There’s a lot happening at the Kings County Museum
The Kings County Museum has a stellar line-up events happening this fall. With everything from an examination of a local “haunting,” to the history of Professional Wrestling in the Annapolis Valley, the Kings Historical Society is taking a creative spin on making local history interesting and entertaining.
The Kings County Museum is located at 37 Cornwallis Street in the old courthouse which was originally built in 1903 and served as the King County’s seat of justice for more than 75 years. In 1980, the Kings Historical Society purchased the building and it has been operated as a museum ever since. The Society currently counts approximately 150 people as members. Curator Bria Stokesbury has been with the museum for 30 years and manager Kate MacInnes Adams has been there for four.
The Grapevine asked Kate and Bria a bit about how these events come together.
The Grapevine (GV): How do you come up with the event ideas? Are they drawn from the museum pieces or from interest in the community?
Kate: Programming is an important part of our relationship with our community. It allows us the opportunity to enhance exhibit info and encourage folks to visit our museum. Event ideas come from matching ideas with current exhibits, community interest and seasonal historical events. Often there are folks in our community who are doing pretty amazing things and we want to share that! “Experience based” events have become a large part of programming in museums as we attempt to lose the stereotypical idea of museums being boring and predictable. During the past year we have hosted a concert our 1940s dance, a panel discussion on pagan practices in Nova Scotia a talk on prehistoric sites in the Orkney Isles and the travelling Museum of New Ideas. A pretty eclectic mix. We always start and end our season (May- Dec) with a membership celebration (A picnic and Christmas party).
GV: Are the recurring, or do you come up with new ones each year?
Kate: Our fall programming always includes a talk on some aspect of the supernatural world and for the past four years we have worked with CentreStage Theatre on a “war time” event.
Bria: New programs are introduced as opportunities present themselves, or to coincide with historical events such as the centennial of Vimy Ridge. Our November guest speaker travelled to Europe to photograph WWII battlefields this past summer.
GV: What sort of planning is involved?
Kate: The planning process varies depending on the event. The Soldiers Social (1940’s dance) requires months of prep and 70 volunteers.
Bria: Collaboration with other historical groups is very important to us and we were very pleased to work with the Kings Hants Heritage Connection and the New Minas Rotary Club on the “Family Fun Day” at the Prescott House Museum on July 28th.
GV: Do you already have any plans in place for the spring?
Bria: The museum is seasonal and reopens to the public in April each year. Our programming starts with our monthly membership meeting on the last Tuesday of each month. These meetings offer a wide variety of guest speakers on topics of social and natural history. Our upcoming exhibit and programming for next summer isn’t firmed up yet but we hope to do something on vintage weddings and African Nova Scotian History.
Upcoming events at The Kings County Museum
October 17, 7pm:
Haunted Houses 101
An examination of paranormal activity and investigations. Join us (if you dare) for a public lecture on haunted houses and an overview of the investigations of this phenomenon. A local “haunting” will be examined in detail through the experiences of Randall House Museum curator Krystal Tanner. Who’s that rapping at my door?!
October 24, 7:30pm:
Heels & Baby Faces, A History of Professional Wrestling in Kings County
Featuring guest speakers guest speakers Kirk Staratt and Maynard Stevens.
October 27, 8pm: Soldiers Social
Hosted by the Kings Historical Society and CentreStage Theatre. Guests will enjoy a night of live 1940’s era music, food, theatre and dancing. The “Andrews Sisters” will make a special appearance! There will be a cash bar serving refreshments and “cigarette” girls will stroll the ballroom of the Cornwallis Inn. This event is not only a fundraiser for our societies, but also a night to honour our World War II veterans.Tickets $30 Society Members $25
For more info, visit kingscountymuseum.ca