After the first war the community struggled through the 1920's and the depression years.  Led by the activities of the Second Baptist Church, people helped one another through hard times and enjoyed the better times.

   It was a time of sharing, a characteristic that is still a basic part of the community spirit of  Pictou County.  It was often difficult for Blacks to acquire land in desirable parts of the community.  Mr. R. K. Delong a member of First Baptist Church and who worked for Canadian National Railway eventually purchased a large tract of land in New Glasgow.  Mr. Delong was a Civil Engineer and made building lots available to enable people to build their own homes.  These lands, today known as the Vale Road area, became an important part of the evolution of the community.

   During the depression years many people in Pictou County, whether white or Black, were on relief or relegated to odd jobs.  Although times were hard, people still found time to enjoy themselves.  Every year the circus would come to town, an exciting event which began with a big parade.

   Music, both sacred and secular continued to play an important role as it does today.  A small community brass band was formed, with Billy Borden, Carl States, Eddie Morris and Clary Sheppard.  Another well known group, the "Bluecats" was popular with Harold Borden as lead singer.

    The young people were normally involved in a variety of sports - baseball, football, hockey, boxing and basketball.  The " Coloured Wonders"  were well known in local sports circles.  Names like Freeman (Pete) Paris, James (Peck) Paris, Clary Jewell, Ernest (Smokey) Dorrington, George (Babe) Whalen, Reg Harper, James Johnson, Howard Lawrence, Everett Lawrence, Alvin MacLean, Roland MacLean and Sam Prevoe were just some of the players.  Some of the great boxers in their day, just to name a few, were Alvin MacLean, Sam Bowden, Jerry Bowden, Percy Paris, Charles (Bearcat) Jackson, Keith Paris, Hugh (Sparky) Paris and Al (Leonard) MacLean.  And the list can go on and on.

    During the war years a ladies softball team was formed.  It travelled throughout Nova Scotia.

    As with most Nova Scotians of the early to mid twentieth century, home remedies were passed down through the generations.  In the days before the availability of today's modern drugs, these remedies seemed to do the trick.  Some of the more popular ones were:

    Black participants have shared the limelight for many years in the annual Pictou County Music Festivals.  Four people won the coveted Rose Bowl, Ann (Johnson) Paris, Willena (Borden) Lucas, Murleta Williams and Angela Cromwell.  Miss Williams became a well known singer and pianist and Angela Cromwell was later chosen to sing for Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to Ottawa.  

Click on the image to see the complete panoramic view of Vale Road

Previous Chapter - The World Wars

Native Born Home

Next Chapter - In Search of Equality