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Gottingen’s History Comes Alive

Gottingen 250 Celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the North End Junction

(Photo by Lucia Araiza)
(Photo by Lucia Araiza)

 

On Sept. 13 and 14, the North End of Halifax celebrated the 250th anniversary of the naming of Gottingen Street. But this festival, according to Patricia Cuttell, executive director for North End Businesses, commemorates “not just the naming of the street, but about life on Gottingen.”

The festival’s events were largely centered at the main stage, located on Maitland Street. Events were held throughout the weekend, from noon until 1 a.m.

The festivities commenced on the 13th with a performance from a Mi’kmaq elder and drummers, based out of the Friendship Centre on Gottingen Street for the past 30 years.

Local musicians and vendors set up around Gottingen for sidewalk sales and art expositions. Hope Blooms, a community garden, held classes to teach children how to make fresh salad dressing.

To memorialize the event, 14 commemorative plaques were placed around the street to denote historical locations or local heroes of Gottingen and the North End.

The Gottingen 250 festival is also attempting to collect and share its community’s stories from a local perspective using an app, released globally during the festival. This app will store photos, interviews and research collected for the festival and graph it on a map. Once released to the public, everyone will be able to share their old personal stories and photos of past housing, businesses and community events of the North End to collect the history of Gottingen Street and share it with others. This app will create the “living history” Cuttell describes when attempting to commemorate “life on Gottingen.”

Gottingen was the primary shopping district of Halifax, but underwent a downturn in productivity after the construction of Scotia Square in the 1970s, which cut off Gottingen from downtown Halifax.

 

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