Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello Bill

In the 1920s, a gentleman named Bill Edwards was the owner of the Farmer's Hotel in Annapolis Royal. This building, now known as the Sinclair Inn Museum, has seen some interesting owners in its 300 year existence; perhaps none more so than Mr. Edwards.

Bill Edwards was a promoter who attempted various schemes to attract business to his inn. For a time, the front corner of the building had a chalk board where Bill would write daily bits of wisdom. These postings were known as "Morning Milk" and included doggerel, witticisms, and other random bits of information. Think of it as a 1920s version of Twitter. These postings became quite the attraction among locals and all those who were interested in sitting on a bench along St. George Street.

One of his other endeavors was to teach a horse to shake hands. It is this activity which is featured on a post card alternatively known as "Hello Bill" and "Bye-bye Bill". This is an interesting image as it was taken at a time when the horse and carriage were being replaced by the automobile. Perhaps this is why people often ask if the horse was attacking the car.

Among the other animals Edwards owned was a monkey named Jack. If you look closely, Jack the monkey can be seen sitting on the hood of the car. There is an interesting story about Jack but this will need to wait for a future post. This image was taken in the area beside the Sinclair Inn Museum which is now a boardwalk and raised planting bed. The tail end of the carriage would be located in the parking lot beside the museum.

All for now,


  1. Here's another great picture of Jack the Monkey and company:

    Lauren @ Nova Scotia Archives

  2. Thanks Lauren,
    You may want to adjust the date on your image. I have an "obituary" for Jack dated 1915. It does appear to be the same monkey.