Digging up the past

Rose Willigar
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Gale Boland has spent the past five years researching community history along the shores from Parrsboro through Port Greville. Rose Willigar - The Citizen

DILIGENT RIVER – For Gale (Allen) Boland, researching local history is a labour of love. Born in Diligent River, she has always been interested.

After researching numerous aspects of the history of Diligent River and the surrounding area for more than five years, Boland has found a variety of information including the history of five churches, the schools in Diligent River, Wharton, Cannonville and Yorke Settlement, several general stores, a community hall, saw mills, ship building, the building of dykes, roads and wharves, as well as transportation, communication and postal service.

“Diligent River Roots is what I’ve named the project,” she said.

Having written numerous letters and making many trips to the Public Archives in Halifax, to the Cumberland County Museum, the Cumberland Genealogy Centre and the Amherst Library, Boland discovered a list of Diligent River residents dating back to 1827 and business directories listing occupations from 1864-1873.

“My father passed away this year and I received a lot of my information from him or a few others that can remember businesses and other information from along the shores. I think it is important to have the area’s history documented for future generations to look back on,” she said.

Boland is in the process of researching the history of the Wards Falls hiking trail. She hopes to have her project completed and ready for printing before Christmas this year but welcomes any information and photographs people would like to contribute.

Any profit, after printing costs are covered, will be donated to a future community project, according to Boland. For information on her discoveries, you can contact her at 254-3283 or by email at bolandpatricia@hotmail.com.

Organizations: Cumberland County Museum, Cumberland Genealogy Centre, Amherst Library

Geographic location: Diligent River Roots, Halifax

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