The Kings Historical Society The Court Reporter

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The Court Reporter The Newsletter of the Kings County Museum

Inside this issue What’s the difference between genealogy and family history? Page 3 What’s happening at the Museum? Pages 4-5 Tips for storing vintage textiles Page 6 Big thanks to our volunteers and supporters Pages 7,8,10

Kings County Museum We are following provincial health restrictions and will “keep the Blazes” closed until further notice. Call 902-678-6237, or Visit us online at www.kingscountymuseum

Spring 2021

Here comes the sun Help us turn over a new leaf this spring. It’s been said many times that the Covid-19 crisis has affected every aspect of our lives, from how we interact with each other, how we perceive our homes and communities, to how we work. According to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), museums are no exception to these changes. “The time is now to rethink our relationship with the communities we serve, to experiment with new and hybrid models of cultural fruition and to strongly reaffirm the essential value of museums for the construction of a just and sustainable future.” For the past 40 years, museums around the world recognize May 18 as International Museum Day, a time to celebrate culture and heritage. This year’s theme is, “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine.” Although we can’t get together in person for International Museum Day, we can still stay in touch. How do you envision your museum?

Kings Historical Society Board of Directors President - John Dow Past president– Kelly Bourassa Secretary - Jean Gibson Collins Treasurer- Karl Larson Curator-Ellen Lewis Office Manager Heather Killen 1

Tell us. Be old school and drop us a line. Send us a postcard, or email. The Kings County Museum is kicking off its summer season by sowing seeds for the future. This year we’ve decided to plant sunflowers seeds in our museum garden. These plants all face the sun as it rises and young plants will follow its light as it passes overhead. We are celebrating connections and methods of communication. We are looking at all the ways people and means people have used to stay in touch over the past 100 years. All summer we are celebrating the work of local authors, past and present with displays and author’s readings. Kings County is home to a diverse and talented group of writers. This summer we plan a number of events—virtual and socially distanced (when safely possible). When restrictions ease, make an appointment for a guided tour through the museum and check out our new exhibits. For details on upcoming events, visit

History should be studied rather than repeated From the Board One of the benefits gained from a museum visit is an understanding of history. As Churchill once said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Even though vaccines are being rolled out across the country, the COVID situation changes regularly, and very rapidly. Our goal is to keep our staff, volunteers, and visitors safe while still encouraging everyone to experience the history and culture of our beautiful Kings County. So, for the time being, the museum is closed to the public. An interesting coincidence here at the Kings County Museum, in the fall of 2019—months before we were forced into lockdown last spring— we set up an exhibit showing the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its effect on Kings County. Here are some noteworthy highlights from Dr. Allen Marble’s presentation on the Spanish Flu made at the museum in 2019: “During the four months the flu was at its peak in Nova Scotia, from about September to December, there were 2,000 people killed, but the number of people who had the flu was about 10 times that.” masks and the emergence of more Lessons learned from the past will be virulent strains occurred. pivotal on how Nova Scotians reOne of the outcomes of that pandemic spond to the next global pandemic.” was the establishment of the Canadian Department of Health, with a manFrom the history files: The first wave of the Spanish Flu oc- date to coordinate a national response to public heath threats. curred in the Spring of 1918. In the That brings me back to the current fall of 1918, a mutation of the virus pandemic. Our response in Nova produced an extremely contagious, Scotia, although poor in the beginvirulent and deadly form of the disease that resulted in 90 per cent of the ning, has been widely embraced and associated deaths. There were subse- remarkable in its effect on helping to control the spread of the pandemic in quent waves in the springs of 1919 Nova Scotia. and 1920.

When it is safe to do so, we will be open by appointment on Tuesday for community and genealogical research, Wednesday for small guided tour groups, and on Thursdays for small groups of home schooled young people. We require all people entering the museum to wear a mask. We provide hand sanitizer, and encourage social distancing during the tours. We provide thorough cleaning of all public spaces following each For the most part, Nova Scotians tour. That pandemic differs slightly from have adopted the measures which Call ahead, or check our website the current one. In 1918-1919 the and Facebook pages for the most knowledge about viruses was almost history shows were effective; non-existent and vaccines were non- wearing masks, good hand hyup-to-date information. giene, and social distancing. existent. John R. Dow There are similarities These are the measures we have President of Kings In the early part of the pandemic there put in place at the museum to help Historical Society was great public resistance to wearing keep us all safe. 2

Genealogy offers accuracy, histories fuel imagination By Judy Norton Not long ago, someone asked me what the difference is between genealogy and family history. I replied that they are really two descriptions of the same thing. As I think about it, I was wrong.

Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketch- Equally important are our personal es of a Little Town. and family stories. What do you remember about your grandparents? If Each one of those tells us something you don’t remember them, what do you remember hearing about about who we are as Canadithem? How do you remember the ans. Those are fiction. There are other stories that tell us differences between your mother’s how we came to be this great counfamily and your father’s famitry. We could create a long list here ly? Your family was ground out beif we wanted to, but let me name a tween those two millstones. Think few: The deportation of the Acadiabout it.

There’s a difference, a big difference. Genealogy is a science. It’s about names and dates and places. It requires accuracy in researching and in recording, as well as in keeping track of what information was found where. Genealogy is like a phone book – lots of characters, very little plot. Family history, on the other hand, is an art. It’s about people, personalities, relationships and events. Family history is story, our story, the story of who we are and where we came from, how we got to be who we are. Story-telling is so important. Historically, the story-teller had an honoured place in the communiSharing our family stories helps us to ty. In Celtic society, (Scottish and better understand ourselves. Irish) there’s the position of Seanachie, the story-teller who knows and tells the history of the ans; Vimy Ridge; Banting and Best community, and of the families – sto- and the development of insulin; the ries that help make sense of what’s Springhill Bump; universal health going on and who we are. In English care; the Halifax Explosion; EXPO society the Bard was a professional 67; The Ocean Ranger. story-teller, poet and musician. He or In 20 years time, Covid19 will be she was the bearer of lore - and made one of our stories. Whether we have songs that told both history and law. any personal connection to them or Our stories help us know who we not, and many of us do, these are stoare. We are Canadians and we have ries that define who we are as Canastories that help to define us as a na- dians. It’s so important that we keep tion and as a people. telling the stories! Our grandchildren Think about it: A nne of Green Ganeed to know these stories. How else bles; The Cremation of Sam Magee; will they know who they are?

Is your membership past due?

Normally we would love to see you in person, however it is unclear when we will be reopening for drop ins. Memberships run on the calendar year and expire on December 31st of each year. Those wishing to renew their membership, can visit our website (, can call (902-6786237), or renew by mail. See the form on page 9. 3

A family tree that includes just names and dates is great to have, but it’s not really interesting. It becomes interesting when you include the stories, the information about occupations or talents, or family size, the places, and the pictures – not just photos of people, but also of houses, farms and farm machinery, businesses - anything that helps your family to understand who your people were, and how they lived. This is our story. This is your story. It’s really important. It’s the story of who we are.

Kings Historical Society AGM May 25 Our Annual General Meeting will be held at 7:30 on May 25. All members in good standing are invited, along with anyone interested in learning more about the society. We will be hearing the reports from the past year and this year’s nominations. For more information, or to request a link to the Zoom meeting, call 902-678 -6237, or email us at:

Upcoming events at the Kings County Museum Chatting about Kings County: A Century of Communication– an exhibit running from May 18 through 2021 From handwritten postcards and letters, to the tapping of typewriter keys, and the blunt stops of telegrams, people always find ways to stay in touch with each other across the miles. During the war we wrote letters, read newspapers, and listened to the news. Our ears were tuned in to the sounds of radio broadcasts. Into the late 20th century, we could overhear our neighbours’ news while they chatted on the ‘party line.’ These days we carry our phones with us and probably text more than we talk. We share our news in the virtual world through TicTock, Zoom, Twitter, and Facebook. It doesn’t matter the year, it seems we can’t wait ‘get on the horn’ (or the cellphone) and share our news with others.

“Chatting about Kings County: A Century of Communication” explores the diverse and rapidly changing communication styles and technologies within the county. Over the past year we have been challenged to rethink our communication channels and explore how we

can still stay in touch while apart. Chatting about Kings County revisits popular communication modes and styles, past and present, and how these technologies influence our communication styles. Flags, flowers and fans all carried special meaning in their days, showing that whatever their message, people will find their own ways and means to convey the point. We are revisiting some of these forgotten languages. BTW, it could be funny faces, birdcalls, or carrier pigeons, what’s the best method for the message? Check out the various modes and methods of communication used during the past 100 years, along with a few activities to keep us in touch (without getting too close). “Chatting about Kings County: A Century of Communication” opens in May and runs throughout 2021. For more information, visit us at

An invitation to explore the Ancient Teachings of the Mi’kmaq

(Editor’s note: All of our in-person events may be postponed in respect of provincial health guidelines)

We are pleased to open our summer events with Seven Sacred Teachings, a two-part introduction to timeless wisdom shared through generations. Over two days you will become immersed in Mi’kmaw Ancient Teachings: Smudge, Tree Connecting, Guided Meditation, Drumming and Tobacco Ceremony. May 28 and May 29 Facilitated by Carolyn Landry of Redfeather's Native Art $35 per day Limited registration 902-678-6237 Kings County Museum, 37 Cornwallis Street, Kentville (902) 678-6237 4

Acclaimed storyteller to open author series Shalan Joudry will be sharing poems from her latest collection, W aking Ground, on June 1 at the Kings County Museum. Shalan Joudry is a Mi'kmaw poet, playwright, oral storyteller and ecologist. Using her theatrical background, Shalan brings Mi’kmaw stories to a new generation of listeners, as well as recounting personally crafted narratives that follow Mi’kmaw storying custom.

Her first book of poetry, Generations Re-merging, was published by Gaspereau Press (2014) and her second book, Elapultiek, was published by Pottersfield Press (2019). Her newest collection of poetry, W aking Ground, was published by Gaspereau Press (2020) and was recently shortlisted for the J.M. Abrahms Atlantic Poetry Award, the Maxine Tynes Nova Scotia Poetry Award and the 2021 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Shalan lives in her home territory of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia) with her family in their community of L’sətkuk (Bear River First Nation), where she is currently writing, creating and finishing a PhD in Mi’kmaw language. This event will take place on Zoom and in person (if possible), starting at 2 p.m.. Admission is through donation, to register for this event call 902-678-6237, or email

75 Years: Celebrating Mayor Gladys Porter We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Gladys Porter’s first successful bid at becoming Mayor of Kentville. The Kings County Museum is paying tribute to this remarkable woman with an exhibit opening in May and running throughout 2021. 75 Y ears: Celebrating Mayor Gladys Porter will highlight Porter’s career and impact on Kings County. In 1946, Porter made history by becoming the first female mayor in Eastern Canada. Porter would go on to be re-elected as mayor five times and then move to be the first woman elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. Porter’s achievement marks a significant achievement in women’s history not only in Kings County, but Canada as a whole. In addition to her rich political career, Porter was one of the founders of Grand Pre Park, executive secretary of the Atlantic Provinces Hospital Association, an executive of the Canadian National Institute for the blind, and was involved in many other organizations and groups.

In 1946, Gladys Porter was elected by the people of Kentville to become the first female mayor in Eastern Canada. She would be reelected five times before she became the first woman elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.


James’ marker in Belgium

Protecting and Storing rugs, needlework, and textiles By Kelly Bourassa, Historical Object Conservator I was recently asked how to handle an heirloom cross stitch that was shipped to a friend in Canada from a family member in Scotland. It had always been stored behind glass in a fire screen but was removed and rolled into a tube for shipping via the local postal service. I was told it is in relatively good shape but there was concern on how to handle it, preserve it and display it over the longer term. I can suggest the following ways to ensure that this family heirloom and other needlework textiles will see many more years of enjoyment. When in doubt please contact a textile conservator for advice. The Canadian Association of Professional Conservators has a way to search for a conservator in your area. See References below for a link to their site. The Museum of Natural History in Halifax Nova Scotia can also assist. A call to their general number asking for help will likely get some answers for you. The following is general information based on a needlework textile of moderate size such as a sampler, small cross stitch, small hooked rug, or needlework textile of most kinds. This information is also based on simple and low cost materials that might be available in community museums with minimal funding available for professional services.

is held in place. It is okay if it touches the glass but, you should wash the glass and make sure it is thoroughly dry first, but tighten the frame only until it keeps the textile in place. Do not overtighten.

Needlework and woven textiles should be stored flat.

Don't wash it Items should not be cleaned unless done by a professional such as a textile conservator. Different fibres require different cleaning methods and chemicals used in cleaning. The conservator will determine the type of fibres, the nature of the dirt and come up with a cleaning method.

Storage Store needlework between acid free papers in a flat box or in an acid free envelope. Depending on the size you can likely get this type of paper in the size needed at most comic book stores. I can also recommend archival supplies on this web page by this Canadian company, Carr McLean- Archival SupKeep it flat plies. Items originally intended to lie flat Although normally for archival should remain so. For example, if shipped in a tube then once unrolled documents, this works well for store it flat in a protected area. Roll- smaller textiles and they do have ing or folding textiles can break fibres map sized storage for the larger which could cause unravelling. There ones. are some textiles that can be rolled if Display done properly. For example, rugs One option for showing your textile with heavy fibres. is to put it on an acid free backing paper or mat-board and frame it Minimize handling Use gloves to avoid oils or other con- along with a UV protectant glass. taminants on your hands from coming Do not attach the textile to the in contact. Handle it as little as possi- backing or glass. Simply lay it flat and tighten it in the frame so that it ble. 6

Environmental issues Do not store or keep it in direct sunlight or harsh lighting, fading will happen over time. Avoid high humidity (can promote mould) and extremes in temperature. Insects. Always car efully check over the textile for any evidence of insects. Watch for holes, eggs, insect parts, etc. and if in doubt contact a textile conservator for advice and treatment. For more information: Caring For Textiles- American Conservation Institute Canadian Association of Professional Conservators - Can search for a textiles conservator Flat Storage For Textiles - Canadian Conservation Institute Mounting Small, Light, Flat Textiles Canadian Conservation Institute Textile Mounting - Minnesota Historical Society - using a fabric covered board for mounting Carr McLean - Home page for Canadian with archival and conservation supplies

KINGS HISTORICAL SOCIETY KINGS COUNTY MUSEUM 37Cornwallis Street Kentville, N.S. B4N 2E2 Phone: 902-678-6237 e-mail Web Page Genealogy

The Kings County Museum Needs You By Kathrin Grace If you think you’ve seen a decline in volunteerism in the past decade, you would be correct. Surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, and others done in Australia, England, Iceland, and elsewhere have shown a declining rate.

We can’t do it without you! Harold Redden, left, Kathrin Grace, right

Volunteers are the backbone of every not for profit organisation. What can we do about these declining numbers? Remember when we recognised volunteers with a plaque or bouquet of flowers for their lifetime service?

JoAnne Bezanson and Carmen Legge are two more of our favorite go-to volunteers.

Stay-at-home women of the 1950’s and 1960’s were amongst those achievers. Fast forward to 2021 and stay at home women are few and far between. While long-time volunteers still exist, we must stop expecting them to just show up. It is no longer a simple matter of asking our friends to jump in and help.

Programming We are looking for fresh ideas. What types of educational series, performances, kids and youth programs; community or social and well-being events would you like to see at the museum?

Join us!

Are you looking to express your Before you say that young people creativity, help your community, hone new skills or keep your curjust don’t want to volunteer anymore, you should know the studies rent skills in shape? We have a Fundraising Finding enough do not support that opinion. What number of volunteer opportunities, money to carry out community is different is the way in which the here at the Kings County Museum programs, and maintain the buildyounger generation is able or willing is ongoing. Auctions, fashion Facilities Committee Facility ing to volunteer and a change in maintenance in an historic building shows, raffles and bake sales, motivation for doing so. is both challenging and rewarding. membership drives, crowdfunding, Service to community and “giving We troubleshoot plumbing, electri- pledge challenges, tea sales, and T back” are always high on the radar cal, lighting and light carpentry as shirt sales are all play an important part. but now we must add a few more. needed. Young people want to engage in Help us to reimagine your County Jobs for specialists or jack of all valuable networking opportunities. trades. Perhaps you will gain ex- Museum and bring innovative proThey are interested in opportuniperience as a Facility Manager, or gramming to your community muties for learning and developing seum. Call or email Kings County give Kings County Museum the new skills and exploring new caMuseum 902-678-6237. benefit of your expertise. reer paths. 7

Kings County Museum

Society News We love you, Kate! The Kings County Museum is wishing Kate MacInnes Adams the best of luck as she retires from her longtime position as Office Manager at the museum.

We all miss her welcoming smile, her enthusiasm and wonderful voice. Although we are sad to see her go, we are so excited for her as she embarks on her new adventure. Best of luck Kate, we miss you! And say hello to Diane!

Hello (again) from Ellen The Kings County Museum is pleased to welcome back Ellen Lewis, but this time in a different role Ellen, a long time summer student, is now working as the Museum Curator. She is excited to get started on exhibits, programming, collections work, and is embracing the new opportunities that the position brings.

New to the museum Heather Killen has joined the staff at the Kings County Museum, taking on the role of office manager for the society. In addition to her recent experience as a business owner, her background in media and publishing will be useful as the Society adds new titles to its own collection of community histories and stories. 8

Your membership matters! We understand that the closure of our building has made it harder for some folks to pay membership fees as we have been unable to welcome visitors and our main office has been closed to the public.

County Museum. Your membership fees and go towards protecting our building and collection, programming, facilities, repairs, and necessary projects. The generosity shown to us by our members and community for over forty years has played a substantial role in the ability to keep our doors open.

If you were unable to pay your 2021 membership fees, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your past membership and provide you the oppor- If you would like to renew, tunity to renew now. please return the enclosed membership form to us. Our yearly membership drive is We accept cash and cheque by key in the financial stability and mail or can take payment on our overall success of the Kings website or by phone.


We invite you to consider helping to preserve the heritage of Kings County through the planned giving of Cash gifts, Bequests, Gifts of Property, Gifts of Public Securities, and Life Insurance. There are major tax savings to be gained using any of the above. If you are interested in taking advantage of these options please speak to your estate planner advisor.

Kings County Museum

1. Kings Historical Society Membership 2021 Membership

Leave a Legacy


For Office Use Only

37 Cornwallis Street Kentville, Nova Scotia B4N 2E2 Phone: 902-678-6237 Fax: 902-678-2764 E-mail: Website:

Name: _________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________ City/Postal Code: ________________________________

2. Annual Membership:

Phone: _________________________________________

$20.00 per individual $25.00 family or organization E-mail: _________________________________________ $______Membership fee enclosed $______Donations to the Society appreciated and Canadian tax receipts will be provided

3. PLEASE TICK WHICH BOXES APPLY I/We agree that the Kings Historical Society can send me/us e-mail updates for the following electronic mailouts AND that I/We may unsubscribe at any time: Kings Historical Society Newsletters, notices and/or information regarding upcoming Kings Historical Society fundraising events; notices and/or information regarding other events that relate to matters of historical interest other than KHS (e.g. guest speaker presentations by other historical societies, historically-related conferences, local showing of a movie of historical interest, etc.) and Third Party e-mails that might be relevant to members of the society. (e.g. fundraising activities sponsored by another historical society, request for volunteers to participate in a historical event not sponsored by KHS, etc.). OR I/We do not wish to receive any e-mail correspondence. (Please note that Newsletters, minutes AGM notices and other important documents will be available at regular meetings, or mailed out upon request.) Signature ____________________________________



Database Email Thankyou

Kings Historical Society Donations 2021 We sincerely thank the following people for their kind donations in support of the Kings Historical Society and the Kings County Museum. Donations: Bria Stokesbury: in memory of Carol Pope, and Del MacInnes Elizabeth Stokesbury, in memory of Adeline MacInnes Elizabeth Sheeve in memory of Robert Sheeve David Webster in memory of Ray Dale Ward, Merrily Aubrey, Janet Roberts, Elizabeth Shreve, Helen Hansford, Tartan Foundation, Canada Helps, Joe-Anne Dobbelsteyn Bronze Sponsorship: MCT Insurance, Gaye and Mary Sponagle Silver Sponsorship: Maynard Stevens, R.D. Chisholm’s, Connie Millet, Alice Newcomb, Gold Sponsorship: Doris Illsley, Platinum Sponsorship: Bill and Bernice Naylor, Helen Hansford Gift in Kind: Marie Gallant , Fosters Fire and Safety, Paul Illsley, Joe Ann Dobb Thank you to all who contributed to our Sponsorship Program in Bronze: Susan Car gill * Lar r y Keddy * Gaye and Mary Sponagle * Dale Ward * Ruth Butler * MCT Insurance Silver: Maynar d and Mar y Stevens * R.D. Chisholm * Connie Millet* Alice Newcomb * Jeannie Gibson Collins Gold: Phillip Thor pe * Dor is Illsley Platinum: Gor don and Helen Hansfor d * Fr ed Houghton * Bill and Ber nice Naylor, Philip McClare

Importance of Sponsorship Please consider donating to our 2021 campaign. In 2004 we launched our sponsorship program. These donations contribute to our heating, utilities, cleaning and maintenance supplies, exhibits and preservation of collections. We wish to thank all the Kings Historical Society members and friends who continue to help by donating to our Sponsorship Program, and encourage others to participate. For more information see our web page at and click on “Sponsor”.

MEMBERSHIP $20.00 per person $25.00 per couple $25.00 per organization $15.00 per Student with ID Membership is based on the Calendar year Make cheque payable to Kings Historical Society 37 Cornwallis Street Kentville, Nova Scotia

MEMORIAL DONATIONS In Memoriam donations may be made to the Kings Historical Society in memory of your loved one. This is a continuing way to honour friends or relatives, and provides much needed assistance to the Kings County Museum. * Charitable Tax Receipts are available for all donations.

KINGS HISTORICAL SOCIETY KINGS COUNTY MUSEUM 37Cornwallis Street Kentville, N.S. B4N 2E2 Phone: 902-678-6237 e-mail Web Page Genealogy Museum Facebook: kingscountymuseum Society Facebook: kingscomuseum Twitter: kingscomuseum 10