Council of Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotia Archives Coward Album, Bridgetown

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Elizabeth (Bessie) Havillah Ruggles Coward, the daughter of Edwin and Ermina (Strong) Ruggles was born in Bridgetown, N.S. on 28 April 1887. She attended school in Bridgetown and Edgehill School for Girls in Windsor before studying at Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She discontinued her studies at Boston due to the illness and subsequent death of her mother. In 1926, she moved to Montreal and took a librarian course at McGill University. Then she worked as librarian for the Art Association of Montreal until her marriage to Samuel Herbert Coward in 1932. After her husband’s retirement in 1945, they moved to her hometown Bridgetown. Elizabeth Ruggles Coward died in Bridgetown on 14 March 1959.

Mrs. Coward was an active local historian and her book, Bridgetown Nova Scotia Its History to 1900, was published in 1955. She also gathered historical photographs of Bridgetown which were reproduced and compiled into a photograph album about 1958. Many were taken by noted photographer Georgia Cunningham. Nova Scotia Archives Album 24 includes photographs and postcards of houses, businesses, churches, County Home, streetscapes, school and students, individuals, vessels, bridges, cartoons, buggies, horse racing (1890s) and snow drifts following the great snowstorm in 1905.

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