TRIVIA FROM 1920s, 1930s SCRAPBOOK (October 16/07)

Since August I’ve been quoting occasionally from the scrapbook of the late Lucy MacInnes of Kentville, who through the late 1920s and early 1930s saved many of the interesting stories that appeared in this newspaper.

I’ve only scratched the surface in covering the various articles Ms. MacInnes saved, many of which are of historical interest, covering long forgotten or little known events in Kings County and Kentville history. On the other hand, numerous stories in the scrapbook are, well, let’s say they’re interesting but belong in the category we call trivia today. A sampling of this trivia is what I’d like to offer readers this week, beginning with sports items.

We like to think of the soccer boom in Kings County as a fairly recent event, but it isn’t so. There’s no date on The Advertiser clipping but from other articles pasted in the MacInnes scrapbook, it appears that a soccer league with several teams was formed in Kentville in 1929. In 1927 the Kentville Wildcats won the Maritime hockey championship; the team was comprised of hockey stars from Kings County and the town.

The American House, “Kentville’s leading hostelry for many years,” says The Advertiser, closed its door in 1928; the hotel was opened in 1868 by James McIntosh and operated for 60 years.

There’s no date on this clipping from The Advertiser but based on other dated material in the MacInnes scrapbook, a dial telephone system was installed in Kentville circa 1930. The Advertiser announced that the system was the most up-to-date and modern telephone system in eastern Canada. Shortly after, The Advertiser announced that to report a fire or accident one could dial 5-5-5.

When was Kentville’s first hospital opened? Apparently it was in 1930 and it was a children’s hospital operated by the Red Cross. According to a clipping from The Advertiser, the hospital was located on Canaan Avenue and was managed by a practical nurse, Mildred Laing. Mabel Nichol’s Kentville history (The Devil’s Half Acre) names Laing as the hospital’s general manager but places it on Oakdene Avenue.

The Canada-wide census in 1931 indicated that the population of most Valley towns, with the exception of Windsor, had increased. When the census was taken, Kentville’s population was 3,092; The Advertiser reported that this was an increase in population of 312.

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