87_04_01 crop2

Detail of Mary E. Payzant, Sampler Worked in the 13th Year of Her Age, linen
cross-stitch sampler, 1857. WHS 87.04.01

The history of Wolfville and its surrounding communities is a fascinating and well-documented one. For further information on the region’s past, the following sources offer excellent introductions and guides.

J. Sherman Bleakney, Sods, Soil, and Spades: The Acadians at Grand Pré and Their Dykeland Legacy (Montreal, QC and Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004).

Heather Davidson, A History of Randall House: A Wolfville Home (Wolfville, NS: Wolfville Historical Society, 1993).

James Doyle Davison, What Mean These Stones? (Wolfville, NS: Heritage Advisory Committee, 1990).

James Doyle Davison ed., Mud Creek: The Story of the Town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Wolfville, NS: Wolfville Historical Society, 1985).

Arthur Hamilton Wentworth Eaton, The History of King’s County, Nova Scotia, Heart of the Acadian Land (Salem, MA: Salem Press, 1910).

Julian Gwyn, Planter Nova Scotia, 1760-1815: Horton Township (Wolfville, NS: King’s-Hants Heritage Connection, 2010).

Gordon M. Haliburton, Horton Point: A History of Avonport (Wolfville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 1998).

John Frederic Herbin, The History of Grand-Pré (Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2003).

Maritime Dykelands: The 350 Year Struggle (Sl: Province of Nova Scotia, Department of Agriculture and Marketing, 1987).

Barry Moody, “Acadia and the Great War,” in Paul Axelrod and John G. Reid eds., Youth, University, and Canadian Society (Montreal, QC and Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1989), 143-160.

Ronald J. Nash and Frances L. Stewart, Melanson: A Large Micmac Village in King’s County, Nova Scotia (Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum, 1990).

“The Port” Remembers: The History of Port Williams and Its Century Homes (Port Williams, NS: Port Williams Women’s Institute, 1976).

Tom Sheppard, Historic Wolfville: Grand Pré and Countryside (Halifax, NS: Nimbus Publishing, 2003).

Basil Courtney Silver, Saint John’s Church, Parish of Horton, Wolfville, Nova Scotia 1818-1968 (Sl: sn, 1968).

Heather Watts, Silent Steeds: Cycling in Nova Scotia to 1900 (Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum, 1985.)

Esther Clark Wright, Planters and Pioneers (Windsor, NS: Lancelot Press, 1982).

Esther Clark Wright, Blomidon Rose (Windsor, NS: Lancelot Press, 1977).

Bert Young, My White Rock (New Minas, NS: the author, 1999).

Paul Young, Reflections of a Restaurant Owner’s Son: The Story of the Palms…and More! (Sl: the author, 2009).


  1. Cathy Chalmers, Annapolis Valley Regional Library says:

    Hi, we are trying to purchase a copy of “What mean these stones” by James Doyle Davison.” Do you have any copies?


  2. Deborah Ruggles says:

    Hello, I’m looking for information about the James Gow House on Grand Pre Road. Can you direct me to resources about the history of this property? Many thanks, Deborah Ruggles

    • Randalladmin says:

      I think our Historian has answered you directly by email on this but to repeat the information here for others who may be interested: “James Gow apparently owned the house from 1901 to 1912. It is the third house on the site, the second burning in around 1904, so Gow built it, using some doors and woodwork from the old house. It is said that its cellar is partly Acadian, that is pre 1755, which is quite possible but not factually established. In Planter days the first owners were the Brown family whose descendants were very prominent in the area in the 19th Century. The house is directly opposite the Covenanter Church, a national historic site, and the house in which Sir Robert Borden was born.”

  3. Terri Lee Bleakney says:

    Hi, I’m looking for any information on a hardware store on Main St. Wolfville NS 1950 Bleakney and Son. Thank you

    • Randalladmin says:

      Hi Terri Lee,
      We have some information being prepared for you by our Society’s Historian as we speak. I’ll make sure it gets to you once he is finished compiling the information.

  4. Angie says:

    Would you have any information on Minas Woodworkers in Wolfville? My father, Eldon Davidson, worked there in the 50’s and 60’s. I’m wondering where it was located. I think it was where the Home Hardware store is now. But I’m not certain.

    • Randalladmin says:

      Hi Angie! A GREAT question and you’ve got the general area spot on! It appears the lumberyard was where Home Hardware is now while Minas Woodworkers covered the area where The Lions Club, Shay Tire, and Cavanaghs Law Firm are located now.

  5. Linda Davidson says:

    Do you have any information of the fire on Main Street Wolfville, January 1,1938. There was a fire in Gaspereau at 2:30 am the same time Wolfville Fire Department was fighting their fire. The fire in Gaspereau was the Village’s General Store and feed warehouse owned by A.H. Coldwell. Charles Salsman had bought the buildings months earlier. I am looking for some pictures of these buildings.
    I am also trying to find information and pictures of the fire of Otto Porter’s first store in Gaspereau.
    There also was a general store owned by Joyce and Roy Miles, on the same lot which burnt in 1957 in Gaspereau. I was only 9 years old when the Miles store burnt.
    I you have any information on the tragic fires I would appreciate your help. I grew up in Gaspereau . I’m trying to get as much information about my old village of Gaspereau. Thank you for your help. From Linda Davidson

    • Randalladmin says:

      Hi Linda,

      I sent off your query to a couple of folks who grew up in the Gaspereau. I’ve heard back from one of them who wrote me just yesterday, Don Conrad. He writes: “Hey Linda, since I was born in 1937, at my Grandmother’s house in Gaspereau, I can’t recall the 1938 fire.The 1957 fire was deliberately set by teenager Jimmy Steene, who lived next door.” That’s all I’ve been able to find for you so far. I’ll keep digging.

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