1987.17.1185 | A Twenty Man Tug-of-War at the Dominion Day Picnic on the Boy Scout Grounds, Rockville, Kings County, New Brunswick

 
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Photograph
A Twenty Man Tug-of-War at the Dominion Day Picnic on the Boy Scout Grounds, Rockville, Kings County, New Brunswick
H. W. Beecher Smith
1 July 1933, 20th century
Silver print
12.4 x 17.8 cm
William Francis Ganong Collection
1987.17.1185
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

During the early months of the Depression, life carried on as usual in New Brunswick. Few recognized the depths of the economic crisis, thinking it a temporary and fixable problem, a swing in the normal business cycle. Besides, New Brunswick's favoured son, R.B. Bennett (1870-1947) led the government.

As the economic gloom spread, however, so did the desire to escape, if only for a moment. Near towns and cities, movies cost a quarter or less. Films, of course, were made in Hollywood and featured primarily American talent. Radio brought theatre, music and professional sports to those with electricity. Foster Hewitt's (1902-1985) voice blared the play by play of the Saturday night hockey game. In rural areas, picnics, amateur theatricals and Saturday night dances drew crowds in even the smallest communities.

Enjoyment and entertainment was often tainted, however, as unemployment increased. Many who could enjoy an evening out on the town or a Saturday night dance knew others who could not.

  • What

    Dominion Day (now known as Canada Day) activities also included riverboat excursions, parades and pageants.

  • Where

    Rockville is located southeast of Sussex, NB, and is named for a prominent physical feature known as "The Bluff."

  • When

    Dominion Day was proclaimed a public holiday on May 15, 1879.

  • Who

    The donor of this photograph, Dr. William Francis Ganong (1864-1941), was a noted natural scientist, geographer and historian, and a member of the famous chocolate Ganong family.