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Garden of Eden, Pictou County, celebrating its past

George Fraser with his horses, from many decades ago.
George Fraser with his horses, from many decades ago.

A rural Pictou County community is embracing its past this weekend during its Canada 150 celebrations.

Ann Munro of Garden of Eden said a recent Canada 150 grant from the federal government allowed the community to host events Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Garden of Eden Community Hall.

Organizers have collected old photos of the area and spoken to residents who remember the days when Garden of Eden was a bustling rural community with a corner store and post office.

Today, Garden of Eden’s main industry is blueberry harvesting and honey production, she said. The community’s population increases in the summer with cottagers near the lake, but its residents are mainly retirement age.

However, Munro said it is important that today’s community life in Garden of Eden be captured as well so a photo shoot of present day was done for a time capsule that will be stored in the community hall for the next 50 years.

“We have a problem remembering that pictures of today are going to be old some day,” she said. “We snapped photos of day in the life, trying to capture people doing what they typically do so they will be in the time capsule and on display.”

In addition, Jamie Cunningham of East River St. Mary’s will be presenting photos from Ruth and Jean Cameron’s collection.

The women lived on the west side of East River St. Mary’s and had a large collection of photos that Cunningham now has acquired.
Meghann Jack will also be speaking about local architecture  such as homes and barns in Garden of Eden area.

“Meghann grew up in East River St. Mary’s and is working on her PHD or masters in folklore,” said Munro. Her interest is in old barns and architecture and the folklore that surrounds that. We have building here that date back to 1876.”

Munro said she thinks Saturday’s celebrations will renew a sense of pride in the community as well bring out more memories from people who will look at the photos and remember their own experiences.

In the future, she said, the organizing committee would like to include the photos on a website so the world can learn about the community’s history.


Full list of activities

10 a.m.: Interactive open house and historic photos and displays. Light refreshments will be provided.

Noon: Complimentary lunch and cutting of cake

1:15 p.m.: Ann Munro presenting an introduction of the Gaelic language

1:30 p.m.: Meghann Jack presenting local architecture of barns and homes

2:30 p.m.: Jamie Cunningham presenting Ruth and Jean Cameron photos of yesteryear.

3:30 p.m.: Time capsule project


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