Fort Edward still stands in Hants County as a reminder that after the expulsion of the Acadians, the New England Planter settlements on the Minas Basin were constantly threatened by the French and Micmacs and later by rebels during the American Revolution.
But how well do you know your early history? Was Fort Edward the only military blockhouse in what is now Kings and Hants County or were there other “forts” scattered through this area? Rather than answer this question, I’ve prepared a short quiz to test your knowledge of local history and of the communities that comprise Kings and Hants County.
- Let’s start with military forts. True or false: Besides Fort Edward, the British established several forts or blockhouses within the boundaries what today is Kings County – at Grand Pre and near Kentville, for example – during the expulsion period.
- Canada Creek on the Bay of Fundy. It’s highly unlikely Canada is a surname or that the area is named after a real person named Canada. Local folklore has it that the original name was Canady or Kanady Creek, a mispronouncing of the surname Kennedy, and somehow over the course of years it evolved into Canada Creek. Is this true or false.
- True or false: From time to time there were attempts to establish Irish settlements in Kings County but none were successful.
- True or False: During the American Revolution rebels threatened this area of Kings County and actually sailed up the Cornwallis River with the intent of robbing the merchants and citizens of Kentville.
- Its seems unlikely that the British had forts in Grand Pre and near Kentville during the expulsion but they did. During the expulsion and post expulsion period the military set up forts in what today is Kings County at Grand Pre and possibly in the area near Chipman Corner. Eaton in his Kings County history writes that the blockhouse at Annapolis Royal was taken down and “transported to Minas.” The fort was called “Vieux Logis” and was one of three built in the townships of Horton, Cornwallis and Falmouth.
Exactly where in Minas each fort was built isn’t 100 percent certain but Grand Pre was one site. Eaton writes that the fort at Grand Pre – “on the hill, south of Horton Landing, so as to command the river” – was called Fort Montague. A second fort in this area was built either near Starr’s Point or at Chipman Corner. This last most likely was Fort Hughes which James S. Martell mentions in his Planter study as being built in Cornwallis township in 1778.
- This is false. Canada Creek was not a corruption of Kennedy, nor was there a Canady or Kanady. Canada Creek is named after Major William Canada, one of the first Cornwallis grantees.
- True. From time to time attempts were made to establish settlements of Irish immigrants in Kings County. There were pockets of Irish settlers, near Hillaton, for example, spilloffs perhaps of earlier attempts by Alexander McNutt, who in 1761 attempted wholesale colonisation of Nova Scotia with Ulster families.
- True, but robbing Kentville merchants may not have been the aim of between 30 and 40 American rebels who in June, 1778, sailed up the Cornwallis in a whaleboat and plundered farms along the way. Martell writes that the rebels plundered the home of William Best and carried off valuables to the amount of 1000 pound and upwards.