The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia


It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our beloved Jim How, Life Member and Past President of The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal has passed away. He was a mentor, leader and very dear friend. We are deeply grateful for all Jim did through the years for The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Parks Canada and the communities of Louisbourg and Annapolis Royal in addition to his enormous contributions to the preservation and presentation of heritage throughout Canada. He will be missed more than words could ever express.

Born in Annapolis Royal, in 1926, Jim was the youngest son of Lewis Morris Wilkins How and Emma Eugenia (Merriam) How. Educated at Annapolis Academy and Fredericton High School, Jim was then employed by The Canadian Press in Halifax as Rewrite Staff. Later he trained at the Vesper George School of Art, Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated in Interior and Industrial Design. He spent his summers employed at Port Royal Habitation as well as operating the Good Cheer Inn. Jim took a year off to explore the U.K. and the continent and was present at Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1953. Jim graduated from King's University, Halifax, in Journalism. This was followed by 12 years of teaching at King's College School and Edgehill, Windsor. Jim was offered the Directorship of the Glace Bay Miner's Museum - one of Nova Scotia's major centennial Programs, in 1967. In the early years of Fortress Louisbourg's reconstruction, Jim became Head of Interpretation and Curator of Collections and Buildings as well as being instrumental in the Costume Department. Nearing retirement, the family relocated to Annapolis Royal and Jim accepted the position of Interpretation Officer for Fort Anne, Port Royal, Grand Pre and Fort Edward. During retirement, he served as both a member and Chairman on the Annapolis Royal Development Commission Board, as well as Head of the Heritage Advisory Committee and the Design Review Committee. His beloved Annapolis Royal had registered 125 heritage buildings. He was a life-member (and Past President) of The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Annapolis Heritage Society and the Canadian Heritage Foundation. As an adherent of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, he was Vestry Clerk, St. Bartholemews, Louisbourg and taught Sunday School and Scripture for 35 years. He was a Life Member of Heritage Canada and Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. Jim made history come alive! He was both an Historian and a Teacher in all facets of life - either when up on stage, at mealtimes, weeding the garden or during conversation while washing the dishes. Familiar family expressions would be quoted peppering daily activities not to mention in the many wonderful letters he wrote. A chair, or - more often than not - a set of chairs, would arrive home to be resurrected; a new cane seat or rush seat perhaps, to make it whole again. In the evening, he could be found either hooking a rug in the basement or playing hymns on his prized melodian. Jim and his wife Pauline, loved to dance. The dance floor was their stage. Theatre played a large role in Jim’s life too both in front of the curtain and with costume design. He had a sense of vision and humour that was keen, and was well-known for discovering treasures in consignment shops, department stores and garden centers. In 1982, Pauline and Jim were fortunate to acquire the 1708 DeGannes-Cosby house and over the span of 25 years, preserve and furnish its interior - a national treasure and labour of love. Predeceased by Dorothy (John) Whitaker, Henry (Harry) (Juanita) How, Survived by wife Pauline Elizabeth How (Hart), Alyn Thomas Maynard (Cathy-Lynn) How, Susan Beattie (Dwayne), Ottawa and Amy How, England, Sister-in-law Jean Hart and four grandchildren, Lauren Elizabeth Lewis, Diana Jean Lewis, Emma Merriam Beattie and Alexander Denison Henshaw Beattie. Mr. How's funeral service will be held on Friday, November 22, 2019 at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Annapolis Royal, at 7 pm. Donations in memory of Jim's long standing preservation of 477 Saint George Street, Annapolis Royal may be made to The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal. This is the family home that has recently been declared a National Historic Site. Donations may also be made to the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. Arrangements have been entrusted to Middleton Funeral Home, 398 Main Street, toll free 1-855-825-3448.
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Founded in 1919 as an association of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal is a recognized leader in Canada in the preservation and presentation of heritage. Operated by a volunteer Board of Directors, the organization was presented the prestigious Parks Canada Heritage Award in 1996 by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien as one of the Top Ten Organizations in Canada for the Preservation and Presentation of History.

The area's rich cultural mosaic is brought to life through The Historical Association's award-winning guided tour program. The Candlelight Graveyard Tours, National Historic District Tours and Acadian Heritage Tours won the first place "Hometown Pride Event of the Year" title from Nova Scotia Tourism's Festivals and Events Council in 2005. The Acadian/Mi'kmaq Tour was featured in 2014 on CBC-TV's popular "Land and Sea" program and in episodes shot by Rediscovering Canada TV.


In 2017 we were proud to honour Rose Fortune, Canada's first female police officer, with a video and lovely monument in the Garrison Graveyard at Fort Anne. One of her descendants, Daurene Lewis, became the first Black female Mayor in Canada. Her story is told nightly on our Candlelight Graveyard Tours.

The Association also publishes the "Stroll Through the Centuries" Walking Tour Brochure for visitors who prefer to explore at their own pace. Visitors can also walk along the streets of Annapolis Royal in the "Strolling Through the Centuries in Annapolis Royal" Community Memories Virtual Exhibit.


The Annapolis Royal Lighthouse, owned and operated by The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, was built in 1889 and needed significant structural work in order to preserve it. The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal entered it in the THIS LIGHTHOUSE MATTERS CONTEST in 2015 in hopes of winning the funding needed for repairs. We were in competition with 26 other lighthouses, and with 27,048 votes WE WON 1ST PLACE AND $40,000 towards our preservation efforts. The work was done in 2016 at a cost exceeding $50,000, but this major restoration project ensusres that our beautiful lightouse will continue to shine brightly for future generations. THANK YOU to everyone who voted to help save this important Canadian treasure! Click on the link below to see a video about our historic Annapolis Royyal Lighthouse and on the "Please Help Us" poster that we used in the competition (below the video) to learn more about this project, our lighthouse and others throughout Nova Scotia.

Through the years The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal has published numerous books. We are proud to announce the release of our latest book A History of Annapolis Royal 1749 - 2005, A Town with a Memory, by Barry Moody. This book, a perfect companion to our A History of Port-Royal/Annapolis Royal 1605 - 1800 by Brenda Dunn, completes the major contribution of The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal to the commemoration of 400 years of European settlement in the area. Both of these books were co-published by Nimbus Publications.

Heritage buildings are appropriately recognized and preserved for future generations through The Historical Association's ongoing plaquing program. With over 135 registered heritage properties, Annapolis Royal is one of the largest National Historic Districts in Canada. The Historical Association also owns and maintains the Town's historic lighthouse. The Historical Association is proud to share Sketches by Ross MacIntosh of some of these magnificent Heritage Properties.

We realize today's youth hold the key to success of tomorrow's world heritage preservation movement. Private tours for school groups are offered and encouraged. The Historical Association is also proud to present an annual college scholarship to a deserving high school graduate. Other fun-filled learning activities for children with international recognition are provided through The Historical Association's A Colourful History of Annapolis Royal colouring book program.

Other heritage projects include occasional sponsorship of historical productions at Kings Theatre and contributions to various worthy heritage causes such as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's purchase of the magnificent watercolours of Annapolis Royal painted in 1775 by Lt. Richard Williams.


Stroll Through the Centuries

Dinner at the Habitation Video

CLICK PHOTO for 2018
Interactive Visitors Guide
or download a PDF copy here.

Meet You in Annapolis Royal
(Video 1) Special Five Part series
by Dr. Christopher Cooper of
"Rediscovering Canada" TV

Meet You in Annapolis Royal
(Video 5) Rediscovering Canada TV

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