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Cumberland museum celebrating R.B. Dickey on Saturday

The Cumberland County Museum is celebrating R.B. Dickey with the opening of a permanent exhibit during a garden party on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Dickey, one of Amherst's four Fathers of Confederation, is a former owner of the museum's home on Church Street. Three of his great-great grandchildren are coming to Amherst for the ceremony.
The Cumberland County Museum is celebrating R.B. Dickey with the opening of a permanent exhibit during a garden party on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Dickey, one of Amherst's four Fathers of Confederation, is a former owner of the museum's home on Church Street. Three of his great-great grandchildren are coming to Amherst for the ceremony. - Credit: Library and Archives Canada

One of Amherst's four Fathers of Confederation and former owner of museum's home

AMHERST, N.S. —

R.B. Dickey was born in Amherst in 1811 and would enjoy a successful law career before becoming one of the area’s four Fathers of Confederation.

On Saturday, Dickey’s great-great grandchildren will be coming to the place he called home to visit the Cumberland County Museum.

A garden party is taking place from 2 to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the museum and several people will be dressed in period costume.

“After he was married, R.B. Dickey and his wife settled in the home upon the return from their honeymoon in Europe,” Dale Davis, a member of the museum’s board of directors said. “They lived in the home for quite some time.”

The building that houses the museum was built by Dickey’s father and would become his home. He lived there at the time he and others worked together to create the new nation of Canada in 1867.

Dickey’s family sent artifacts to the Cumberland County Museum last spring and will be bringing more to the garden party.

“We’re quite thrilled to have members of the Dickey family coming to the museum and we’re going to make it special,” Davis said.

The museum will have all the artifacts from the Dickey family on display in the front dining hall of the former Dickey home, that was called Grove Cottage.

The ceremony will also include the unveiling of a portrait of Dickey’s wife, Mary Blair.

Dickey would be made a Queen’s Counsel in 1863 and was a judge and registrar of probate for Cumberland County for 20 years.

From 1858 to 1867 he served on Nova Scotia’s legislative council and following Confederation was appointed as a Conservative to the Senate of Canada, serving until his death in 1903.

He is buried in Amherst’s cemetery.

“He lived to be 91 and his granddaughter remembered him and she would be these people’s grandmother,” Davis said. “They remember things their grandmother told them and they’ll have some stories to share.”

Davis said members of the Dickey family contacted the museum last year about donating some of their great-great grandfather’s possessions. The decision was made then to try to organize a celebration honouring Dickey’s family.

She said there are three great-great grandchildren and one spouse attending the event. Davis said one of the great-great grandchildren has visited Amherst before, having coming here a number of years ago to visit Dickey’s grave.

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