April 27, 1938



April 27, 1938


Was Headquarters of Stage Coach Travel Before Days of Railroads.

Erected 123 years ago by a group of leading citizens in Kentville’s first community enterprise and long noted before the coming of railroads as headquarters of stage coach travel, the old Kentville Hotel, where King George V was once a guest, has been sold, and according to report, will be razed to make way for a large modern apartment house.

Located on what was known as "The Flat" on East Main Street, the structure was made over into apartments 25 years ago by its owner, Post Master J. R. Lyons, who said last week he had sold the building and the two acres of ground surrounding it to J. H. Potter, Weymouth.

It was in 1815 that Caleb Handley Rand and other citizens residents of the village and countryside formed a company and built the 30 – room Kentville hotel, which is today the town’s oldest landmark. In 1829 a stage coach commenced to run from Halifax to Annapolis Royal three times a week in summer and twice weekly in winter. The two coaches travelling East and West met at the hotel and exchanged passengers, freight and mail.

Great stables stood back of the hotel and in these the coach horses were stabled and baited. In summer the horses were taken to nearby Mill Brook for a swim in the deep hole. While six horses usually hauled the stage coach, Post Master Lyons recalls having seen eight horses on occasions.

The stage continued to run until put out of business by the railroad in 1869. James Lyons, father of the Post Master, bought the other shareholders out in 1830, and operated the hostel for 70 years. It was during this period that the man who was to become King George V arrived in Halifax on a training ship and later came to Kentville on a shooting expedition. The Prince, with a friend, Lieut. Trowbridge, who later married a daughter of William Duffus, Halifax, became an Admiral in the British Navy.

That the old timers built well is shown by the fine preservation of the structure, with its large fireplaces on the three floors and in the basement. - Wolfville Acadian