Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picnic

Since tomorrow is Canada Day (July 1) is Canada Day, I figured I should take a look to see if we had any properly festive archival images in the Annapolis Heritage Society collection. I digitally flipped through many images of celebrations at Fort Anne, some images of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and many different parades running both up and down St George Street. While these were all interesting images, they were not quite what I was looking for. I have been fairly busy lately so I was looking for images of holiday activities which were a bit more pastoral. Something showing people enjoying themselves in the beautiful countryside around Annapolis Royal was what I was looking for. Then it struck me, I needed to find some images of people on a picnic.

This collection of images comes from three different collections held by the AHS Archives. Since I have a range of images, I will only say that they were taken between the 1890s and the 1920s. In each of the pictures you can see that, despite being out in nature, that a picnic was a somewhat formal event. While people are not wearing their best clothes, they are all well dressed. I also find it interesting that each of these images show far more women enjoying the picnic than men.

All for now,
RGS















Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reflecting

I know, I have mined this particular topic many times before. There is just something about the view from the parking lot at the O'Dell House Museum in Annapolis Royal which keeps drawing my attention. Is it because we have an average 29 foot tide so the scene is constantly changing? Perhaps it is because the village of Granville Ferry makes an absolutely charming scene with the North Mountain rising in the back? Maybe it is the occasional mirror-like reflections of the village in the waters of the Annapolis Basin. Then again, I seem to have taken more than my share of images of astounding sunsets from the very spot where these pictures were taken. I guess I will never know the answer of why I find this scene so appealing.

All for now,
RGS










Monday, June 28, 2010

Pictures of the Port Royal Habitation

When I was at the Port Royal National Historic Site for the Membertou 400 commemorations the other day, I decided to take a few minutes to collect some images of the Habitation itself. I have previously posted many shots of this site, but since it is such an important part of our local story I feel justified in revisiting this topic. Another reason for posting this collection is that in recent years my visits to the Habitation have been after hours or for some form of official business. My trip last week was one of the few times recently that I have been to the site as a "normal" visitor. Since I was at leisure I figured that I may as well see if there were any interesting images.

The Habitation is a 1939 reconstruction of the 1605 -1613 establishment built by Pierre duGua Sieur deMonts and Samuel Champlain. Ironically, the reconstruction has lasted far longer than the original building. I will freely admit that I like living history museums. Spending five seasons in period costume through my university years allowed me to learn the potential benefits and pratfalls for this sort of interpretation. Because of this, I am a keen observer of interpreters in their natural habitat. How are the stories being told? How do the guides interact with the visitors? Are there any anachronisms like wrist watches or sunglasses? On the whole, I feel that the staff of the Habitation are as good as any I have seen. They know their topic and they do a very good job of relating the story to their visitors. When you are at the Habitation you can feel the history that surrounds you. If you have not been for a while, it is worth putting a visit to the Port Royal Habitation on your summer itinerary.

All for now,
RGS










































































Thursday, June 24, 2010

Remembering Membertou

I have spent too much time in the sun today so this is just going to be a short post. Earlier today at the Port Royal Habitation there was a ceremony to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the baptism of Mi'Kmaq Sagamo (Grand Chief) Membertou. This was an interesting event which combined a religious service, a re-enactment of the baptism and a series of cultural demonstrations in the afternoon. The Habitation was a beautiful and appropriate backdrop to commemorate the christening and the memory of Henri Membertou.

On a personal note, I was thrilled to find someone flintknapping to make arrow heads. I watched with awe since I have always wanted to learn this craft. I can add this to my list of random skills from previous centuries that I would like to develop.

All for now,
RGS






















Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Membertou 400

Tomorrow (June 24) at Port Royal National Historic Site of Canada there will be an event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the christening of Mi'kmaq Sagmao (Grand Chief) Membertou. Membertou was the first of the Mi'Kmaw to be baptized by the Roman Catholic Church in Acadie. This is among the events which solidified the relationship between the Mi'Kmaq and the French. To this day many Mi'kmaq, including descendants of Membertou, are members of the Catholic Church.

Since I have not been part of the organizing committee for this event, I am looking forward to seeing what they have planned to mark the occasion. I gather that there will be a re-enactment of the christening as well as various cultural demonstrations through the afternoon. On Friday, the action moves to Halifax for a weekend of festivities including a pow-wow on the Common, concerts by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Shane Yellowbird and a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

On my way home from work tonight I decided to make a short stop at the Port Royal Habitation to see how the set up was going. At that point a couple of tee-pees had been erected and crew was working to assemble a stage down by the shore. With the Annapolis Basin stretching out behind them, this will be a beautiful spot for a commemoration. If you have the opportunity, it would be worth coming to Port Royal to see how this interesting historical event will unfold.

All for now,
RGS




























Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Man with the Tam

Toward the end of last week Tim Cress and I made another trip to Clarence, Nova Scotia to collect one of Eugene (Bud) Hamm's carvings. It is getting so that I am fairly familiar with the path between Annapolis Royal and Clarence. There are now only a handful of carvings left at the house. On this trip collected the large carving of the man wearing a tam. This is a statue of Bud himself wearing his trademark hat.

Originally I had thought that I was going to include this piece in the Bud Hamm exhibit that we are starting to assemble at the O'Dell House Museum. By the time we got the statue onto the truck and then safely placed at the museum, I realized that this was not going to be an easy piece to display in an upstairs gallery. I will admit that I have carried heavier pieces up the stairs but the combination of weight and delicate condition will make this a difficult piece to display. Due to the subject matter and sheer scale of the carving, I am still planning to make a serious attempt to include this artifact in the display.

On a totally unrelated note, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Jeanne (Doucet) Currie. I was greatly saddened when I learned of her passing. Within the last month Jeanne and her husband Wayne had played concerts at both North Hills and the Sinclair Inn museums. When listening to Jeanne sing you could not help but smile and tap your feet. If you were not watching closely enough you were bound to wind up with a pair of spoons or some sort of noise maker in your hands so you could play along. In addition to being a wonderful singer and a proud ambassador for Acadian culture, Jeanne was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. She will be missed.

All for now,
RGS

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And Your Little Dog Too!

My plan was not to make a blog post tonight. After a busy weekend in Halifax I was going to give the blog a rest tonight. Instead of writing, I decided to flip through some archival images to see if I could find anything interesting. Since Nathan Sarty has been daily adding to our collections of scanned archival images, I sometimes need to take a few quiet moments to see exactly what he has digitized. Well, my quiet contemplation of images has somehow worked its way into a post.

When I came to the image in this post I stopped to stare at it for a few minutes. I enlarged the image to see if I could recognize any features in the background. Sadly, I am not familiar with the house and the rest of the picture does not offer many hints. The apple tree and the cedar rail fence could really be anywhere in eastern North America. After looking at the image for a while a strange thing started to happen. The word "Kansas" started repeating in my mind. A moment later it blew over me like a tornado (sigh, literary excess if I have ever seen it). The word Kansas was in my mind because the woman on the bicycle looked like Elmira Gulch from the Wizard of Oz.

For those who have trouble remembering, Miss Gulch was the bossy neighbour who complained about Dorothy and wanted Toto taken away. In one of my favorite scenes, she is seen riding her bike in the middle of the tornado that takes Dorothy to Oz. When Dorothy arrives in Oz, the character has transformed into the Wicked Witch of the West. You just never know who will be riding a bike down the road in Annapolis Royal.

All for now,
RGS

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We Love Our Children Expo

Hello from my hotel room with a scenic view of Highway 102. If you had not already guessed, I am not in the Annapolis Royal region today. For the past couple of days I have been in Halifax representing our fair community at the "We Love Our Children Expo" at Exhibition Park. So far this has been a fun show and I have had the chance to meet some new people and tell them about our community. I really enjoy meeting people who have never heard about Annapolis Royal (more common than you would think). By the end of my explanation of the amenities around our town they are simply amazed. From the National Historic Sites, Historic Gardens, museums and fascinating history to King's Theatre, Upper Clements Park, nature trails and our natural beauty, we have something to please any palate. Add to this mix our Farmers Market, wonderful dining opportunities, inns, B&Bs and camping. You can see why it is fun to let people know that they have been missing something spectacular.

Now, speaking of missing something, since today seemed like it was going to be a beautiful day, I snapped the photograph at the bottom of this post before leaving Annapolis Royal at about 6:45 this morning. At least this gives me a bit of a memorial of what sounds like a glorious late spring day in the ancient capital of Nova Scotia.

If you want to visit with us at the We Love our Children Expo, we will be at Exhibition Park all day Sunday (June 20). I have free foam orca (see photograph) for the first 5 people who mention this post tomorrow.

All for now,
RGS