William B. Hamilton

William B. Hamilton is the author of Place Names of Atlantic Canada, Local History in Atlantic Canada and The Macmillan Book of Canadian Place Names. As a professor of history and Canadian studies, Hamilton taught in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Australia and the United Kingdom. Since retiring in Sackville, New Brunswick, he has worked as a freelance journalist and historian. He is a regular contributor to CBC Radio and the Sackville Tribune-Post.


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At The Crossroads: A History of Sackville, New Brunswick
William B. Hamilton

2004 / History / $31.95
9781894031868 / Trade paper / 320 pp


At the Crossroads is a history of settlement on the Isthmus of Chignecto and the place that would become the town of Sackville, New Brunswick. William B. Hamilton takes us from the earliest Mi'kmaq activity 4000 years ago through to the town's centennial celebrations in 2003. Along the way, we are introduced to life in the Acadian communities of the eighteenth century, later waves of settlement, argicultural pursuits, the foundries, the establishment of the Mount Allison University facilities, the town's shipbuilding era, issues of governance and incorporation, the wars, the local building boom of the 1960s and the increasing focus on tourism, heritage and arts that characterize the most recent decades. Throughout the centuries, Hamilton draws our attention to the town's continuous reliance on its position as a crossroads.

At the Crossroads is the result of Hamilton's keen and conscientious fascination with how people understand and engage with the past. His method, which he calls "working backward into history" incorporates varied perspectives and sources of information, and operates from a local experience, first and foremost. Drawing on material from newspapers, journals, letters, interviews, maps, photos, art, buildings, reports, minutes and personal experience, Hamilton provides a colourful and active picture of Sackville's history and its position in regional, national and international affairs.

This is a community and a history filled with newspaper wars, fires, political fervor, ambitious building projects, undying volunteer efforts, dedication to learning, radio waves, business savvy and more. This is a book not only for those who know and love Sackville, but for anyone seeking a local perspective on Maritime and Canadian history, and a new and engaging approach to the past.

This book is a Smyth-sewn paperback. The text was typeset in Martin Majoor's Scala and Scala Sans by Andrew Steeves and printed on Rolland Zephyr Laid paper. It features original maps, and 40 black and white reproductions.

Review:
Throughout, Hamilton relates the towns development to defining national and world events the World Wars, the Depression, and social, educational and technological change. It becomes a fascinating account of a small communitys survival, prosperity and adaptability through good times and bad. Michael Thorpe, The New Brunswick Reader


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