Lena Ferguson fonds

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Title proper

Lena Ferguson fonds

General material designation

  • Sound recording
  • Textual record
  • Textual record (microform)

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1974-2001 (Creation)
    Ferguson, Lena

Physical description area

Physical description

247 digital audio files
137 audio reels
71 audio cassettes
6 folders of textual material
1 microfilm reel

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Name of creator

(1927- 2014)

Biographical history

Lena Ferguson was born on January 24, 1927 at Woodside, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. Her parents were James Nauffts and Lillian Beatrice (McKinlay), both natives of Spanish Ship Bay, Guysborough County. Lena graduated from high school in 1946 and began teaching in West Dover, Halifax County. After attending the Nova Scotia Normal School, she taught in Dean Settlement, Indian Harbour, and at Clarence Park School. She later attended the Anglican Women's Training College in Toronto, in preparation for a career as a missionary. She was assigned to the Shingwauk residential school in Sault Ste. Marie but decided that she was not suited to the work. She was employed with the Old Age Security Office in Toronto before returning to Nova Scotia to resume her teaching career at Admiral Westphal School in Dartmouth. She also worked at HMCS Shearwater for several years. She married Lorne Ferguson in 1959 at the age of thirty-two and had three children. After her marriage, she and her husband lived on a small farm in West Chezzetcook. She was greatly involved in her community and throughout her life she was a member of the Girl Guides Organi¬zation, Dartmouth Trefoil Guild, Porters Lake Seniors’ Club, Old Hall Wilderness Association of Por¬ters Lake, and St. James Anglican Church in Seaforth. She joined the Chezzetcook Historical Society in 1974 and served as their archivist and researcher. She was involved with the Society for 27 years. She was inspired to become a local historian after a woman from Beverly Hills, CA reached out to her to find information about her grandmother and Captain Peter Ferguson, both of Chezzetcook. She began talking to older residents about their memories and recording them, often taking her young son with her. She also went to all the anniversary celebrations of local churches and other community events in order to gather historical information. She became drawn to documenting the past in this way. She shared the history that she gathered by working as a freelance writer. She had her articles published by the Dartmouth Free Press, Eastern Shore Observer, and the Eastern Gazette. In 1990 she published A History of Porters Lake and later, The Parish of Seaforth in 2010. Lena passed away on August 27, 2014 in Musquodoboit Harbour at the age of 87.

Custodial history

Originally donated to Nova Scotia Archives by Lena Ferguson in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Transferred to the Eastern Shore Archives, the official repository for the Chezzetcook Historical Society, in December 2015 under the CNSA Cooperative Acquisition Strategy Agreement.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of approximately 137 hours of oral history interviews conducted by Lena Ferguson. Most interviewees were residents of the Eastern Shore region of Halifax County, particularly the Chezzetcook area. Interview topics include genealogy, local industries, occupations, music, shipping, community life, traditions, and folklore. In addition to interviews, the creator recorded school reunions, concerts, weddings, and church anniversaries. Several paper transcripts are included as well as scrapbooks featuring articles written by Lena and other newspaper articles regarding the Chezzetcook area.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some of the reels and cassettes were in damaged or poor condition, though most were fair to excellent. Some had very poor quality audio and were nearly impossible to decipher.

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred to the Eastern Shore Archives in December of 2015 under the CNSA Cooperative Acquisition Strategy Agreement.


Records had been arranged prior to their transfer to the Eastern Shore Archives and that original order has been maintained. The audio cassettes are arranged alphabetically (by the creator) according to the name of the interviewee. Digitized files have been named to reflect the original naming conventions used by the creator and are listed alphabetically by surname.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

There are some portions of the recordings in which French is spoken briefly or French terms are used.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Digital copies were created of the audio reels and cassettes, with the exception of those that featured poor quality audio or contained irrelevant material.

Paper transcripts exist of some of the interviews. These transcripts have also been digitized or are in the process of being digitized.

Restrictions on access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A file list of all audio materials exists. https://visitmemorylane.ca/home/images/uploads/Lena_Ferguson_Recordings_Index_MNS.pdf

There are also searchable PDF audio logs detailing the contents of all digitized audio recordings. https://visitmemorylane.ca/home/images/uploads/Audio_Logs.pdf

Associated materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

In some cases, there may be variations in the spelling of names. For instance, Edouard Lapierre/ Edward Lapierre. These discrepancies are due to the use of Anglicized versions of French names, or surnames whose spelling varies due to error or preference. Some of these surnames include Julien/ Julian, Faucher/ Fauchier, Manet/ Mannette, Myatt/ Mayet/ Mayette, Pettipas/ Petitpas. The names used by the creator could not be changed, so despite evidence that some spellings are incorrect, they still had to be used. It is recommended that researchers try various spellings in order to ensure optimal results.

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