EXTRACTS FROM A 1920s, 1930s SCRAPBOOK (August 28/07)

In an earlier column on Kentville’s 100th anniversary, I quoted on the event from a scrapbook compiled in the 1920s and 1930s by Lucy MacInnes, the wife of a Kentville storekeeper. The scrapbook is now in the possession of her son-in-law, George Ashby and as mentioned, he has been kind enough to let me read it.

The late Ms. MacInnes was interested in local history, and most of the clippings she collected for her scrapbook are of a historical nature. In it, for example, is a historical sketch of Kentville by A. L. Pelton, who was mayor of the town from 1924 to 1927. There’s also a series of essays on the history of Kentville’s churches; one of the essays was written by a man with a name most history buffs will recognize, Arthur W. H. Eaton, author of the History of Kings County.

I’d estimate that there are some 50 clippings in the MacInnes scrapbook on Kings County and Kentville history. Here are excerpts from some of the clippings:

Why was Kentville once known as Horton Corner? A. L. Pelton explains why in a review of the town’s history he wrote in 1926. “Kings County comprised the townships of Aylesford, Cornwallis and Horton; the embryo village known as Horton Corner derived its name from the fact that it was the northwest corner of Horton Township.”

In 1869, station agents of the Windsor and Annapolis Railway were paid $400 per year. The Kentville agent in that year is identified only by a last name, Metzley; station agents in Port Williams (Greenwich) and Wolfville at the time were E. A. Forsythe and J. M. Dennison respectively. Railway carpenters in 1869 received the sum of $1.10 per day.

A photographer was on hand to capture the arrival of the first train in Kentville. A clipping of the photograph, taken from an unnamed newspaper, is on the scrapbook. The caption under the photograph reads, “Above is shown the first Windsor and Annapolis train arriving at Kentville in 1869.”

From a series of historical sketches on Kentville churches: “After the dispersion of the French (Acadians) it was many years before other Catholics came into the Valley. During the time of the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1849) a considerable number of families from that country, forced to leave their native land, settled on the North and South Mountains, and the present (Catholic) parish is made up of their descendants.”

A clipping in the scrapbook indicates that in the late 1920s Kentville could boast of having a children’s hospital: “The Red Cross of Kentville is doing an excellent work, of which little is known, in conducting a children’s hospital on Canaan Avenue, where children whose parents are not able to pay the usual hospital charges may receive medical and surgical treatment. This institution is made possible through the cordial co-operation of all the doctors in Kentville who give their services free.”

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