In my Week 2 photo selection, I have chosen to feature scenes that in some way reflect the rich heritage of Annapolis Royal. From buildings, to plants to sunsets, each has a story to tell.
What we now refer to as the “Kerr House” at the Historic Gardens was built by Henry Goldsmith approx 1817. One of the unique features of the house is that it is situation sideways to the main St George Street. Almost as if the builders knew that one day it would be part of a bigger complex like the Gardens when facing the parking lot would make lots of sense!
The Runciman House on St. George Street was also built in 1817. The way it is set back from the street has always appealed to me. This property once had a very special garden in the back – a dream would be to one day see that garden restored.
Built as a private residence in 1869, this grand property has seen many uses over the years, including about 10 years as St. Andrew’s School. It has spent most of its life in the hospitality business, now known as the Queen Anne Inn. It is fortunate to have several stately elms that really add to the overall property appearance.
Built in 1859 as an Inn, the Hillsdale House Inn and spent most of its life in the hospitality business, although it was a private residence for many years in the mid-late 1900’s before returning to an Inn. The property is equally beautiful, with an incredible view of the Allain’s River valley behind.
The Annapolis Royal Regional Academy, after a long history of serving the educational needs of our community, will sadly close its doors as a school in just a few weeks. It has been in continuous use as a school since 1883. The community is working hard to ensure that its next life in the community is equally meaningful!
The “Kerr Elm” at the Historic Gardens is situated right behind the “Kerr House” and is one of the more notable heritage trees in the Province of Nova Scotia. A gigantic weeping form of American Elm, this tree has watched over many generations of history in Annapolis Royal. The stories it could tell…
The Garrison Cemetery represents many stories of our past, well told by Alan Melanson during his Graveyard Tours each summer. The oldest gravestone in Nova Scotia (1720) is situated in this graveyard. It is said that while there are about 200 headstones in this graveyard, there are likely some 2000 people actually buried there.
The fluffy “Elephant Grass” has been growing in the area behind Charlie’s Place and the Historic Gardens for many generations. Also known as Norfolk Reed, it is an ideal thatching grass, and has been used to thatch the Acadian Cottage in the Gardens. According to local lore, it came to Annapolis Royal via a circus train – thus the nickname. Others believe it may have been brought from Europe to use as thatching material. The debate continues…
What does a sunset have to do with heritage? Lots, I say. Because this is very much the same sunset one would have seen 400 years ago standing on the riverside in the lower part of Town. AND it is this very body of water, the Annapolis Basin, that Champain noted upon arrival in 1604 was vast enough to anchor 1000 ships. He was so impressed that he immediately named the harbour Port Royal.
What a special corner of the world!