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Sarah King Head takes Thorold’s heritage crusade nationwide

Thorold’s official historian promotes the city at the national level
Sarah King Head. Submitted Photo

Thorold’s rich heritage continues to be promoted on the national front, as Sarah King Head, the city’s official historian, returned from Winnipeg recently, where she was chosen to speak at the National Trust for Canada conference, which had the theme, “Heritage Delivers.”

The annual conference is Canada’s largest heritage learning and networking event. Held in a different part of Canada every year, it unites a diverse range of people keeping Canada’s heritage alive, from grassroots advocates, professionals and planners, to elected officials, policy makers, and students.

Like King Head, all are engaged in saving and regenerating historic places, and exploring “how they are essential to building vibrant and diverse communities, and sustainable economies.”

As one of more than 115 speakers at the conference, King Head gave a short presentation on the Beaverdams-DeCew Heritage Parkway and Park that is being mapped out by the City’s Lake Gibson Preservation Task Force committee, a committee she’s belonged to since 2011.

Her speech included “general plans to transform a former industrial corridor into a recreational area … considering this transformation within the context of ancient Indigenous land-use activities.” 

King Head is the award-winning author of Where the Beavers Built their Dams - The Evolution of a Unique Cultural Heritage Landscape in Thorold, which provides an in-depth, interesting history of the Beaverdams Trail, known as Marlatts-DeCew Road, and surrounding area. 

According to long-time heritage volunteer Pam Minns, who was the driving force behind Thorold receiving the Prince of Wales Prize for Heritage, "Sarah has done the research for Heritage Thorold LACAC for a number of years and her work is always outstanding. The success of her recent book, Where the Beavers Built their Dams - The Evolution of a Unique Cultural Heritage Landscape in Thorold - attests to her love of heritage and interest in Niagara. We send our congratulations to Sarah as another step in her amazing background.”

King Head has also been accepted by the board of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals to be named a Heritage Professional (Historian). Its members are specialists in a wide variety of fields, such as conservation architecture, planning, history, archaeology, landscape architecture and engineering. 

Nominated by the former president, Marcus Létourneau (who’s based in Kingston), King Head received recommendations from Minns, as well as Heritage Thorold LACAC chair Craig Finlay and Arden Phair, of the St. Catharines Museum/Welland Canals Fallen Workers Memorial task force. 

Minns stated: “Sarah King Head, our city historian, has again added to her accomplishments and strong heritage background, with the honour bestowed upon her as a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.”

Founded in the 1980s, CAHP – ACECP is a professional organization that serves qualified heritage professionals in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; establishes standards of practice, shares knowledge about heritage conservation, and supports the involvement of heritage professionals whenever places of heritage value are being identified, preserved, restored and rehabilitated. The organization also fosters and promotes public and legislative support for heritage conservation.

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