Historic Kentville and the bountiful Annapolis Valley
Kentville is sandwiched between the North and South mountains (which are, in fact, hills) about 111 kilometres west of Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia.
The area was originally settled by the Acadians of Grand Pré which as of June 2012 has been designated a UNESCO world heritage area. The earliest land grants in Kentville (formerly known as Horton Corner), dated September 16, 1766, were to Joseph Pierce and James Fillis.
In 1783 about 35,000 refugees from the American Revolution fled north to Canada settling from Ontario to the Maritime Provinces. The United Empire Loyalists came to Nova Scotia so they could remain under British rule. Although some settled in the townships of Horton and Cornwallis, there were only an estimated twelve houses in all of Horton Corner around 1800. The post road that ran through the village was named Horton Street and is now called Main Street.
In 1826, the residents of Horton Corner decided to change the name to Kentville in honour of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who had stayed in the village while on a hunting trip in 1794.
The town of Kentville remained a small village until 1869, when the town's dream of a railway became a reality. With the creation of the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1894, the Kentville area was assured greater opportunities for business and trade bringing greater prosperity as it grew in both size and population.
Other factors helped the growth of the area. With the area's rich productive farmlands, the Experimental Farm was established in the town's east end in 1912. This internationally recognised facility helped in developing improved farming techniques, from animal husbandry to better orchard and field crops and bee keeping.
Over the last half century the town has gone from being the retail centre of the Valley to a finance and government services centre. That said, the history is rich, the people friendly, the nature is breathtaking, and the pace, relaxing.
Welcome to Kentville!