Among other definitions, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary describes “vignette” as a “brief descriptive account, anecdote, essay or character sketch.” Including “historic” is this definition describes a series of booklets published over the past 23 years by the Kings Historical Society. Since 1989 the Society has published 11 Kings County Vignettes, the latest just off the press this month.
Since the first publication, which was compiled by the late Elizabeth Rand, the Vignettes series usually contained an average of a dozen historical stories about Kings County. Each Vignette in the series has sold well, if anything a testament that local history buffs appreciate what the staff and volunteers at the Kings County Museum have strived to accomplish: That is to publish a historically accurate booklet that’s not only interesting but economically priced (each Vignettes has sold for less than $10).
Just released, as I mentioned, the 11th issue of Kings County Vignettes follows the standard set by the first volume. The eight essays in this issue run from stories about Camp Aldershot, the Nova Scotia Sanatorium and the legacy left to us by the Acadians. Gordon Hansford writes about Camp Aldershot as it was during World War 2. Two articles on the Nova Scotia Sanatorium by Jane Sponagle and Bria Stokesbury offer glimpses of what life was like for patients of the “San.”
Plants and Pioneers by Twila Robar-DeCoste and The Acadian Legacy in Kings County by Trevor Lloyd take us back in time to Acadian and pioneer times. Writing poetry that salutes people at the Kings County Museum and at the same time actually rhymes is a difficult task but Teresa Neary accomplishes this nicely with a poem about the Museum’s countless volunteers.
Bernice Taylor writes about the famed Covenanter Church at Grand Pre, which as she notes, is the oldest Presbyterian Church in the province. In her second article for issue 11, Bria Stokesbury, the Museum’s curator, covers the 25th anniversary of the Museum.
All in all, this is another great edition in the Vignette series and the compiler, Helen Hansford, is to be complimented. Vignette number 11 is available for seven dollars at the Kings County Museum and at Chisholm’s Book Store in Kentville.