I spent several summers working at the West Hants Historical Society in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Over three summers I digitized over six thousand photographs in the museum collection, and worked with their other artifacts and genealogical records. I learned a great deal during my time there, a lot of things not available just by reading alone. Tactile things, like just how heavy all metal tools were before the development of modern alloys, how well the wooden lathes were made to fit the grasp, what mercury feels like on the skin. (Alright, while the last one did happen, it was an unfortunate, though fascinating, accident. No wonder people thought that there was some life in it).
I also learned a great deal of the vagaries and vanities of genealogy, and the study of where families come from. Before the advent of faster and more available means of transportation, a certain degree of inbreeding was almost inevitable. And then there are the things that are told and not told to tourists, but I’ll leave those to the imagination.
The first modern Jewish army trained in Windsor, Nova Scotia, along with David Ben-Gurion, and the first premier of British Columbia, William Alexander Smith (who later famously changed him name to Amor De Cosmos), was born there. Oh yes, and they say hockey was invented there, which seems a reasonable claim. While I’m sometimes given cause to roll my eyes at the local sources of enthusiasms, I have grown interested in them. After all, human beings are animals of herds, and there is much to be learned in seeing all the ways in which they manifest through time.
The Museum’s Website: