From old newspaper articles to postcards, a pop-up exhibit at Saint Patrick's Church is showcasing items that help tell the tale of what it was like following the Halifax Explosion.

Members of the church gathered as many artifacts as they could, with hopes of telling a much larger story.

Even the church itself is part of the tale, as it was one of the survivors of the explosion.

“On that day, the windows that we're looking through right now would have blown out to the street. So ... you're present in that,” says Blair Beed of Saint Patrick’s Church. 

After the Halifax Explosion as people worked to rebuild their lives, possessions were few and far between. Things like blankets, warm clothing, or shoes were in short supply – but donations came pouring in from around the world.

Sleighs travelled back and forth after the explosion, delivering packages and donations to those who survived the blast.

“People went back to the ruins and got whatever objects they could find because that would be a remembrance,” says Beed. “We see that today in newscasts, where people in ruined areas are looking for something just to remember what they had. And  so this exhibit brings a lot of that out.”

Beed say many of the objects on display were once tucked away in attics and cellars. For Janet Flinn MacDonald, the artifacts tell the story of her own family members and the aftermath of that fateful day.

“He was just a teenager and his father owning the Black and Flinn, which was an import export company. They had flat beds and horses,” says MacDonald. “Dad said that he was very busy, running whatever he could do with the flatbed and the horse.”

Blankets that were given to survivors more than 100 years ago are on display at the exhibit. They now stand as a reminder of what generations before went through and how they rebuilt.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.