family treasures

All posts tagged family treasures

A Family Heirloom

Published February 7, 2012 by oddacity designs

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.

Dominion Atlantic Railroad Bridge Bear River N.S.

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.

And here is the original photo…..

This little creamer was found on e-bay from a seller in Boston. We don’t know the story, but someone must have enjoyed their travels to Bear River enough to want to keep this souvenir for a long time.

The Concept of Tea

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.  Stories were told, feelings were shared and gossip was exchanged over many a cup of tea in a bone china teacup. It was a time to relax and enjoy.

In 2009, the  BR Historical Society hosted an exhibit of tea cups that were contributed for the occasion by local women who had stories and memories based on the cup. Maybe tea cups represent a connection to a time and place that would be lost otherwise.

Alas for another lost art of in- person socialization.

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

Do you have a special teacup and a story?  Let us know and we’ll add it to the website!

Thanks to Angela Mc Mullen for the Ditmar contribution.

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