PICTOU – Two historically significant Pictou men will be the focus of upcoming exhibits at the McCulloch Heritage Centre this year.
An exhibit this fall will look at the life of Edward Mortimer, the original owner of Mortimer House – the historical home that was recently torn down.
Dayle Crouse, curator at the McCulloch Heritage Centre, said the news of the demolition of Mortimer House piqued the community’s interest in who Mortimer was and why he was an important figure in the town.
“We’ve always felt he was a very prominent person in Pictou County, but with what happened to Mortimer House recently, community interest is very high and we just felt that people now seem to be very interested in who this man was,” she said. “So, we thought we would do an exhibit on him.”
Crouse said the exhibit will look at Mortimer’s accomplishments, what his role was in the town and his legacy.
“We’ll probably pull a lot of correspondence that we have from Edward Mortimer and we’ll detail what it was that he specifically did in town, what his role was, how he influenced particular movements in town or how he supported them,” she said. “Of course, we’d like to detail the house itself as well and who lived there and the history of the house beyond Mortimer.”
Crouse said Mortimer is just one of many prominent Pictonians worth knowing about.
“Historically speaking, so many prominent people and passionate people came from Pictou County and Pictou in particular. I just think that people should know that Edward Mortimer and others, their legacies still live on,” she said, adding that the centre is considering turning the Mortimer exhibit into a series that would feature historically significant Pictonians.
“I think we might carry this on and highlight other individuals from the past because I think as people walk down the streets, they may not realize that something that exists today is in direct response to somebody 200 years ago or 250 years ago,” she said.
Another upcoming exhibit is a travelling exhibit that will launch at the McCulloch Heritage Centre this spring. The exhibit, Frontier College: 110, is a bilingual exhibit about Alfred Fitzpatrick, a Pictonian who lived by the philosophy that the working class is the backbone of a country and deserves a good education. Fitzpatrick founded Frontier College, which would see instructors work alongside the labourers during the day and then set up a tent at night to teach them how to read.
“The exhibit is set up so when you walk in it’s like you’re walking into a log camp,” Crouse said, adding that she’s excited about the fact that the exhibit is bilingual and hopes French immersion classes take an interest in it.
The Frontier College exhibit will launch in early April.