KENTVILLE, NS – It may shock some to hear that in a county steeped with history societies, the town of Kentville has never had its own organized historical society before this year.
At the end of its formative year, the Kentville Historical Society has grown to 15 members, all keen to start getting people informed on why Kentville’s history should be remembered.
Lynn Pulsifer and Louis Comeau are two group members who are eager to share Kentville's past with its present people.
“There’s no visible history left, so that's where we come in,” said Pulsifer.
Bringing the focus back to the town
Canning, Wolfville and Halls Harbour are just a few of the areas within the county who have their own societies in addition to the wide umbrella that is the Kings Historical Society.
With Kentville being the county’s largest centre, Pulsifer and other group members like Louis Comeau, the group’s historian, decided to take it upon themselves to establish the group.
The society is now incorporated, has a business number, and is looking to set up a heritage centre within the old Via Rail Station.
The group currently has 15 members who are eager for more to join.
They’re also calling for any artefacts people may be looking to donate to begin establishing a collection of items that recall memories of town times gone by.
“We know what’s happened here, but a lot of people born in the 80’s, 90’s, don’t know what happened,” said Comeau.
Preserving artefacts and memories
Collecting artefacts is essential to the group, since many historic buildings and structures are now gone.
There are hardly any visual reminders left to show people what Kentville was like, which is why the group is looking at a strategic location for their proposed heritage centre – the old Via Rail Station.
“The railway itself is all but gone, and the last Via dayliner train left from that station,” said Pulsifer.
“Kentville wouldn’t be the town it is today without the railway, so it’s fitting.”
The group aims to meet with the town to discuss renting out the space, and have organized a fundraiser draw to raise money for future costs.
The draw’s prize is an Edwin Hollett painting depicting downtown Kentville around 1890, and was donated to the group by the Kentville Business Community.
“Kentville was a town of many firsts – the first junior high, first foragate the water, first woman mayor, and now the first female police chief,” said Comeau.
“These are just one part of the different story we’re going to tell.”
Tickets are being sold by society members themselves, and at a table set up at the Kentville Independent grocery store.
Tickets are $5 each, or three for $10.
For information on draw dates, how to donate and/or get involved, contact the group at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kentville-Historical-Society-236642176816411/?fref=ts