Tantramar Cultural Cultural

On 26 June 2007 it was announced that the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick, had been designated the 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada in the under 50,000 population category. The designation is awarded for merit, which is determined by the quality of a candidate community's proposed projects as well as earlier achievements of that community which demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the arts and culture. For information on the Cultural Capitals of Canada program see the Canadian Heritage Cultural Capitals of Canada web site.

"Heritage" is an important component of the Cultural Capital award and the Tantramar Heritage Trust was a major participant in the 2008 Cultural Capital program for Sackville. The Trust's main contribution was the Campbell Carriage Factory Restoration / Expansion Project. For more on the Campbell Carriage Factory see Campbell Carriage Factory Museum .

This project involved the re-creation of a former part of the Campbell Carriage Factory. In 1908, the Tribune noted: "the first and only meeting house of the Second Baptist Church, sold three years ago to George Campbell & Sons is doomed doubtless to be converted into a paint shop." It seems the Campbells purchased a 66-year-old meeting house, which they attached to the backend of their Carriage Factory providing space for finishing and trim work, storage of lumber and materials, and the addition of a large hand-operated freight elevator for raising materials and lowering finished carriages. Decades later, the Campbells had the workman captured in this photo [one of three] taking down this old addition to the Carriage Factory. Original
The old addition being torn down.
New "old" addition
The 2008 project involved the reconstruction of this old addition, roughly the size and shape of the one joined to the Campbell Carriage Factory in 1905, with windows and walls that look much like the remaining Campbell Carriage Factory, but fitted out with completely modern functions: washrooms, a proper reception area, office and storage space for summer staff, and all without needing to steal space from the original building. In fact, it will allow the Trust to reclaim the corner long used to greet visitors and to begin restoring the horse mill which powered the old factory, and, in the long run, to reestablish the freight elevator or "lift" used to move lumber, carriages and sleighs in the new "old" addition.
A concrete foundation was poured for the new structure, faced with natural stone. Work on the project began in earnest with an old-style "barn-raising" or "timber-raising" held on Tuesday and Wednesday 10 - 11th June 2008. The work was undertaken largely by a group of local volunteers. Vistors watched the frame of the addition taking shape, while also enjoying free site tours, displays, skits by Sackville's very own MARSH Troupe, live music, children's amusements, home-baking and a lunch-time barbeque. General
Timber The Tantramar Heritage Trust was able to rescue a 200 year-old timber frame structure from Smith's Creek, outside of Sussex, NB - a building actually situated on the same Saint John - Westmorland Road as the Campbell Carriage Factory! This building was carefully disassembled, piece by piece, by the firm TimberHart Woodworkers, taken back to their Port Williams, N.S. workshop, and all parts cleaned and prepared for reuse in the new Visitor Reception addition. As seen here, the different sections of the frame were erected without use of a modern crane.
Timbers Roof
All timbers were joined by means of mortise and tenon joints and wooden pegs. No modern nails or bolts were used in construction of the frame !
Construction of the frame was completed on Thursday 12 June 2008. In keeping with ancient tradition, a leafy green bough was affixed to the peak of the structure at the topping out ceremony.

Work on the addition continued throughout the summer of 2008, with the installation of siding, windows and flooring. Work on the interior will be completed in 2009.

The re-constructed "addition"
View from the road

The Trust's contribution to the Cultural Capital program also included the publication of two new books :
Charles H.H. Scobie's Roberts Country: Sir Charles G.D Roberts and the Tantramar , and Charles Armour's Shipuilding in Westmorland County. For further details see Publications.

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