As Nova Scotians have fun their Victoria Day weekend, I assumed it will be becoming to put in writing about how Queen Victoria celebrated a Nova Scotian – and in a giant approach.

Anna Swan was born on August 6, 1846, in Mill Brook. She was considered one of 13 youngsters for folks Alexander and Ann Swan. However when Anna was born, she was a bit totally different from the remainder. Her start weight was 18 kilos.

Anna would proceed to develop till she was 17 years previous when she would hit the peak of seven ft and 11 inches. To today, she holds the Guinness World File for tallest feminine below the age of 18 ever recorded. She was pleased with her top and was mentioned to reside by her grandmother’s recommendation, “stand tall and be pleased with your Highland ancestry.”

My very own Highland ancestry has granted me the peak of 5 foot six inches and I generally want help with the highest shelf on the grocery retailer, however I digress.

Anna’s top gave her a profession and granted her an schooling. In 1862 she was employed by the PT Barnum Museum in New York because the Nova Scotian Giantess. Barnum offered her with tutoring. She was taught to play piano in addition to singing. Whereas working at PT Barnum, close to catastrophe would strike because the museum caught hearth and the home windows weren’t giant sufficient for Anna to flee. Eighteen individuals gathered to hold her to security.

Anna would often go to her residence of Nova Scotia however was identified to tour america and Europe. In 1863 she was offered to Queen Victoria in England. Anna made fairly the impression on the Queen and the 2 would type what would appear like an unlikely friendship.

Anna Swan and her husband Martin Van Buren Bates. – Creamery Sq. Heritage Centre

Whereas on tour in 1871 Anna got here to know one other member of the tour, Martin Van Buren Bates. Martin was seven ft and eight inches tall and named The Kentucky Large. They have been crossing the ocean on the ship Metropolis of Brussels and have been engaged earlier than the boat may even dock in Liverpool.

Anna’s unlikely affiliate Queen Victoria was a historic romantic. When she misplaced her husband Prince Albert in 1861, she fell right into a deep despair and was unable to satisfy all her royal duties. She wore black for the remainder of her 40 years to specific her grief and state as a widow.

Nevertheless, when Queen Victoria heard the thrilling information of her good friend’s engagement, some mild should have shone for the grieving Queen. She had a bridal robe made only for Anna. It was reported to value $1,000 and was fabricated from 100 meters of satin and 50 meters of lace adorned with embroided orange blossoms. It’s alleged the Queen had a hand in arranging Anna and Martin’s marriage ceremony location on the Church of St Martin-in-the-Area’s in London, however that report can’t be confirmed as truth of folklore.

After Anna and Martin’s honeymoon and return to England, there was an order from the Queen requesting them to current themselves at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria gifted Anna a diamond cluster ring and Martin obtained a gold watch and chain. The couple would meet with the Queen two extra occasions, in addition to different royals.

Anna Swan shoe, size 16.5, is one of the many artifacts on display at the Creamery Square Heritage Centre.  - Creamery Square Heritage CentreAnna Swan shoe, dimension 16.5, is without doubt one of the many artifacts on show on the Creamery Sq. Heritage Centre. – Creamery Sq. Heritage Centre

Anna and Martin finally settled down in Seville, Ohio. They’d a home, furnishings, and barn all constructed to their measurements, with a home constructed to common dimension for his or her company. They might turn out to be pregnant twice. They’d a daughter whereas they have been in England who was stillborn and a son born in Ohio, who sadly didn’t expertise greater than a day. Anna understandably was devastated by the lack of her youngsters and shortly retired from most of her excursions.

Anna died in 1888, the day earlier than her 42nd birthday. Martin had a big statue made as a monument on her grave. Martin remarried a yr later and moved out of their big home to at least one extra appropriate for his new spouse’s common stature. When he died, he was buried with Anna.

Although Anna had survived a hearth in her life, sadly her marriage ceremony gown didn’t. It burned in a home hearth, although the proprietor did run into the blazing home to attempt to save the gown.

Whereas their story ends on a tragic word after having a grand lifetime of journey and love because the tallest couple on the earth, the pair is satisfactorily remembered.

In Seville, Ohio, at their historic society, there may be an exhibit devoted to the pair with artifacts about their life. Domestically on the Tatamagouche Creamery Sq. Heritage Centre, there’s a museum of Anna Swan’s life with artifacts, photographs, and details about the Nova Scotian Giantess. The museum even has some household concerned in curating and guiding excursions.

The Creamery Sq. Heritage Middle opened for Saturdays 9am-4pm this weekend and will likely be open each day starting on July 1st. They’ve many different fascinating displays. The constructing additionally has a gorgeous river view, in addition to entry to the Trans Canada Path. The Heritage Middle is accessible with an elevator between flooring. You may go to their web site at

This Victoria Day weekend, give a cheer of no matter you wish to fill your cup with to Anna Swan and Queen Victoria for her gown. You may have fun once more on June 17th, Anna and Martin’s 151st marriage ceremony anniversary!

Katy Jean is a author and tweeter based mostly in Dartmouth. When not typing away, she enjoys chasing after her little boy Vincent and consuming spicy noodles.

A Nova Scotian Giantess with Queen Victoria’s dress


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here