Old Kings County Academy time capsule contents revealed

Wendy Elliott
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Three old newspapers, two business cards and seven hardwritten sheets of Kentville school history were found in the KCA time capsule.

According to conservator Kelly Bourassa, it was quite exciting to unfold all the papers when the fear of water damage was alleviated.

The school history goes back to 1888 and is being carefully transcribed by a Kings County Museum volunteer.

Two of the newspapers were daily papers from Halifax, dated June 19, 1929, which was the date the capsule was packed.

The Halifax Chronicle, which cost three cents, had a headline about the U.S. starting a rum drive to prohibit liquor from crossing the Canadian border.

A second paper, the former Halifax Herald - the two papers had not yet amalgamated – was also included. It featured a headline calling on miners in New Glasgow to present a united front. The front page also noted that representatives of Canadian women were meeting in Saskatoon. That was prior to October 1929, when the Privy Council declared that women were persons under the law.

One of the business cards belonged to Dominion Atlantic Railway (DAR) employee William Yould. He became the engineer and mechanical supervisor after moving to town in 1870.

Yould had been mayor of Kentville from 1900–1902 and then again in 1912. He owned the second car in town, which was purchased in 1911, according to the late Mabel Nichols’ history. He also played on Kentville’s first baseball team and worked to start a YMCA.

Bourassa says Yould’s card is obscured by black spots and general deterioration.  

“It is very fragile and requires special handling,” Bourassa said.

The second card was easier to read. It belonged to Henry Morse, who was town clerk and treasurer at the time.

Bourassa used an exacto-knife with a larger, flat blade to loosen the third newspaper, which was a copy of The Advertiser. The paper’s motto in 1929 was “the town is what you make it.”

The headline from April 18 promised a modern school and a modern hospital were going to be added to a town, along with a modern hotel, the Cornwallis Inn. While the hospital fund received two large donations in 1928 and 1929, the Blanchard Fraser Memorial Hospital would not open until 1938.

The capsule was first opened 85 years to the day it was sealed in the old Kings County Academy, then Bourassa had to deal with moisture that had seeped into the tin box

Kings County Museum curator Bria Stokesbury says the museum will let the public know when the educational history is transcribed.

 

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