Arrival of settlers 250 years ago to be celebrated

Sherry Martell
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TRURO - Celebrations are being planned to recognize the sacrifices, hardships and successes of Colchester County settlers who arrived here 250 years ago.
The significant anniversary will be marked in 2010 and 2011 with events and activities planned throughout the county.
"We see this as an opportunity for our communities to come together to celebrate all that we have become over the past 250 years," said Ken Henderson, member of the Planters 250 Committee.
In the summer of 1760, representatives of prospective settlers came to this region to view diked farmlands left vacant following the expulsion of the Acadians about five years before. The settlement began in the spring of 1761. Recognizing the historic significance of the lengthy settlement, the celebration will span two years beginning January 2010 and will continue to December 2011.
Aidan Norton, curator of the Colchester Historical Museum, said the English-speaking settlers from New England and Ireland were known as the Planters for their farming expertise.
They settled in the townships of Truro, Onslow and Londonderry, which today include Truro, Bible Hill, Onslow, Old Barns, Glenholme, Londonderry and coastal communities from Great Village to Economy-Five Islands.
"Most of those that came, came to work the land," he said. "One crop that they became well known for was their flax."
Flax was processed to make linen, and to recognize the importance of the crop during that era the flax flower will be the centrepiece of the logo developed to mark the anniversary.
The museum is already planning two displays in honour of the Planters for both 2010 and 2011.
"The celebration is an opportunity to recognize what was going on in our area at the time but also to show we have a living connection to this story," said Norton.
During the settler's arrival, a military artist painted several canvasses depicting life at the time, which will be included in the museum's exhibit.
The Planters 250 Committee has been established to help co-ordinate and promote anniversary activities and is looking for ideas on how to best mark the occasion.
The committee will be contacting organizations in celebration communities in an effort to establish as many themed events as possible. In some cases groups may choose to brand existing or ongoing activities such as sports tournaments or cultural events under the Planters 250 theme.
Any group wanting to be involved can contact Cathy von Kintzel, special events and culture co-ordinator for the Town of Truro at 893-6093 or at cvonkintzel@truro.ca
By honouring the Planters, Henderson said the committee and public also acknowledge the roles played by the region's Mi'Kmaq and Acadians.
"All components of our population should take this as an opportunity to reflect on and honour our shared history," he said. "Above all, it's an opportunity to develop, nurture and express shared appreciation in the accomplishments of our region and to have a memorable celebration."


Organizations: Colchester Historical Museum

Geographic location: Colchester County, Londonderry, New England Ireland Great Village

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