1. What is it about the Antigonish region that is so fascinating to everyone who visits?
I think it’s a combination of the caring community and the picturesque town, university and countryside with its green rolling hills, scenic vistas, beautiful coastline and beaches, hiking trails, sporting and recreational facilities, and warm ocean waters (said to be some of the warmest ocean water temperatures on the Atlantic coast north of the Carolinas), as well as cultural activities including the Antigonish Highland Games, university sports, local theatre, visual arts, fine crafts and so much more.
2. Why was it important for you to keep the Antigonish Facebook group going?
I really enjoy seeing the group members connect and reminisce and share stories with each other. I especially love it when someone comments that is the first time they have seen a photo of a family member. I am hoping with the publication of this book it will inspire others to start sorting through family albums and share some of their findings with their Antigonish community.
3. The Antigonish Facebook community has almost 10,000 followers and is one of the most dynamic sites in Nova Scotia. Why is this subject so fascinating to so many people?
The group has been very active since January 2010. Many people have sent me a personal message or posted directly to the site thanking me for creating this group and have often told me it is their favourite online site to visit. I believe the people who have joined the group really enjoy connecting with old friends and sharing their stories or memories on the photos that have been posted. I know many have shared with me the joy their elderly parents have expressed when they were shown the site. Often when families visit their loved ones, they spend time looking at the newest posts and reminiscing. My own elderly mother was always so eager to look at the posts when I visited with her.
4. What surprised you most when you were researching this book?
When I started researching for this book, I first spoke to board members of the Antigonish Heritage Museum to tell them about my project and to request permission to include images from their collection in the book. However, I purposely did not visit our local museum (either online or in person) until very late in the process because I really wanted to see what I could discover that maybe they had not seen before. It was only at the final gathering and selection of images that I visited the Antigonish Heritage Museum to show them what I had found and then I selected additional images from their collection for the book. I believe what surprised me most was finding wonderful images from museums and collections outside of Antigonish that you would think would not have any reason to have an image of the Antigonish area in their collection.
5. Where did you find the photos in this book? Was there one that particularly stood out to you?
The images came from a variety of sources, both from personal photo collections and various archival collections like the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Interestingly, one of the photos came from The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens located in San Marino, California. You never know what you will find until you start searching!