William King Elementary

About William King Elementary

The Village of Herring Cove


The village of Herring Cove is an old one that started soon after the settlement of Halifax.  By the late 1700's it was a growing community.  It has not always been known as "Herring Cove."  It was once known as "Moolipchugeck," an aboriginal name meaning "deep chasm, valley or gorge."

In 1775 it was called "Dunk Cove" and can be seen on old maps as such.  It was named after George Dunk who wasEarl of Halifax.  We are not sure why or when the name changed again.  There are suggestions it was because of the large amount of herring caught in the area.  There were also speculation that it was named after two brothers listed on a census report in 1792 as residents at the time.  Their names were John and Thomas Herring.

The most important activity in Herring Cove at this time was fishing and the fishermen went fishing everyday.  They sold their catches to ships coming into the harbour or to local military.  Other occupations in the early 1900's included working in the lighthouse or as a shoreman.

While travelling along Purcell's Cove Road between York Redoubt and Herring Cove one can see a sign "Holy Stone on the Sea" - an object of many superstitions.  It is the location of the haunted reef.  Known as such because it is the sight of many shipwrecks and drownings.  One in 1940, the Hebridean sank as a result of a collision with a NFLD boat in which nine sailors died.  The HMS La Tribune was nother one that saw disaster during a gale in 1796.  And finally in 1967 during a snowstorm the Costerican Trader just as they left Halifax Harbour encountered trouble and eventually the crew had to abandon ship.

Herring Cove has chaned since its beginnings.

Our namesake - Colonel William King was born December 20th 1863 at Clifton, Bedfordshire England.  The Colonel enlisted in the Imperial army as a boy and saw service in Halifax being stationed at Citadel Hill.  He then returned to England for a period of time and saw service for many yers in the far east.  He worked his way through the ranks to Colonel.

He was married to Josephine (Baker) King of Herring Cove on January 16, 1888 at the Garrison Church in Halifax.  They had two children - A daughter named Edith Amelia born at the Citadel on March 1, 1889 and a son named Victor who was born at Seaford Sussex, England on May 9, 1891.  Edith died in Tokyo in 1954 and Victor was killed in action in Hong Kong in World War 2.

The Colonel was a tall man (6' 2) and was highly intelligent and witty.  He returned to Herring Cove in the early 1930's and purchased property, some 10 acres from the late John V. Baker, his brother in law.

He took a keen interest in community affairs and although he was of teh Anglican faith he persuaded the Catholic Diocese at Halifax to provide sisters of service as teachers with tremendous results.

In recognition of his contributions to the community, especially education, the citizens of Herring Cove had the William King Memorial School named in his honour.