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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2016, 4:28 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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How about a "Freedom Trail" for Halifax?

As has been discussed many times, Halifax is one of the oldest cities in Canada and thus has a long and rich history behind it. Problem is, if you're just walking around Halifax you will see some old buildings (the ones still left) and perhaps chance upon a monument or two, but there is no real cohesive, well-documented 'history walk' in Halifax.

Boston has the Freedom Trail:

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/thelocaltr...ail-boston-ma/

It seems to me that even though Halifax is smaller than Boston, we could have our own version of this if there was some interest at the municipal and perhaps provincial levels of government. Perhaps there could be a possibility of some federal funding if that hasn't been all used up by now.

I think it would be a great thing for tourists to be able to appreciate our city for what it is, but even moreso for locals and new residents to learn and appreciate our history. Personally, having lived here basically my whole life - I've walked by places/items of historical significance for years without realizing how special they were, until some day when I happened to read about it or had stumbled across some information, etc.

Just a thought, but I think it would be a great addition to our city if we someday could have a similar system to Boston's.

Opinions?
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2016, 6:04 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post

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Yes. I think this could also foster better respect for our history and help to quell some of the weird anti-heritage sentiment around.

Example: Would we be talking about tearing down the Dennis Building if every Haligonian schoolchild (and tourists and others) had plainly seen see its importance to the pre-confederation city, and its Phoenix-like burn-down-and-rebuild, documented on a walk like this?

Ditto for lots of other sites and the idea of our historic role generally. It amazes me how little a lot of people in the city know about its actual history.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2016, 8:57 PM
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TheNovaScotian TheNovaScotian is offline
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Sounds like a great idea.
Other than some pre existing signage around town, some ghost tours and the Harbour Hopper (whose information can be questionable at times) we don't have anything really coordinated.
It seems like there's history under every rock you turn over.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2016, 10:30 PM
scryer scryer is offline
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Vancouver does something similar to this in several locations around the seawall and especially around Canada Place. It adds a really nice touch, and as a local, sometimes its nice to take a small outdoor history lesson.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:09 PM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
As has been discussed many times, Halifax is one of the oldest cities in Canada and thus has a long and rich history behind it. Problem is, if you're just walking around Halifax you will see some old buildings (the ones still left) and perhaps chance upon a monument or two, but there is no real cohesive, well-documented 'history walk' in Halifax.

Boston has the Freedom Trail:

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

http://halifaxbloggers.ca/thelocaltr...ail-boston-ma/

It seems to me that even though Halifax is smaller than Boston, we could have our own version of this if there was some interest at the municipal and perhaps provincial levels of government. Perhaps there could be a possibility of some federal funding if that hasn't been all used up by now.

I think it would be a great thing for tourists to be able to appreciate our city for what it is, but even moreso for locals and new residents to learn and appreciate our history. Personally, having lived here basically my whole life - I've walked by places/items of historical significance for years without realizing how special they were, until some day when I happened to read about it or had stumbled across some information, etc.

Just a thought, but I think it would be a great addition to our city if we someday could have a similar system to Boston's.

Opinions?

"The Cornwallis Path of Colonialism"??

LOL
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:25 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
"The Cornwallis Path of Colonialism"??

LOL

Yes, exactly.

It would be hugely expensive to be constantly changing the signage as the revisionists take control of our heritage and demand that all signs be changed every few months as their own view of how things evolved reveals yet another outrage that cannot be tolerated 350 years after it allegedly occurred. Maybe they could use tiny little whiteboards and dry-erase markers.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2016, 4:32 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
"The Cornwallis Path of Colonialism"??

LOL
Groan!

Though I do think that a revised "Founders Park" with comprehensive historical information providing the balanced and accurate story (and approved by all parties) on the founding of Halifax and how that led to the Halifax of today should be included in the tour...

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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2016, 11:46 PM
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The comparison to Boston makes a couple of things clear.

The first is that Halifax does have some great monuments that stack up to what tourists go to other cities to visit. I think this should be fairly obvious with the Citadel, which is one of the more visited national historic sites, but it is true of other sites as well, including sites that aren't as developed as they could be, and I don't think locals appreciate the value as much as they should.

Another difference is that, in Boston, a kind of national narrative has been created and people have gotten behind that for one reason or another, whereas in Halifax it feels like there is little context. The Cornwallis discussion makes this pretty clear. I'm not sure that there can or should be a "Founding Fathers" type of mythology for Canada or Halifax but I think there needs to be a compelling human element like that for it to connect with people. I also think it makes sense to tie local history in with wider history in Canada, the US, and the rest of the world. Actually if you visit Charlottetown they also have a clear and established "Birthplace of Confederation" theme. Halifax history is messier and there is a lot more of it.

I think you could create a pretty good story around the history of the British Empire in North America and the founding of Canada, with a focus on the (significant) parts that relate to Halifax. Mostly it would be about the wars and political events that happened over the years and how North America evolved.

Major landmarks could include the Citadel and town clock, Grand Parade, waterfront, Martello Tower, maybe York Redoubt and Devil's Island, Province House, Government House, the old burying ground (including Welsford-Parker Monument and Ross grave), Historic Properties (privateer-related stuff), George's Island, and more.

A lot of these sites really aren't capitalized on. For example, there is Canadian folk knowledge that the White House was burned down and Washington was attacked, and Americans think of it as a British attack. That attack was led out of Halifax and the tombstone of the general who led it is there. Few people know those details.

The Welsford-Parker monument commemorates the Crimean War including the famous "Charge of the Light Brigade". I think it's really interesting that locals participated in global wars and political events like that as far back as the 1850's.

George's Island is really interesting and again historically important. It was a POW camp for French prisoners and a French admiral was buried there after a failed expedition shortly before Halifax was founded. Most people can't visit this place at all.

The Martello Tower is the first of its kind in North America and a very rare masonry fortification from the 1700's, but it's actually missing the original roof. Most North American cities would consider it a first-rate historic attraction but it's kept in shabby condition.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2016, 1:38 PM
JET JET is offline
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_MacLennan
A nice sign on the home of Hugh MacLennan on South Park Street would be nice.
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