Monday, August 31, 2009

Allains River Railway Bridge

This seems like a good opportunity to add another before and after image to my collection. I was driving into Annapolis Royal along Highway #1 earlier in the day and I realized that I have never posted anything on the old Allain's River railway bridge. This seemed odd to me since I have admired the structure of this bridge for some time. The graceful steel and stone bridge is one of the first visible pieces of heritage infrastructure as you approach Annapolis Royal from the west. It is a gentle reminder of the prosperity which came to Annapolis Royal during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Within living memory this bridge was part of the main line for the Dominion Atlantic Railway. There are still many people who can tell stories of taking the Dayliner into Halifax. To an Annapolitan who lived between 1869 and 1891 this would not have been seen as the main line. At that time, the Windsor and Annapolis Railway found its terminus at the Annapolis Royal waterfront. The section between Annapolis Royal and Digby was known as the "missing link". It was only when bridges such as this one were completed in 1891 that the main line was extended through the Annapolis Valley from Halifax to Yarmouth.

Usually I take some time in these before and after posts to discuss the differences in the images. Just so we know what we are dealing with, the original image was taken by Frederick Harris some time around 1900. This is part of a wonderful archival collection held by the Annapolis Heritage Society. I shot the modern image earlier today (August 31, 2009).

The most obvious difference is the presence of a train on the bridge. Annapolis Royal has not had rail service since the 1980s. Locally, the sound of an engine as it started up to speed up along the tracks is thing of the past. Steam engines like those shown in the archival image are even further in the past. Another notable difference is the construction of the bridge itself. In the modern image you can see that the bridge is resting on stone supports. The remains of the wooden crib-work from the earlier bridge can be seen in the foreground of the modern image.

A common element between these images are the three chimneys of the Fort Anne Officer's Quarters in the background. This 1797 structure is perhaps our community's most iconic building.

All for now,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer Sunset

It has been a while since I posted images of a sunset as seen from the O'Dell House Museum in Annapolis Royal. The main reason for the lack of sunset pictures in recent months has been the longer summer days. With the sun setting after 9:00pm, I am usually comfortably at home for summer sunsets.

I got this collection of images about a week ago. I was at the museum late for some reason. I believe that I was working on some form of project which required uninterrupted thought. This usually means that I need to stay at the museum after everyone else has gone home and the doors are locked. As I gathered up my belongings and headed toward the car I was stopped by the brilliance of this sunset. I often claim that our sunsets in February and November are the prettiest but this late August sunset is definately a contender.

All for now,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garrison Graveyard Tour

I am not usually the overwrought, gushing sort. While I usually try to have a positive spin on the posts in this blog, I try not to be overly effusive. Consider this fair warning that I am going to be writing with a few superlatives today.

One of the interesting things about having relatives visiting is that we get to do some of the things that can otherwise get overlooked during the summer. Visitors often mean that we take some time to do things in our community which are outside of our normal routine. In the past week I have been able to get out paddling at Kejimkujik National Park, eaten at a few of our local restaurants and wandered a few of our nature trails. Best of all, I was able to head out on the candlelight tour of the Garrison Graveyard in Annapolis Royal.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I have probably been on the graveyard tour a dozen times through the years. Seemingly every family visitor we have has been taken out on the tour. Working in heritage in Annapolis Royal I also know most of the stories well enough to not only recite versions of them to visitors to our museums but to potentially elaborate on them. For one reason or another I have not been on the tour for a couple of years. Chalk it up to not taking the time to enjoy things going on in your own neighbourhood.

The Graveyard Tour is led by Alan Melanson who is the President of our sister organization the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal. Simply put, the success of the graveyard tour is entirely based on Alan's magnetic personality. Yes the nighttime graveyard setting and the lanterns help. The fact that Alan is working with a fascinating history also helps. But, the true success of the tour is based on Alan's presentation, insight, showmanship and ability to tell stories on the human level. From the moment that Alan pulls a mystery bottle out of his pocket at the start of the tour his audience is entranced. As participants are led into the graveyard, they get the chance to forget their current lives and enjoy the work of a master story teller.

One of the facets of the graveyard tour that I have always enjoyed is that Alan is not exploiting the people who are buried in the graveyard. This is not a ghost and spook tour. There are no cheap theatrics. Alan uses the stories of those buried in the graveyard to tell the story of Annapolis Royal. These stories are delivered in context of who the people buried in the graveyard were. Through their stones we are given an entrance into their times, their world and their personalities. You leave the graveyard with a greater appreciation for the cultural groups and individuals who have worked to build our community. This really is heritage interpretation at its best.

Above all else, I really must stress that this tour is fun. Despite the number of times I have been on the tour, it is not stale. After 16 years of working the graveyard shift (Alan's joke), Alan still delivers his tour with a level of passion and intensity which I find amazing. If I were asked, I would quite happily say that this tour is an essential part of any trip to Annapolis Royal. The Garrison Graveyard tour is quite simply the best interpretive tour I have ever seen.

All for now,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cannon Platforms

Earlier today I had to make a quick visit to Fort Anne to take a look at one of the cannon platforms. No, I was not looking at the cannons this time. I was looking at the washed concrete platform that the cannons stand on. A strange activity you may rightly ask. Well, everything needs its own context.

For the past month or so the Annapolis Heritage Society has been in discussions with the Town of Annapolis Royal about the proposed resurfacing of sidewalks and curbs in sections of the community. Obviously, one of the prime concerns of the AHS is to preserve as much of the heritage integrity of our community as possible. This is especially important when the proposed construction is taking place along Lower St. George Street. With four buildings dating between 1760 and 1785, this is one of the few 18th century landscapes remaining in Canada. Thus we have been discussing various materials and plans to minimize the look of stark modern concrete sidewalks. Through all of these discussions are the ever present issues of winter maintenance and the safety of pedestrians.

This brings me to my trip to Fort Anne. One of the possibilities we discussed was a washed concrete surface where the rocks are more visible than they usually are. This provides more of the look of a gravel path (gravel or mud were actually what would have been found in the 18th century). One of the closest examples of this sort of surface were the cannon platforms at the front of the Fort.

Of course, later in the day I found the image in today's post while I was doing something else. While this platform from around 1900 is wood rather than concrete I thought that it was an interesting match to what we had been working on earlier in the day. I wonder how many photographs have been taken through the years of people posing with the cannons at Fort Anne?

All for now,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Paint the Hurricane

I suppose that Hurricane Bill could best be described as a near miss for much of Nova Scotia. In the Annapolis Royal area we lost power for a while and there are a few scattered branches on the ground but nothing too serious. This is nothing but good news as nobody wants to feel the full power of a hurricane. Since I was volunteering for Paint the Town I needed to make my way into Annapolis Royal around 1:00pm. I came in a bit early to see if there was any interesting weather on display and there really wasn't anything. No huge crashing waves, no flooding in the streets, no broken windows and no fishing boats lying in the middle of the road. Yet again, being mostly missed by a hurricane is not a bad thing.

That leaves me with the weekend's other big event, Paint the Town. Despite a somewhat smaller crowd than anyone would hope for, the event was more or less immune to the storm. For about a half of an hour the auditorium at the legion lost power and had water leaking on the floor but this definitely did not spoil the occasion. By 6:00 on Sunday there was the same feverish bidding to see who would claim the paintings by Geoff Butler, Rose Adams, David Lacey and the other 77 talented artists. As usual, there was a great deal of interesting artwork created. I always find it interesting to see our town interpreted by artists.

Paint the Town continues a long tradition of artistic endeavors in the Annapolis Royal region. The earliest artwork in the area is decidedly the Mi'kmaw petroglyphs located at Kejimkujik National Park. These images carved into the local rock described the lives, legends and stories of the Mi'kmaq people. In 1606 this area saw the creation of the Theatre of Neptune by Marc Lescarbot at the Port Royal Habitation.

More recently, the Annapolis Heritage Society has worked with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to purchase a collection of paintings done by Lt. Richard Williams in 1776. These paintings are an excellent example of how important art can be to historical research. These paintings document the Annapolis Royal waterfront as it appeared when the paintings were done. Among the interesting parts of the paintings are the orignial St Luke's Anglican Church (located at the current Farmer's Market) and the crib work around the Fort Anne waterfront. When used in this way paintings can become an invaluable primary source. Will this weekend's paintings become used in this way? While we now have photography and video to document buildings, landscapes and events, today's paintings still capture a moment in time which can be quite useful to future historians. Even when the paintings are done on somewhat stormy days.

All for now,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

At the Exhibition

Despite the fact that we are in the midst of Paint the Town and I can hear Hurricane Bill blowing in the background, these are not the topic of this post. No doubt my next post will deal with what I have been jokingly calling Paint the Hurricane. Today's post is about the trip that I took to the Annapolis Valley Exhibition earlier this week. I figured that a sunny Friday afternoon with the family in Lawrencetown was a good way to spend a bit of time away from work.

Those of you who have been reading for a while will know that I am fond of events which mix heritage themes into contemporary activities. What I enjoy about the exhibition is that time seemingly stands still. I enjoy strolling through a fairgrounds, looking at the animals, displays of vegtables, pies and other assorted items as much as I did when I was five. It is nice to see that the skills and passions are passed from one generation to the next. I enjoy knowing that the work we do to preserve and promote heritage has a larger place within the community. There is perhaps no single activity which does this more than an exhibition (or county fair if you prefer).

At this type of event our community's agrarian roots are clearly on display. Some of the activities at the exhibition clearly have their origins in the pre-industrial world. When we were there on Friday we were able to watch draft horses as well as the horse and oxen pulls. While these activities are now relegated to the exhibition, they were once essential activities in daily life. Draft horses pulled the wagons and carriages which hauled people and goods around the countryside. Oxen, as I have previously mentioned, were vital to the economic viability of this region in the ninteenth century. It is nice to see these animals working as they would have over 100 years ago.

The Valley Exhibition also has a small agricultural museum located on site. Many of these tools are strangely familiar from my days of working as an interpreter at Upper Canada Village. I have actually had the opportunity to operate equipment like the fanning mill which is seen in this post. For those who have not operated one of these machines before, a fanning mill is used to seperate wheat from chaff. I took this particular photograph since this is such an excellent example of equipment made in the late nineteenth century. The hand painted decoration is not something that we see on machines made today. This decoration takes this artifact from being simply a utilitarian piece and makes it a piece of folk art. You can imagine the craftsman taking painstaking efforts to make sure that the scroll work was exactly as he wanted it.

While the Exhibition is over for another year, the volunteers who put this event on do deserve a great vote of thanks. Now, I need to gather my camera and thoughts and struggle out into the rain to deal with my volunteer stint at Paint the Hurricane.

All for now,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paint the Town

Through the year Annapolis Royal hosts a number of great events. While Natal Day is definately the biggest show of the year, Paint the Town is perhaps my favorite event. Every year we have 80 artists descend on the town to paint and create works of art based on what they find in town. At the end of each day of painting everyone gathers in the Legion Hall where a silent auction takes place. There is an interesting energy in the air as everyone tries to get their bids in on their favorite pieces before the 6PM closing. With Hurricane Bill predicted for Sunday this could be a very interesting year with a bit more natural electricity in the air.

No small part of my appreciation of this event is that I am in no way responsible for a successful outcome. Like many local residents, I will spend part of Saturday and Sunday volunteering but I am not responsible for organizing anything. In a strange way I find it quite refreshing to be able to answer questions with "I don't know, perhaps you should ask someone else". It is fun to be able to just show up and volunteer for an event without worrying about the big picture.

Our photograph today is of the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council (ARCAC) building on St. George Street. This image was taken when the building was being operated as St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. While it has lost its steeple and the windows have changed, the building still looks very much like it does in this photograph. Paint the Town is the major annual fundraiser ARCAC. I would encourage anyone who is interested to make their way to Annapolis Royal for this this event and to help support one of our important community partners. I will try to post some photographs of event over the next few days.

As for now, I am off to Lawrencetown to see what is going on at the Annapolis Valley Exhibition. Since few events speak to heritage in the community more than a county fair, I assume that this will be the basis for my next post.

All for now,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City of Monticello

Most of the images I have posted of ships in the Annapolis Basin have either been sailing vessels from the turn of the twentieth century or modern fishing boats. I suppose that this is because the Annapolis Heritage Society has a terrific archival collection which documents the end of the Age of Sail and I have shot a number of photographs of our current fishing fleet. Since I have ready access to these photos so it makes sense to use them. As well, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I like to mix in wooden ships and fishing boats when I get the chance.

Today's image (taken circa 1895) is a subtle change from some of my established nautical themes. This photograph shows the City of Monticello, 478 tons, sailing past the old Queen's wharf in Annapolis Royal. Originally named the City of Norfolk, this vessel was an iron paddle steamer with a wooden superstructure built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in Delaware. The steamer measured 232 feet long with a 32 foot beam and a depth of 10.9 feet and carried four bulkheads and a vertical beam engine. In 1889, she was sold to the Bay of Fundy Steamship company who had her partially rebuilt and put her on a run between Annapolis Royal, Digby and Saint John, New Brunswick. There would have been great excitement in Annapolis Royal the first time the paddlewheeler churned through the Digby Gut and headed for town. Imagine the noise of the engines breaking up a serene morning as children hurriedly made their way to the wharf to see what was coming. In 1898, she was sold to the Yarmouth Steamship Company and was put on a run between Halifax and Saint John.

Sadly, tragedy struck the City of Monticello on November 10, 1900. The ship foundered in the Bay of Fundy four miles west of Chegoggin Point in Yarmouth County. Of the fourty people on board, only four were saved.

All for now,

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 Stab Wounds in the Governor

In 1739 Lawrence Armstrong, Lt. Governor of the Fort and Town of Annapolis Royal, was found dead with five stab wounds in his chest. Armstrong, a notably irascible figure, had been stabbed with his own sword. At a hastily called inquest it was found that Armstrong had committed "suicide in a fit of lunacy". Considering the length of a sword, this was a fairly miraculous suicide. This scenario is the background behind Kent Thompson's play 5 Stab Wounds in the Governor which was performed outside at the O'Dell House Museum on Sunday.

5 Stab Wounds is actually the first play which was written for the Annapolis Heritage Society's Tales From a Tiny Perfect Town series. When it was first performed in 2007, the play moved between five different local buildings. Sunday was the first time that the production has happened on stage. The original cast of Madaline Akin Carhart, Brenda Thompson, Brenda Keen and Kent Thompson reprised their roles. Based on the crowd reaction, this production was every bit as well received as the original. This was also a great test of the back yard of the museum for holding such events. I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of this sort of activity in the future.

One of the key features of our Tales series is that there is some form of food service associated with the production. As I write this I can hear Kent Thompson saying "you have to feed an audience". For this performance we served brown bread and molasses, tomato bisque soup, cookies and apple cider. Our thanks go to a small army of volunteers led by Michelle Hall who helped to prepare and serve the refreshments. The food adds considerably to the festive atmosphere of the production.

Like Washing Soldiers 1797, this play is an attempt to bring history out of the museum. Annapolis Royal has a history that should be the envy of most communities. If we do not take the opportunity to celebrate this history in a public way we cannot be surprised if nobody takes interest. Breaking down the walls of the museum to make our heritage accessible is an important part of the Tales project. By presenting events like the death of Lt. Governor Armstrong and the vsit of the Duke of Kent in dramatic fashion we are trying to draw people into the fascinating history of Annapolis Royal. Hopefully we will also bring a few of these people into our museums as well.

All for now,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well... That was a Blur

On Thursday afternoon my plan was to make a post on Friday afternoon about the upcoming performance of 5 Stab Wounds in the Governor. Well, sometimes life gets in the way my of plans. When I arrived at work on Friday morning we started getting things ready for this weekend's events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the O'Dell House Museum. Now, on Sunday afternoon, it feels like I have been painting, cleaning, printing, greeting, blacksmithing (yes, blacksmithing), preparing food, decorating, moving furinture and talking in a somewhat non-stop manner. Add to that a visit of a number of elected officials and a play and you have a busy weekend. All this is to say that I never got around to writing my post on the play.

I will break the events of the O'Dell House Museum's anniversary into two posts. In all honesty, I could make many more posts on this topic but I will restrain myself. Today's post will deal with Saturday's events and the next will deal with our production of 5 Stab Wounds. While it all seems like a blur it was a good weekend.

Saturday began with getting our usual table at the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market organized. Since we were trying to have a bigger presence on our anniversary weekend we decided to send the bar which we built for our Natal Day float to the market. Apparently, this was a bit too large of a presence and we were sent to a spot at the back of the market. Oh well, at least we got to talk to some people about the organization.

After this, we came back to the museum to set up for our craftspeople. As part of the anniversary, we decided that it would be nice to have some people displaying traditional crafts around the museum. We had a group of ladies who were hooking mats, Pauline How was making pillow lace, and we had a portable blacksmith forge set up in the museum's parking lot. Take it from me, while you can classify a forge as portable, an anvil is only portable with great efforts. For most of the day Tim Cress and Ken Maher took turns on the forge but they had keen assistance from a couple of local boys. At the start and end of the day I even got to take my turn at the forge. While I have worked at a forge before, I am still happy to swing a hammer when I get the opportunity.

At about 1:00 we started into the official part of the day's program. Using the newly built backyard stage, we officially dedicated the AHS Genealogy Centre library as the Wagner Library in honour of founding members Marguerite and Ralph Wagner. In addition to the Wagner family, the official party consisted of Greg Kerr, MP for West Nova, Stephen MacNeil, MLA for Annapolis, Phil Roberts, Mayor of Annapolis Royal and Reg Ritchie, Deputy Warden for Annapolis County. AHS President Dr. Barry Moody acted as Master of Ceremonies. This was a nice event and it provided a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of the Wagners as well as the role of the Annapolis Heritage Society over the past 40 years. The photograph shows Greg Kerr (a former Society President), current Vice-President Jane Nicholson (hiding behind the hat) and Ralph and Marguerite 's granddaughter Crystal Welch unveiling the plaque.

All in all it was a very good day. Thanks to the volunteers and staff members who made everything possible.

All for now,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

O'Dell House Museum 40th Anniversary

This weekend (August 15 and 16) the O'Dell House Museum will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Over its 40 years the museum has become a centre for many of the historic persuits in Annapolis Royal. In addition to the ground floor which is displayed as a house from the 1860s, the museum houses the Annapolis Heritage Society Genealogy Centre and the AHS artifact and archival collections. The second floor of the museum is also used for contemporary exhibits. We are currently featuring Summer Bride, 100 Years of Registered Nursing and Annapolis Goes to Sea.

An important part of the events to celebrate our 40th anniversary is the dedication of the AHS Genealogy Centre library as the Wagner Library. Marguerite and Ralph Wagner were not only founding members of the Annapolis Heritage Society (originally called Historic Restoration Enterprises) but they were leaders in a movement to restore the Annapolis Royal waterfront. While I never had the opportunity to meet her, I know of Marguerite's reputation as an energetic and dedicated soul. I encounter the hallmarks of the Wagners on a daily basis as I make my way through the O'Dell House Museum. The dedication of the library will take place at 1:00 on Saturday.

Today's image comes from the Wagner family. It shows the O'Dell House Museum's official ribbon cutting by Dr. Jack Kerr, Mayor of Annapolis Royal in 1969. Tomorrow's post will be about our Sunday afternoon presentation of 5 Stab Wounds in the Governor.

All for now,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dinner at the Habitation

On Wednesday of last week I was able to attend the summer meeting of our friends at the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal (HAAR). Just to be clear, Annapolis Royal has 500 people and two historic associations. I like to joke that with 404 years of recorded history and thousands of years of years of unrecorded history that we have enough to share around. In reality, both the Historical Association and Annapolis Heritage Society play important and complimentary roles in our community. The Historical Association offer the wonderful tours candlelight tours of the Garrison Cemetery as well as National Historic District tours. HAAR have also been responsible the publication of Brenda Dunn's History of Port Royal/Annapolis Royal 1604-1800 as well as the upcoming companion volume by Dr. Barry Moody. I will try to put some of the impressive history of our sister organization into a future post.

Now, the reason that I find the summer meeting of the Historical Association so memorable is that it is the only time through the year that there is a public dinner at the Port Royal Habitation. This member's only event is limited to a mere 50 tickets. The dinner is usually a fairly simple fare of ham (quite appropriate for the Habitation) with a couple types of salad. Usually the dinner is served in the courtyard but since the weather was threatening rain, the proceedings were moved into the grand hall. If you squint your eyes just the right way, you can almost imagine yourself sitting down to an Order of Good Cheer dinner.

As always, the dinner was finished with an after dinner speaker. This year Ern Dick gave a presentation on his recent interpretive work with the Nova Scotia Museum at Simeon Perkins House in Liverpool. This seems like it will be a very interesting installation and I am hoping to get the chance to visit the museum some time this summer.

All for now,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Up, Up and Away

Sometimes it is nice to get a phone call to break you out of your normal work day. That was the case earlier today when I received a call from my wife asking if I would come down Fort Anne to go on a hot air balloon ride with our five year old. Since these are not words that I usually hear or, for that matter was expecting, it took me a couple of seconds to register what she was asking. When I did realize what she was asking, I figured that this would be far more interesting than cleaning the O'Dell House Museum's front room. Our summer interpreter Tim Cress was on his lunch break so we hopped in the car and sped off to Fort Anne.

When we arrived at the fort it was quite evident that the Re-Max hot air balloon was in town. It isn't every day that you see a large red, white and blue orb floating above the officer's quarters (well at least I don't). Surprisingly there was not much of a crowd gathered on the Fort grounds when we arrived. After a wait of a minute or two we jumped right on to the tethered balloon. I must admit that for a first time ride I was surprised by the heat of the flames on my head. It was like having an immediate sunburn on your head. I suppose that my lack of insulation (hair) on my head may have made the flames feel a bit hotter.

Sadly the balloon was not going too high today since they were expecting strong winds. I was hoping to get high enough to get a good picture of the upper and lower ends of Annapolis Royal. As it was, we got a view of the Alain's River marsh over the Powder Magazine. Despite not quite seeing what i hoped to see, I must admit that the ride was fun. For those who were wondering, we still managed to clean the front of the museum when we got back to work.
All for now,

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jammin' at North Hills Museum

I will freely admit that there are certain aspects of the local culture that I had no concept of before I moved to Annapolis Royal in 2002. Despite having spent a great deal of time as a tourist in Atlantic Canada, it is hard to grasp the subtleties of a place unless you are living there. One of the parts of the Annapolis Valley culture that I did not know about until I moved here was the large and energetic following for bluegrass music in this area.

Having lived here for a while it now seems quite natural that there would be a thriving bluegrass scene in rural Nova Scotia. While the Celtic and folk music of this province have received more international attention, the bluegrass musicians are no less talented or passionate. As you drive along the roads of Annapolis County you will frequently see signs around community halls reading "Jam every Thursday night" or something similar. In fact, if you really wanted to, I am sure that you could go from community hall to community hall and never miss a night of bluegrass music.

Tonight at North Hills Museum (5065 Granville Road, Granville Ferry) we will be hosting our annual bluegrass and country jam starting at 7:00pm. This has become one of the more popular events at the site and it is open to the general public free of charge. Best of all, we will even have free hot dogs and hamburgers available for those in attendance. If you have not yet experienced the local bluegrass scene, this is an excellent opportunity to see a part of Nova Scotia's culture. If you are an experienced jammer, grab a guitar, mandolin, or fiddle and join us at the museum for a fun evening.

All for now,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Natal Day Weekend - Wrap up

As always, Annapolis Royal's Natal Day Weekend was a busy time. Unlike the rest of the summer, we actually managed to have some half decent weather for most of the weekend. Even the threatening weather on Monday morning had cleared in time for the parade. On the down side, my cholesterol level should be marginally higher after a couple of burgers from the Lion's canteen but, this is a once a year treat for many in the community. This post is mainly to allow me to wrap up a few of the images which I shot through the weekend. These photographs were taken during the sunset ceremony, community band concert and coronation of Queen Annapolis Royal 2009.

All for now,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Natal Day Weekend - The Parade

After walking in the Annapolis Royal Natal Day Parade earlier today I have a much greater appreciation for the ability of canvass to catch the wind. As part of our parade entry, we were carrying five canvass banners with either images or messages painted on them. Walking around the corner of Drury Lane and St. George Street I think that Tim Cress and I (the largest of those carrying banners) got knocked back a couple of feet. While there may be a few sore shoulders tonight, I am happy to report that the Annapolis Heritage Society's float won a prize in the Annapolis Royal Natal Day Parade again this year. I would love to report that we won the best overall float but our friends at Fort Anne walked away with the prize for the second straight year. The AHS float was chosen as first runner-up.

The highlight of our float was decidedly the wooden "family tree" designed by AHS interpreter Adam Glenen and painted by the summer staff. Since the theme of the parade was reunions, this tree was part of our reuniting generations through genealogy concept. When the float was finished, each of the leaves was inscribed with the name of a local family. In front of the tree we had a bar and table arrangement which resembles the set up of the research area at the O'Dell House Museum. Thanks to all of the volunteers and staff who helped put this year's float together.

The costumes we wore in the parade were an interesting amalgam of Annapolis
Royal's history. We had a couple of people representing the Scottish settlement of 1629, a handful of Acadian costumes, some Loyalists, and a few mid-Victorian costumes. All told, it was a representation of many of the cultural groups who have come to Annapolis Royal over the past 404 years.

All for now,