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Early records indicate that William Grace along with nine children came to Sackville around 1811. He received a land grant in 1813 from His Majesty the King represented by His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir John Sherbrooke. The land grant was for 500 acres in an area known today as Mount Uniacke on the Windsor Road. Not much is known of these early days, but around the late 1800’s William's grandson, whose name is also William Grace, got his education in working with wood from his uncle Thomas Gillian living in Hammonds Planes. Working with his uncle, he learned how to run a mill and produce lumber and boxes to be used in the apple industry.
On January 25, 1886, William (the grandson) married Elizabeth Guinan and moved to Sackville and took up residence on the property that is now known as the Fernwood Memorial Park Cemetery property on today’s Sackville Drive. There, William established a home and raised 8 children, all of whom worked at the family mill business at some point. This is how William made his living and supported his family. William Grace also built barrels for the apple industry and boxes for the fishing industry.
His son Thomas, eventually went out on his own and worked for the railway and with his wife Eva, they raised 7 children. One of which is Ken Grace and his wife Joyce Parker who raised 5 children and one child named Robert, or Bobby as his friends know him. Bobby built several houses over the years, and while secretly, as far as the family was concerned, developed this real desire and ability to produce wonderful pieces of craftsmanship in the art of furniture making. Anyone who witnesses the touch and feel for his work realizes he has a special gift for working with wood. Bobby’s formal training began and continues from his ancestors in their working with wood and his own natural ability and keen eye in the art of fine furniture.
The Grace name will survive the next several hundred years by the gifted hands of one Robert (Bobby) Grace, my nephew.
Written by Doug Grace