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Melvern Square is located in Annapolis County, north of the Annapolis River and less than a mile west of the Annapolis-Kings County line. As Place -Names and Places of Nova Scotia• states: "An early name was Milltown. Melvern Square is probably descriptive of the junction of four roads and may have been suggested by memory of a square in London, England. The name was given on January 3, 1857. Settlement began in the 1790's. A Baptist meeting-house was opened May 16, 1869. An Independent Baptist Church was dedicated August 12, 1951. Melvern Square United Church was dedicated on February 7, 1891 as a Methodist Church. A school house was built at "Melvern" prior to 1866. (A new five-room school was opened in September, 1959, now closed.) A postal way office was established in 1860. In 1932, a community hall was completed in the Village."

Melvern Square was called Milltown for the obvious reason, there had been a grist mill located there. The creek was once dammed on Bridge Street so they had water power to run the mill. A saw mill was also located on Bridge Street. These mills operated until the turn of the century.

It was found that there were other places with the name Milltown and this was causing confusion on the part of the Post Office. So, a village meeting was held and it was decided to call it Melvern Square after Melvern Gates, a prominent citizen in the area, as well as for the fact that the community was built on a complete square.

Melvern Square was first settled by the New England planters and the Loyalists. Some of the earliest names were Outhit, Kerr, Baker, and Spurr. The other industries at which these people worked varied from the mills there. Located on what is now the William Phinney property were at least two blacksmith shops. Fred Jacques owned another, located on the Cameron Spurr property.

Perhaps Melvern Square is best known for its continuing apple industry, despite the loss which Kingston suffered in this particular market. General Timothy Ruggles planted the first orchard in this area, and from the orchard on Ruggles Road, the industry spread to surrounding villages. Shippy Spurr was the first to bring the MacIntosh to Nova Scotia in 1917.

Another industrial first which originated in Melvern Square was the Gates Organ Factory on Stronach Mountain Road (later burned). This company was known across Canada, and in 1883, won a Trophy of Excellence at the Toronto Exhibition. In the late 1880's, this company moved to Truro, where their fame increased. They also hand-crafted fine furniture.

(text from Kingston Historical Society)

Read the fascinating tale entitled, "The Hole in The Vault", by Charles GD Roberts.

"Through North Mountain, from Melvern Square in the Annapolis Valley to the village of Margaretsville on the Bay of Fundy coast, runs a deep pass known as 'The Vault'. On a bleak summit of the mountain, a little to the right of the pass, is the opening which goes by the name of 'The Hole In The Vault'". (read more)

Church Grove Cemetery Church was designated as a municipal heritage property in April 2010. Read the history of the little church that is an icon in Melvern Square.

Church Grove Cemetary


The Melvern Square store closes after serving the community for over 100 years.

End of an era - Article by Andy Gillis from February 24, 1993 (part 1) (part 2)

Click on pictures to see bigger version.


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