Important Little Things

Family Heirlooms

The Ditmars, a Loyalist family who came to Nova Scotia in 1783, left their mark on the Clementsport area in many ways, and inadvertently made history in a small but distinctive manner.

Known for their entrepreneurial spirit, the Ditmar’s occupied the land which is known today as Clementsport,  where they were involved in farming and  mercantile trade.

Sometime between 1902-1910, Mary Vroom, (Mrs. John Fraser) of Deep Brook purchased a  cup and saucer set made in England by Tuscan China at Ditmar’s General Store. Later, Mrs. Fraser moved to the States, taking the set with her.

Years later, in 1967, Mrs. Fraser’s daughters Helen and Priscilla,
presented the china to the eldest daughter of J.R Ditmar with the agreement that the set would remain in the family of the late Mr. and Mrs. J.R Ditmar.

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The Bear River connection to this story is this:  the artwork on the cup
depicts a train crossing the Dominion Railway Bridge at the mouth of the
Bear River, taken from the Deep Brook side of the bridge. The artwork was a reproduction taken from the photo of a well known Bear River photographer, Ralph Harris.

here is the original photo:

There was a large selection of souvenirs with pictures of towns  in those days, just as there is now.   Here is another example of a Bear River momento.

bear river looking north!

And here is the original photo…..

Looking North, the photo

the Courier story, 1967

Teacups were an important commodity; a mark of good taste and civilization. Women coveted them and were proud to serve well brewed tea in lovely bone china cups with dainty sandwiches to their friends.  Another lost art of socialization.

Here is a story from the social pages of The Bear River Weekly, July 1, 1932, with reference to the importance of the tea cup.

The same evening, a reception was given to Mr. and Mrs. Harry E Harris, in honor of their 21st anniversary.  To the strains of the wedding march rendered by Mrs. F. Burridge, the bride and groom entered the room and received congratulations.  During the evening, music was given by Mrs. Burridge and Miss Harriett Marshall.  Mrs. R.H. Purdy and Mrs. C.L. Blanchard presided over the tea cups.  Mrs. Purdy was gowned in yellow voile and Mrs. Blanchard was gowned in white silk.  Mrs. Lloyd Sanford and Mrs. S. Parker and Miss Olive Barr, served.  Mrs. Sanford was dressed in yellow flowered crepe, Mrs. Parker in pink crepe, while Miss Barr wore white flowered crepe.  Others assisting were Mrs. S Marshall and Mrs. Ford.  Rev. C.L. Blanchard presented the bride and groom with  a lovely piece of silver from their friends: they also received a silver tea service and tray and a sandwich plate.

Anyone with souvenir items of Bear River they would like to share on this website, email

Thanks to Angela Mc Mullen for the Ditmar contribution.

all material copyright 2012 of The Bear River Tides and Think for yourself Publishing.

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