NEW GLASGOW — Carmichael Stewart House has opened for the season.
Located on Temperance Street, this summer the museum’s focus will be on the Riverside Cemetery.
During the opening, guests were greeted by curator/summer student James Lees and Paul Lalande, president of the Pictou County Historical Society (PCHS).
Lees presented an overview of historical information with regards to the importance of establishing interpretive panels at the Riverside Cemetery. William Graham, from Mississauga, Ont., visits Pictou County each summer to restore and take care of his own family plots. He noticed that there was a need for some historical information on the prominent people buried in the cemetery. Hence the idea for interpretation panels became the focus and project theme for this year’s summer season opening. Graham will be a guest speaker at the Riverside Cemetery on July 27 to restore a war grave. All are encouraged to attend and be part of this historical commemoration.
Lees said, “George MacKenzie, an early shipbuilder, started to build ships here in New Glasgow, then passed on his trade to his nephew James William Carmichael who built the Carmichael House (Museum) in 1880, and he is buried at the Riverside Cemetery.”
He added that there are several prominent people buried in Riverside Cemetery like Graham Fraser, the founder of the Steel and Coal company which operated in Trenton, N.S. He was funded by ship captains and shipbuilders at that time. Also, Richard Meikle, a ship’s captain, worked for the Carmichaels when ships were being switched to steam power. “All of these people encapsulate over 100 years of history in our county. There are many more, our history here in Pictou County needs to be preserved.”
Over the next year, the Riverside project will go through a lot of planning. During the next open house at the end of June 2020, an update on the progress will determine when the interpretation panels will be installed. The Town of New Glasgow has agreed to do the installation. Costs of the panels are yet to be determined, however, The Carmichael Stewart Museum is consulting on the costs of the panels.
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James Lees, curator, and summer student at the Carmichael-Stewart House Museum in New Glasgow, displays items that were available for viewing during the official opening recently. (Livingstone photo)