SPECULATION ON THE “MYSTERY CANNONBALL” (August 7/07)

I couldn’t help chuckle a bit when I read Kirk Starratt’s excellent article on the “mystery cannonball” now residing in the dusty coffers of the Kings County Museum.

What brought the chuckle was reference to a skirmish grandly called the Battle of Blomidon. The so-called battle was mentioned as possibly explaining why a cannonball was found on the dykes in Lower Wolfville. However, if you read Arthur W. H. Eaton’s account of the event (page 432 and 433 in his history of Kings County) you’ll find that the skirmish, for the most part, took place in the waters off Blomidon and Cape Split.

It’s possible I suppose, but it isn’t likely cannons fired from this area could deposit a cannonball on the dykes of Lower Wolfville. Besides, Eaton doesn’t mention any cannon play. He does tell us a “carriage gun” was carried by one of the boats involved in the clash and this would fire cannonballs.

Most likely calling the skirmish the Battle of Blomidon was a poetic embellishment. This is the title of a poem about the clash and it does have a nice kind of ring to it. The poem was written by Belle Robinson and can be found in a Kings Historical Society publication, volume 1 of the Kings County Vignettes.

Further on the cannonball, I was surprised that the museum employee Kirk Starratt interviewed pleaded ignorance about a blockhouse (as a source of the cannonball) which is said to be located “in the Wolfville area” at the time of the Acadian expulsion.

Might I suggest that anyone interested in what existed in the way of blockhouses or forts here as early as 1749 and in the 19th century, check out page 426 and 427 of Eaton’s Kings County history. Eaton is quite explicit that a fort or blockhouse was moved from Annapolis Royal to Minas in 1749. Further, he gives details about other forts that were constructed here. According to Eaton, “palisaded forts” were erected in Horton and Cornwallis townships. Since Eaton tells us the forts were defended with cannons, one of them could be the source of the mystery cannonball.

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