SCOTSBURN – Alan Fraser has a story about every piece history in his new museum.
Considering the large amount of artifacts he has collected over 30 years, there are a lot of stories to be told.
“When people come here, I hope they get excited by what they see,” he said just two days before the grand opening of A Walk Through Time Museum in Scotsburn. The museum is located above his business, A&M Small Engines and in the former Scosburn Dairy creamery building which has a long history itself.
The original building which houses the museum will be 98 years old this year and museum will house artifacts that date back to the 1800s with the majority of them focusing on the early 1900s. Items range from household appliances to dinnerware, to farming equipment, sleds and carriages as well as horse harnesses and tools.
There is an entire wall dedicated just to chainsaws and another room that gives people glimpse into Scotsburn Dairy’s history with hundreds of its older projects such as milk cartons and ice cream containers and boxes on display.
A person could probably walk through the museum every day and find something new to look but Fraser is doing his best to categorize it in areas so that people can find what interests them while still enjoying all of the displays. The items are tagged and some have a brief history attached that tell people where he purchased or located the item. Even some of the showcases holding smaller items came from the former Goodman Building in New Glasgow in 1947.
‘I hope there is something here for everyone,” he said.
He speaks fondly of a MacLaughlin sled that he purchased from Murray and Carol Innis on the Murray Road in Pictou. It is sitting in front of a MacLauglin wagon that also came from a Pictou County family. He has a total of 23 sleds and 24 wagons in his collection.
Fraser said he has been a full-time collector for about 30 years, but really he has be interested in such items since he was 10 years old. Some of the pieces came from his own grandparents’ home.
In his collection of machinery, he has a road grater on display which has been told is the first road grater to be used in the Town of Westville. He hopes in the future to dedicate rooms to people in Pictou County who have left their mark in the area, including Dr. Alan MacKay who was a long-time veterinarian in the area and another for the Scotsburn Fire Department.
The idea for the museum came to him in 2012 when he and his wife Mary hosted a fundraiser for their local church by putting some of his items on display at his home. He said the one day event raised $1,700 for the church and cars lined up on the street as people toured the area. When he purchased the former Scotsburn building two years ago, he knew that the upstairs was the place for his artifacts.
Fraser said most of the items have been stored in his own barns are well as his families for years and even though the museum will have plenty for people to look at, there is still more in being left in storage.
The doors to the museum will officially open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it will remain open until at least September for seven days a week. He plans to work there himself but he also has some help from the community.
Fraser said one of the volunteers coming to museum to help give tours and answer questions is a 91-year-old resident of the county. He eventually hopes to host school tours so children can see how the world used to work.
“I want to educate these kids on how they got here and let them know they didn’t come out with a full set of teeth and a cellphone,” he said.
Admission to the museum is $10 a person or $25 a family. More information can also be found on its Facebook page, A Walk Through Time Museum.