Our Newest Donation - Quite Possibly the Finest Toboggan in the Country

Our Newest Donation - Quite Possibly the Finest Toboggan in the Country

Our museum is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful artefacts that have been lovingly donated to the museum to be shared and appreciated by everyone who visits. It’s a collecting ground for our shared past to protect and pass on to future generations. It truly is a wonderful place to explore and experience the past.

And it’s not everyday that we get an item that make us go “WOW!”, but today was one of those days. Today we received what might possibly be the finest toboggan in the country. (Ironically, on perhaps the hottest day of the year!). Someone even remarked that if it snowed now, they wouldn’t mind a bit.

Harold George Joyce's Return to Hopewell Cape Continues.

On May 19th, 2018 the exhibit “County of Heroes” opened to the public at our Albert County Museum. The event was well received and was covered by media outlets.

About a month later I received a call from a very pleasant lady from Ontario informing me that she was a descendant of Pte. Joyce. She went on to tell me she saw a television report about the County of Heroes and realized that she had some personal belongings of Pte. Joyce that she received from her great uncle. She graciously donated them to the museum and I received them a few weeks later.

As I was examining the many letters and artifacts, I came upon a very touching letter from Joyce’s commanding officer informing her of how her son died in battle on August 28, 1918. I almost fell off my chair when I realized that the 100th anniversary of Harold George Joyce paying the ultimate sacrifice for his country was only a few days away. So I issued a press release and, in a very short period of time, received a call from CBC television and radio. The CBC did a very nice tribute to a Pte. Joyce and treated the story with the compassion and dignity of the return, if only of possessions, of a native of New Brunswick and a son of Albert County.

But Harold’s story continues. Last week I received a visit from 10 of Harold Joyce’s decedents who live throughout the province. All converging unannounced to observe first hand the memorabilia that was now in the museum’s possession. I was honoured to unveil the artifacts and it was a very heartfelt emotional time when I read the letter that Harold’s mother received over 100 years ago. They all received a tour of the County of Heroes exhibit and they were very thankful that the Albert County Historical Society took on the challenge of building such a memorial to the fallen sons of Albert County. The only part that was of concern was the picture we have of Harold; that it is not of very good quality. I explained that during the days leading up to the opening of the exhibit, we were missing 6 pictures. Pte. Joyce being one of them. And how, on the day before we opened to the public, we found the picture that is on display, by chance, on the internet. Mrs. Carol Plume of Petitcodiac made the comment “We’ll have to do something about that.”

So yesterday I received a package in the mail, with Mrs. Plume’s return address on it. And sure enough, as I opened it Pte. Harold George Joyce jumped out to see me again. Once again I was privileged to look through pictures, his battalion badges and even a small arms ammunition belt. And two proud pictures, one as a civilian and one in full military dress with rifle. And again, I was thankful for the sacrifice of Pte. Joyce and all who fell with him over 100 years ago. Even more, I’m amazed at the the kindness of strangers and the in awe of the close ties of Harold’s family. And, of course, bewildered that Pte. Harold George Joyce, who was killed in action just over 100 years ago; Pte. Joyce who has no official burial site in France; that somehow, Harold Joyce has returned to his home in Hopewell Cape, NB.


The Albert County Museum is looking for a Senior High School or University Student who has a passion for history, to play a key roll at the Museum this summer as our Jr. Historian. This position is bilingual and the candidate must apply through Young Canada Works at: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/young-canada-works.html  

In addition, you can also send your resume to d.ross@albertcountymuseum.com 

About the position: This is a unique opportunity for a dynamic, self-motivated individual to be a vital part of the Albert County Museum and RB Bennett Commemorative Centre. To help manage its artifact collection, offer educational outreach and be part of a dedicated interpretive staff in telling the story of the People of the Tides and showcasing Albert County's native son, Hon. RB Bennett, 11th Prime Minister of Canada.

The candidate will directly help the Manager with the day to day museum functions, and assist in the development of interpretive programming and exhibits. Strong organizational, supervisory, interpersonal and oral/written communication skills are mandatory, as well as strong social media skills, and speaking before small and large groups. Bilingualism is expected.

This will be an excellent opportunity for a potential candidate to build a strong skill set in all fields of museum and curatorial aspects for a career in museum/heritage and related fields. The Albert County Museum has a wide focus of history which encompasses exhibits from first nations, to the earliest Acadian Settlers in 1699, the Expulsion, through the height of the maritime shipbuilding, Confederation, to both World Wars, and later. The museum also celebrates Canada's 11th Prime Minister RB Bennett which lends itself to an excellent opportunity for a candidate with more political leanings. Visit www.albertcountymuseum.com 

Rug Hooking Proddy Hydrangea Workshop

On July 13, 2018, as part of the 42 Annual Quilt and Fibre Arts Show and Sale, there will be a special workshop. Gwen Dixon will be presenting her Rug Hooking Proddy Hydrangea Workshop in the historic Courthouse  located on the grounds of the Albert County Museum.

Hook Proddy Hydrangea flowers in a ready to hang hoop. An easy and fun technique using a rug hook and hand dyed wool. Learn to cut the pedal shape and hook it onto a burlap backing. Hand dyed wool in lots of colors. A relaxed and fun workshop with beautiful results.

July 13, 2018 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Cost is $95.00

Contact Gwen Dixon to register:                                                             gwendixonwoolarts@gmail.com                                                                                                              (506) 387-8292                                                                                                                                                  (506) 227-5220

42nd Annual Quilt & Fibre Arts Show & Sale

A yearly favourite event at the Albert County Museum.  From July 10th - 14th, 2018, visit the largest quilt show and sale of it's kind in the area. More than 100 quilts will be featured for viewing and purchase.  Quilt tops, baby quilts and other fibre arts items will be on display and for sale.  An event not to be missed. Admission $3.00 (Under 12 Free) Daily from 9:30 am - 5:30 pm.

June 21st – A day to celebrate, remember and reflect

June 21st – A day to celebrate, remember and reflect

Today, June 21st, is National Aboriginal Day in Canada and summer solstice. On the longest day of the year, Canadians can recognize the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people to our national culture. What does this mean to the people of Albert County, New Brunswick? For millennia, Mi'kmaq have lived in Albert County.  

Come Help Us Plant a VIMY RIDGE Oak Tree - Wednesday, May 10 @ 3pm

We're pleased to announce that on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 we will be planting a Vimy Oak tree in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The tree was made available through the Vimy Oaks Legacy Project with the cooperation of Landscape NB/PEI.  The Vimy Oak Trees were grown from scions cut from oak trees grown from acorns gathered on the Vimy Battlefield by Lieutenant Leslie H. Miller in 1917. The planting will take place during the Anglophone East School District Heritage Fair.

After the Battle at Vimy Ridge was won, many soldiers realized that they had been part of something truly great. Lieutenant Leslie H. Miller, born in 1889 in Milliken, ON, looked around for a souvenir on the Ridge, which was completely devoid of structures or vegetation due to shell fire but he did find a half buried oak tree. He gathered up a handful of acorns.

Those acorns were subsequently planted by him on his farm which he called ‘Vimy Oaks Farm’ and are now large majestic oaks. The First World War wiped out all but one native oak in the Vimy region, and the Vimy Oaks Legacy Project was created to repatriate the native oaks to Vimy Ridge to create a living memorial to honour the memory of all those who fought, connecting modern Canada and modern France, and reaffirming our comradeship with France and her people.

Arborist collecting scions.

Arborist collecting scions.

In January 2015, the process began with professional arborists taking cuttings (scions) from the crowns of the oaks which were grafted onto base root stock – Quercus robur. Today, the trees are almost 5 feet tall and are ready for their journey back to France and to various places across Canada.  

Landscape NB & PEI was able to obtain 40 trees out of a stock of 200 from the foundation and brought them to New Brunswick to be shared across the two provinces. In April, they sent out a request for appropriate locations to plant them and were overwhelmed with requests.

When asked about the Vimy Oaks Legacy project, Executive Director of Landscape NB&PEI, Jim Landry said, “Last June I had the opportunity to visit the grave of my great uncle and his best friend who were both killed at the battle. Also, I have worked my entire life in the horticulture industry. This project links those two things together so beautifully. “.

A Vimy Oak at the Nursery

A Vimy Oak at the Nursery

Stuart Liptay, President of the Albert County Historical Society says, “We were fortunate that Brunswick Limestone out of Hillsborough, NB contacted us about the potential for getting one of the Vimy Oaks through Landscape NB&PEI, as we had no idea some were even available. I immediately called Jim Landry at Landscape NB&PEI and asked him for a tree. Once Jim heard the story about our Vimy Ridge gun he was really excited about the prospect.” Liptay went on to say,” The museum is in the process of restoring a gun that was captured at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. The gun was captured by the 27th Battalion at Vimy Ridge and was awarded to Albert County in the 1919 Victory Loans Competition. The addition of a living oak tree descended from the great oak trees at Vimy Ridge is an amazing addition to the story of our Vimy Gun.”

The oak tree is going to be planted across from an English Oak which was planted in 1939 to commemorate the Royal Visit of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth when they toured across Canada by train. The two oak trees, one from England and one with roots at Canada’s great battle in France are a great symbol of unity for our country in its 150th year.

The planting ceremony will take place at the Albert County Museum on Wednesday, May 10 at 3pm just before the awards ceremony for the Anglophone East School District Regional Heritage Fair. Viewing of the Heritage Fair projects begins at 2pm and is open to the public. The Heritage Fair highlights projects developed by middle school students around historical and heritage related themes.

We hope to see a crowd out on Wednesday afternoon!

A Window on the Great War - A Letter from the Front, March 11, 1917 France

This World War I letter was written by Hugh C. Wright of Shepody (Hopewell) Albert County on March 11, 1917 while he was in serving in the Canadian Garrison Artillery in France. Hugh had enlisted in the 26th Battalion on November 17, 1914 when he was 19 years old. He sailed with the 26th Bn from Saint John on June 13, 1915 aboard the steamship “Caledonia”. They arrived in England on June 24, 1915 where they underwent rigorous training in preparation for going to the battle front.

Hugh served in the 26th Bn, 5th Infantry Brigade in Belgium and France spending 17 months in the trenches. In February 1917, he transferred to the 4th Siege Battery, 2nd Brigade CGA and was a gunner for the remainder of the war. He was discharged on May 10, 1919...on his 24th birthday!

Hugh Wright was the youngest son of James and Jane Wright. Hugh's letters are addressed … “Dear Father” because his mother had died when he was only 7 years old.

The letter was written in pencil and the censor had cut out words that might give information of location if intercepted by the enemy. The censor also signed his name at the bottom of the last page of the letter.

“I am very fortunate to have over 50 letters that my Great Uncle Hugh wrote to his family while serving in WWI”. Great Niece Dawne McLean

With many thanks to Hugh Wright's great niece, Dawne McLean who kindly submitted the letter.


March 11, 1917  France

Dear Father,

I am writing tonight sitting outdoors and believe me it is one fine night, nice and warm and is really the first warm day we have had this spring so far.

It has been some time since I wrote but we are (words cut out by censor) that  a person does not get much chance to write, so I hope you don't worry much about me.

I like the Battery fine. I have had more time to myself since I came here that I had all the time I was in (words cut out by censor). Of course we are not idle all the time, we certainly have some hard work at times. 

I have not seen Clarke since I came here as he is a rear guard someplace, but I guess he is having a fairly easy time, but I imagine he would sooner be back with the boys.

I have only got one parcel since I came here and that was from Mrs. Paul Robinson. The last letter that I had from home was the  one with the clipping of Mr. McClelan in it.

I had a long letter from Uncle Silas yesterday and he said that he was sending me a box so  I hope that it soon gets here.

I saw in a Telegraph that one of the boys got where Mr. Carnwarth was running with Mr. Ryan and I hope he gets in this time. All of us are very anxious to know how the election went.

In my last letter I spoke about sending some money, it comes in very handy when we are (words cut out by censor) good little town (words cut out by censor) then is the time when a little cash comes in handy.

Well, Father I can't think of anything more tonight, in fact there is very little to write about anytime.

Well, I will close with
Love to all

P.S. I suppose Hillman will soon be having a little colt to play with.

(And the letter is signed at the bottom by the censor LW Bassler )

A Great Piece by CTV News on our Vimy Ridge Cannon!

In case you missed the news last night, CTV News did a great piece on the large K14 Cannon which was captured at Vimy Ridge. The cannon has sat in the square in Hopewell Cape since March 4, 1920! Here is the VIdeo link http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1073720

The large 10.5 Cm K14 German Cannon was captured at Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917, and was won by the Citizens of Albert County during the Victory Loans Campaign of 1919 for raising the greatest percentage of monies over their set goal. They raised $347,600.00 tripling their goal of $110,000.00. Pretty impressive for a county of only 8700 people!

Now that's a story worth saving!

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the two captured World War One cannons situated in the square in Hopewell Cape. These cannons were captured by Canadians during the Great War, and were awarded to the people of Albert County. You can donate online to the Victory Cannon Campaign here, and best of all you'll be sent a tax receipt!  Click Here to Donate!

If you missed the Antiques Roadshow you missed quite the show!

On Sunday we held our annual Antiques Roadshow fundraiser, with a number of very unusual items appearing this year. The highlight was definitely this Canadian made Epergne dating from the 1930's. When the couple first brought the Epergne to the front table, everyone was in awe from it's beauty, and when they said it was Sterling Silver we were even more impressed. (Sterling silver means that it is at least 92.5% pure silver). One of the first things an appraiser has to do when appraising something is to check the details out carefully, and when the appraisers inspected the Epergne they found that it was not Sterling Silver but EPNS (Electroplated Nickle Silver), which means it's silver plated. What does this mean value wise? The appraiser's said that if it was sterling it's value would have been around $12500.00 but since it wasn't it was probably worth $1500-2500.00. Still quite an impressive amount for a server. 

Mystery item - Approximately 1" (2.5cm) high. The top screws off with a tube going down the centre of the item. The top of the item has a hole which allowed something to come out of the container. 

Some other items of note were a ship's lantern, some early tin toys, jewellery,  paintings, a wonderful brass microscope, a boxing trophy and WW2 medals, dishes and cups, and this mystery item, which we couldn't identify. If you have any ideas please post them here. 

Special thanks to our appraisers: Mike and Belinda Roth of 1st Choice Antiques from Moncton, and Stuart Liptay of Liptay Auctions. 

A great piece by CTV Atlantic on the Cape Enrage Figurine presentation last night!

In case you missed the amazing presentation by Dr. David Black of UNB last night on the Cape Enrage Figurine you can still see the piece Cami Kepke of CTV Atlantic did on the piece. Just follow this link. 


The Cape Enrage Figurine - An Enigmatic Object - A SPECIAL PRESENTATION - Saturday, September 10 @ 7:30PM

In 1998, an unusual archaeological artifact was found at Cape Enrage, in Albert County, N.B.. This artifact, the Cape Enrage Figurine, is a small image of a stylized human-like head carved into a piece of mammal bone. 

 Come join us on Saturday, September 10 at 7:30 PM and discover what we have learned about it, and speculate about its provenance, history and cultural affiliation. With special presentation by retired UNB Professor Dr. David Black. 

If you have never heard of this amazing artefact then come and find out what makes it so special!

Entrance by free will donation.