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Summer Brings The Annual Library Newsletter

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It seems that every Spring moves too quickly into Summer as projects around the Library and the Garden demand more time than expected. It’s July already and the annual Library newsletter is now out. If you have not received it by mail or email, you can find a PDF copy here. If you would like to receive the newsletter, follow the instructions on the Newsletter page.

In the newsletter we talk about how the Library Garden is used now and what we see as its future use. One of the photos we used was of parents taking pictures, in the Library Garden, of local junior high students dressed for their prom. It seemed such a happy occasion in a beautiful location, we thought we would share a few more photos below.

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Yesterday and Today – Spring in the Library Garden

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As we start a new year in the cycle of seasons, I thought it would be fun to do a comparison of views of the Library garden from yesterday and today…from 2003 and 2018. Over those fifteen years, there have been large changes and small changes, but as you will see below, the character of the site remains similar. (If you click on the images, you can see things larger.)

Spring Square Garden 2003

The Square Garden – 2003

Spring Square Garden 2018

The Square Garden – 2018

In the Square Garden, we can see new benches, the new fence and entrance gate, the addition of planting beds and even a new Anglican church hall at the far left. The birdbath has moved to make room for an urn, the lilacs at each corner are bigger and the faithful and constant day lilies are still the first up every spring. We even managed to get the Virginia Creeper established on the arbors.

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View from Regent Street – 2003

Spring Side Yard 2018

View from Regent Street – 2018

We lost some trees fro the first picture due to old age, added new ones to take their place and watched very young trees we planted grow to maturity. There has been a deck added, a new fence and of course, the complete restoration of the Lightfoot Tower. The blue speck in the center of the image is the head of the drilled well which replaced the old dug well at the edge of the property that dated from 1761 and had to be filled in to comply with new provincial regulations. By the way, that wellhead is completely hidden by tall, waving beach grass during the summer.

 

 

 

 

Christmas at the Lightfoot Tower 2017

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Tower Christmas 2017 Blog Post Photo

Library Committee members Brenda Mulrooney and Nancy Hatch serve up hot apple cider and hot chocolate on a crisp December evening.

On December 8th, the Library hosted our 2nd annual Christmas at the Lightfoot Tower on the grounds of the Library. The temperature was just cool enough to really enjoy the hot apple cider and the hot chocolate. Vintage Voices and friends provided a wonderful selection of Christmas carols while a wide variety of cookies were enjoyed by those in attendance. Special thanks to Chester Independent and Chester Foodland for the hot drink supplies and to all of those who provided the cookies for the cookie table. Below is a short video of this year’s festivities. Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you all!

 

Carols and Cookies at the Lightfoot Tower

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Halloween Party 2017

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On Friday night, October 27th, the Library played host to the annual Halloween Party at the Lightfoot Tower on the Library grounds, which is organized by the Recreation Department of the Municipality of the District of Chester. The Library helped set up and assisted Municipal staff with the festivities.

Everyone enjoyed scary and fun music, table games and activities and even a bit of dancing. Last year’s event had to be cancelled because of rain, but this year more than made up for it. The Lightfoot Tower, restored by the community in 2014, is such a charming and magical structure, it naturally steps into the role of a haunted castle. Below is a short video of the event and some photos. See you next Halloween!

 

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Halloween at the Lightfoot Tower

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The Municipality of Chester presents the Halloween Party at the Lightfoot Tower on the grounds of the Zoé Vallé Memorial Library.

Friday, October 27   6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

(Rain Date: October 28)

Wear your costume and enjoy spooky Halloween fun.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information call the Recreation & Parks Department at 902-275-3490.

Witches and Concealed Shoes

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Municipal employees display some artifacts found under the Library.

With Halloween coming closer, I recall a time several years ago when Municipal employees were upgrading the electrical wiring here in the Library and they found two old shoes in the crawlspace under the east section of the building. We sent them to experts at Parks Canada, who dated one from the early 1800s and one from Victorian times. One must have been put there when the house was built and another around the time Zoé bought the property for use as her summer cottage.

 

The custom of putting concealed shoes in buildings, all but gone now, was widespread in earlier times in Europe, North America and Australia. Archaeologist Brian Hoggard has observed that the locations in which these shoes are found suggest that at least some were concealed as magical charms to protect the occupants of the building against evil influences such as demons, ghosts, witches, and familiars.

 

Witches were believed to be attracted by the human scent of a shoe, and after entering one found themselves trapped, as they are unable to reverse. It has been suggested that an unofficial 14th-century English saint, John Schorne, may have been the source of the belief that shoes had the power to protect against evil. Schorne was said to have succeeded in trapping the Devil in a boot, a legend that may have its origin in a more ancient folk belief, which the Church was attempting to convert into an “approved Christian rite”.

 

Not long after the shoes were back in the Library and stored in a cupboard, we began to hear a loud knocking sound, at different times, coming from the crawlspace under the house. We had never heard the sound before and could not figure out what could be making it. I then recalled the time when I found a baby shoe in the wall of my parent’s house when I was doing some renovations for them. When I showed it to my mother she went white and told me to immediately put it back where I had found it, with no explanation.

 

Perhaps the knocking was some sort of warning or request? I got the shoes and tossed them back into the crawlspace where they had come from. We never heard that knocking again.

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The old shoes, Victorian on the left and the one from an earlier era.

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