Banner image : A Winter's morning along the LaHave below the Train Bridge / Centennial Trail (c) Paul X Newton Photography
This is a Canada 150 Project coordinated by the LaHave River Trail Association that includes photos and stories from along the LaHave River between Bridgewater and New Germany between 1867 and 2017.
The LaHave River Trail Association is a community group that is building a multi-use trail largely using the abandoned rail corridor that ran along the LaHave River between Bridgewater and New Germany. The rail line was abandoned in the 1980s/early 1990s.
The original project took place in the spring of 2017 over eight weeks on the LaHave River Trail Association's Facebook Page.
We are very grateful to the South Shore Regional Library for providing this permanent home.
In early 2017, the LaHave River Trail Association was approached by the Municipality of Lunenburg about our plans for a Canada 150 project.
We knew that old photos were very popular because viewership jumped when we posted one on our Facebook page.
So we thought it might be interesting to display a series of photos from along the LaHave River Valley between Bridgewater and New Germany.
Because its a Canada 150 project, it seemed appropriate to show photos over the last 150 years.
And because story telling is an important part of the local social life, we thought it might be fun to encourage people to share their stories in response to the photos ... kind of a people’s history.
After polling locals for photos, we had enough material to cover eight themes. We started on Monday March 27th and continued for 8 weeks:
The Facebook version typically had three posts per week with each post including a series of photos, a bit of information and typically a question to encourage comments. We also included a series of contests that proved to be very popular. Over the eight weeks, we had over 300 comments and reached over 100,000 viewers.
This version is based on what we displayed on Facebook but with a few tweeks. We have the luxury to develop the story in each section more fully than with Facebook. Also, we can link between the sections because they all exist at one time versus the Facebook version that was evolving week after week.
Reader comments and stories were one of the very enjoyable parts of this project. This was a favourite prompted by Middleton Bound.
Stewart Franck wrote ... As a young boy growing up in Cookville, it seemed like daily I would hear the train coming up along the river and I would run freewheeling down our big hill, across Trunk 10, and down the bank to the railroad tracks along the river, JUST in time to wave at the Engineer, and he would wave back and blow the train whistle.
That was about the happiest time for a little kid.
Then came the first day of school at the old Cookville School. Sometime that morning, I heard the train coming along up the river, and I got up and darted out of the one-room schoolhouse, down the hill, across Trunk 10 and down the bank to the railroad tracks along the river, JUST in time to... feel the teacher grab me by the back of the neck and haul me back up to the schoolhouse.
She made me kneel in the corner for what seemed like forever. I was confused - not knowing what I did wrong - and crying! Worse yet, when I arrived home my older sister and brother told Mom and Dad that "Stewie ran away from school today!
Hey teachers, use your power wisely!
Many people helped with this project -- all the photographers who let us use their images, everyone who provided photos from their their personal collection, the stories, comments and suggestions, all the publicity and help with facilities, funders and the tremendous response from the community. Thank you all, a complete list is in ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS