Discover Kennetcook, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Charm

Kennetcook, a quaint community nestled in the Municipal District of East Hants, is a gem in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. This article will take you on a journey through the rich history and unique attractions of Kennetcook, Nova Scotia, and its adjacent community, Upper Kennetcook.

The Historical Roots of Kennetcook, Nova Scotia

Kennetcook's name originates from the Kennetcook River, believed to be derived from a Mi'kmaq word meaning "The Place Further Ahead or The Place Nearby". The river served as a significant east-west canoe and portage route for the Mi'kmaq people, connecting the Piziquid (Windsor) area with the canoe routes and settlement areas along the Shubenacadie River.

The village was an early crossroads, with a trail from Halifax to the Acadian settlements at Noel on the Minas Basin crossing the Kennetcook River at a ford near the village. After the American Revolution, Kennetcook became part of the Douglas Township, named after Sir Charles Douglas, 1st Baronet. The village was settled by the troops of the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) in recognition of their service in the war, protecting Nova Scotia from ongoing American Patriot attacks by land and sea.

Notably, Joseph Salter, the renowned shipbuilder and first mayor of Moncton, New Brunswick, was born in Kennetcook in 1816.

Kennetcook, Nova Scotia: A Hub of Transportation and Trade

In 1901, the Midland Railway was built through Kennetcook, enhancing its status as a retail and service centre for the area. The village grew to host a hotel by the station, a bank, and several stores. The Midland was acquired by the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1905 and later by the Canadian Pacific, which added further rail traffic and facilitated the shipping of farm products and lumber from Kennetcook through connections to Windsor and Truro. However, highway construction after World War Two led to the end of passenger and regular freight service in 1979 and the removal of the railway in 1983.

A covered bridge spanned the Kennetcook River until 1967, marking the last covered bridge in Nova Scotia. Currently, efforts are underway to revitalize the downtown through the development and implementation of an economic development plan. This plan includes the construction of an amphitheatre, multi-purpose center, commercial development space, and the re-construction of the covered bridge.

Literary Connections of Kennetcook, Nova Scotia

Kennetcook has also made its mark in the literary world. The "Father of Canadian Poetry", Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, wrote a fictional story set just before the Expulsion of the Acadians (1755). The story, "Raid on Kennetcook" (alternatively titled "Raid from Beauséjour"), is an account of a Mi'kmaq raid on British settlers in Kennetcook. Roberts penned the story in 1894 while he worked at the University of King's College, then located in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

In 1953, the noted Canadian poet Alden Nowlan graduated from the Folk School located in the Kennetcook Hotel (present-day Law Office).

Kennetcook, Nova Scotia, with its rich history and vibrant community, is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique blend of history and charm.