NEW GLASGOW – New Glasgow’s connection to coal mining is sure to be remembered, thanks to an interpretive panel unveiled at Rotary Park on Saturday.
© AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS
Clyde Macdonald, left, Philip MacKenzie and Ken Fraser, president of the Pictou County Roots Society stand with the interpretive panel in Rotary Park showing the history of coal in New Glasgow.
The panel shows the history of the industry through photos and a timeline of major events.
“Who was going to tell the stories of the coal chutes?” Philip MacKenzie asked at the unveiling.
Over the course of several months, MacKenzie and Clyde Macdonald collected material from the community. The Pictou County Roots Society donated the funds and John Ashton designed it.
“You’d like to put everyone in, but you just can’t,” MacKenzie said about the process.
MacKenzie remembers when the Samson Trail was used to truck tons of coal. It happened almost right in his backyard. He has been in New Glasgow for 66 years and has watched the changes on the west side.
“This was my playground,” he said
He knew many people involved in the industry, including his late uncle Jack MacKenzie. Jack lost his life at 44-years-old after an accident on the rails.
Sam McCann, a co-worker of Jack’s, is another person Philip knew in the coal line of work. McCann worked his whole life as a section employee for $28 a week.
MacKenzie said he seized the opportunity to interview him when he could.
“All this history will be lost if you don’t share it with me,” MacKenzie told McCann.
A plaque remembering the Arthur Carriage Shop was also revealed Saturday. It sits across from the shop’s former location on Stellarton Road, where The Brick is currently located.
Reverend David Arthur supplied photos and artifacts from when the business was thriving.
During its 100 years of running, the shop made carriages and truck bodies when the horse and buggy was no longer used as transportation.
Before it was torn down in 1950, the shop was very prominent in the community. MacKenzie is pleased its importance, along with the significance of an industry that shaped the town of New Glasgow, won’t be forgotten.
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