(Photo Tara Kirkpatrick)

North Glengarry will create inventory of heritage sites

By Lynn Macnab 

In hopes of discovering and conserving local heritage buildings and sites, North Glengarry is looking for a specialized coordinator.

“We want to create an inventory of heritage buildings and land sites,” says Tara Kirkpatrick, economic development and communications officer for North Glengarry. “It’s important that we protect sites and buildings and create historical data. It’s not only good for the community, but could increase the number of attractions for tourists.”

With funding from the Young Canada Works program, the coordinator will gather photos and info with the goal of providing valuable insights about the area and creating a database of the municipality’s historical buildings, landmarks and landscapes.

“We’re looking to hire someone who knows Glengarry, hopefully from the area, is between 16 and 30 years old and interested in arts, heritage and culture,” Kirkpatrick said. “Some of the buildings might not even exist anymore, but the student we hire will be going out to locations, taking photos and gathering information.”

Kirkpatrick explains that many people are interested to know the history of Glengarry, what used to be in the area and the places that can still be visited.

“Not only does it help us understand our past, we want to protect the knowledge, the sites and buildings,” she said. Kirkpatrick gives as examples churches and schools, some still standing, many long gone.

She also said that the township is determined to preserve heritage sites and that this project will protect historical data.

“We’ll be working with Glengarry Archives which is amazing, as well as Glengarry History (formerly the Glengarry Historical Society). North Glengarry councilor Carma Williams is a big part of this,” she said.

The responsibilities of the position will include conducting a building analysis, for example checking if the roof is leaking (or if a roof exists at all), reviewing and researching historical documents, identifying original features on buildings and landmarks and creating a photographic inventory.

Stuart Robertson, who co-owns a farm near Alexandria, recently took over the position of co-coordinator for the annual Glengarry Pioneer Museum driving tour from Harold MacMillan.

“The goal of the tour is to take enthusiasts on a journey through the back roads of history, both in Glengarry and beyond. This is the first year we’ll be visiting sites outside of Glengarry,” Robertson says. “The idea of creating the inventory is a great idea. There’s so much here.” The driving tour this year is scheduled for June 17, and Robertson says the convoy of cars will be heading north of the Glengarry area.

The people who register through the GPM email or call the museum at 527-5230 will see places such as an operational hop farm founded in 1930, David Proudfoot’s vintage tractor collection, learn the history of St. Bernardin and Caledonia Springs, and get a tour of the L’Orignal Jail.

“There’ll be food and Scottish Celtic music at the end of the tour,” says GPM curator Jennifer Black. “I think it’s great that people will have a chance to experience the life and times of our ancestors in a way that exposes not only buildings, but land sites of relics, and interesting information about the people and our ancestors.”