History

Below is a history of Kingsport, Nova Scotia compiled in 1980 by Cora Atkinson, with the help of local citizens who contributed much information material, as well as pictures of early days.

Other sources of information included:

  1. History and Geography of Kings Country, by Mabel Ferguson and Marion Schurman McLellan (Kentville Schools)
  2. Place names in Kings County, by Watson Kirkconnell, 1971
  3. Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia, Mika Publishing Company
  4. Public Archives
  5. Registry of Deeds
  6. The Maritime Advocate
  7.  Sailing Ships of the Maritimes – McGraw-Hill, by Charles A. Armour and Thomas Lackey
  8. Blomidon Rose, by Esther Clark Wright
  9.  Forceps, Fin and Feather, The Memoirs of Dr. W. A. Bigelow

Kingsport, one of Nova Scotia’s attractive seaside communities, is located in Kings County, a few miles east of Canning, in one of the province’s older settled parts. It is northeast of the mouth of the Habitant River, on the west side of Minas Basin.  An earlier name was Indian Point, later changed to Oak Point due to the number of oak trees that grew along the bank of the south side of the lower road, leading to the wharf.  The name was again changed to Kingsport, as it was the only port in Kings County.  Its first permanent residents were of that New England Planner stock which came to the area following the expulsion of the Acadians.

One source of information says that Indian Point is mentioned as the location of Lot 16, second division, (Cornwallis township) granted to Benjamin Newcomb, probably in 1761.

Another source says that Kingsport was founded in 1761 or 1762 by Isaac Bigelow who came from Connecticut along with several other New Englanders. He was given a grant of land by Lord Cornwallis, the land called Oak Point, now Kingsport.

It is difficult, almost impossible; to be sure which statement is accurate. Seemingly, most people accept the second statement, as it is generally understood that the first settlers were of the name Bigelow. Isaac’s son, Ebenezer, born in 1776, is thought to have built the first house in Kingsport.

Shipbuilding was a major industry in the 1800’s. Barquentines slid down the ways of Kingsport shipbuilding yards. The launching of the “Canada” was on of the biggest events in the history of Kingsport. In 1890, when the “Canada” slid into the Minus Basin, people from far and near came to witness the launching. The ladies of the Congregational Church made preparations to provide dinner tea for the many visitors expected to be present on that occasion.

The importance of Kingsport in the province’s transportation system was further increased with the opening of the Cornwallis Valley Railway late in 1890. Freight then was brought from St. John by boat, unloaded at Kingsport and carried by the railway to Kentville. Local farmers also shipped apples and potatoes by train. It was a busy line, and Kingsport, with a Wye for turning the locomotives, was its terminus. Mr. Ephraim Hiltz cared for the engine, which was left overnight in the engine-shed in Kingsport. There was passenger service between Kingsport and Kentville twice each day. Monday through Friday, and three times on Saturdays.

By the end of the 19th century, Kingsport had become a busy place. For some time it was the point of departure for the Parrsboro packets. It was a regular stop for ships in the Minus Basin service. At one time Kingsport had three hotels, a mill and a shipyard and a flourishing shipping trade. In those days, Kingsport was popular as a holiday resort. People came during the summer months to spend time at their cottages along the bank and at the “bluff”. For a number of years an ice cream parlour and a dance hall were operated near the wharf area during the summer months

When the ferry service of the “Kipawo” between Parrsboro, Kingsport, and Wolfville was terminated, a link with the opposite side of the Basin was broken, also a link with the past whose tides carried out in ships from Kingsport the products of the orchards, fields, and forests and brought back from near and far divers pro- ducts from other lands.

In earlier years, the social aspect of Kingsport did not lack in interest for its young and adult population. During the winter the young people skated and played hockey on Webb’s pond and located a field on which to play ball during the spring and summer. Concerts, motion picture shows, pie socials, annual strawberry festivals, harvest suppers, card parties and Whist Club were among social functions.

For a time, young people from the two churches, United and Anglican, joined to form one group that met weekly. Much interest was shown in these meetings that were held at the various homes, attended alternately by a United Church minister and an Anglican minister, who were their leaders.

For a short time, in recent years, meetings of a Brownie organization were held at the United Church vestry.

Organizations no longer active in Kingsport include Boy Scouts, Temperance Society and Women’s Institute. Organizations presently active include The United Church Women, The Anglican Church Women and Kingsport Community Association.

The U.C.W. former organizations, was organized in 1962 by the union of the two Working Band and Missionary Society.

The A.C.W. was organized in Kingsport at the home of Mrs A.B. Taylor on Friday, January 21, 1927. The Reverend Mr. Medlin attended and organized the St. Thomas Ladies’ Aid, now the A. C. W.

Kingsport Community Association was organized on November 4, 1977, its objective being to work towards the betterment of the community, and to promote any aspect pertaining to its welfare. A pie social and card parties have been held to help bring the residents together and to raise funds for specific purposes. A portion of land has been leased and plans are being made for providing a playground. “The Pioneer Youth of America” group, made up of Maritime Tel and Tel workers, have agreed to supply poles, etc. for this purpose and to assist in the work of preparing the play- ground for use, this being done in their own time, evenings and Saturdays. Two picnic tables have been placed in an area near the beach. Four more tables, also trash cans, and a set of steps to facilitate the descent to, and ascent from, the beach are to be added this season. A “clean-up” program has been established to promote cleanliness of the beach and surrounding area. Members of the executive are to be commanded for their zeal and co-operation. Their efforts are much appreciated.

In comparison to the size of the community, a great number of the sons and daughters of families in Kingsport have gone forth from their country school to institutions of higher learning and eventually acquired positions requiring a high degree of intelligence, many of them being university graduates.

Kingsport has a general store and a service station, which cater to the needs of the community. It has a marvellous beach and the privilege of swimming on both incoming and outgoing tides. Summer brings many people to the community and its beaches. Cool sea breezes and bathing facilities make Kingsport a favourite summer resort.

The new generation in Kingsport today cannot recall the scream of flanges as a railway engine was turned on the Wye, the daily arrivals at the government wharf, the whistle of the Kipawo and of the train approaching, or the ringing of the school bell summoning the children to the morning and afternoon sessions at the country schoolhouse.

The people of the community can, and do, still hear the ringing of its church bells summoning them to worship, and they have their two churches, a part of the life of a community, which is not now as busy as it once was. The beautiful and picturesque Minas Basin which Kingsport overlooks can still be seen and enjoyed in this little community which is still a pretty spot beside the sea.

Homes dating before 1880

Original owner

Present Owner

1 Abraham Bigelow Mrs. George (Clare) Crowe
2 James Blenkhorn Arlo Moen
3 Capt. George Sanford (one early owner) A. Van Amerogen
4 Mr. Masters (possibly) Larry Pizzimenti
5 Isaac Bigelow (1804) Family of the late Jehu Webb
6 Joseph Cox (century farm) Dr. Hoffman
7 Mr. Cox (possibly) – 1855 Boyd Gibson
8 Mrs. Cummings (earliest known) David P. Sweeney
9 Norman Cleveland (earliest known) Miss Carol Salton
10 Warden Mrs. Gordon Irving.

Some details re the above numbered properties:

2.   The Blenkhorns came to this area from Cumberland County to do ship-blacksmithing at the Bigelow shipyards. Mr. James Blenkhorn had a blacksmith shop on his property.

4.   This home was formerly a small house situated beside the lower road. It was purchased by Mr. Elijah I. Loomer and in 1906, approximately, was moved, by means of an ox team, to its present location. A Balsor lady lived in the house during the week while it was being moved. It is thought that the original owner may have been a Mr. Masters. The kitchen wing was built on directly after being moved, then the stairway was put in and the upstairs finished. In 1913 the house was extended, an office built in, and a pantry built. Mr. Loomer required an office for his work as a Customs’ Officer and a bookkeeping accountant, as well; this work being continued by his son, Stewart H. Loomer, who owned and occupied the home after the death of his father. It is now owned and occupied by S. H. Loomer’s daughter, Muriel, and her husband, Larry Pizzimenti.

5.   The Jehu Webb (now deceased) home, originally owned by Isaac Bigelow, dates back to 1804. It is considered to be one of the two oldest houses now standing in Kingsport, and is presently unoccupied.

6.   The Cox home, (century farm) was built for Joseph and Mary (Bigelow) Cox. It is one of the two oldest houses in Kingsport. The ownership passed from Joseph to his son Isaac, and then to Isaac’s son, Burnthorne, who sold the house and farm to Dr. Hoffman. The house has been changed – a part taken off. The timber for building this home was cut off the land where the home and farm are situated.

Homes of historical significance after 1880

A large home presently owned by Mr. Kenneth Cruickshank was once used as a hotel – “Sunnyside Inn”. It is situated directly south of the United Church. For some years this home was owned and occupied by Mr. J.D. Ells and family. It is thought that the original owner was Robert Cox. This house and the one owned by Mrs. Stockall are said to be the two best built houses in Kingsport.

An old home that was owned for some years by Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Hiltz is considered worthy of mention due to the fact that the first Anglican Church services in Kingsport were held at this home. It possibly dates back to the 1880′s, has been remodelled and kept in good repair and is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Earl Atkinson.

The following is part of an excerpt from an old Advertiser:

April 29, 1893.

Divine Service of the Church in Cornwallis: Evensong and Litany alternately with Sermon; at 4 p.m., at the home of Mr. Hiltz, Kingsport.

This same Mr. Hiltz (Ephraim) is mentioned in the Anglican Church history as being a faithful coadjutor of the Rev. Axford when the first Anglican congregation was organized at Kingsport.

Buildings after 1880 of historical importance

Emmanuel United Church

The United Church, earlier known as the Congregational Church, was built in 1889. It continued to function in the Congregational tradition until June 10, 1925, when the United Church came into being. Then the Congregational Church at Kingsport was one of the fifteen Congregational Churches in Nova Scotia, which entered into the union. To day this church is a part of the Dominion-wide United Church family. A new vestry was added to the church in 1962. Ebenezer Cox gave land on which to build this church.

St. Thomas’ Anglican Church

A shop was rebuilt and formed the St. Thomas Anglican Church at Kingsport. Norman Cleveland, a carpenter, helped in the rebuilding. The Rev. J. F. Axford was rector of Cornwallis parish from 1879 until 1903. He organized a congregation at Kingsport where he had a faithful coadjutor, Mr. Ephraim Hiltz. It was at Mr. Hiltz’s home that the church services were held as early as 1893, until the church was ready. The church was dedicated to St. Thomas and consecrated in 1906. The church site was a gift donated by the rector. The vestibule was built on in 1930. A vestry was added in 1933.

Schools

Children of the early settlers in Kingsport attended school in a building that was near the creek location in Medford. Around 1870, the first school in Kingsport was adapted from a building near the shipyard location, on the south side of the road, approximately where Smith’s cottage now stands. A tool shed was remodelled and used as a schoolhouse, a church, and a place for public meetings.

The first schoolhouse in Kingsport still stands. It was built during 1879-1880. Burnthorne Cox’s mother, wife of Isaac Cox, bought the first flag and flagpole for the school when she taught in Kingsport in 1891, previous to her marriage. She came in the first locomotive engine that travelled from Kentville to Kingsport The engine stopped at the crossing to allow her to get down and walk up-to her boarding house, then owned by Donald’s, now the property of George Crowe.

This school was a two-room building with an upstairs community hall where Christmas school concerts and other public meetings were held. After a time the smaller room was closed and grades primary to nine were taught in the one larger room, the high school students travelling by train to Kentville Academy. The Women’s Institute of Kingsport re-decorated the smaller room and used it for their monthly meetings. It was also a meeting place for the Boy Scouts and other public and social gatherings. Then in 1948 it was fitted with school desks and other necessary fixtures and was again used as a classroom. In December 1963, the rural schools were closed and the pupils were transported by bus to the new Glooscap Elementary School, which opened in Canning in January 1964, the high school students attending the High School in Canning. The schoolhouse has been remodelled and is now used as a dwelling, occupied by two families.

Stores and Post Office

During early settlement a store was built by Ebenezer Bigelow but the exact location is unknown.

In the early shipbuilding days a store owned by a Mr. White, (who lived in what is now the Cecil Rafuse home), was purchased by Mr. J. D. Ells who operated a general store and managed the Post Office in his store for many years. It was originally

Known as “the big red store”. It was situated near the shipyard on the south side of the road. It is now owned by Mr. Elliot Palmeter, of Medford, who uses it as a warehouse for packing and storing fruit and vegetables.
In 1917 Mr. Walter Woodburn built a new store across the road from the United Church. He successfully operated this general store for some years. Later he traded it with Mr. J. D. Ells for Mr. Ells’ farm, now owned by Mr. Owen B. Cochrane. Mr. Ells and Son continued to operate the general store and manage the Post Office until the time of Mr. Ell’s death. Then the business was carried on by the Ells family until it was sold in 1944 to Mr. Lewis Taylor. It passed to different ownerships until it was finally purchased by Mr. Henry Lloyd, who now uses the building for storage.

On the corner where D. A. Burrell’s home is situated, a store was owned and operated by Mr. Byard Ogilvie, later managed by Clifton Hiltz who was later killed in the First World War, 1914- 1913. After the war, Mr. E. C. Dickie operated a grocery business in this store. The building was eventually demolished. In the early 1930′s Mr. Dickie had a new store built across the road from the site of the old one. Re operated a grocery business and managed the Post Office in this store for some years until it was purchased in November 1947, by D. A. Burrell who is presently continuing the same business. The Post Office remained in the store until 1970, at which time outside group mailboxes were established; they’re presently being three such boxes in the community. Kingsport has a daily mail service, six days of the week.

Sites of historical significance

The site of the first home in Kingsport, across the road from Larry Pizzimenti’s (the former Elijah Loomer home), was built by Ebenezer Bigelow, a ship carpenter, who married Ann Rand in 1804. This house, demolished some time ago, had hand made wooden hinges and latches on the doors.

Sites of Railway station and two Warehouses

The Mayflower Fruit Company and the Kingsport Fruit Company warehouses were situated near the schoolhouse, on the south side. The railway station and the Mayflower Fruit Company warehouse, on opposite sides of the railway track, burned to the ground in 1968. The Kingsport Fruit Company warehouse, situated at the east end of the other one, burned in 1971. Only through the supreme effort of the firemen were the schoolhouse and Mrs. E. C. Dickie’s home saved from burning.

Blacksmith Shop Sites

Where Mr. and Mrs.Arlo Moen now reside, Mr. James Blenkhorn, the original owner, had a blacksmith shop on his property.

Where Mr. and Mrs. Owen B. Cochrane now reside, Mr. Frank Loomer, one of the former owners, had a blacksmith shop, connected with the early shipyard in that vicinity.

A large blacksmith shop, with two forges, stood near the location of Smith’s cottage which is on the south side of the road near the shore. Mr. Harry Rafuse coopered there after shipbuilding times.

One of the older houses in Kingsport. Remodelled and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Arlo Moen.

Cooper Shop Sites

Where the Service Station (which was built in 1939) is located, is the site of a former cooper shop. Mr. Harry Rafuse and his son, Cecil, did coopering in Kingsport, Cecil having made the last barrel in this vicinity.

In the shipyard vicinity, a sail-loft was made into a cooper shop. The upper part was a sail-loft, a place for the making of sails. In bad weather the men could work underneath in the bottom part, and store lumber there. Harry Rafuse was the boss of the cooper work.

Mills

The shipyard mill site was west of the wharf. Mr. William Farnham at one time had a mill on the property north of the cottage presently owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fry. It was near the railway Wye. He moved the mill down beside the shipyard mill. He had a planning and ‘moulding mill. For a few years, Potter Mill Company had a shop near the shipyard area where doors and sashes were made. It was torn down in 1917.

Hotel Sites

To the east of the Daniel Cox house, now owned by Mrs. Stockall, is the site of the E. C. Borden Hotel, opened in 1891, demolished some time ago. Keith Taylor has a new home on that property. Mr. E. C. Borden was the first railway station agent in Kingsport.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Carty, east of the Service Station, is the site of the hotel once owned and operated by Mr. Pryor Corkum, around 1898. Possibly, 1908 was the year in which he sold it. It was later purchased by Mr. Hugh Ells who rented it as a dwelling. It was finally demolished.

Longspell Inn

On Friday, July 1, 1910, Longspell Inn opened; a glorious day, with a large crowd of people in the community; nothing like it since shipbuilding days. Longspell Inn burned on Thursday, November 6, 1913. The Inn was some distance this side (west) of Longspell Point. It was not far from Capt. Clement Barkhouse’s home, now owned by the Anthony family.

It is believed that Longspell Point was so named when a couple of optimistic pedestrians started to walk to Blomidon along the shore and found, to their dismay, it was “a long spell”.

Longspell Inn

Sunnyside Inn

The J. D. Ells house, now owned by Mr. Kenneth Cruickshank, once had the name “Sunnyside Inn” posted on it, and was operated as a hotel, presumably at the time that the railway first came to Kingsport It is situated directly south of the United Church.

Early Industries no longer existing

Shipbuilding, which also used shipbuilding blacksmiths, was a thriving industry from 1864 (and possibly from an earlier date) to 1893. Country blacksmithing and coopering were also carried on, coopering continuing until the 1930′s.

The earlier shipyard was across the creek from the property presently owned by Owen B. Cochrane, 1866 being the latest date of shipbuilding there. The larger and later shipyard was along the bank at the south of the Anglican Church location. The mill and the workshops were also in that vicinity. The repair wharf, or drydock, was near.. The wharf, in this area, was built between 1873 and 1875.

Kingsport figured prominently in the work of ship construction in the 1800′s. A succession of large, wooden, three-masted, square- rigged sailing ships were built at this little seaport. In 1864, the Bigelow brothers and Joseph Woodworth built the schooner “Diadem”, 107 tons, which was designed by Mr. Ebenezer Cox for the West Indies trade. She was followed by the brig “J. E. Woodworth”, 300 tons, the barque “William H”, 850 tons, and the brig “Somerset”, of 250 tons.

In 1864, Mr. Barteaux came to the assistance of Mr. Woodworth, financially, and Mr. Ebenezer Cox became designer and master builder for these men. They took over the adjoining yard belonging to Mr. Bigelow and built a number of ships. From 1869 until 1876, most of their vessels were built for Charles W. Barteaux, a merchant from New York. When Woodworth retired in 1876 the yard was taken over by Peter R. Crichton, and Cox remained as the master builder. Other builders were Isaac Bigelow, Benjamin Bigelow and W. H. Church, all of Kingsport.

During the next seventeen years they built 15 vessels. Most of these, barques and ships over 1000 tons, were built for C. Rufus Burgess, of Wolfville, who built and owned more ships in the county than anyone else. His splendid fleet of ships, among the largest ever-built in Nova Scotia, were all built and launched at Kingsport except the “Earl Burgess”.

Four of their barques were built for William Thompson of St. John. After 1882, they built eight more vessels for Burgess, four of which were over 2,000 tons. The “Harvest Queen”, 2,044 tons, was built in 1887. The two largest were the “Kings County”, a four-masted barque of 2,061 tons, built in 1890, and the “Canada”, a ship of 2,137 tons, built in 1891. This ship largest of the Nova Scotian build. The Skoda, a barquentine of 658 tons, launched in 1893, was the last ship to built and launched at Kingsport during the shipbuilding era.

The ship “Barteaux”, 1,022 tons, was launched in 1873 and burned at the guano depot at Browse Islands, South Pacific, in 1886.

The “Kentigern”, a barque of 728 tons, was the first of the famed “K” ships operated by Mr. Burgess. The ship “Kingsport”, built in 1878, was the second ship of that name to be built at Kingsport. Registered at 1,161 tons, she was afterwards sold to the Thompson firm of St. John, N. B. and by them in 1905 to the Norwegians. In July 1916, she was burned by a U-boat in the North Sea.

The barque “Katadin”, 1,145 tons, slid down the way in 1880 and was abandoned at sea while under the Norwegian flag in 1904.

The “Kedron”, a barque of 1,160 tons, built in 1881, was sold to the people of Norway in 1894.

The ship “Karoo”, 1938 tons, built in 1884, was transferred to ‘the Norwegian register in 1905.

The four-masted barque “Kings County”, the second largest ship built at Kingsport, 2,061 tons, built in 1890, was lost at the River Plate some years later. This ship was one of the only two four-masted barques to be built in Canada and was particularly interesting because she carried six courses of tiers of square sails on her three masts. Most earlier ships carried only five.

In 1891, Mr. Cox built the ship “Canada”, 2,137 tons, with a keel more than 270 feet long. This ship was the largest one built in Kingsport. She was a four-masted, square-rigged ship with all yards on all four masts. She was afterwards turned into a barge and finally broken up at Portland, Maine, in 1926. Dr. W. A. Bigelow, as a boy, was “launched” in the “Canada” in 1891.

The “Skoda”, a barquentine of 658 tons, launched in 1893, the last ship to be built at Kingsport during the shipbuilding era, was owned by Burgess until 1900 when the registered owners became the Barquentine Skoda Company, Limited, of Wolfville. In 1912, the vessel was sold to Lester Ashley Rodden, of Mobile, Alabama, and registered at that port in 1915.

Mr. Ebenezer Cox, of Kingsport, was one of the leading builders in his day. In his thirty years as designer and master builder he built thirty ships averaging 1,000 tons each, which was a fine contribution for one man to make to Canada’s sailing ships.

The launching of the “Skoda” marked the end of thirty years of shipbuilding for Mr. Cox. He passed away at Kingsport in 1916 at the age of eighty-eight years.

These ships, after launching, were towed to Windsor where they were rigged and fitted with sails. Then they were ready for upwards of forty years life as carriers on the vast seaways of the world.

The work of building was immense. The raw material must be felled, hauled to the yards, shaped and fitted from stem to stern, from keel to truck, fastened by huge tree nails, caulked and painted. Not the slightest error in computation or plan could be permitted, to ensure balance, carriage and speed. There were no band saws, pneumatic drillers; everything was done by hand, broadaxe and adze. Each yard would employ twenty-five to fifty men and that number doubled if the sail-makers and riggers were added. It can easily be seen what a tremendous activity this was and how it added to the material prosperity of the whole shore.

In the early 1890′s the shipbuilding ceased. The steamship had replaced the wooden sailing vessel. With the loss of shipbuilding, Kingsport continued as a shipping port for apples and potatoes and as a tourist centre, a haven for summer cottage dwellers. Since that time it has disintegrated commercially. The shipbuilding years and the repair shops that were places of so much activity at one time have long since vanished. The only vestige of them left consists of the heads of a few pilings where the dry dock was.

In 1911, the last extension of 140 ft. was made on the wharf. Harvey MacAloney, of Parrsboro, had the contract. A few minor repairs were made later. The vessels that brought and carried out merchandise up the Bay of Fundy tied up at this long wharf, which is now in a sad state of demolition, the effect of high winds and high tides.

The Minas Basin is noted for its high tides, up to 28 ft., with the tide receding half a mile to a mile, twice daily. A marked regression of the shoreline, which has receded by the mechanical erosion of the sea, as much as 25 yards during the last 75 years, was noted at one period in history.

The following excerpt is from “The Morning Herald”, Nov 2nd and 5th, 1887.

” On October 31, 1887, the steamship “Belair”, 1,430 tons gross, 909 net, (Capt. Dunlop) the first ocean steamer that ever sailed around the far-famed Blomidon found a port of haven at Kingsport:

” The steamer now lies on the west side of the pier, in a splendid bed that cannot be excelled. It can truly be said that no steamship owner could desire a better place than Kingsport for a steamer to land. ‘A first’ class gov’t pier, plenty of water, a good bottom, and in case of a heavy gale of wind, where the steamer lies she could not be harmed. The arrival of the S.S. “Belairll ‘marks a new era in the shipping of produce from the Cornwallis Valley. Now the practicability of Kingsport becoming a port for ocean steamers to land at, having been proved, will tend to give a strong impetus to the building of the Cornwallis Valley Railroad which will extend from Kentville to Kingsport. ”

Roads and Transportation

The first road in Kingsport, around 1860, was the upper road through the hamlet, from east to west, continuing up over the hill toward Canning. The lower road, or bridge road, along the rlater front from east to west, beginning at the wharf, was built in 1878, It continues west, joining the upper road at Lower Habitant.

Kingsport is laid off in “squares” or “sections”.,There is an upper road, a lower road, and a middle road, all leading from east to west toward Canning, but the middle road at its most westerly point turns a corner, leading south for a short distance, joining the lower road. Then there are three roads leading from south to north, or vice versa, joining the upper and lower roads. One of these roads leads northerly to Medford.

The lower road from Kingsport to Kentville was paved in 1940. The upper road, up over the hill, was paved in the late 1970′s.

A Cornwallis Valley Railway was opened in 1890, running from Kentville to Kingsport. In 1894, the C.V.R. and the Windsor and Annapolis Railway were merged with other lines to form the Dominion Atlantic Railway, and later was leased by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Ultimately all of the old C.V.R. lines were driven out of existence by the growth of motor traffic. The service was ended in 1962 and the tracks have long since been removed.

Kingsport Train

During the time the Kingsport train was running, there were two return trips to Kentville each day, Monday through Friday and three on Saturday. The first train conductor in Kingsport was A. W. Dickie.

There was also a bus service between Kentville and Kingsport for a short period of time.

In 1893 the Windsor and Annapolis Railway formed the Evangeline Navigation Company and put into use the sloop-rigged ship “Evangeline”, of 25 tons registry, which provided a daily service between Kingsport and Parrsboro. In 1904 the “Evangeline” was replaced by the “Prince Albert”, parts of call being Kingsport, Wolfville and Parrsboro. The “Prince Albert” was replaced by the “Kipawo” in 1926. Daily service was provided from May through December. When the tides answered conveniently, there would be two return trips a day. Until 1940, when the 200-ton Kipawo went off to war service, Kingsport continued to be a port of call. Later, the Kipawo was used as a “ferry” between Portugal Cove and Belle Island. Nfld., for a time. The significance of the name “Kipawo” is that it is made up of the first two letters in each of the names of the three ports of call.

Kipawo Ferry

Miscellaneous

  • In 1911, Mr. Sydney Ogilvie was the first automobile owner in Kingsport.
  • Mr. Ben Tupper, whose shop was near the wharf, was the first blacksmith.
  • Electricity was installed in the early 1920′s.
  • In 1936, wild ponies brought by ship from Sable Island were landed at the wharf, then loaded on trucks and taken to their destination.
  • From the south end of Kingsport wharf a lighthouse once sent it’s beams out across the sea. It was destroyed by fire in the autumn of 1947.
  • “Hurricane Edna”, a very extensive storm that caused destruction over the province, did much damage to the wharf and destroyed Boyd Gibson’s boat, the “F. B. Greene”, on September 11, 1954.
  •  The last big storm that demolished the wharf occurred on February 2, 1976.
  • In 1978 a sewage system was installed in Kingsport
  • Population in 1956 was 224
  •  Population in 1980 is 227
  • A large percentage of this population is presently made up of senior citizens.