Tales of early Nova Scotia retold at library

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If you want to hear some stories about Nova Scotia in the 1800s, Gordon Johnston is the man you’ll want to talk to.

The 74-year-old has written stories about a fictional Nova Scotian town during the early 1800s with a population of around 200 people, with many Scottish immigrants.

He likes to tell his stories at the Pictou Public Library.

He has done a lot of research to make sure the accuracy of the times is right.

“Always loved writing, even as a kid. And I loved stories about my own heritage,” he said while at the library on Wednesday.

Johnston was a history teacher in Ontario for 15 years and moved to Nova Scotia in 1985.

He said he applied storytelling to help teach classes, he said.

“That’s what history teachers do sometimes, to make their stuff interesting to students, they tell stories. They have to make the characters they teach about human and believable.”

He’s able to add some of his personal experiences to the stories.

When he was married and raising a family, he said he once lived in haunted house. He then went on to write a story, with one of his characters living in a haunted house as well.

“You have to write about what you know.”

So far, he’s written about six stories.

“I haven’t counted lately. I go on a binge every now and again and start a new story, but I’ve got about six.”

He enjoys doing his research and genealogy and writing the stories.

“I was hoping for a publisher sometime, that’s always a writer’s dream.”


Organizations: Pictou Public Library

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Nova Scotian, Ontario

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