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Trenton continues to honour industrial past

A group of steel workers at the Trenton plant, circa 1890s.
A group of steel workers at the Trenton plant, circa 1890s. - Contributed

TRENTON

Back in 1883, a group of workers at the old steelworks site in Trenton created a first in Canada: they were the first to pour steel that would be sold commercially.

That event is being immortalized with a plaque, as officials in Trenton continues to honour its industrial history.

Counc. Don Hussher, who chairs the economic development committee in the Town, said the plaque is just the latest step in trying to get some industrial tourism action in Trenton.

“At one time, this town was the cornerstone, as far as industry in Pictou County,” said Hussher. “We have a lot of industrial heritage, not just TrentonWorks, but the old steel foundries, the glass companies.”

Created by John Ashton, owner of Ashton Creative Design, the 24-by-36-inch plaque will be unveiled on July 11 during the Mayor’s Tea, as part of Trenton FunFest celebrations. It will be placed along Main Street, where, in recent years, the old ladle and hammer have been erected, a nod to Trenton’s history.

“This is quite a celebration for the Town of Trenton, because of the industrial heritage in the Town,” said Ashton.

Coincidentally, near Ashton’s home in Bridgeville, there used to be an iron ore mine, where material was obtained to supply the Trenton steel industry from 1893 until around 1903.

“We’ve been working on this for two years now,” he added, “and we’ve found a lot of interesting things that weren’t known. Industrial heritage is a developing tourism sector, especially in areas where heavy industries thrived such as Pictou and Cumberland counties, and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The Town of Trenton is preserving and showcasing its industrial past and developing a sense of pride and sustainability in their community."

NOTES:

• The United Steel Workers of Canada is paying for the design and development of the panel and placement at the Trenton Industrial Heritage site.

• The Trenton Heritage Museum on Forge St. (in the old town police site), which has quite a bit of Trenton Works and the Towns history, artifacts, documents, photos, graphics and other items, is open Wednesdays and Fridays (1-4 p.m.). It’s summer schedule will be Tuesday-Friday (1-4 p.m.).

• Steel was poured at an iron ore mine site in Londonderry, Colchester County In 1877, six years before it was poured in Trenton, but the Londonderry steel would not be produced commercially.

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