Launch of new Sackville Then and Now book nears
There will be one last chance for local residents to see the popular Sackville Then and Now exhibit of historical and contemporary photos of Sackville when it goes on display at the Sackville Curling Club at as part of this year’s Fall Fair. The exhibi will be open Friday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22, from noon to 5 p.m. The opening night of the exhibition will also see the launch of a much-awaited book entitled “Sackville Then and Now: New Brunswick’s Oldest Town in Photographs”. The launch will take place at the Sackville Curling Club at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20
The “Sackville Then and Now” exhibit of photographs was first shown in July of 2012 as part of the Sackville 250th anniversary celebrations, and it created widespread interest and attention. Earlier this year a selection of the display panels was shown at a New Brunswick Heritage Day event, and also at the Drew Nursing Home. As a result of these exhibitions a number of local citizens came forward with more old photographs and additional historical information. A number of the panels have been corrected, revised and updated with the help of new information received. For example, an addition to the exhibition this month will be a panel featuring a photograph of the Sackville Fire Department taken outside the old Fire Hall on Main Street in July 1967; all 33 members of the Fire Department in the photograph have been identified by name.
Also featured as part of the exhibition will be a continuous slide show in the upper lounge of the curling club of historic and contemporary photographs. Since this was last shown some 70 new comparisons have been added to the presentation.
This will be the public’s last chance to see the display. After this the 30 panels will be donated to the Tantramar Heritage Trust’s resource centre, now located in the Anderson Octagonal House, where they will be part of the archival collection and still available to students and researchers of local history.
Many of those who attended the earlier exhibitions suggested that the best of the photos should be preserved and made more widely available by being published in book form. Just such a book is due for publication on Sept. 20. Entitled “Sackville Then and Now: New Brunswick’s Oldest Town in Photographs”, it has been prepared by Kip Jackson and Charlie Scobie. It is a quality product: limited edition, hardcover, full colour, glossy paper, 108 pages, 10 by 8 ½ inches, and has been printed by award-winning Canadian colour printers Friesens of Altona, Manitoba. It will be published jointly by The Tantramar Heritage Trust and the Town of Sackville Heritage Board, with the support of Renaissance Sackville and a number of private donors.
As was the case with the “Sackville Then and Now” exhibition, the book pairs historical photos of buildings and sites in and around Sackville with contemporary photos taken as far as possible at the same location and from the same angle. Houses, churches, schools, parks, businesses, fires, bridges, shops, public buildings, mills, foundries, wharves and blacksmiths are among the themes represented.
An Introduction, text boxes and captions help situate the photographs in the history of Sackville, one of the oldest and most historic communities in eastern Canada. Drawing on the resources of local archives as well as private collections, the book presents a fascinating picture of Sackville’s heritage, some of it still preserved, some of it alas long gone.
While the book offers a selection of photos from the “Sackville Then and Now” exhibition it also contains new material, including colour aerial photos of Sackville and the surrounding area. A 12-page section of the book is devoted to Mount Allison University with some fascinating photos of the campus from days gone by, matched by contemporary views. The book also incorporates some new research: for example, the surprising results of a dendrochronology study of what is probably the oldest building on Bridge Street, the Oscar Tracy Block (now the Black Duck Inn).
Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the book launch of “Sackville Then and Now: New Brunswick’s Oldest Town in Photographs” in. A reception, with refreshments, will follow the book launch, and the two authors will be available to sign copies of the book.
The book will go on sale at the exhibition beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 20. After the exhibition it will be available from the Tantramar Heritage Trust, 29B Queens Road, Sackville, N.B., E4L 4G4, and also from Tidewater Books, 13 Bridge Street, Sackville, E4L 3N6, and Cover to Cover Books, 630 Pinewood Road, Riverview, N.B., E1B 5M7.
Those who ordered and paid for the book in advance prior to Aug. 15 at a discounted price, will be able to claim their copies of the book at the exhibition, beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 20. From Sept. 23 onwards, pre-ordered books can be claimed at the Tantramar Heritage Trust office (29B Queens Road, Sackville, N.B., E4L 4G4). Books will also be delivered in the Sackville area on request.