Culture award to help keep Trenton’s heritage alive

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TRENTON – The history of Steeltown will hopefully be preserved for years to come, thanks to Trenton council and Creative Pictou County. 

The Trenton Heritage Room holds binders full of rich history about the town, police memorabilia, old trophies, and many other items demonstrating Trenton’s past. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS 

Council voted on Tuesday night to give the Trenton Heritage Room their portion of funds from a community art and culture award for all of Pictou County.

“They’re our culture and heritage for our town,” Susan Higdon, deputy chief of administration, said about the museum created following Trenton’s centennial celebrations.

Creative Pictou County applied for the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award from Creative Nova Scotia, with a 51-page document outlining each municipality in Pictou County and their contribution to culture in the community.  

Each town, the municipality, and Pictou Landing First Nation has the opportunity to use their portion of the $10,000 award towards furthering arts and culture in the community, or reinvesting the funds back into Creative Pictou County.

All seven recipients have until Feb. 15 to respond.

Stellarton voted on Monday evening to give their part back to the arts council.

Creative Pictou County is undergoing a number of initiatives with which they would use the funds to complete.

Their major project is a needs assessment.

“We’re going around and asking artists what they want and need from an arts council,” Janine Linthorne, interim secretary for the arts society, said.

Linthorne said the group doesn’t want to be irrelevant.

They plan to have brainstorming sessions with artists to figure out where to point their efforts.

They’re looking to build a website, as well as hire a part-time employee that would maintain it, do their social media and cover administration duties.

Linthorne said they’re hoping for their website to be the “go-to” place for arts in the area, with a schedule of events of everything taking place in the county.

They’re also looking to establish a permanent board of directors.

Trenton will be using their portion simply to keep the Heritage Room running.

Council is leaving it to the discretion of the centennial society to figure out what the money should go towards.

Shirley MacMillan, a volunteer at the small museum, said the funds would be beneficial to buy supplies such as paper, ink, and binders to keep track of all the history.

Although they have most of what they need, there are costs to maintaining the room and continuing to produce all the material.

They’ve had many things donated to them, including glass cabinets, Trenton’s first office table, and the room itself.

“They do want this to survive,” MacMillan said about the town.

They’re located in the civic building, where Trenton Police used to be.

They left the cells intact, with one serving as a tribute to the former town police force.

It started as part of the 100-year celebrations in 2011. The centennial society wanted to have a place full of Trenton’s history during the events, and ended up deciding to keep records in a permanent location, MacMillan said.

MacMillian and other volunteers have done meticulous research on different businesses, churches, doctors, and TrentonWorks, to name a few, and all of it is documented in binders.

They also try to keep track of what happened in the town every year since its founding.

Much of the history is dependent on people’s memories, and they check into facts with several people to ensure accuracy.

“We’re really excited this was an opportunity. It’s great they (Creative Pictou County) could do this in such a short time,” Higdon said about the award.

The Trenton Heritage Room is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. during the winter.

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

Geographic location: Pictou County

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