Village of Port Williams
The gothic style of the emblem is representative of the large stained glass window of St. John's Anglican Church. As well, the United Baptist Church (centre) was chosen as the most notable landmark in the Village. These focus on the Christian faith of our community.
The symbolic family denotes the importance of family and community life. A spirit which is evident in the day to day activities of Port Williams.
The farmland scene depicts our rich agricultural heritage.
The brown background of the scroll represents the red clay banks of the Cornwallis River.
Port Williams was founded in 1760 and incorporated as a Village in 1951.
Prescott House is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture existing in Nova Scotia. Foundations were laid in 1799 and it took 3 years to complete. It was built by Charles Prescott (1772-1859) famous for his work in horticulture, especially the introduction of new varieties of apples including the popular Gravenstein.
Port Williams Wharf: Facts
In the early days there were five post offices in Port Williams and its immediate surroundings. The central office in Port Williams began in 1858, and it distributed mail to four other offices.
June 3rd, 2000 was considered an historic day by Port Williams post office staff and local residents when a new post office cancellation stamp was first used. The concept originated with Kenneth Bezanson who has the postmark designed by noted Cape Breton songwriter, Allister MacGillivray. The stamp harks back to the era of sailing ships when village folk say Port Williams was referred to as "the Biggest Little Port in the world". Port Williams now has the first postmark in the Valley.
In 1856, Terry's Creek (named after Captain John Terry, a Planter pioneer) was given the name of Port Williams after Sir William Fenwick Williams, Bart. A professional soldier, he became commander-in-chief of the British forces in Canada in 1859-65 and was Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia in 1865-76.
The Cornwallis River was named after Edward Cornwallis, the first governor of Nova Scotia after the capital was transferred from Annapolis Royal to Halifax in 1749, eleven years before the arrival of the Planters.
The Mi'kmaq once called Starr's Point, which lies between the Canard and Cornwallis rivers Nesoogwitk - "extending between two rivers".
From Starr's Point to the turn into Kentville, a distance of about 7 miles, is Church Street. It was so named because, over the years, there have been several churches on the street. Only St. John's Anglican church now remains.
The Port Remembers: The History of Port Williams and its Century Homes is a compilation of village history undertaken in 1973 as a 60th Anniversary Project of the Port Williams Women's Institute and was published in 1976.
The Planter's Monument, erected in honour of the New England Planters who landed on this bank (then known as Boudreau's Bank) on June 4, 1760, is situated off Starr's Point Road at Willowbank.
Turn north from Church Street toward Canard Street to view the Wellington Dyke. This dyke, when it was finally completed in 1825, was the culmination of at least a century of toil and risks by Acadians, New England Planters, and subsequent farmers in the Canard River Valley. These groups, while having only the most primitive tools and equipment and methods, eventually succeeded in winning from the sea, over two thousand acres of prime farmland. Unlike most of the other early major dyking systems in Kings County - and, indeed, Nova Scotia - those efforts on the Canard River were based upon aboiteaux or cross dykes. This type of dyking involved, in effect, the damming of the entire river bed and valley from the tides, while letting out the fresh river water and drainage. Constant repair, maintenance, and improvement have been required ever since - the most extensive work having been carried out in the mid-1940's and the mid-1970's.