact, I have seen a great number of children who have hopped into the trough to pretend it is a canoe. Perhaps this is because its original purpose has long since passed into the pages of history.

This granite watering trough was once a very important part of the streetscape of Annapolis Royal. Water was such an essential service that a public pump and trough were once located in the middle of the intersection of St. George Street and Drury Lane (one of the main intersections in town). Teamsters and drovers would use this trough to refresh their horses and oxen after pulling a wagon or a load of wood into Annapolis Royal. This was a much needed source of refreshment for these hard working animals. With the advent of the internal combustion engine, horses and oxen were replaced as the primary pullers and haulers in a community. When the animals were no longer needed, things like this watering trough could be relegated to out of the way places.

One of the most interesting parts of this trough is a small sandstone block located beside it. As a constant reminder to those who would mistreat their oxen and horses, the block reads "Man of kindness to his beast is kind but he that's cruel shows a brutish mind 1890".

All for now,
RGS

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