Mike Uncorked: Day to Day With KCA

Calendar Fundraiser Showcases Local School
By Mike Butler

For 13 years (Primary through Grade 12), I was fortunate to attend Kings County Academy in Kentville. For those wonderful, memorable years I made the bestest friends, fondest memories, and my junior and senior high experiences were filled with laughter, love, and practically no drama!

For decades, KCA was home to so many students. I am so lucky to still be in touch with dozens of my friends and teachers, even though the school no longer exists. So, when I heard the Kentville Historical Society was releasing a special calendar commemorating the old KCA as a fundraiser, I leapt at the chance to help promote it.

Back in 2017, Lynn Pulsifer, Kentville councillor and one of the founders of the Kentville Historical Society, initiated the possibility of forming the Society with the help of several other councillors. “The Kings County Museum is also located in town, and their presence has been visible for many years, along with their beautiful Courthouse Museum. I felt the Town’s history deserved more attention, not just the County’s,” she explains.

“Our goals were to stimulate interest in Kentville’s local history, and to formally recognize local historical figures and events, as well as individuals who have contributed significantly to the awareness and preservation of our history,” says Pulsifer. The mission statement now is to “encourage, strengthen, and promote the appreciation and knowledge of the historical and cultural heritage of the Town of Kentville.” As with many societies, there’s always a need for funds to handle upkeep and general maintenance. This calendar fundraiser is sure to be a hit with the locals, as so many of us went to KCA and very much love supporting Kentville.

In May of 2019, the KHS had the grand opening of their Heritage Centre in the small brick building at 66 Station Lane. They’ve incorporated considerable artifacts and memorabilia on Kentville! You’ll find black and white historical photos, a sports rooms, a Dominion Atlantic Railway room, and a feature exhibit room which, this year, celebrates KCA through the years. “We have an active Kentville Historical Society Facebook page,” Lynn says, “and are currently working toward establishing our own website, hopefully within the next few months. People can contact us through the Facebook page. We operate our Heritage Centre with volunteers who are enthusiastic about our Centre which is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Our season is coming to an end, but we plan to be open Saturdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm during the coming months, for anyone to drop in and purchase one of our KCA Calendars. For information on our Calendar and how to obtain one, contact us at this email: lmpulsifer@hotmail.com, or 902-678-6644.”

The KCA Calendar project was an idea that the Society came up with for several reasons. One, they needed a fundraiser, as they’re a non-profit organization and need funds to operate the Centre. Secondly, so much of Kentville’s history centred around the former school, the Kings County Academy. It was demolished without a second thought, along with much of its history. The KHS thought that this calendar, with old pictures of the first school through to demolition, would provide a tangible memory of that wonderful “school on the hill” for so many people who attended or graduated from KCA. As the very proud valedictorian of the Class of 1997, this calendar means so much to me and I encourage you all to buy one! The calendar sells for $15.00 local, or $20.00 to mail.

And the KHS shows no signs of slowing down, even during this wonky year of 2020.: “We would like to have KCA Elementary students visit for guided tours of our small Centre which is filled with pictures of what Kentville used to look like,” Lynn says, “especially the lost Dominion Atlantic Railway history. They could walk to visit us along the old railway property and imagine that at one time there was a roundhouse and a railyard that was full of train cars and engines, a beautiful old station, and to learn that the street in front of our Heritage Centre was where the Via Dayliner stopped for passengers. We also have videos of the last Via train (Yarmouth to Halifax) back in January of 1990. This is an idea we hope to pursue once COVID is over.”

The KCA exhibit will be there for the next season, calendars are available and would make a fantastic gift for the holidays. Please stay tuned for other KHS projects, including a partnership with the Masonic Lodge in Kentville to create a Legacy Garden adjacent to the Heritage Centre in recognition of their 150th anniversary of freemasonry in Kentville.

I know I’ll be picking up some calendars to celebrate this wonderful establishment. The KCA calendar is full of old photos, mostly from the Louis Comeau collection. He is a local historian and provided the written and pictorial content of the calendar and I have loved his books and contributions for years. It’s a wonderful feeling to know my old school/home is being remembered and cherished. To the old blue and grey of KCA. Go Cavaliers Go!!