New Ross celebrates 203 years

by Kevin Mcbain

  • <p>KEVIN MCBAIN PHOTO</p><p>Peter Cullen, executive director of Ross Farm Museum, unveils the apple barrel and plaque, commemorating New Ross&#8217;s 203rd birthday and the connection between Chester and New Ross two centuries ago. The event took place in a park near the Chester wharf.</p>
  • <p>KEVIN MCBAIN PHOTO</p><p>From left to right, MLA for Chester-St. Margaret&#8217;s Hugh Mackay; Peter Cullen, executive director for Ross Farm Museum; Region of Queens Municipality Warden, Allen Webber and Municipality of Chester Councillor Tina Connors commemorate New Ross&#8217;s 203rd birthday at a special commemorative event held in Chester August 7.</p>
  • <p>KEVIN MCBAIN PHOTO</p><p>The plaque located on the apple barrel commemorating the landing of Captain William Ross in July 1816 and his eventual founding of Sherbrooke, now known as New Ross on August 7.</p>


Roll out the barrel. New Ross is 203 years old.

The special occasion was marked in Chester on the morning of August 7, where 203 years ago Captain William Ross settled lands granted to them in the area of Sherbrooke (now New Ross) by the Governor of Nova Scotia, George Ramsay.

Peter Cullen, executive director for the Ross Farm Museum, acted as emcee, and unveiled an apple barrel, made by Ross Farm Museum, with a plaque that states that Ross landed at the Port of Chester with his wife and children and 172 disbanded soldiers. They then proceeded on foot to settle the area of Sherbrooke, now New Ross, where they made camp on the banks of the Gold River, August 7, 1816.

"We're here to present this barrel to commemorate the relationship and the significant partnership between New Ross and the ports of Chester Municipality," said Cullen. "These kinds of relationships are fundamental to the growth and development on what becomes the history and tradition of a region."

Also on hand were Hugh MacKay, MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's; Municipality of the District of Chester Warden, Allen Webber; and officials from the Nova Scotia Library Association at the unveiling ceremony held in a pocket park near the government wharf in Chester.

"It think it is important that we be reminded that we are connected in more ways than not. We share the same history and it is important that people remind us of that on occasion," Webber told the assembly. "I thank Ross Farm for doing this and it is a reminder that we are better off together."

Cullen explained why an apple barrel was used to commemorate the occasion.

"In the New Ross area, apple barrel making was one of their larger industries and it was really the shopping basket and the shipping crate before cardboard and plastic," said Cullen, who added that Ross Farm Museum has one of about five staves that were in the region.

"I can't stress enough how important the apple industry was and how it represents connectivity. The New Ross apple barrels were shipped through the port of Chester and out to the world.

"It's symbolic, it's something the museum does as a demonstration of heritage skills and it does represent New Ross through Chester's connection to the world," he added.

To mark the occasion at Ross Farm, they made more apple barrels throughout the day, and served up birthday cake.

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