We began walking in April of this year when we started our training hike. We continued hiking on the Great Trail on June 1st. Since that day we haven't really had a single day "off" where we weren't getting caught up, writing a presentation, or dealing with resupply and logistics. Today felt kind of like a day off (mostly anyway - we still walked 14 km and still did about 4 hours of work).
We spent a leisurely morning slack packing the Great Trail through New Glasgow and Stellarton. It is really a beautiful area, and the trails, which wind along the water, through beautifully landscaped municipal parks, were a joy to walk.
As we walked downtown we were fortunate to be able to find the site of the iconic Roseland Theatre, a location which is important in Atlantic and Canadian history. This theatre is the site where Viola Desmond a Nova Scotian lady and entrepreneur was arrested in 1946, ostensibly on the the charges of tax evasion, but which in fact reflected the social and racial stereotypes of the period. The events of her life and court case which followed her arrest in New Glasgow would go on to inspire Nova Scotia's Civil Rights movement. Ms. Desmond's biography is too complex and far too fascinating for a brief recounting on this simple blog. However, I can say that it was a great honour to visit this location and would encourage everyone to read more about her life, achievements and influence.
Prior to our tour we enjoyed a display of artwork by Joseph Purcell, which was on loan to the museum. The exhibit consisted of 30 watercolour paintings that had originally been commissioned for the Silver Dart Motel in the 1960's, and showed scenes from the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. Apologies for the poor pictures, they certainly do not do Mr. Purcell's wonderful paintings justice.
A large part of the museum is dedicated to telling the story of the General Mining Association and the history of coal mining in this area and other parts of Nova Scotia. Visitors can learn about what life was like as a coal miner, the tools and equipment they used, and the dangers they faced. The displays also tell the story of the coal mine in this area, which is now an open pit mine.