Halifax settled 1749. Dartmouth settled 1750.

Halifax an incorporated City 1841. Dartmouth an incorporated Town 1873. Dartmouth an incorporated City 1961.


Most of Part One of this book ran as a serial in the Dartmouth Patriot newspaper during 1950, which was the year that the Town celebrated two centuries of settlement in the shape of an Old Home Week. The remaining portions of the book were printed in page form from time to time in subsequent years, and these contain an account of people arid of events around Dartmouth from earliest days up to the end of the second decade of this century.

In compiling the story, I sought out original sources where-ever possible, making a systematic study of the earliest Crown Land grants and the first hundred years of property transfers, thumbing through reams of manuscripts and old newspapers, besides visiting ancf telephoning repeatedly every elderly resident.

This self-imposed task occupied most of my spare time over a period of five years. It has carried me and my note-book to the New York, Public Library, twice to the Dominion Archives at Ottawa, countless days and nights in the Nova Scotia Archives, the Legislative Library, the Registry of Deeds, of Probate, of Crown Lands, the Dartmouth Ferry records, the Town Hall records, church registers, school registers, besides extensive research among the private papers of old families, and among headstones in graveyards. (At Geary Street cemetery the Dunn family took me inside their antique vault to gaze upon one of the adult skeletons.)

In addition to the mass of manuscripts at the Nova Scotia Archives, I combed all the available issues of at least one Halifax or Dartmouth newspaper in every year from 1 752 to 1920; often getting nothing of interest, and at other times turning up a mine of information. This was also my experience at the office of the Registry of Deeds where I searched through the first 85 books, and scanned some 40,000 pages, pausing when necessary to note down descriptions or plans of Dartmouth properties.

At various stages of the work, all this material was sifted, sorted, put into proper sequence, and after a sufficient amount of copy was typed to fill 32 book-pages, it went to the linotype operator. My next job was to read galley proofs, put in corrections, then transport the type homeward to make-up the pages. Again back to the print shop with the precious pages occasionally getting pied in the trunk of a car, and finally rendering assistance to the pressman while he rolled off the required 1,000 copies. This printing routine was repeated about every three months.

And that, dear reader, is one way of getting out a printed volume by the do-it-yourself method.

I am deeply grateful to all persons who rendered any assistance whatever towards the compilation of this book.

J. P. Martin,

Dartmouth, N. S.,

August 17th, 1957.




Town Historian of Dartmouth. Historian of the Charitable Irish Society. A Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Historical Society.


DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA Privately Printed for the Author 1957

First reprint 1965 . Offset negatives and plates by Maritime Photo Engravers, Press work by Atlantic Print Ltd.

Second reprint 1981 plates and printing by Atlantic Nova Print Ltd. Halifax, N. S.

Copyright 1057 by John Patrick Martin. All rights reserved. No part of this vork may be reproduced without written permission.

Printed and bound in Canada


The world lives at a helter-skelter pace. It always has. Since the first white settlers came to North America many generations have passed, all in a hurry, all concerned with the dangers and anxieties of the day, a roof for the night, and tomorrow's bread and butter. But here and there amongst them some man or woman with a quiet mind sat down, pen in hand, to remark a little of the passing crowd and the scene in which it moved. Were it not for these conscious or unconscious historians the tale of their times would have vanished like the ruffle of a squall upon the sea. We owe much to the quiet people. They have given us a past, without which the present can have no meaning; and the future would be dark indeed without the memories of human experience to warn and guide us.

History, like charity, begins at home. It is in the story of individual towns and villages that historians must seek the springs of national life. The struggles, the ambitions, the pains and triumphs, the sorrows and pleasures, the very oddities of little people, all have their part in the long march of mankind. Here is the story of one town in Nova Scotia, beginning with a few log huts about a small sawmill in the middle of the eighteenth century. It is no mere rattle of dry bones. Dartmouth has been blessed with a historian who, while meticulous in his research, has never lost his human touch, his eye for the minor comedy and drama of life. Here is the past in its natural color, with all the small detail drawn with a flair.

I first met John Martin nearly forty years ago, during the First German War. The military doctors had rejected him for overseas service, he was going on doggedly with his studies at Dalhousie University,

and in the evenings he was teaching merchant navy recruits the art of dot-and-dash telegraphy, at which he had worked in his pre-college days. I was then a youngster in my teens, one of the recruits, destined for a wireless operator's post in the naval transport service. We met again after the war, when the winds of chance had blown us both into North Sydney, N. S., he on a visit, I on a small tramp steamer. After that we lost touch for many years, pursuing two very different careers. When we met for the third time I was (of all things) a novelist and Martin was just retiring from his post as Vice-Principal of Saint Patrick's High School in Halifax. I was then engaged in historical research about Halifax and Dartmouth— and Dartmouth was Martin's home. Moreover he had made a hobby of antiquarian research about the Dartmouth side of the harbor, he knew every inch of it, and there was a story about every foot. I spent many happy hours with my old friend, rambling about Dartmouth and its hinterland, calling up the ghosts of the past. When we parted I urged him to write a full history of the place.

Well, here it is, an excellent account, told in a crisp no-non-sense style. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. You who read it will realize, I hope, the patience, the untiring interest, the zeal that has gone into the work. I know you will find it of the highest interest in itself, not least because of the remarkable collection of old pictures and photographs.

Thomas H. Raddall,

June 28th, 1957

To all Librarians and others having a card filing system, it is suggested that they insert the following items on their file cards, with the annotation: “See Index, THE STORY OF DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia”.

Canada, Confederation of, bitter opposition in Nova Scotia.

Canal, from Dartmouth to Shubenacadie River.

Coronation of Queen Victoria. Celebrations in Halifax and Dartmouth 1838.

Cunard Line, inauguration of at Halifax 1840.

Dominion Day, not celebrated in Nova Scotia.    School    classes    held    on    July    1st

in Halifax until 1896, and in other Provincial centres until 1898.

Dorothea Dix, of Massachusetts, chose site for mental hospital at Dartmouth. -

Halifax harbor, great explosion of 1917 fully described.

Hockey, history of

Howe, Hon. Joseph, picture of “Fairfield” residence in Dartmouth where Sir Leonard Tilley discussed Confederation with Howe 1868. Also Howe’s conference with Sir John A. Macdonald to obtain “Better Terms” for Nova Scotia.

Ice-cutting industry at Dartmouth.

Maroons, Jamaica, in Nova Scotia 1796-1800.

Newspapers, trial of Halifax Editor Joseph Howe    for    libel    in    1835,    and    his

legal victory which established THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

Ropemaking, factory at Dartmouth, 1868-1958.

Tanneries, leather shipped from Dartmouth.

Tupper, Sir Charles, resident of Dartmouth in 1857.

Waverley, N. S. early gold mines.

Whaling, Nantucketers at Dartmouth 18th century. Quaker Meeting house.

The Story




Dartmouth from the Harbor

MANY Dartmouth stories over two centuries will no doubt  interest, and even surprise, both old and young. At least that seems to have been the reaction of many listeners after hearing local history talks given to various organizations during the past few years. At these gatherings I used to weave tales around such landmarks as the old cannon at Sterns’ corner; or the site of the Quaker Meeting House; or the forgotten grave in Geary Street cemetery where lies a lady of the European nobility.

Afterwards when the group would cluster around in conversation, many of them declared that they had never heard of Quakers being in Dartmouth; that they rounded Sterns’ corner daily without ever seeing a cannon; and— just where was Geary Street anyway.

Present day readers may experience similar surprises as the stories of our past are unfolded in these pages. Those entertaining visitors in their homes will have the added pleasure of re-telling the tales. Even their own neighborhood may have an interesting background. For instance the thousands of people who travel Portland Street past the low level at Maitland Street, little realize that they are crossing a dried-out river-bed where once flowed a stream from Hawthorne Street hills through a swamp near the shore. No doubt it will surprise many, as it did me, to learn that in the days before the railroad, the high tides of Spring and Autumn, coming in from Mill Cove over that marshy tract, used to force the salt water almost up to Portland Street.

As explained in the Preface, this book was started in 1950-


Let us first take an overall view of Dartmouth from the Halifax side. Notice how nature has landscaped our side of the harbor with its curving hills and hollows. What a background of verdure is provided in summer by those high trees on the slopes of Dartmouth! How many large centers in Nova Scotia are enriched, as we are, with a natural river flowing through the heart of the town? This might be better impressed on us if a minature waterfall, or a spouting fountain, could be set up in the stream below the Starr Works. As it is, the precious waters waste themselves into the sea.

The initial pages of this Bicentennial Story of Dartmouth are designed to help Dartmouth hosts exhibit their town to guests arriving here as utter strangers. To give these visitors a panoramic picture of the port and of Dartmouth, let us imagine ourselves on the ferry-deck as the boat leaves Halifax. First of all, draw their attention to the magnificence of our spacious harbor. Except for a few shoals near the Dartmouth shore, there is plenty of depth of water for ships of any size.

Now locate Pier 2. The property immediately to the south, is the site of the dock and office buildings where the famous Cunard Steamship Line originated. At that wharf Charles Dickens landed from the paddle-wheeler “Britannia” in 1842. Samuel Cunard’s birthplace is just up the hill beyond, near Proctor Street.

Let us turn next toward the Ocean Terminals. Straight ahead stretches the main entrance to the harbor. Show your visitors McNab’s Island and the rocky barrier running along Mauger’s (Major’s) Beach to the sturdy light-house at the tip. This light makes a range, or is in direct line, with another light-house on the south side of McNab’s Island. The mariner, guided thus far, then bears his ship towards George’s Island light until he comes into line with the light-house on Synott’s Hill in Dartmouth. This range directs him to the inner harbor.


Now let us look down the Eastern Passage. The distant waters near Lawlor’s Island are treacherous because of shallow sandy shoals on either side of a narrow channel. Only small craft pass through there. Then thrill your United States visitors with the oft-told tale how, during the American Civil War, the Confederate gun-boat “Tallahassee,” trapped in this port, used the Eastern Passage to make one of the most daring escapes in shipping history. It seems 1hat pursuing northern cruisers, hot on her trail, were gathering at the outer harbor exit, all set to launch a deadly attack the minute the southern ship showed her nose in neutral waters.

Pilot “Jock” Flemming prevented the carnage. Amid inky darkness at flood tide one night, he cautiously wormed the “Tallahassee” down through the tortuous channel of the Passage. In some places it is said that her keel was swishing the eel-grass. Reaching deep water, the big cruiser turned on full steam, and by dawn was far away to the eastward.

A small wharf where the “Tallahassee” was loaded with coal from barges (August 1864), used to stand on the present location of the Sugar Refinery pier. By the laws of neutrality, Captain J. Taylor Wood of the southern steamer was allowed only a limited time here. Halifax had both northern and southern sympathizers, with the tendency leaning towards the latter. Against the loud protests of northern agents, the Captain obtained an extension of one day on the plea that he had to repair the ship’s masts. All he really wanted was a few hours until the tide came in and the darkness came down. He got both.


The first sea-plane base was set up in the Passage by the American Goverment during World War 1. Admiral Richard E. Byrd of Antarctic fame was stationed there for a time.

On the beach in that vicinity the first known gold discovery in Nova Scotia was made by panning in 1857—three years before the precious metal was found in quartz at Tangier.

On the plateau far to your left is Shearwater Naval Air Base where land the trans-Canada and other planes. Those 300 cylindrical tawks in that area locate the plant and village of Imperoyal. Prior to the coming of this industry there in 1916, the whole stretch of country to the lower Passage appeared to be a mass of trees.

Towards the end of World War I, the aspect of the Eastern Passage commenced to change. There had been only scattered houses and farms along the main road from South Woodside before the construction of the Oil Works. Then out of the forest an entire community arose, mushrooming around the vicinity of the new Plant. This place is called Imperoyal.

Even more phenomenal than that, was the growth that set in after the beginning, of World, War II. Developments farther down like the Clarence Park section ir* the vicinity of a large aircraft industry, and the Shearwater section near the Air Base, have completely altered the sky-line of that suburb since 1939. The same holds true for Tufts’ Cove and o*her districts on the borders of Dartmouth.

Now bring your attention to the high crescent-shaped bank near the oil pier. This is the site of the Eastern Battery where the Imperial Government spent thousands of pounds to protect Halifax irom attacks eastward. It was commenced in 1754. During the time of the Duke of Kent it was re-named Fort Clarence and surmounted by a Martello Tower. In early days munitions for all the forts were stored there. A British garrison was stationed at Fort Clarence for 150 years.


“Woodside” was the name of a beautiful rural estate, commanding a full view of the harbor, which was laid out about 1830 for Hon. John E. Fairbanks. The description of these highly ornamental grounds occupies a whole page in Mrs. Lawson’s History of Dartmouth. His private duck-pond was across the mam road in that filled-in oval running westerly from the present base-ball park. The old Fairbanks dwelling is still used as a recreation hall. All that residential section of South Woodside commenced developing'' when the “Company” houses were constructed in 1886. The first sugar refinery, composed largely of brick, was erected in 1884, and destroyed by fire in 1912. The present building occupies much of the old site. There has been no sugar refined at this plant since June 1942. The stoppage was caused by world conditions during the war.

(Courtesy Acadia Atlantic Sugar Refinery    Cut    by    Eastern    Photo    Engravers Ltd.)

THIS IS THE FIRST WOODSIDE REFINERY. It was projected by an English Company under the Presidency of George G. Dust in, who came from Scotland to live in the Fairbanks house about 1863. Although foundation work soon began, a 20-year dcSny postponed completion of the Refinery until 188-1. All this time Mr. Dust an kept appealing for adequate sugar tariff protection.

Along the railway track nearly to the boundary of the Nova Scotia Hospital, the hollowed-out bank indicates the situation of the old pottery works, and mill for the manufacture of chocolate and cocoa started in the 1830’s by Henry Y. Mott. If is said that the Mott family were among the first to make chocolates in what is now Canada. The Mott homestead was built on the present location of the new brick building just south of the main Nova Scotia Hospital. About 1909, the Grant family moved the house where it now stands next south of St. Alban’s Church.

Off the wharf of the N.S. Hospital there are two buoys moored in the harbor. They mark the position of the “Trongate,” a munition-laden steamer sunk by gun-fire to prevent a disastrous explosion one night in 1942, after she had burst into flames.

The N. S. Hospital is a Provincial Institution opened in 1858. Its establishment was in a great measure due to the exertions of Miss Dorothea Dix, an American philanthropist of that time, sympathetically interested in the treatment of mental cases.

North of the Hospital shore there is a little bay called Sandy Cove. This was an old camping ground for Indians, seasonally used by the Micmacs until about the middle of the last century. A brook with a cool spring at the base supplied the water. They made baskets and various trinkets, canoeing their wares across to the ferry slip on market days.

Sandy Cove is still remembered by older folks as a popular swimming resort. In the 1880’s the Hessleins, of hotel fame, erected a row of bathing houses near the present railway. Running well out from shore, stood a lengthy arc of tall piles, driven in and sheathed to keep the enclosed water calm and sheltered from northwest winds and waves. Into this pool and far up on the beach, hundreds of tons of sand were spread.. On both sides of the breakwater, diving stands and landing stages were set up. A small steamer ferried passengers over from Halifax. Besides that, scores came in pleasure boats from the City and Dartmouth. Many a row-boat and yacht packed with the whole family and laden with picnic baskets, sailed to Sandy Cove in those pre-automobile days when people hereabouts sought their summer recreation on the waters of the harbor.

THE DESTRUCTIVE FIRE of 1912 started in the wooden raw-sugar shed on the wharf, Thomas Hennebury lost his life there, probably

through suffocation.,. Flames then swept through a long tunnel crossing under the railway track to gut completely the main brick building, where the sugar was refined.

THE COMPANY RESIDENCE of Manager Ebenezer Dowie on upper left was built about 1886. The large one on main road at right, erected for Manager David R. Turnbull about 1900. House near shore \miv occupied in the last century by a family named Sullivan. Tales used to be whispered of smuggled goods being landed there.

NORTH WOODSIDE SHORE IN MAY 175.9, This was sketched on the hill near the foot of the present Stephen St., which is 200 yards south of the Department of Transport.

(Courtesy Legislative Library,, Halifax) (Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd.)

From Sandy Cove to Mill Cove, the long sheet of water has an old “liquid history.” Experienced seamen say that in the whole haven of Halifax, the most favorable anchorage grounds are on the eastern side. Even before its settlement, early fishermen and traders accustomed to this port, would naturally anchor on our side either to seek shelter from a southeast gale, or to avoid riding the deeper waters in mid-stream.

Many ships of the vast British fleet which assembled in Halifax harbor to prepare for the second siege of Louisbourg in 1758, must have anchored near the eastern side. This is inferred from a record of that year which reveals that General Wolfe frequently practised his troops making landings on the Dartmouth shore. The most logical place for these exercises would be the broad hill southward from the Department of Transport, because of the steep acclivity of that forested slope and the dangerous boulders for landing parties on the beach. (See the 1759 sketch of Dartmouth shored

In that case, Woodside and Dartmouth might take some credit for the capture of Louisbourg, just as the playing fields of Eton College get credit for the win at Waterloo.


Here’s another suprise for your visitors. The Ocean Terminals nearly got constructed along there, for that same stretch was one of the two Dartmouth locations proposed by the surveying engineers about 40 years ago. The advantages are that it is landlocked from the heavy swell of the harbor in a northwest wind, because of the jutting land at Black Point and at Shipyard Point. It is sheltered from our frequent southeast gales. It has a “spent” beach.

(Left)—The sketch on left shows part of Admiral Saunders' fleet on which General Wolfe sailed for the siege of Quebec. Many of these warships came here first from England, then sailed in a convoy to the St. Lawrence River via Louisbourg. Men on fatigue duty are carrying firewood down a slope, which in 1950 does not seem to have changed much from 1759. At least there are large boulders still on the beach. Tree stumps in the foreground indicate, even in those years, the timberland of that section was a convenient source of supply for vessels anchored along this side of the harbor, where there was an abundance of fuel and fresh water.

No doubt many of Wolfe’s men had been here with Admiral Boscawen’s Louisbourg fleet in the previous year (1758). Private diaries of that time prove that it was the custom to anchor on the Dartmouth side. Farther along in these pages, see the diary of Nathaniel Knap for May 25, 1758, where he mentions the transports hs being “a gunshot from the shore.”

This sketch was made by Richard Short of the Royal Navy. The inscription states that it represents “the Town and Harbor of Halifax in 1759, aw they appear from the opposite shore called Dartmouth.”

The next point of interest is on your left where are seen brown-colored buildings and reddish buoys. This is the headquarters of the Marine Branch of the Department of Transport. Supplies for eastern shore light-houses and for Sable Island go out from that pier. The steep street running up at that point is named for Sir Charles Tupper, sixth Prime Minister of Canada, who once owned the whole slope just described. Boundary Street, nearly to the top of the rise, marks the southern limits of the town of Dartmouth.

The checkered reservoir elevated against the eastern sky was erected during World War II in order to ensure an adequate supply of water for houses on the high-level system of the town. This tank has a capacity of 200,000 gallons.

There is an excellent view of Halifax and of the harbor from the vantage ground of this hill. Plan to snow these sights to your visitors from Johnston Avenue level, especially on clear evenings when the varied lights of the City come out to sparkle in their several shapes and colors.

A few minutes observation of the slope surrounding the water-tower will give strangers some idea how that margin of Dartmouth looked in the last century, when it was laid out in extensive estates after the English custom.

These always had imposing entrances leading to the main residence along a driveway. At a distance from the house were the stables and carriage buildings, usually fitted up with living quarters for the coachman-gardener and his family.

An example of these estates is seen on your left at the rise of Old Ferry Road, where stands 14-roomed “Mount Amelia”—now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bell. Although the place was completely renovated during the ownership of Lieutenant-Governor Covert, the house retains most of the original architecture of its erection in 1840.

In those years the Premier of Nova Scotia was Hon. James W. Johnston. This was his Dartmouth residence. His first wife was Miss Amelia Almon. Hence the name" of the estate. Many leading public men of last century were often entertained at delightful Mount Amelia, especially in summer. The property comprised the whole mass of land on your right, extending down to the road which is now the eastern extension of Newcastle Street.


On the southern side of this street from the main road to the Old Ferry wharf, ran the boundary of another large estate. This was “Maplehurst,” built exactly a century ago for Dr. Lawrence

Van Buskirk, a Halifax physician and dentist. A son George E, Van Buskirk, Secretary of the Dartmouth Ferry Commission in the 1890’s was born there.

This property    was    acquired    by the Department of    Transport

when they moved    from    Halifax    in 1903. Streets have    been cut

through the fields since that date. What remains of the Maple-hurst land is owned by Mr. J. G. Rainnie His large house fronting the harbor, is easily recognized by the gabled architecture. It had been the residence of Hon. George J. Troop until about the turn of the present century. They lived there the whole year round.

For some reason the coachman’s house was placed at the extreme southwest of this estate, at the corner where Tupper Street now commences. The Van Buskirks are said to have owned a brickyard along there.    This might    explain the surprising    fact that

underneath the shingles    of that    small dwelling, there are sturdily

built brick walls. It might also explain the existence of a rather large wharf which used to stand on the same location as the Department of Transport pier. At any rate, the little house was situated conveniently for the Troop family, because George Veck, the faithful Coachman could thus guard their boats and yacht.


Parallel with the Maplehurst boundary on the northern side of Newcastle Street, all the triangular area to the main road was the “Sunnyside” estate. This had once formed part of the original acres of Mount Amelia. The house was built about 1854 for James VV. Johnston, junior, often referred to as the “young Judge Johnston.”

Directly opposite the present entrance to Maplehurst, just a few feet off the road, were large wooden gates in the fence near a stable and duck-pond. Up from there to the front verandah of Sunnyside, a long winding driveway met another which curved in Irom double iron gates on Pleasant Street. The grounds of all these estates were beautiful in summer with rose bushes, foreign trees and floral displays.

Sunnyside, shorn of its surrounding groves, paths and water-1 alls, is still identified at 144 Pleasant Street, converted now into a duplex-dwelling house. Like its century-old neighbor Maplehurst, it looks towards the harbor, and has the same style of architecture.

Diagonally across from Sunnyside at No. 153 Pleasant Street, i ho large house with the reddish cupola is 14-roomed “Locust Knoll” up on a terraced embankment in a former extensive orchard and garden. Under the trees a private ice-house was sunk in the turf. The barn and dwelling coach-house stood well back on the slope.

This house was built for Dr. Alfred C. Cogswell, a dentist of Halifax. Mr. C. H. Harvey, who died only recently, lived there for nearly 40 years. On the grassy pathway by the railed fence there used to stand one of those familiar tinned-signs of Clayton and Sons half-hidden in the brambles. It informed the traveller that he was exactly one mile from the ferry wharf. The housing shortage has lately divided Locust Knoll into several apartments.


The largest whitish residence straight up the hill from there is the McNeil house of “Mapledene” at 72 Johnston Avenue. It contains 15 rooms. The land behind extended back to about the new Scott Street where the barn of the estate was located. Mapledene was long the home of John C. P. Frazee, who was Mayor of Dartmouth in 1885. He was a co-founder of the old Halifax Commercial College about 1880. This institution still continues as the Maritime Business College Mr. Frazee taught there for many years. After his family moved down-town, Mapledene was occupied by F. B. Scott, a Halifax barrister. Scott Street preserves his name.

Somewhat to the left of Mapledene, the row of new residences is Blink Bonnie Terrace. On the location of the Lovett dwelling at no. 7, stood a 15-roomed high-ceiling house overlooking the whole declivity. It was built and occupied by John P. Esdaile, the same man who owned Mapledene. Both houses were constructed about 1870 in a wilderness where partridge whirred, rabbits ran riot, and woodpeckers hammered away at mouldering tree-trunks.

By that time Mr. Esdaile’s eyesight is said to have failed, yet he designed the architecture of these houses by pin-plotting the points on paper. He and Dr. A. C. Cogswell were among the incorporators of Prince Arthur Park Development Company which had just purchased that part of Mount Amelia to lay out the first roads and building lots.

This Esdaile land contained about, four acres, most of which was on the slope towards the main road. Down through the tall birches, curved a shady driveway, visible yet at 135 Pleasant Street. Near this entrance was the gate-keeper’s lodge. It still stands as a remodelled residence at 141 Pleasant Street. .

Gateways to cultivated fields and orchards had to be guarded, for those were the days when stray cattle browsed around the footpaths. Or, perhaps in that isolated section, groups of half-grogged artillerymen returning on midsummer night’s leave, would be roving along the “Eastern Passage Road” in the general direction of th<*ir barrack? at Fort Clarence.

Judge Benjamin Russell, a former Magistrate of Dartmouth, a founder of Dalhousie Law School, and twice a member of the Dominion House of Commons, dwelt in the Esdaile house for many years. It was up there that he entertained the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honorable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, about 1899.

When the late David Redmond acquired the property, he named it Blink Bonnie, meaning “Nice View.” The imposing old structure remained in possession ofr the Redmond family until its demolition about 1938. Until that time there were no other houses on that broad sector to Cameron Street, except Mount Amelia, Blink Bonnie and Mapledene. Dartmouthians abroad will be surprised to learn that the whole hill from Pleasant Street upwards is now ribboned and rimmed with roof-tops.

This was the first house on the Prince Arthur’s Park hillside

< oustructed and occupied about 1870 by John P. Esdaile, Esq., a re-li«<l Montreal merchant. The Russells later called the place “Mount Pleasant.” The Redmonds re-named it “Blink Bonnie.”

; Courtesy Scott Publications—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers, Ltd.)

Before turning from this direction, inform your visitors that I here is historic country beyond that sky line which is well worth a visit.    For example, the Woodlawn district where James Gordon

I’. 'iinett, of New York Herald fame, taught school in 1815. The sloried cemetery where lie the remains of the Babes in the Woods, .Mid of the mysterious Margaret Fioyer. At Westphal is the site of the birthplace of two British Admirals. And on a hill in Preston, the location of the 18th century summer home of Licutenant-Gover-nt/r Sir John Wentworth, who in pre-Revolutionary days, had been Governor of New Hampshire.

Hits is John F. Mott’s residence “Hazelhurst” at 62-64 Pleasant Street undergoing demolition. Shown is the rear of the house with a back door for tradesmen. The driveway mentioned on page 24 curved around to the main entrance with its partly-open sunporch facing the harbor where I used to see elderly Mrs. Mott and some rocking-chaired ladies! enjoying the scenery on fine afternoons when I delivered the “Evening Mail” newspaper there just prior to her death in 1896. As explained on page 462 the place was then purchased by J. Walter Allison. At that time there were no houses on that side of Pleasant Street from Old Ferry Road to Albert St. When Mr. Allison’s widow died in 1934 the 10-acre estate was acquired by A. A. MacDonald. He remained until the P. E. I. Highlanders leased the residence for officers, and erected barracks on the lower grounds for occupation during World War II. The late W. G. Martin and others transformed the land.

Directly opposite 127 Pleasant Street the hollow foundation marks the site of “Beechwood” where Hon. Dr. McN. Parker resided from 1863. He practised in Halifax and is said to have been the first surgeon in Nova Scotia to perform an operation on a patient with the use of an anaesthetic. Dr. Van Buskirk of “Maplehurst” administered the ether. One of the rooms at “Beechwood” was used as a private school. Rev. Robert Falconer who became President of Toronto University in 1907 once attended there. He was then Principal of Pine Hill College. He became Sir Robert in 1917.

Some books have a picture of “Beechwood” on this page. The ‘ Hazelhurst picture, donated by Mrs. Ulah (Mott) Currie, and the above cut-lines were reprinted in Apr. 1965.

Immediately after Hon. Dr. Tupper, (later Sir Charles), was elected for Cumberland in the Dominion contest of September 1878, he was welcomed at Halifax by a monster torchlight procession. That same night he landed from the 11 o’clock ferry and after parading through North Dartmouth, led by men on horseback bearing lighted torches, was escorted to Beechwood.

The Beechwood fields extended easterly to Sunnyside, and southwesterly to that section of Old Ferry Road which used to run to the shore, but is now obliterated. On the site of Old Ferry wharf, the Parkers built a new one, where they moored boats and went bathing. Lady Dufferin landed there on the official visit of the Governor-General’s party to Dartmouth in 1873. Perhaps also did the Duke of Kent on trips to visit Sir. John Wentworth’s cottage, in the late 1700’s. A few piles still standing there are all that remain to mark the old ferry terminal.


Of all the estates, the oldest is thought to have been at the northwest corner of Pleasant Street and Old Ferry Road, Here stood “Brooklands,” on property granted as far back as 1773 to James Creighton. This is the same man who, as a lad of 16, came to Halifax with Cornwallis’ first settlers. His son of the same name was born 1762, and probably came to Dartmouth In later life to build Brooklands, for by 1800 he was the proprietor of Creighton’s or- the Lower Ferry.

At Brooklands in the 1840’s, one of his daughters, Miss Eliza Creighton, kept a diary of events. She mentions a trip to Halifax to see the marvel of the first street lights. The diary records the thrill experienced by all at the sight of a transatlantic ship coming in with their only source of outside news; of the orchard trees laden with luscious plums; the flooding of their potato field one autumn; and in winter, young people with their skates passing Brooklands on their way to the lake. This diary is preciously preserved by Dartmouth descendants.

The original Creighton grant spread nearly one-third of a square mile back from the shore. It must have taken in the land around Maynard’s Lake, because the latter is named after Captain Thomas Maynard of the Royal Navy, a son-in-law of the elder

< ,'reighton. The outlet from the lake poured dcwn through the hollow of Brooklands to enter the Cove at the present Hazelhurst railway trestle. The height of the tidewater there, will give an idea how far the sea ran in to form the original shore line. Old residents used to say that sea-trout and smelts came in there, and wiggled their way up the brook to Maynard’s Lake. This stream is shown on a sketch of the harbor drawn in 1749.

1793 FRENCH PRISON IN 1929* Since the latter date, this whole scene has been entirely altered.

Much of this Brooklands property was afterwards acquired by the son of Henry Y. Mott. He was John P. Mott, pioneer industrialist. of Dartmouth, who established a chocolate and soap works at Hazelhurst in 1844, and died in 1890 worth three-quarters of a million. Besides chocolates and soap, Mott’s manufactured cocoa, candles, cassia, pepper and other spice condiments. These products were sold all over the Provinces and in Newfoundland. The factory buildings were along the level near the original shore line. One of them had a history. It had stood from the days of the Napoleonic Wars, for records state that French prisoners were quartered there it: about the same time as their compatriots were confined at Mel-' ille Island. Many of these men were industrious and employed themselves in shaping various articles out of bones and pieces of wood. Visitors to the camp generally purchased them. A wooden mantelpiece from there is preserved in the Provincial Museum.

In after years, Mott’s men converted the heavily padlocked old prison into their soap-making department, and used it nearly i century. There were about forty people employed the year round ill this thriving Dartmouth industry. The long sticks of chocolate bought in the shops for one cent and munched with such relish many years ago, came from Mott’s factory. From there also came, ;n muggy w.:ather on soap-boiling days, an unwelcome odor of tainted i allow whi h often lingered far too long pervading the purlieus of lashionable Pleasant Street.

Down that way until 1898, there used to be a planked board valk, many 400 yards long and five feet wide, laid the full length i Hazelhurst sidewalk from Old Ferry Road to Albert Street. This ■ ■ < .11 mall was the favorite resort of strollers in summer, freed from

(Left)—This historic building erected about 1793 without the tddltlons, was used as a barracks for French prisoners until Sep-fctnhcr 1805. In John P. Mott's time, soap was made there. It was »mi!M into a bank of clay on property that originally contained a \!irh*ty of slopes and hillocks.

The extensive bulldozing at Hazelhurst during 1946, completely "hlltcrated its landmarks. The site of this 18th century prison is thought to be on the spot where stands the new residence at 59 Newcastle Street extension.

Tli© view is looking eastward towards the heights of Johnstone V venue. In the skyline, one inch to the right of the roof, the tower of lilink Bonnie house rises out of a forest which until then was i (most primitive. Mount Amelia is at left.

Mr. Harry Tiers., late Curator of the Provincial Museum, is

< ;it<*d in the middle of the group on left. His pictures of the rooms of the prison are at the Public Archives. He has this one dated lunr 18, 1929, just a few years before its demolition.

the heat of smoky downtown kitchens to breathe the balmy air of Hazelhurst, heavy with the fragrance of hundreds of blooms such as roses, rhododendron and magnolia trees. Promenading “the planks,” or loitering by the railed, fence to get a glimpse of the peacocks strutting on the gravelly walks, often whiled away an entire evening for many groups and couples of past generations. A lofty row of hardwoods made the boardwalk shady in summer, and slippery in autumn with layers of fallen leaves.

Until about the year 1900 when Mr. Nelson Conrod erected the first house at number 50 Pleasant Street, the whole of the property bordering “the planks” remained quite rural and primitive. It was the typical country estate with its artistic iron gates at the curved driveway opposite St. George's Lane.t In Mott’s fields opposite the residence, you may still see the oval pond, in the centre of which stood a decorative little house for ducks. Swans were also kept there at times. On that side of the street stood the large building for the coach-house and carriages. All the bobtailed driving horses were stabled there, to be exclusive from the work-horses barned in the lane near the factory.

The original Halifax office of Mott’s at 38 Bedford Row, was demolished only in 1949. In later years they were located at the southeast corner of Duke and Hollis Street. The business was carried on by the late J. Walter Allison for about thirty years following the death of John P. Mott. Then in the 1920’s the industry was closed down. The site is identified from the harbor by a brown sweep of flattened terrain, now being whitened with new homes. This will probably appear like a foreign strand to long absent Dart-mouthians returning to look in vain for the vanished hills and the regal willows1 which flourished for more than a century in the vicinity of the courts of the South End Tennis Association at the first northwest curve of Old Ferry Road.


West of the Hazelhurst railway trestle, the line fence meets the first of the estates “across the Canal.” This is “Evergreen” at 26 Newcastle Street, built with *3 20 rooms on the 19th century property of Judge Alexander James. On the point of land jutting into the Mill Cove was James' wharf. His boat-house, seen in old photos, stood on the present location of the landing stage of the Town Construction Material, Limited. A much earlier chart has this place marked as being Synott’s wharf and limekiln. Tons of broken stone under the thin layer of grassy surface on the point bear evidence of the presence of stonecutters.

There used to be a thick stand of spruce trees on that high

(Courtesy Charles McManus—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd). MOTT’S FACTORIES AND WAREHOUSES about 1913. The manager then was J. 'Walter Allison, associated with John P. Mott from 1876. Over a long period, this thriving concern had agents in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver where large stocks of goods were kept on hand. Mr. Allison resided at “Hazelhurst” about 30 years. He died in 1927, but shortly before that date the firm hadj gone out of business. On Nov. 25, 1930, some of the vacant buildings were burnt down, and the others were afterwards demolished.

bank of glacial clay which is now being gradually carted away. This grove must have extended all around the plateau fronting Newcastle Street. Judge James’ daughter, Mrs. Saidie Morrison now in Vancouver, informs me that when her father moved into their new house in June 1867, he had a rough coach-road cut through the Evergreen woods to Burton’s Hill. Thus we have authentic information of the beginnings of Albert Street. Mrs. Morrison was later born at Evergreen.

The broad hill of Judge James’ property has an interesting association with the past. Like Sandy Cove, it was the location of another and a larger old camping place for Indians. In an account of early Dartmouth, read before the Nova Scotia Historical Society in 1930, Dr. F. E. Lawlor related the story of their arrival there ('very Spring as it had been told by his mother. How the Micmacs in canoes would come down the river which then flowed into the Cove at the edge of Evergreen in the Maitland Street hollow. They were accompanied by their squaws, children and dogs. They usually arrived in the morning, and took the remainder of the day to pitch camps which wore arranged in the form of a circle. In the centre was the campfire. At night, with their housing problem

SOUTH END LAWN TENNIS CLUB ABOUT 189B. The Old Ferry Road bordered by willow trees was at right. Mott’s “Candle Factory Hill” in the background.    The site is about 50 yards west of 71 Newcastle St.

(Courtesy Mrs. Nora MacKay Van Buskirk.    Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd.)

completely solved, the Indians sat in the open around the blazing fire. Outside the circle of braves, squatted the squaws.

The beach, between Canal and Maitland Steets, bears a striking difference in its sandy texture as compared with the rocky shore just to the east. This fine silt has likely been carried down by streams of water for untold ages. Prodding the bottom of Mill Cove from the surface, reveals that for a considerable distance from the beach, there are deep deposits of mud, perhaps washed down off the slopes of Dartmouth from the beginning of the world.

Much of the low-lying land bordering Maitland Street was filled as a town dump some years ago, but the original depression is still apparent in the backyards of Portland Street, on both sides of Maitland. It was up over part of this marsh that salt water used to come during the occasional very high tides of the year. Before the sewer pipes were laid, there was always a stream flowing, under Portland Street and down through the swampy stretch. The whole strip was known as “The Mussquash.” Usually, sufficient rain fell in Autumn to form an early skating area on a frozen pond, tufted with reeds, just behind the Molasses Factory.

How all the water got into this river bed in early times, is not quite clear. The 1749 drawing certainly shows a river. Dr. Lawlor’s account says that it was more voluminous than the present Canal stream. In times of freshets, the lake water might have burst across Prince Albert Road through Findlay’s Old Pond and down behind Teasdale and Foot’s garage to join the drainage waters flowing from the hills north of Erskine Street and Hawthorne School neighborhood. (This old stream was called the river Dart).

Another explanation offered by old residents is that the present Sullivan’s Pond waters, (which was originally a river), used to swerve to the east and cross Prince Albert Road at the junction of Ochterloney Street, and then follow through that flat part of town opposite the Starr Factory, forming such pools as Bowes’ Pond, and another large pool in the yard of the Bell Garages. The former pond is still remembered behind 31 Prince Albert Road, and the latter is on old maps.

This idea does not hold when one consults plans of the Shuben-acadie Canal dated 1826, which was before the circular dam was

(Left)—Reading from left to right the players are:    Miss    Fanny

Parker; John Menger; Lewis K. Payzant; Prescott Johnston; Miss Annie Strong; Miss Isabel MacGregor (sister of Prof. Gordon MacGregor of Dalhousie); Miss Louise Black; George G. Dustan; Miss Mary Ann Parker (Mrs. Rev. Dr. Keirstead of Acadia University); Miss Jessie Mackenzie; Miss Nora MacKay; Mrs. Walter Creighton; Mrs. M. A. B. Smith: Miss Daisy Dustan (Mrs. C. H. Harvey); Miss Josle Howe (granddaughter Hon. Joseph Howe); Dr. Thomas M. IMiFsom; (colored girl in middle unidentified).

(Courtesy Miss Brennan Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd.)

THIS IS THE LOWER PART OF OLD FERRY ROAD, once known as “Green Lane” The curve in the foreground leads to the Old Ferry Wharf. The fence on the left encloses the South End Lawn Tennis Courts, and from there to the shore stood the regal willows mentioned on page 24. Two of them were named for King George III and Queen Charlotte, and two others for Mr. and Mrs. James Creighton of “Brooklands” who had them planted perhaps in the late 1700’s. When this picture was taken about 1900, they were of an enormous size. The whole road was a beautiful shady walk from the wharf all the way up to the present Portland Street.

THE FENCE ON THE RIGHT borders Dr. Parker’s fields at “Beech-wood”, and ran along near the location of the new house at 71 Newcastle Street. The route of the obliterated road to the shore is identified by manholes of the sewer pipe running to Parker’s Wharf.

constructed. They distinctly show a narrow river coursing down through the hollow of the present Memorial Park to cross Ochter-loney Street about the foot of Maple Street on its way to the present outlet near King Street. There is no indication on those plans of any large stream entering the Mill Cove at Maitland Street.

FIRST CANAL ROUTE What the Canal Engineers of 1820“ did notice, however, was the flattened terrain just described. So they planned the route of the Canal along the line of least resistance. The course was straight up from the harbor the length of Maitland Street, then in a direct diagonal line to the river at the present Sullivan’s Pond. No slate rock banks. No blasting. The circular dam would divert the flow of water through a ditch at Prince Albert Road and down into the old river bed through a walled channel to the Mill Cove at Maitland Street. By means of a system of locks, such as had just been completed on the Erie Canal, the harbor of Halifax would be connected with the Bay of Fundy. President Michael Wallace and the other

Old Ferry Inn which stood on area shown on page 26. Farmers stabled horses here, and sailed to Halifax with produce. Road in foreground extended easterly to the Passage. This sketch was made about 1820, and is now owned by Mrs. Walter Creighton. The above drawing was done by Miss Nina Purcell in 1950.

(Courtesy Gerald E. Creighton—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd). THIS IS JOHN PRESCOTT MOTT, a 19th century industrial king of Eastern Canada., who by his business acumen and shrewd investments, became one of the wealthiest men in the Province. Mr. Mott was a President of the Nova Scotia Building Society, a director of the Steamboat Company and other enterprises. In 1861 he was among the incorporators of a Company intending to supply Dartmouth with a system of water and gaslight. Always prominent at town meetings, he served twice as Councillor for Ward 1. John P. Mott’s tall figure, clad in swallow-tailed coat and beaver hat, used to be a familiar one as he was driven daily to the ferry by sleek horses caparisoned in silver-mounted harness. His benefactions to institutions and to people were made regardless of creed or color. But of his vast fortune, not a penny was provided to care for his costly monument and exotic copper-beech trees shading the old family plot in Christ Church cemetery.

Shubenacadie Canal directors were told that the whole works would be completed within eighteen months.

Why the above route was never adopted is fully discussed further along in this story. In the meantime it explains the one time presence of Synott’s limekiln and the tons of stone still under his old wharf on the little point at “Evergreen”.

The other interesting bit of history of that section of Dartmouth is that most of the land from Maitland Street westward, was known in the last century as the Hamilton fields. On ground where now .stands the southeastern part of the Molasses Factory, tennis courts were laid out. This was the first location of St. George’s Tennis Ciub, founded on St. George’s Day, 1885. The only surviving charter member, so far as known, is Mrs. H. D. Creighton of 33 Church Street. This club remained in that location for 15 years. Their new grounds and club house with modern plumbing were opened on May 24, 1900.


Far up over the “Mussquash” an abnormally high tide came in on the night of the Saxby gale, October 4, 1869. At that time the residence of Dr. Hebb at 186 Portland Street had just been finished. The occupants were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Allan.

Many a time in after years the parents used to relate to the family how the gale had been predicted by Lieutenant Saxby, and how, about six o’clock on that dreaded evening they watched with ierror a tall tidal wave rolling in over the low-lying field, and sweeping up towards Portland Street. Fearful that the foundation stones would be loosened by this powerful torrent of water, they made preparations to evacuate the house, as successive waves advanced nearer and nearer. When the flood was only a few yards lmm their back door, the waters weakened, and finally pulled up. (The houses from Hebb’s to Maitland St., did not exist before 1898).

There fs an old tradition that in this part of Mill Cove, a small island used to exist. It is mentioned in a footnote to the History of Dartmouth by Harry Piers, who got the particulars from George Shiels, a lifelong resident who died about 1900. The latter stated that until the island was washed away by the sea in the early part of last century, it had been situated north of Mott’s wharf. (Mott’s wharf ran out from the middle of the present Hazelhurst railway trestle, or about halfway between Evergreen point and Parker’s wharf). As the island disappeared under the action of the sea, according to Mr. Shiels, numerous wooden coffins containing skeletons could be seen. He thought that these were graves of the early French, either prisoners from the Hazelhurst barracks, or a fraction of the one thousand victims of an epidemic which had swept through the fleet of Duke D’Anville in this harbor during the autumn of 1746. More are said to be buried under St. James Church.

(Courtesy Miss Gertrude MacKenzie Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers).

ST. GEORGE’S TENNIS CLUB in the 1890’s. The clubhouse faced the three courts which extended towards Maitland Street. The railway track is seen just outside the wire-netted fence and the southern gate. Left to right bottom row: Miss Gertrude MacKenzie, A. C. Johnston, John Creighton. Middle row: Miss Josie Ilowe, Miss Hattie James, Mrs. H. D. Creighton, Miss Annie Strong, C. E. Creighton. Upper row:    Walter Creighton, Mrs.

Walter Creighton, Miss Saidie James, man bending thought to be A. Stanley MacKenzie, Harry Strong. The last player on the right is unidentified.

(Admiral D’Anville’s expedition was an aftermath of the first siege of Louisbourg in 1745. The Duke died in this port, and was buried on George’s Island. Most of his men died in tents near Mount Saint Vincent    at Rockingham,    where    there is a    commemorative cairn.    Calkin's    History used to have    the story,    but children

nowadays don’t know it, because modern texts omit the account of this international undertaking. Some teachers made the lesson quite fascinating with tales of treasure buried in and around Bedford Basin.    See the    pamphlet 3n    this    subject entitled “Our

Storied Harbor”, on sale at bookstores).

Coming    back to    the Hamilton    fields,    it should    be lecordeci

that in 1903 the town nearly got a big industry when Moirs’ Limited lost their factory in a disastrous fire at Halifax and the firm was considering the removal of their plant to this site.

At the extremity of the Molasses -wharf is the shore where was constructed of wood, the first three-laned ferry steamer, the well-remembered “Governor Cornwallis.” She was launched on the beautiful sunny morning of November 20, 1941. Premier Mac-

Millan of Nova Scotia; William C. MacDonald, M.P., Mayor L. J. Isnor, and others were the chief speakers on that occasion. An immense crowd came from Halifax to mingie with townsfolk and school children who lined the surrounding hills and rooftops. Hugh D. Weagle was the builder. The “Cornwallis” was destroyed by fire on December 22, 1944. Her hull was beached on George’s Island.


The land bordering the Cove in this vicinity has long been noted as an industrial section. The wharves and buildings at the foot of Canal Street now occupied by Weagle s boat-shop were used in the late 1890’ John N. McElmon. lumber manufacturer. About 1895, the property was acquired by R* J. Matheson, prominent Dartmouth business man of that time The buildings were enlarged and converted into a corn and flour mill. On this railway siding there came car-loads of hard wheat and corn from the Canadian West and Ontario. The mill was capable of grinding about 200 barrels of flour, and the same number of barrels of cornmeal per day. These products were sold locally and shipped as far away as Newfoundland and Bermuda. Matheson’s Mill gave employment to about fifteen men. In addition there were sometimes a dozen teams engaged hauling to Halifax docks and wholesale houses.

The extensive piles of lumber seen half way up Canal Stree are on the premises of the Dartmouth Lumber Company. This ii their head office. There is a branch at Halifax on Kempt Road.

Quite near the Dartmouth Lumber Company’s office, the elongated building with the circular roof of Gothic design is the new home of the Dartmouth Curling Club, erected in 1947. The refrigeration for this rink, and also the heating, are both supplied by its next door neighbor, the Woodlawn Dairy, Ltd., immediately to the south. (Watch for an old picture of this area.)


The Dairy and near-by Scrapyard occupy historic land. The whole stretch from the Harbor Motor* ’ building to the shore has been used off and on for over 15(> vears as an industrial site. After the turn of the century there stood in that locality, the extensive works of the Dartmouth Rolling Mills. The nightly glow from the blazing furnaces and the volumes of smoke billowing from the high stacks were familiar sights during the early 1900’s.

This firm, which was later amalgamated with the Starr Factory, manufactured bar iron in squares, flats and rounds. They sold their products to the hardware trade and industrial firms of the Province. Rhodes, Curry and Company of Amherst, was one of their steady customers. Therefore when the latter organization set up their own rolling mill, the adverse effect on the local concern was

(From original painting chez Colonel Van den Vaero, Biarritz, France).

This photo is from a 200-year old painting of the nobleman Admiral d’Anville, commander of the 65-ship squadron sent from France to destroy Louisbourg and Boston. Some of his disease-riddled fleet were no doubt guided by Indians to the shelter of Dartmouth Cove, where there was available the biggest supply of fresh water on the whole harbor front. Hundreds of bones were found when excavating for St. James’ Church and Manse. Whether these were French or early settlers is not definite. In 1932 d’Anville’s remains were found at Louisbourg where they had been re-interred. His heart is preserved at Port-Louis, France.

(The painting, five feet high, is available for purchase. It should be secured for a public building like the N. S. Archives).

very noticeable. In its flourishing years, the weekly pay-roll of the Dartmouth mill often contained from eight} to one hundred names. Tons of slag in the soil and on the east bank of the Canal, are all that remain to mark the site of this once successful industry.


Until the Rolling Mill came there in 1903, the area was mostly covered with grass, in the midst of which you could still see the remains of an extensive oblong-shaped foundation. This marked the site of a very large gristmill commenced by Lawrence Harts* home and Jonathan 'iremame as far back, at least, as 1792. For in that year, there was a grand ball and supper given at Government House in Halifax by Lady and Sir John Wentworth, the Lieutenant Governor. In the dining hall cn that evening were displayed several ornaments. For example, a miniature of the windmill on Camp Hill. Another was an exact representation of Hart-shorne and Tremaine’s new flour mill at Dartmouth.

There is a report of the mill’s production four years later. Dr. Akins’ History of Halifax states that in 1798, Halifax suffered from a scarcity of provisions, and the inhabitants were indebted to Messrs. Hartshorne and Tremaine whuse gristmill at Dartmouth enabled them, through the summer, to obtain flour at a reduced price and to afford a sufficient supply for the fishery.

Perhaps the wheat came from Russia, because in those years, Great Britain was one of Russia’s best grain customers. At any rate, there is a record of Russian wheat being imported to Dartmouth in the 1820’s. The methods of grinding it into flcur are said to have been very primitive. The name of the chief miller is given as William Wilson. In 1826, his house is marked on a map which shows its lone location near lower Canal Street, on tne west.

The machinery was turned by water power from the lakes. An old plan shows    a dam near the Portland Street    bridge of    the

Canal. From that    point, a millrace was    constructed    to convey    the

flow down to turn the water wheel of the mill. One end of the old building reached almost to the location of the new Woodlawn Dairy garage. The Canal was much wider in the days of the gristmill.

At high tide, small craft like “The Maid of the Mill” sailed in to load flour for Halifax at the rear of the main mill. Larger vessels discharged grain at the storehouse shown in photo on the eastern side of the Canal railway trestle. Then    as required,    the wheat or

corn was conveyed    on a broad idler-belt    to the main    mill. In    the

picture, the large wheel which turned this belt, is shown dismantled. The northern end of the storehouse was slewed around in lHHfi to make room for our first railroad. For many years afterwards the old building stored the timber of Bentley and Flemming.

(Courtesy Mrs. G. Christie—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd). CANAL STREAM AT LOW TIDE—END OF SOUTH STREET 188?

# # # #

(Courtesy Scott Publications—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd). SAME STREAM, FARTHER UP, AT HIGH TIDE ABOUT 1913

There are not many citizens left who remember the old gristmill. Those who do, have a vivid recollection of its destruction. One evening, in the spring of 1878, the spacious wooden structure suddenly burst out in flames. It was said to have been of incendiary origin. The glare of the blaze illuminated all of downtown Dartmouth during its progress. While the conflagration lasted, window panes of houses on Portland Street and adjacent Streets were so hot that they could not be touched.

(Courtesy Town Construction Materials Ltd.—Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd).


The pictures on these two pages were taken from the foot of King Street. Top left shows the ruins of Hartsliorne and Tremaine’s gristmill, which stood there nearly 90 years. The front was of brick. The masonry walls to the left indicate the dimensions of the structure. It was two and one-hall storeys high, and was once the most extensive flour mill in the Province. By creasing this page to meet the photo on left, one gets an idea of the proximity of the two mills, and also of the eastern skyline. The wharf is at th^foot of Canal Street and was built by John N. McElmon. Later on, dozens of vessels discharged corn there for Matheson’s Mill. “Sunnyside” is «een between the masts of small schooner. Harvey house on right. Until recent winters, this part of Mill Cove was often frozen for skating and tin-can hockey. On summer days., Young’s dock at extreme right seethed with splashing boys, swimming in nature’s garb.

Northeast of main mill is Glendenning’s field. Double hsuse on

• xtreme left is 209 Portland Street. Across the street, the vacant Hamilton field stretched to their house just over the mill, now the spot of the Molasses Factory. Adam McKay built “Stoneyhurst”, Keen at 50 Summit Street. The cottages on skyline to the northeast re at the top of Sunnybrae Avenue. Lawlor’s old farm at right. The wooden bridge., which looks njew, was not likely built until after the Canal Company had ceased operations, in 1870.

Lower left shows Mumford Machine Shop at Canal bridge, and tin Rolling Mill with its four heating-fumaces. Both were amalgamated with the Starr Company at the time. Site of 1749 sawmill is about south end of Rolling Mill. Stream has been much filled with slag. Logs of Bentley and Flemming furnished masts for Mar-

<    »nl towers, at Glace Bay, and also spars for international champion m< liooner "Bluenose”. Many oldsters will recall sailing on Bentley’s I * h in boyhood. Prfor to sewers, this river bed yielded delicious rlii ins. The tow-path of old Canal is on left. At its extremity once stood the electric light plant. Until 1905, the Town stone-

<    rusher operated near Mumford building at right.


On the east bank of the Canal, on land now occupied by the Dartmouth Scrapyard, Governor Cornwallis had his craftsmen set up a sawmill a few weeks after he arrived in 1749. Hence “Mill Cove’' comes from the name of the first British Government industry in the port of Halifax. The first massacre of Cornwallis’ settlers occurred 200 yards from this mill on September 30, 1749. (See commemorative plaque at Medical Centre, corner Portland and Canal Streets, directly opposite St. James United Church).

Tradition says that there was an abundance of fir and spruce on this side of the harbor, and that the Micmacs had a name for Dartmouth which meant “the place of fir and spruce.” Cornwallis’ Intention was to use up this timber to obtain lumber for the first big building boom of Halifax in 1749. In addition to the mill, he had a shelter erected as early as July to house his lumberjacks and a small guard of soldiers. This is the first written record of the commencement of a housing development in Dartmouth.

Of course, Cornwallis did not use the name “Dartmouth”. There is no reference to the name in 1749 or 1750 in his correspondence. His reports to London refer to our side of the water as the “Saw Mill”—meaning that portion of the town in the neighborhood of the Canal. He mentions a fort at the Sawmill. Dr. Akins’ History says that a cannon was erected on the Point near the Sawmill.


The biggest boom that came to our town in the 18th century, commenced in 1785 with the removal from Massachusetts of the Nantucket Whaling Company. The purpose of their coming here was to prosecute the whale fisheries from a port which was under the British flag. The United States had just gained their independence. For many years, Great Britain had been the biggest buyer of oil from the American whale fishermen. But now that they belonged to a foreign nation, their whaling products would be subjected to a very heavy duty before being marketed in England.

This 18th century oil industry set up their factory and wharves in the Dartmouth Cove. The factory building for the making of spermaceti candles and other products was situated on the northwest corner of King and Marine Streets. One large wharf ran out into the Mill Cove, just to the northeast of that big reddish brick building which now houses the office and machine shop cf the Shipyards. (See historic plaque at this plant.)

Their vessels sailed from here to the whaling grounds off the Brazilian and African coasts. Thousands of pounds sterling were made in this enterprise. The firm carried on business here for seven years, then packed up in 1792, and moved the whole manufactory to Milford Haven in Wales.

Most of the employees belonged to the Quaker religion. A few of their houses still remain in Dartmouth. So do the descendants of one or two families, like the Colemans and Elliots. The Dartmouth Service Center now stands on the site of the old Quaker Meeting House at the northeast corner of King, and Queen Streets. Whole blocks of town lands in this vicinity were taken up by over forty families of these people. Ihe sccticn got to be called Quaker-town. The Bell Bus terminal building v. ls originally a Quaker-built house. There is another at 59 Ochterloney Street. Also at the S. E. corner of Ochterloney and Commercial. Another at 4 Commercial THft SHU BEN ACAD IE CANAL

As has been previously stated, the Maitland Street river was first chosen for the Canal route. That terminal was abandoned when it was noticed that in rcu'fh weather, the shore line there, received the full force of southerly storms.

The present course was chosen because the outlet is in a more sheltered position. But it necessitated the straightening out of the original stream through a long high bank of slate rock which once sloped westerly from St. James’ Church level. You can see evidence of this, on both sides of the Canal bridge. Imagine the extra expense and labor involved in this short section, when it is considered that only handdrills were used in blasting out this man-made gorge. All this work created a boom in Dartmouth.

On the Wentworth Park side of the stream, you can still see the towpath, along which horses dragged flat-bottom scows to meet the inclined plane. This was like a Shipyard cradle, running, under a wooden bridge at Portland Street, up the slope until it landed rhe scows in the pool at the northern end of the Starr Factory. From that point a small steamer towed them through the several lakes and locks. Old folks still remember the steamer “Avery.”

Amid high expectations of success, the work had been commenced in July 1826, when the first sod was broken at Port Wallace Locks.2 Hon. Michael Wallace presided. It was an era of Canal building. The merchants of Halifax were to capture the trade cf Hants and Colchester Counties which was then going to St. John. Transporting heavy freight over roads was impracticable in those days. Canal boats were to bring back the immense natural resources of gypsum, limestone, granite, bricks, timber, deals, boards, grain, hay, beef, pork, butter, and so on.

From Halifax, molasses, sugar, flour, iron, drygoods and all t Mo heavy overseas shipments going out from the railway freight ‘ hods today, were to pass up through the Canal. With the completion of the proposed Chignecto Canal, there was to be an unin-

terrupted waterway to Maritime and Upper Province seaports. Railway locomotives were then in their infancy and were generally ridiculed. Compared with the annual outlay on post roads, the cost of the Canal upkeep would be trivial.

Small wonder that shrewd business men, like Samuel Cunard and Enos Collins, invested thousands of pounds sterling in this new venture. So did the British and the Provincial Governments.

Small wonder also that many shareholders got panicky and withdrew their money when the heavy frosts of the first few winters damaged the stone masonry, until it finally broke the dam at Porto Bello Locks. The sudden rush of water then destroyed the costly works at Fletcher’s Locks. For nearly 40 years afterwards, intermittent attempts were made to re-organize, mostly by the Fairbanks family through three generations.

Altogether the scheme cost nearly half a million dollars. There are a few old residents who remember scow-loads of logs coming down the inclined plane at Portland Street, in the years just before the plan was abandoned in 1870. Coal and supplies for the gold mines went up on the return trips. When the new railway built an iron bridge over the Shubenacadie river at Enfield, and a fixed bridge replaced the former drawbridge at Waverley, the doom of the old Canal was sealed.


The long building on the upper side of the bridge has an international reputation. This is the Starr Manufacturing Works, named after John Starr, who set up a nail factory on a location where he could utilize the Canal water power. Here, in 1863, in an old shed formerly used as a gold crusher, John Forbes made his famous spring skates said to be the first, but one, of that type in the world. The lever attachment of this new patent was so much simpler than the strapped wooden-top style, that spring skates caught on like wildfire, and were sold in almost every quarter of in the world where ice was known. *

The wooden tops of the old time skates often became split after a sudden stop of the skater, -or a quick turn on the long blades-The invention of metal skates therefore, completely revolutionized the game of ice hockey. Mr. Forbes improved his patents from time to time. In 1866 he brought out the Forbes Acme skate. The 1875 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s article on skating, describes the Forbes Acme as being the best of any skate on the market. (See historic plaque on old office).

They carried the name of Dartmouth into the United States, England, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, China and Siberia.

* Some say the idea of spring skates originated with Thomas Bateman.


In artificial ice years the products were sold in Australia and New Zealand. It has been estimated that over eleven million pairs of spring, hockey, tubular, and roller skates, went out from this factory. In the first thirty years of its existence, the old Company paid out over a million dollars in wages. That amount probably doubled in the after years, because the amalgamation with the Dartmouth Rolling Mills in 1907 enormously increased payroll figures.

From its inception the Starr Company continued to branch out into several lines of endeavor. About 1875 they built 200 coal cars: for the Intercolonial Railway on the Hamilton property near the foot of Canal Street. They made the first iron bridge in Nova Scotia about 1876, and set it up over the river at Elmsdale for the new railway. Other contracts included the artistic Golden Gates at the entrance to Point Pleasant Park and the job of constructing the central steel span of the railway bridge over Halifax harbor in 1885. At one time they had about 250 employees.

Prosperity came so fast around the corner to this thriving enterprise that in one flourishing year of the 1870’s they paid a Santa Claus dividend of 24%. Providing for rainy days evidently wasn’t a concern of profit-seeking Directors of those early times.

After that, the Company progressed calmly, having its cycles of ups and downs. In the depression period of the 1930’s the skate department was closed down and the skate-making machinery and equipment were sold to be shipped abroad.

For a good many years in the past and present centuries, Dartmouth enjoyed a superior reputation through the medium of the Skate Factory. Attractive exhibits won gold medals at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and at the Paris Exhibition of 1911. The Starr Company also had the honor, by special appointment of King Alphonse XII, of being skate makers to the royal house of Spain.

Big display advertisements, often in French or German language, regularly appeared in ice-sport magazines of the United States and Canada, featuring the latest styles and makes of skates. Leading newspapers throughout Canada sold plenty of space to the Starr Company, particularly during the fall and winter seasons.

Dartmouthians abroad could not but be thrilled with pride to learn of our local products in the columns of La Patrie, Montreal; The Toronto World; or the Winnipeg Telegram; for at the bottom of the advertisements, the notation would read:

The Starr Manufacturing Company, Ltd.,

Works and Head Office, Dartmouth, N. S.

Branch Office 122 Wellington St., Toronto

(Courtesy S;tarr Manufacturing Works, Cut Eastern Photo Engravers) A feature of the 1950 celebrations was this historic plaque unveiling at Starr Manufacturing Works. The man in the middle has Just performed the ceremony. He is Leander F. Stevens who has been employed at the Starr plant, almost without interruption, since 1883. At the right is Arthur C. Pettipas, Bicentennial Chairman, who delivered the address. At left is John P. Martin, Chairman of Plaque Committee. Deputy Mayor Carl Merson presided. Guests included. Rev. E. W. Forbes, nephew of John Forbes, and Alexander Patterson, veteran champion skater. Note spring skate on upper l^ft opposite modern model. (Skate* designs by H. B. Douglass. Plaque design by Peter Douglass).

A new Company re-organized in 1939, today is employing about 35 persons. Their products include bolts, nuts, rivets and all kinds of metal .fastenings. They are showing steady progress under the Presidency of Gordon D. Stanfield.

THE OLD CANAL BRIDGE In our narration of sights seen along the waterfront, we are now crossing over to the west side of the Canal. This stream was a dividing line between the original town plot, and its later exten-

sions. On the downtown side of the river, there are no large estates comparable with those that we have been describing thus far.

The wooden Canal bridge, replaced by the present stone one in 1S93, was a dividing line in another manner for the youthful gangs of the last century. Here the “up-alongs” encountered the “down-alongs.” Woe betide a straggler from either side, if he were caught unaccompanied at night in the territory of the enemy.

Photo on 446

James Settle’s blacksmith shop, established in the Confederation year of 1867, stood just east of the Community Groceteria. Many will recall the wooden frame for shoeing oxen on the sidewalk there until a few years ago. It was the only one on the eastern side of the harbor hereabouts. Down behind here came the overflow from the upper bridge spillover, which is now diverted at the foot of the High School hill. This swirling bowl of water in the hollow behind Settle’s shop served as a drinking place for animals, and a source of water-supply on wash days before the pipes came.

McElmon’s Sawmill, east of Abbott’s, was destroyed by fire in 1899. It was operated by water power. So was the Starr Factory.

Along the rails of the wooden bridge, country teams would be hitched on a Saturday, while occupants made their last purchases up I’ortland Street before proceeding homeward for another week.

Then. were then, no shops of consequence on the road to the Eastern Passage, or to Cole Harbor district.

Groups gathered around the Canal Bridge in the evening. “Dick” Innes, a town constable, could hang by his toes over the

• *dge, with a yawning chasm far below. In calm weather, you could In ir teams rattling over the loose planks, four or five blocks away. p. 45


Near the stop sign at Prince Albert Road, you will notice that H ( re is an oblongish-shaped opening in the Canal Bridge. Through tins aperture went a wooden mill-race, erected along the bank from ii«* lower end of the Starr Works. Its purpose was to conduct a flow of water to operate the Town stone-crusher, set up on the mic level on the southern side of the bridge. Team loads of h« ivy rock were hauled in over a platform on the Portland Street :<!»' lo be dumped into the powerful jaws of the crunching crusher, p. 460

Piles of all sized macadamized material for our Town streets nitc continually being heaped up and carted away from the area where now stand the Harbor Motors’ machine shop and the Cur-Iim). rink. On a still day, you could hear the familiar chug-chug <>f the crusher within a radius of half a mile. In windy weather,

1 nt clouds of whitish stonedust would be wafted far and wide »<> pray many a Monday wash on neighboring clothes lines.

Phi (mouth Poller Court Nows, August 1880. A boy named Donovan, charged viih i.i.-.itwetlm: and loafing on the Canal bridge to the annoyance of passers-by, ild 1    i ' 'Hi i.mi.', was convicted and fined $4 or 40 days.

The spillway at the crusher made a rather attractive scene. The boxed-up rush of water, suddenly checked, used to swirl and spill over in curtain-shape to the Canal bed eight or nine feet below. It was sort of a miniature Niagara. It looked even better in winter with the perpendicular cliffside coated in ice, and a growth of long hoarfrosted icicles in all sorts of sizes and fantastic shapes adorning the edges. (Photo p. 449.)

The stone-crusher had been set up about 1894 after Street Superintendent Watson L. Bishop took over the position. Previous to that, rock used to be crushed by manual labor in the shed at the old Exhibition building on Park School location. see>aiso bottom 449

In later years, a sloping metal flume ran from the crusher-dam across to the west side of the Canal. There in the basement of the building at 162 Portland Street, the Electric Light Company generated enough power to operate the Town street lights. The old stone-crusher location is now completely buried under tons of fill put there recently to widen the surrounding area.

Near the spot where the flume landed, there used to be a bubbling spring of pure water. Up to the 1890’s dozens of dories came there to fill their puncheons, rowing up with the tide from schooners in the Cove and harbor. As they moved in and out of the Canal,the boatmen often sang to the rhythm of their oars.

On that spot also there is a buried semi-circular tunnel, which was burrowed out in the early days of the Canal. The openings were visible until about fifty years ago. Boys used to crawl through from one end to the other. This was the spillway for Lock number one. As the fall of water from Lake Banook to that point of high tide is nearly 70 feet, there had to be eight locks erected in that short distance. These locks later were abandoned for the inclined plane arrangement. The tracks of the latter commenced under the wooden bridge snown opposite.


All the land on the north bank of the Canal as far as Wentworth Street was very much lower up to about the year 1900, when it was commenced to be used as a Town dump. You can yet see the original depression in the Portland Street backyards. Down through this natural hollow from time immemorial, waters from the lakes to the harbor evidently flowed diagonally across Portland Street at Victoria Road. Excavations recently made all around this vicinity, reveal the soil to be a mass of sand suggesting it to be the course of an ancient river.

In the rear of his property at 128 Portland Street, Alexander Lloy’s lower fields (now Green Street), were very swampy towards the Canal. Near the towpath, the waters collected to form what was known as Llpy’s Pond. In summer, polliwogs wiggled there until they became tweaking night frogs. In winter, the pond provided a convenient downtown skating oval.

This photo will convey some idea of the labor involved in hlasting out the artificial river-bed to straighten the Canal stream. The natural course of the water, which was a few rods to the left, must often have flooded the flats thereabouts, especially in spring freshets. The wooden bridge was therefore a great boon to rural travellers, and provided a safe route to the main ferry. Date of this bridge is in the late 1820’s. About that time, the Old Ferry ceased running.

Fishermen in dories are obtaining water in spring, already mentioned.. The two stone-piles on the left bank, mark the outlets of the tunnel. Building on Portland Street is Settle’s blacksmith shop. Photo was taken by Thomas G. Stevens about 1890.

'< mirtesy Miss Ethel Stevens)    (Cut    by Eastern Photo Engravers)

All the lowland from there to the corner of Green and Wentworth Street was filled in during many years with downtown gar-i>;ii-;<\ ranging from meatbones to discarded automobiles. The pre-ence of rats and flies decreased property values. Even after the arm was closed as a dump about 1925, ashes continued to be deposited from houses nearby.

About 1940, community workers there commenced to build what i . now officially named Wentworth Park. Tons of earth were Mprmd by grown-ups and youths. Flower beds, shade trees and hrubbery were planted year after year by voluntary laborers of tin1 district. The result has been a complete transformation of that arm. Historic relics are preserved there. For instance, a large flat slate-stone from a town pump which once stood in the street outside Dr. Cunningham’s residence on Queen Street, and a block of Scottish granite used in the Canal works. Lilac trees, laburnums, maples, elms, ash trees and pines from estates near Dartmouth having a historic significance were transferred and transplanted there. Groups of children, who play in the Park, are trained to take care of the trees and flower beds', .p. 534

EAItLV canal GEOGRAPHY As is the case in any estuary, there are tons of mud and silt deposited between Portland Street and the railway trestle of the Canal. The original stream used to be much deeper, and much wider in the lower areas. A plan of this section, drawn in the 1780's, shows that there was a Small wha**f built for the Nantucket Whaling Company in the hollow at the eastern end of South Street. This was in addition to the larger wharf previously described.

The water in that Vicinity evidently was deep enough to bring in small vessels, because up to about the 1890’s there used to be an old two-masted schooner leaning up against the remains of the South Street cribwork. For a great many years, the after-c-abin of this craft solved the housing problem for its sole occupant. He was “Jimmy’* Wilkinson, an elderly man whose chief attribute seems to have been that he was generally pretty tired.

OUR FIRST MASSACRE As has been previously stated, the vicinity of the lower Canal is the oldest settled part in the town. Even before Dartmouth was founded, the authorities at Halifax had a sawmill and a guardhouse put up on this side of the harbor. This was during th*8 summer of 1749. On the 30th day of September in that year, the first major massacre of Cornwallis’ men took place in this locality.

The slaughter occurred early on a Saturday morning, when six men employed at felling timber in a section about 200 yards from the mill, were suddenly assailed by a band of howling Indians who had been lurking in the thick forest thereabouts, perhaps from the previous evening. It was the season of Michelmas when the nights grow longer and blacker. The savages had no doubt crept down from the lakes in the darkness.

Four men were killed in that Mill Cove massacre, and a fifth man carried up-country as a prisoner. The sixth one escaped, because he was probably out of musket range, and was consequently able to get back to the mill where Major Ezekiel Gilman and his guards were stationed.

Governor Cornwallis had long feared an attack on his colonists, but not from that direction. He had recently received information that the Indians were designing to molest the settlers at Halifax during that first winter. The Micmacs, who had been friendly when the transports came in June, afterwards began to assume an attitude of aloofness. On September 11, 1749, the Governor wrote to the home government that not one Indian had appeared at Che-bucto for some weeks past. This was most unusual.

Then reports reached him that the Micmacs were becoming hostile. At Canso in August, they took twenty English prisoners. Later at Chignecto another band of savages attacked some merchant vessels, and killed three of the crew.

This evidently moved, the Governor to take extraordinary precautions. Accordingly, he ordered Captain John Gorham and his rangers to take up winter quarters in Bedford at a post which later became Fort Sackville. Thus his little palisaded colony at I lalifax was well guarded at the front entrance.

But as Historian Thomas H. Raddall points out, Cornwallis failed to realize that there was also a back entrance to his settlement. This was by way of the river and lakes from Shubenacadie to Dartmouth. Traditionally it was a route used by Indians from time immemorial.

Down these waters, therefore, must have journeyed those 40 ferocious redskins on that fateful Feast of Michelmas of 1749. The likelihood also is that they beached their bark canoes near the foot ol Lake Banook.

Kvidently the Indians were in their hideout by dawn, for the ault occurred about seven o’clock in the morning,, according to 1 >i Akins’ History. Two musket muzzles belched out first, and ^ii a deadly volley spurted from the guns of the assailants.

When the soldiers from the Mill found their four dead comrades hit it, they saw that two of them had been brutally decapitated.

hr heads had been carried away. A third victim', had his scafp ' mi off. This pursuing detachment at length overtook some of the, and succeeded in killing two. These they promptly scalp-

• i probably for the bounty.

In the collections of the N. S. Historical Society for 1892, there

• * <>ntribution by Miss Elizabeth Frame of Shubenacadie on the inu.viacrr. It is an account written by one of the New England ‘.hut:. In Halifax and published in a Boston newspaper of 1749.

ill* -.polling is unaltered:

Halifax, October 2, 1749 — About 7 o’clock last Saturday > niiii;: as several of Major Gilman’s workmen was sawing, one

• •hiin unarmed was bearing a stick of timber 200 yards from his n .< and mills, on the east side of the harbor they were surprised

- about 40 Indians who first fired two shots and then a volley up..11 thnn and killed four; two they scalped and cut off the heads

ih. others, live is missing and is probably carried off. One who

< youtu: man belonging to New Hampshire.

“Two or three men at work near the mill made their escape to a wooden planks—on one side of the Major’s house. As soon as he was alarmed he called in all his people and a party of 12 soldiers into his half finished blockhouse, fired his guns into the woods among them, and awaited their attack which they did not make, although they might easily have carried the place.”

The story of the tragedy was also expanded into a fascinating tale as recent, as 1944 by the famous Nova Scotia novelist, Dr. Thomas H. Raddall. It was around the prior and the subsequent adventures of the captured Mill Cove wood-cutter of Major Gilman's party, that the author wove the prize-winning story of “Roger Sudden.” In two complete chapters of this book, the reader is carried back in imagination to the 18th century wilderness of Saw Mill river, with its painted red-skins, Indian war whoops and whizzing tomahawks.

The Saw Mill massacre was not the worst that we had in Dartmouth. There was a more terrible attack in May 1751 which was centered around the Blockhouse. But we shall reserve that story until we have completed the description of the waterfront.


The shore near the mouth of the Canal was the site of shipbuilding and repairing yards in the days of wooden ships. There used to be an old cofferdam grounded near the present Shipyard wharf until about 30 years ago. The beach on that side, and over near Weagle’s boat-shop, was very suitable for caulking ships as they lay careened at low tide. Lowden’s Shipyard and also Young’s, where many sailing vessels were built in the 1800’s, are thought to have been in this vicinity. A large ferry, known as the team-boat, was launched in the Cove in 1816.

Farther along, near the long red building of the Shipyard, is the site of the wharf and buildings of the Nantucket Whaling Company which manufactured oil there about 1790. On the same location stood Adam McKay’s boiler shop in the 1870’s. Later it was acquired by N. Evans and Son. The hull of the, first ferry “Sir Charles Ogle” is buried in the cribwork there. (Located on page 166.)

All this area was known as the “Point”, and is so mentioned in many early accounts of Dartmouth. With its varied sized rocks and boulders, it ran out something like Point Pleasant at Halifax. Until the shoal was cribworked and filled in some years ago, it used to furnish annually an abundance of clams and lobsters.

The southern extremity of the Shipyards shoal is marked by an upright wooden spar-buoy anchored 100 yards offshore. The assumption is, therefore, that the “Point” extended out that far into the waters of the Mill Cove, ages ago.

Up to about 1930, there used to be an oval-shaped bank of earth, nearly 30 yards long and 20 feet high, on that part of the Point, extending southerly from the last cradle on your right, as seen from the harbor. It was probably of glacial origin.

A rather gruesome bit of history is associated with this mound. From a gibbet there in the month of May 1765, five men were executed on the one scaffold. Two had been convicted for murder and three for burglary. Their names were Cornelius Driscoll, David Lawlor, James Donnelly. David Taylor and Joshua Smith. As was the custom of those times, the bodies were kept hanging in chains, enclosed in cages. From this grisly event, the name “Gibbet Point” appears on 18th century sketches of this part of Dartmouth.

On early maps of Dartmouth in 1750, the name is given as “War-lvn’s Point”. Afterwards it was known as “Green’s Point” from lion. Benjamin Green, a member of Governor Cornwallis’ first Coun

it its photo taken about 1912 shows Marine Street on the present 'htpyiird property. Until World War II it was a town-owned imi i To the right is the “Point” where the hangings were held in 170rt. The lettering on the buildings indicates the boiler shops of N at tumid Evans and Sons, successors to Adam McKay. Extending • f t from these buildings ran the large wharf of the Nantucket Wlmllng C ompany of 1785. It stood there over 40 years. The can-dlr fiu tory H'jw on the location of the present plate shop. Oil vats • likely In the vicinity of Marine Street. The glacial mound of hilght green grass was Just behind the dwelling house.

til who probably got it as a Crown Land    grant.    In    1769    the    “Nova

ell, who probably got it as a Crown Land    grant.    In 1769    the    “Nova

Scotia Chronicle’ ’ advertised his possessions for sale, stating they “include a lot of 10 acres, more or less, on the Dartmouth Point”.

The name “Collins’ Point” is noticed on maps dated about 1830, because by that year, the land had been purchased from the executors of the Nancucket Whaling Company by Hon. Enos Collins, wealthy Halifax merchant and owner of Gorsebrook estate.

On an 1811 plan of Thomas Boggs’ property in the present Shipyard surroundings, there is a large pond    shown    on    the level surface

tit the foot of the slope just down from    the main    gate.


When the glacial mound at Gibbet Point was being removed some 20 years ago, workmen made a mysterious discovery. Near the base at one side of the hillock, they unearthed a planked covering about 15 feet square. Further investigation disclosed a man-made pit, carefully cribbed with logs bolted at the ends, extending to a depth of nearly ten feet. Whether this excavation was the remains of an old vat of the Nantucket Whaling Company, or a cache for pirate treasure, local Shipyard officials were never able to determine.


On the harbor side of the Shipyards where you see parallel rows of marine cradles, the “soft” shore must have made it a favourable landing place for small boats in early days. Officers and workmen of the 1749 Saw Mill no doubt used this, when travelling to and from Halifax. In later years, there were likely careening yards in this vicinity. Evidence of this was an abandoned coffer-dam, beachcd until recent years at the wTestern end of Marine Street, which ran at right angles to the foot of King Street. On this “soft” beach in 1858, tho first marine railway was constructed.

The estate of Thomas Boggs comprised the area bounded by Prince, South, K:ng and Marine Streets. In addition he owned the land where the wooden cradles now stand, and also the water lots on the shore. Chappell’s Shipyard, a thriving enterprise of the last century, is thought to have been located on the beach in Mill Cove.

Exactly 100 years ago next month, a handsome barque of 300 tons called the “Coringa” was launched at Chappell’s. The “Nova Scotia Chronicle” for January 16, 1851, in describing the event remarks that “this fine craft adds one more to the list of superior vessels turned out by this celebrated builder during the past few years. Of these, the barques ‘Indus’, and ‘Wanderer’, and the brig ‘Charlotte’ have all enjoyed a high reputation”.

The organization which commenced the marine slip was the Chebucto Marine Railway. Albert Pilsbury, American Consul at Halifax, was the chief promoter. When the enterprise started oper-at ions in 1859, they had but one 40-foot cradle capable of carrying vessels of 200 tons. Horses, travelling around a capstan on the shore furnished the hauling power. Later on, double cradles were introduced and steam power was provided. Around the turn of the century, it was common to see 10 or 15 Lunenburg schooners at a time moored off the slip in the spring, waiting to be hauled and painted before proceeding on their voyage to the fishing banks. , Ezekiel Weston, father of B. A. Weston, came from Frankfort, Maine in 1859 to manage the slip. He remained on the job over 40 years. Edward Stanley, Chief Engineer from 1870 to 1918, had a record of not missing a single day through illness.

The Marine Slip was taken over by the Halifax Graving Dock Company in the 1890’s. Then in 1918, this concern was acquired by the Halifax Shipyards. They purchased from the Town during World War II, the parts of Prince and King Streets south of the railway tracks, and erected the present metal fence on their line.

The cradles down there were built by the Crandalls, internationally known in submarine construction work. Horace I. Crandall supervised the first one in 1859, and James Lyle Crandall did the

• a me, as recent as 1941, when the southernmost steel cradle was built. This type is capable of hauling war vessels of the destroyer class, or freighters up to about 3,500 tons. The length of the mar-u:«* railway tracks is about 700 feet.


Lyle’s historic shipyard was located just south of the present f< net* of the Shipyards, on that stretch of shore below the railway iiaek paralleling Cunard Street. Besides owning water lots there, \H’\nnder Lyle purchased from Samuel Cunard the triangular piece "f land now bounded by Prince, South and the waterfront.

Lyle’s shipyard started about 1823. In succeeding years, three i hr paddle-wheeled ferry-steamers were built there. Old records

• Iirate there was a continual succession of launchings from Lyle’s. Ml classes and sizes of vessels were included. The most speedy of

• • was the sailing ship “Barbara” which held a record for a trans-

ii.mtlc crossing. The most unfortunate craft was the barque i t" completed in June 1843, and totally wrecked only a few later at Goose Island 60 miles to the eastward.

I.vie Street and Chappell Street in north Dartmouth commem-itr the names of two of our early builders of wooden ships, i p to about 1925, South Street was called Boggs’ Street. Com-1 i1 i’il street was Water Street. Until the years of World War I, rr t ipn of the waterfront near the Slip was much used for r ami bathing. In 1897 the youth of that neighborhood formed , «ni/ation known as the Boggshire Rowing Club. On the »    *»l water off the Shipyards, during 15 successive years, the

young people carried out a juvenile regatta which in time became quite an aquatic attraction. Many Dartmouth adults recall wun enthusiasm the wholesome enjoyment of a Boggshire regatta evening when summer crowds would line the bank and railway tracKS to cheer their efforts pulling at oars or paddling on planks.

When the railroad was constructed to the Sugar Refinery in 1885, the curve at the intersection of Water and Boggs7 Street was erected on trestles over the beacn, because the shore line then extended to the edge of the present South Street. This tresUe work is now buried by tons of fill, deposited there during the years that this hollow was used as a public dump. Half a dozen yachts would be hauled up for the winter on a gravelly beach where now stands a green house at 4 South Street. This is the site of the workshop and repair yard of Michael Devan, well-known shipwright of last century. Rob’t Falconer p. 20, once lived at sw corner Prince and South.

Farther along the railway track at the northern boundary of the present Community Coal yard, there stood until about 1890 a shed, for storing ice, owned by the Glendenning brothers. Their mam icehouse was on the location of the lVIicmac Club at Lake Banook. For many years, Dartmouth was the ice emporium for Halifax harbor shipping. Dories used to land at Giendenning’s beach to load blocks of ice for their fishing vessels moored in the harbor or at Halifax wharves. Glendennings then had also a mineral water factory beneath their residence at 14 Commercial Street. Fairley and Stevens razed it only a year ago. The office and distributing warehouse of Glendennings was on Hollis Street in Halifax.

The little alleyway which adjoins 11 Commercial Street was known as Campbell’s Lane. At the above address dwelt Dr. Campbell, prominent physician of last century. The section was then much more fashionable. In Campbell’s yard was a luxuriant garden. A private pump there, with a never-failing supply of water, was available to neighbors. It was very hard water, not at all serviceable in washtubs. At the rear of the garden was a cottage for Campbell’s colored servants. Some of them had been Southern slaves. Aged “Abbie” Bundy, very much stooped, and supporting herself with a stick, greeted children by kissing a coat sleeve or the hem of a dress.


A brother    of Dr. Campbell had been in the    coal business.    At

the    end of the    lane was a long well-built wharf.    A large coal    shed

north of that ran parallel with the railway. It was Campbell’s wharf that the Citizens’ Committee of Dartmouth leased when they purchased the '‘Arcadia” to run a pedestrian opposition ferry to the old    Steamboat    Company. This situation arose    early in 1890    when

the    Company withdrew the sale of commutation    tickets.

The struggle between the citizens and the Steamboat Company lasted about three months. In April 1890, legislation was obtained to organize the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. This body took over the liabilities of the Citizens’ Ferry Committee. Delegates were next sent to the United States to negotiate for the purchase of a secondhand ferryboat named the “Annex”. Meantime the small steamer “Arcadia” kept running in opposition to the Company, transporting people for two cents, and later for one cent. Nearly everyone boycotted the regular ferry. By midsummer the Steamboat Company felt obliged to capitulate. Then a)] the property of the 75-year- old Halifax and Dartmouth Steam Ferry Company was acquired by the new Dartmouth Ferry Commission. The makeshift landing and ticket booth at Campbell’s wharf were abandoned.


In those years, Warner’s coal wharf, next north of Campbell’s, \v;*s used as a spare “lay-up” dock for ferryboats. It extended into the harbor at the foot of Lawlor’s lane, which is the short thoroughfare still used by the    Dartmouth    Coal and    Supply Company.    This

v. ;.s the wharf where    a dreadful    drowning    disaster occurred    on the

evening of July 11, 1890. Four people lost-their lives. Over 40 ethers were precipitated into the harbor by the collapse of a frail platform suspended over the water by a pair of ordinary size chains. The throng had surged out on this stage in order to be among the : t to board the new “Annex” just arriving from New York. The -tims of that accident were Peter Boyle of Tulip Street, Miss Ella ‘ iynott of Synott’s Hill, Miss Bessie Foster of Mount Amelia and iKje Johnny Bundy of Campbell’s Lane.

Warner’s wharf had previously been occupied by Lawlor and Mien lumber merchants. The Lawlor family in the last century wnrd considerable property in that neighbourhood. On an earlier n of Dartmouth, all the west    side of Water Street from    Boggs’

n.M-t to Portland is    marked as    belonging    to Mrs. Jane Donaldson.

Idward Warner moved his equipment one dock north about 1896.

: « n Lawlor’s wharf was leased by George E. Van Buskirk, who had » re allied the Secretaryship of the Ferry Commission to com-ner a coal business. Later it became the Halifax Coal Company. The section of Portland Street up from the ferry used to be re-

• 'I to as the Steamboat Hill. East of the railway and parallel

1 it, almost in line with the present south dock, there was a long dine where George Wright kept a bar, just before liquor licences l o!i::hed in the !880’s. Then the place was converted into the nth Public Reading Room.

1 'ii I hr under side, facing the harbor, was a small shelter known « **»i Cabmen's Alley. Their hacks were lined up adjacent to a platform on the northern side of the Reading Room.

Immediately on the south of the main ferry gates was a low oblong-shaped waiting-room. People bought their tickets at an outside window and took shelter inside. The Captain or Mate stuffed the pedestrian and vehicular tickets into his pocket at the gate, then rang the big bell hanging nearby, as a signal for departure. This clanging brought a rush of commuters out of the Reading Room where most of them lingered until the last.3 p. 471


The brick structure of the Dartmouth Furnishers, straight up from the ferry, was long known as the Sterns’ building. The circular date at the top may be interpreted in two ways. In 1849 Luther Sterns set up a drygoods and shoe store in a large wooden residence there. In 1894 his son J. Edwin Sterns erected the present building.

At this prominent corner stands the antique cannon mentioned at the beginning of this book. Half-buried under the sidewalk, its upper end has been visible in the same position since the early years of the 1800’s. Previously this old gun is said to have been mounted at the summer estate of Sir John Wentworth in Preston where it was used to discharge salutes on special occasions. The hollow where the cannon stood, can still be seen at John W. Colley’s farm on Governor Street.

The office of the Nova Scotia Light and Power Company was built by the Dominion Government in 1894 and used for about 20 years as the local Post Office. Until 1893, four or five wooden houses and shops owned by the Ferry Commission stood along that part of Commercial Street, which then extended to the ]ine of Portland Street opposite Sterns’. Senator Isnor was born near there.

For many years there was an expansive one-storey structure on the location of the ferry waiting room. On the western edge was the Secretary’s office and the Commission room. The greater por-ion of the building, however, was rented for the storage of carriages and sleighs. For three years, prior to its demolition, the entire plant of the Dartmouth Patriot was situated there. The present ferry building was erected by Contractor Thomas Merson in 1906.


All the water lots and town lo'ts on both sides of the original Portland Street line of Steamboat Hill were Crown Land grants to the Steamboat Company at its incorporation in 1816. The present Sim-monds property was then owned by Mrs. Jane Jackson, but from about 1840 onward, the building was occupied by Dominick Farrell, prosperous liquor and grocery merchant of the last century.

This photo of Sterns’ corner taken about 1930, shows the Governor Wentworth cannon in the same position as seen today near the Portland Street show-window of Dartmouth Furnishers, Ltd. The other large structure two doors north was the first brick building: of Dartmouth, erected by Luther Sterns as a store and dwelling about 1864. In a section of his dry-goods establishment, was the local Post Office. One of Dartmouth’s famous residents who called in for morning mail was the great Joseph Howe.

(Courtesy Miss May C. O’Regan)    (Cut    by    Eastern    Photo    Engravers,    Ltd.)

The whole block opposite Farrell’s was gradually acquired by the cdonald family of tobacco fame, who had retreated to rural Dart-"Uth during the 1834 cholera epidemic in Halifax. Their snuff (I was at Macdonald’s Lake. On the present Royal Bank location 1 "od Macdonald’s Hall where the great Joseph Howe often captivated his hearers. At Queen Street corner until about 1900, was V ! in Macdonald’s fishing tackle and tobacco shop with a shiny metal

■ h dangling from a pole over the entrance.

! >iagonally opposite, in the present Lesbirel building, lived George

II <Y;iig, perhaps the most versatile citizen of the time. His apti-

•    included those of a photographer, artist, musician, horticultur-I mdscape gardener, barber, writer and punster. In the elevated

" t way of his combined photographic studio, barber and cigar shop,

•    l«M»d the customary wooden Indian.

In the basement were two concrete bath tubs, four feet in depth.

• patrons indulged in steaming Turkish baths of salt water which

I brrn piped in from the harbor, and heated. In the yard was ft..fusion of flowers and fruits, including cultivated grapes. The mi building on the north was fitted up with long skittle alleys.

Mr. Craig took hundreds of photographs of Dartmouth people and places. Among his numerous paintings on display was one depicting the Expulsion of the Acadians. It covered a stretch of canvas nine feet wide, and contained 500 figures. In the middle wa* Colonel John Winslow, who commanded the expedition. *

Some downtown streets described in these paragraphs are in exactly the same location, so far as known, as they were when laid out by Surveyor Charles Morris in 1750. Then the northern boundary of the first town plot ran easterly from the shore along the line of what is now Church Street. The elevation there was known as “North Range”, and terminated somewhere near Pine Street.

Queen Street used to be Quarrell Street, after Colonel W. D. Quarrell who came here with the Preston Maroons in 1796. He owned the present Lesbirel corner and the water lots just below.

Opposite Lesbirel’s, the Bell Bus Terminal is a transformed house built by the Quakers in the 18th century. In 1797 the property was purchased by Martin Meagher, after whom Meagher's Grant is named.

The high clock tower at the peak of Queen Street is the main Post Office building opened in 1915. A few rods to the left, as seen from the harbor, the lofty weather-vaned steeple is Christ Church, commenced in    1817. Nearby is    the Town Hall, and the new    police

station.    The    square yellowish    tower to the northwest is that of

Grace United Church, which replaced the original wooden church after the Explosion of 1917.

To the north of Grace Church on King Street is situated Dartmouth’s new fire station erected in 1950. The wooden fire station on that site, had been built in 1829 and occupied by the Presbyterian Church congregation until they moved to the Canal bridge in 1871. From that date until 1877, the old church was used as the Town Hall.


The long ridge of land just above there is known as Blockhouse Hill from the fact that a blockhouse was erected on that high level to protect the first settlers. A few yards east of the blockhouse site, the twisted remains of a ship's cannon rests on the lawn of 43 North Street.    This    deadly souvenir    was recovered near Albro’s    Lake

whither    it had    been whirled from the “Mont Blanc” in 1917*    See p-


Coming back to the waterfront, the next noteworthy point is at Cunard’s coal wharf down Ochterloney Street. This was the ferry terminus of John Skerry who operated small boats and rafts from that landing for over 30 years, starting in 1797.

In the late 1800’s, much of the same waterfront and real estate nearby was owned by Duncan Waddell, prominent contractor of that time. At his Ochterloney Street dock was moored a fleet of lighters employed in transporting gravel and stone from McNab’s Island beach


♦The Crain painting may he seen at 16 Main Street, North !:a«ton, Main.

to repair the harbor fortifications. Peter Douglass' large iron foundry was also situated on that wharf from about the year 1893.

On the corner now occupied by the Belmont Hotel, there stood a number of low buildings until about 1900. A century ago, one of them housed Michael Dunn’s grocery and liquor store. The Belmont Hotel developed from the boarding house of Miss Lottie Handley at 15 Ochterloney Street. Around the turn of the century, she had the present building partly constructed, and named the Handley House. Seme ten years afterwards, new management changed the name to “Thorndyke Hotel”. In 1943 when the late L. M. Bell modernized :he promises, he chose the present name from a list of suggestions.

The long stretch of Dartmouth shore from the ferry to Church Street has been changed considerably from its original form. Be-7 ore the waterfront was straightened out by being filled in, the original beach seems to have been crescent-shaped. Commercial Street in the vicinity of Ochterloney evidently has been built up in past years, because the natural low level near the backyards east of the railway tracks, gives one an idea how far the tide came, in the primitive days. The irregular beach line is very clearly defined in a sketch of this section among the photographs on display at the Dartmouth High School.

The suitability for wharf building on this soft shore, as compared with the rocky slope of the land near the foot of Portland Street, was no doubt the reason why the foot of Ochterloney Street was chosen as the terminus of early ferries, such as those of John kerry. When the Steamboat Company was formed in 1815, they » Ntublished the present terminus.


The shipyard of Ebenezer Moseley, started in 1864, was located l i t north of Queen Street. Mr. Moseley was probably the most (lid and best known designer and builder of sailing vessels in Nova *<>tia. Half-block models of his vessels went from Dartmouth to

Paris International Exhibition of 1867.

Another small boat-building shop was owned by George Coleman Hi*- rear of his residence at 89 Commercial Street. The salt water

i    n flowed in to the    east of the railroad, because one of Duncan

xldrll’s lighters was    built and launched from that spot, according

in son, the late Charles Waddell.

I >ominick Farrell's lumber wharf was next north of Waddell’s.

1 tn thr same premises were occupied by John T. Walker, prominent 1    >i contractor, who built many of our houses and wooden schools.

All the broad shore area from Ochterloney to Church Street had 1    " n want to Seth    Coleman from Governor John Parr. Hence

• I* mun Street. A plan of this section in 1786 shows the existence of a large oval-shaped pond running southerly from the hollow at the beginning of Coleman Streep foot of North Street,

Ebenezer Moseley’s yard was afterwards located here until fire damaged his workshop and a half-finished schooner on the stocks at the foot of North Street. Henry Moseley’s boat building premises stood on the same spot in after years.

The Dominion Paint Works organized by Robert Moseley in the 1870’s operated for many years on the present wharf at the foot of North Street. Moseley’s copper paint and anti-fouling paint for iron vessels were of superior quality and enjoyed a wide market. The one remaining building on that wharf is part of the cabin of a vessel which during the American Civil War belonged to the South.

One of the last boat-shops to go, was that of Edward F. Williams who built many rowboats, racing shells and schooners at his yard near the foot of Church Street. All of these places flourished in the years prior to the coming of autos, and gave considerable employment.

On the location of the Liquor Commission and Harbor Cleaners’ warehouses at 5 Church Street, there stood in the latter half of the 1800’s, a long wooden    two storey    building    where    cigars and figs of

tobacco were made.    Cigarettes    were not    much    in fashion as yet.

About 1867 the Virginia Tobacco Company advertised that they were manufacturing smoking tobacco, Black Twist chewing, and several brands of cigars at their factory in Dartmouth. This industry employed about 25 people, mostly girls. At a New Year’s Eve party of 1871, Messrs. Clemens Brothers, the proprietors, entertained a crowd of 150 employees and guests at a bountiful supper and midnight dance on the spacious floor. Later on, thac whole block from Commercial Street to the shore, came into the possession of Allan Macdonald. His son “Togey” dismantled the old factory about 1897.

Just west of the present railway turntable, the heap of heavy stone on the beach marks the site    of a wharf of the Dartmouth Iron

Foundry conducted by    Symonds’ Brothers.    Here    were made stoves,

furnaces, water pipes, hydrants, propellors and ships’ machinery. Robert Craig of Maynard Street, who served his time there in the 1870’s, says that the plant employed over 300 men.

North of Symonds’ Foundry fence was the shop of A. A. Webber and Son. They manufactured smoke stacks, ships’ tanks and boilers. In 1905 they removed to Young’s coal shed at the foot of King Street.

The high aluminum tower of the Liquid-Carbonic Company east of the railway station overlooks the location of James W. Turner’s tannery which flourished in the latter part of the 1800’s. Oblongshaped pits filled with ox-hides in the process of being tanned, occupied the level area there. A pungent odor, attracting swarms of flies, pervaded the atmosphere in warm weather. In the rear of Mr. Turner’s residence, which is the present Belgeary apartments,

there extended a beautiful flower garden. Near his Park Avenue picket fence, a broad pool of water drained from the Common, was preserved for the purpose .of fire protection.

Another prominent residence which strikes the eye from the harbor is situated on the rise of the hill at Church and Edward Streets. This is “Seaview,, owned by G. H. Young. The 22-room residence with colored windows, panelled hallways and a curving staircase leading to an observatory on the third floor was built in 1867 for Frank C. Elliot. The family kept three maids, summoned by pull-bells.

All the rocky elevation of that vicinity extending over to Christ Church cemetery was known as the “North Range”, because it marked tho northerly limits of the town plot as originally laid out in 1750. The highest part of this slate rock ridge is in the rear of 98 King Street, just above the Fire Station. On this strategic spot, commanding a view both towards the lakes and the huts below, was prected a military blockhouse for the protection of our first settlers.

I V nee that height is known as “Blockhouse Hill”.

Around that section known as “North Range” is woven much of Dartmouth’s recorded history. Shipyard Point seems to have been the front part of the original town plot, because Portland Street in the 1700’s was known as Front Street. The back part was the Blockhouse Hill ridge which extends easterly almost to Pine •■itrrot. As it was from the lake district that Indian attacks were fpared, a barricade of spruce trees had been lined up by the in-

ii i bit ants to fence off their settlement and to entangle the enemy.

Instead of being an obstacle, however, the brush palisade serv-»'i is a cover for the Micmac warriors when they made a murderous raid on the town in the month of May 1751. This assault iniiisrd Governor Cornwallis to take further precautions, and as a n sequence there was an order issued a few weeks later that some newly arrived German settlers were to be landed in Dartmouth,

I employed “in picketing the back of said Town”.

No doubt part of this picket protection curved down near the " » of Christ Church cemetery. This was our first graveyard, for

• i used by the families of the Nantucket Whaling Company as bark ns the 1780’s, and is often referred to as the “old Quaker

-    Inn: Ground”. Evidently it was then outside the town plot. The lower part of the present cemetery contained a swamp

■ »ii< h was covered with water most of the year, according to rec-"f Quaker days. A large oval-shaped reservoir which used to ' <lt pp hollow opposite 40 Park Avenue, probably formed part r Mu- pool. The flow of this sluggish water was easterly, and its

-    * run be traced through the cemetery depression and Pine M* . - t to the lower part of Myrtle Street, where it curved down M pl« trppt to Join Saw Mill river running towards Mill Cove.

Thus it is seen that the first town plot of Dartmouth was a peninsula and triangular in shape, with “North Range” as the base line and Shipyard Point as the apex.

Ponds like the Park reservoir teemed with wiggling pollywogs and greenish frogs that croaked all through a midsummer night. Percy F. Ring got a severe bite from a muskrat that he had trapped there 50-odd years ago. Town authorities had a large puncheon sunk into the center of this pool to keep mud out of the hose of the “Lady Dufferin” whenever a fire occurred in that neighborhood.



The earliest history of Dartmouth is recorded in its rocks. The natural stone hereabouts is mostly slate. Near the King Street entrance to the Park, however, are several boulders of foreign looking whinrock. Some have been recently rolled down from the adjacent slope, but many of the same sort are still nestling in the sod, probably in the same spot where they were deposited by the glacier that passed over our area ages ago. Other glacial boulders are lined along Synott’s Hill opposite Geary Street.

The path of the glacier is indicated by surface grooves in the slate rock wherever it is ©xposed. A few can be discerned in the gutter near the Memorial Cairn. More striking examples came to light only a few years ago. These are noticed in the gutters of part of Thistle Street extension northwest of the Memorial Cairn.

Near the northeast corner of School Street and Wyse Road, the Marks-Cross Arena was built in 1923 at a cost of $44,000. This was a steel-framed wooden structure having an ice surface as large as the present rink. Almost 5000 spectators could be accommodated inside. Harrison Marks, William, John and Gordon Cross suffered severe financial losses when fire destroyed the rink in 193 3»

The water tower at the skyline far to the northeast of the Memorial Rink marks the 18-hole golf course and club house of

* the Brightwood Club. This is one of the beauty spots of Dartmouth. The former Wolfe property adjoining was the location once proposed for a cemetery. On the peak of Mount Thom nearby, the highest bonfire in town blazed a welcome for the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII), on the occasion of his visit to Halifax in July 1860.



On that part, of Dartmouth Park just below the Common field stands a 10-foot pyramidal cairn composed of hundreds of colored rocks culled from Martinique Beach. On the summit is an urn of


“Brightwood” farmhouse built in 1868 by Menry F-lliot who wanted to rear his large family in a rural atmosphere. (See p»«e 311.)

red Scottish granite. This monument was erected by the 1941 Natal Day Committee to commemorate the first settlers of Dartmouth.

The small pavilion just below the cairn is known as the summer-house, and was built on the fringe of “Fairy Hill” in 1890, at a cost of $210. The amount was paid out of a bequest of $1000 which had just been left to the Park by ex-Mayor James W. Turner.

The level area at the base of that hill, opposite the Edward Street entrance, used to be called “the Mines” from the fact that quantities of iron ore were dug there by John Cleverdon in 1842.

In one of the flooded shafts, fruitless search was made for Dr. MacDonald, after his sudden disappearance in November 1846.

Other records of those years reveal that during the time that trusteeships of the Common were vacant, some negro squatters had encroached on the land, and had fenced in their shacks on areas crossing part of public roads. As a result of a town petition, the Legislature appointed Henry Y. Mott, John E. Fairbanks and William Foster as trustees in 1842, and thereafter vacancies were replenished. The present Park Commission was organized in 1889.

The former part of the Common where now lie the ruins of an abandoned Catholic cemetery, should be one of Dartmouth’s historic attractions. It is noteworthy for a mounded stone burial vault, for its great number of Indian graves, and for an unmarked tomb of a titled lady said to have belonged to the Spanish nobility.

The complete story of her suspicious death on the present Montagu farm at Lake Loon, and the excitement in Dartmouth during the ubsequent inquest in 1846, is fully related in Mrs. Lawson’s History. Many of the town’s early residents are buried there. The oldest headstone is for Andrew O’Neill, died August 14, 1832;|$ee paw.)

Around that time, Michael Dunn, a merchant already m,entiojn-^

«•(!, conceived the idea of building a large vault for his family; It contains 13 coffins of adults and children, arranged in tiers on

•    it her side, and is one of the few vaults remaining in the Province.

The century-old graves of the Indians are identified by the i long chunks of slate rock, laid in symmetrical rows in a separation. Most Dartmouth Indians attended St. Peter’s Church.



Shortly after the founding of Halifax in 1749, the surveyors m.11 krd off a large area in the rear of the new town to be used as

*    < ommon. They did the same thing over here in Dartmouth, but »•"< urltil the time of Governor Parr in 1788. The practice comes

i u custom long prevalent in medieval Europe when settle-n t m reserved land for a common pasturage—the village green— Ahrrr cattle, swine and sheep grazed, or went foraging.

The original 300 acres of Dartmouth Common commenced just beyond “North Range” at the rear of the town plot. In a northeasterly direction, the frontiers apparently extended to the present Victoria Road and Boland Road. The northwest boundary is thought to have been near Lyle Street, ending at the harbor shore.

All the enclosed land was granted in trust to Hon. Thomas Cochran, Timothy Folger and Samuel Starbuck, members of the Nantucket Whaling Company. By 1798, this industry had left here, and new trustees were then appointed in the persons of Hon. Michael Wallace, Lawrence Hartshorne and Jonathan Tremaine, leading citizens of Dartmouth. After their deaths, the posts remained vacant.

Early trails over the Common were most likely the beginnings of present thoroughfares like Windmill Road, School Street and Shore Road. Fairbanks Street and those at right angles to it, however, were not constructed until the 184G’s. About that time the congested village of Dartmouth began to experience growing pains, which forced the local authorities to apply for the northwest section of the Common to lay out a “new town-plot”. Accordingly all that large triangular area west of Windmill Road to the shore was subdivided and laid off into the present streets. Revenue from the sale of these lands went towards the construction and maintenance of the new roads. Families who erected homes in this section, were listed in Dartmouth directories for years afterwards, as living on “the Common”.

The old burying ground on Geary Street, which once formed part of the Common, was secured for a cemetery in 1835. By 1860 four additional acres of unused Park property had also been converted into cemeteries on Victoria Road near Dahlia Street. On another segment of Common above Synott’s Hill a wooden school-house, still standing as the Dartmouth Armouries, was built in 1876, About 40 years later, on the morning of Dec. 6, 1917, all teaching activities there terminated abruptly and permanently, when the Great Exolosion turned the four classrooms into a shambles. (See photo on page 447.)

In the 1880’s, the Dartmouth Agricultural Society probably observed that the blueberry and alder bushes of the Park were not furnishing much feed for milch cows as was the intention of the government grant in 1788. This Society was then holding annual exhibitions in the comparatively cramped quarters of Reform Club Hall at 75 King Street. Other towns boasted exhibition buildings.

Accordingly Chairman George J. Troop and his Committee commenced a drive for funds. Architect Henry Elliot of Bright-wood submitted plans. Soon sufficient shares were sold to raise $3,500 with which Contractor Thomas Elliot erected a long two-story galleried structure. Cattle sheds were lined along the rear

This was Dartmouth’s first rink built entirely of spruce at a cost of $3,800. Its dimensions were 190 feet by 65, with an ice oval of 175 feet by 50 feet. It was the home rink of the famous Chebucto Amateur Athletic Club, Maritime hockey champions from 1887 to 1894.

Electric lights flooded the entrance on the grand opening of September 29, 1884, when 2,000 people crowded the building for an evening musical concert. Over the original tower fluttered colored flags and streams of bunting.

The new lighthouse section was inserted in 1903. In 1907 the light was removed to its present position on Synott’s Hill.

This local leaning Tower of Pisa was all that remained of wooden Dartmouth rink after the 1917 explosion. Standing as it did on the hilltop, without any sheltering houses on the east side of Windmill Road, the old rink was directly in the path of the terrific concussion that swept down from the Narrows. In pre-movie winters, the rink was a nightly mecca.


All that barren and black-coated shore near the railway station presented a far more pleasing appearance in the days before fuel-oil commenced to discolor our waterfront. Every sun-bleached stretch of beach, clean as a hound’s tooth, was a seasonal gather-ing-place for boating and bathing on our side of the harbor.

There was a large boat-shop conducted by Harlow and Mader in that neighborhood, 60-odd years ago, and later, managed by Joshua Mader and his son George. They built a great many cedar pleasure-boats, but yachts were their specialty. During the quar-ter-century of this firm’s existence" over a score of racing yachts of the Knockabout class slid down the skids of Mader’s reputable boat-yard. Nearly all of these were built for members of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

Perhaps the two fastest and largest of the Mader-built yachts were the “Youla” and the “Wym”. They were modelled after the designs of Fife, the famous English boat-builder. Older residents will recall the beautiful sight of these locar clippers, rounding the Mill Cove turning-buoy in the Saturday afternoon races of the Yacht Squadron over a long period of years, many summers ago.


On the location of the present Government pier, stood the wharf and factory of the Chebucto Planing Mills. They turned out sashes, doors, and other building materials. The proprietor was Frederick Scarfe, well-known industrialist of last century. In his old age, he inherited a fortune from a brother in Australia, and shortly afterwards had the “Edgemere” house constructed on Crichton Avenue. He died in 1906, just a few months before the new residence was completed. Mr. Scarfe was long prominent in civic life, and served seven terms as Mayor of Dartmouth.


At the northeast corner of Shore Road and Best Street was the artistically designed house and beautiful garden of Charles L. Newman, prosperous Halifax jeweller and silversmith. The family had a private wharf on the beach below to accommodate their launch, pleasure-boat and yacht. Charles Newman, junior, had the first gasoline launch on the whole harbor. He constructed the engine himself. The boat was nearly 50 feet long and most attractively designed.

A smaller steam-launch of Newman’s, built at Mader’s and engined by the owner, was once used in a scene on the stage of the old Academy of Music, now the Capitol Theatre, at Halifax. There, a broad 60-foot tank was set up, and in it was placed (’harlie Newman’s 18-foot launch. The play was “The Black < 'rook”. The climax came when the villain, trapped by his pur-uers, suddenly leaped aboard the launch, hidden in the wings, mid chugged his way across stage amid clouds of smoke and steam, In full view of an amazed audience. (George Mader said this was at the \v mlemy of Music, but newspapers of 1894 reveal that the “Black Crook” plavrd at the Exhibition (page 423), which would be better suited than the v atlcmy stage for such a performance.)

All that section of shore from Scarfe’s to the Point is known Hluek Rock. For generations, in pre-oil days, it had been a i I'ulur bathing beach. The land jutting out on that projection f Miore at the foot of Lyle Street where the new harbor bridge hi’liiK started, was long known as Black Point. Sometimes it referred to as Falconer’s Point, or else Lynch’s Point. Falconer’s wharf, or “Stony Wharf”, was long used as a i.ippliiK pier in the last century by David Falconer. It was ! «'i heavy oblong blocks of stone now covered with earth

< i - t he wharf of J. P. Porter and Company stands. All of i h i ; property was sold at a Sheriff’s sale in 1890. in tin Halifax Summer Carnival regatta of 1871, when Sadler

• i Klund defeated George Brown for the championship of the there win a tiered grandstand erected on Falconer’s Point

sufficiently large to accommodate 1500 people. Patrons from Halifax were ferried thither on the paddle-wheeler “Mic-Mac”.

Besides his downtown estate at “Greenvale”, David Falconer owned the broad acres bordering Lyle Street as far as Wyse Road. This subdivision he called “Hopefield”. Faulkner Street, recently cut through his former property, is probably another example of misnaming. “Falconer’s Field”, adjacent to the north side of Lyle Street, was the site prominently mentioned for the proposed steel shipbuilding plant, half a century ago.

Lynch’s lands included the Stanford property on the corner of Lyle Street, which house is about to be demolished to clear a route for the new bridge. South of Stanford’s was the isolated dwelling of Alexander Lynch and his wife. In the boisterous northwest wind of April 10th, 1895, the latter saw with frenzy her husband’s 8-foot canvas boat suddenly upset in the trough of the white-capped waves as he turned towards the shore on his way home from a day’s work at Richmond. The body was never recovered.

On the beach below Lynch’s at Black Rock until about 20 years ago, there stood a corn and flour mill fashioned like a grain elevator. Calder and Fraser were the proprietors.


Black Rock beach is mentioned in records as early as 1796. In that year, Jonathan Tremain got a Company incorporated with the intention of constructing a bridge of boats from there to the Dockyard shore.

Again in 1845, or thereabouts, Arthur W. Godfrey, a subeditor of the “Nova Scotian” advertised shares in an organization having a somewhat similar scheme. His idea was to build a floating bridge, held together by anchors and chains.

Later in the century, Dartmouth side was selected in preference to Halifax as an ocean terminus for the Allan Line by Sir Hugh Allan. In 1880 he made an offer to the Dominion Government to purchase an extensive property on our shore-line where his Company would erect grain elevators, wharves and other terminal facilities costing about half a million dollars, on condition that the Government would extend the Intercolonial Railway to Dartmouth. It was stated that the rail-haul from Grand Lake to the harbor would be shortened by nine miles.

Dominion Government engineers probably bore this in mind when they surveyed possible Dartmouth sites for the Ocean Terminals, as mentioned on page 15 of this book. North Dartmouth was the other location under consideration at the time. Old plans on file at Halifax, indicate that the intention was to occupy the whole waterfront from the railway station to a point near the foot of Grove Street.


The most conspicuous object to meet the eye in that vicinity is the towering derrick-shaped crane on the jetty of the new Naval Armament Depot. This crane has a lifting capacity of 50 tons. The varied cluster of red and gray colored buildings thereabouts are storage-sheds and repair-shops of the Canadian Navy. All have been erected since the close of World War II, and extend up to the edge of Windmill Road.

At the main entrance there, the row of tall trees marks the course of a broad stone wall that once separated “Hopefield” on the south, to another large estate called “Fairfield” on the north. A century ago, it was the property of Colonel George Dawson. The lands extended northerly to Pelzant Street, and easterly at least as far as John Street, because the present Victoria Park at one time comprised part of “Fairfield”.

“Fairfield” is famous from the fact that in the former Dawson mansion house on the main road there lived the eminent Nova Scotia statesman and patriot, Joseph Howe. Reams of Howe’s private and state correspondence from 1863 to 1869 are dated “Fairfield”. This is commemorated by a historic plaque at the entrance to the N.A.D. main offices. The private wharf on the property stood near the present North Star boathouse.

At the tip of the little point of rocks running out there, and now covered by the Naval jetty, is the reef on which the ill-fated Belgian Relief steamer “Imo” was lifted on a tidal wave ;ifter colliding with the “Mont Blanc” in December 1917. The \tiip lay stranded there all winter. (See “H” page 522.)


The next little creek around the bend over which the short i;illway trestle crosses, is mentioned in Dartmouth records of the 1700’s. It was known as “Mill Cove”. The voluminous flow of fresh water, coming down the long slope from Albro Lakes, furnished a supply of water for the ships of His Majesty’s Navy in this port. The soft beach of the bay also made a convenient

• urcening yard to caulk and repair wooden war-vessels until about the mid 1800’s.


The head of waters on the crest of the slope was long ago h.imrs.sed for power by the erection of dams. Albro’s old nail mill


was still standing on the ridge until about fifty years ago. Albro’s bark mill and large tannery occupied land to the northward. Their property covered about 25 acres, with several more hundred acres farther eastward. Their estate was called “Rockland”. So was the tannery.

When Samuel Albro died in 1842, the business was carried on by his sons. Early account books of this firm show that they sold thousands of dollars worth of leather to the Montreal market. Vessels which sailed thither from Halifax harbor, were probably loaded at Albro’s wharf, somewhere south of the present French Cable wharf.

Part of the Albro property was occupied by Thomas A. Hyde later in the century. On the location of the present St. Paul’s School his beautiful garden at “Millbank” was one of the show places of north Dartmouth. This house was just east of the George

(Left)—This is “Fairfield”, residence of the great Joseph Howe from 1863 to 1869. Amid his books and his garden, Howe spent many happy days in this rural retreat away from all sorts of persons who continually besieged his Halifax home. It was at “Fairfield”, during the Confederation wrangles, that he made perhaps the most momentous decision of his whole career, when in 1869, he left the Liberal party.

Many prominent Liberals and Conservatives, like wealthy Knos Collins, bitterly opposed the Confederation scheme. Howe was their spokesman, and the leader of two futile delegations to London seeking repeal of the B.N.A. Act. Returning home, he was escorted from the tfp.rrv to “Fairfield” in an enthusiastic torchlight procession. (There is a correction to this p. 373.)

Realizing that opposition was useless, Howe then headed the agitation against the Dominion for adequate financial relations, popularly known as “Better Terms”. Advised by Sir John A. Macdonald that such proposals would never pass the House of Commons unless he accepted a Cabinet post, Howe eventually sacrificed his life-long political feelings in favor of his nalive Province, and became a member of the Conservative Government. “Anti-Confederates” never forgave him.

It seems safe to assume, therefore, that at “Fairfield”, the future Dominion-Provincial policy of that day was determined. It was also at “Fairfield” that Howe prepared his marvelous oration delivered at Halifax in 1864, on the occasion of Shakespeare’s tercentenary.

Joseph Howe’s commanding figure, clad in gray suit and fray beaver hat, was a familiar sight as he drove or walked alonf Windmill Road, followed by his little dog, on his way to the ferry.

Crathorne house. His grist mill, also operated by Albro Lake stream, occupied a large area at corner of Windmill Road and Jamieson Street. Previously, this had been Dooley’s mill.


John Dooley was the last known proprietor of the historic Windmill from which the road gets its name. It stood on the flat part of the field still noticed in the rear of no. 207 Windmill Road, where it would get the full sweep of winds from Bedford Basin. Miss Edith M. Russell, niece of the late Justice Russell, says that it was built by her relative James Munn, who came here from Scotland late in the 1700’s. The ruins of this grist-mill remained until 1901, when the Oland family cleared the ground for a tennis court. It was a landmark of old Dartmouth, and was always included in sketches by early landscape artists. You may see a copy on the walls of the Dartmouth High School. The picture is titled “The Red Mill”.


The tall red smoke-stack far to the east of there, marks the location of the Consumers’ Cordage Company, established by the Stairs family of Halifax in 1868. At the opening, Joseph Howe delivered one of his brilliant orations. This industry is largely responsible for the extensive development of the north end of town. Like the Woodside Refinery, they financed housing schemes. Dwellings such as the “Nine Sisters” on George Street, and three others on John Street are examples.

The Ropework Company were responsible for the laying out of Wyse Road through a swampy stretch of the Dartmouth Common. At Stairs’ wharf, near the heel of Jamieson Street, were landed thousands of bales of hemp and raw cordage material, transported by* lighters from the discharging ships at Deep Water Terminus.


All the section in the vicinity of the French Cable wharf, which building is discernible by its grayish color far north of the big crane, was known as Turtle Grove. Hence Grove Street.

Adjacent to the reddish brick building <at the Cable wharf, may still be seen the ruins of a large Brewery commenced there by the Olands, and continued for over 50, years until it was shattered by the 1917 Explosion. The sprawling brick structure had replaced a former one destroyed by fire in April 1896. The firm had suffered a similar fire-loss in August of 1878. They had their private wharf and private lighter, the “Gambrinus”. The concern was formerly known as the Turtle Grove Brewery.


The Turtle Grove Indian camps and huts stretched along the east bank of the railway northward from Oland’s. Here, as far back as the memory of the oldest inhabitant could recall, dwelt the last of the groups of the once numerous Mic-Mac bands of Dartmouth’s primitive inhabitants.

From the dwindling forests nearby, they eked out an existence by making baskets, hockey sticks, firkins and the like. The whole camp was flattened in the Halifax harbor explosion. The few surviving members never returned.


There are early records of many ships being built at Mill Cove in Dartmouth. Besides those mentioned previously as being launched from the Canal Mill Cove, it is possible that the name might refer to Albro’s Mill Cove site.

As recent as 1920, however, there was a vessel constructed north of the Indian camps at the Shipyard of W. K. McKean, at Tufts’ Cove. She was the three-master “Amy G. McKean”, and is thought to have been the last ship launched on this side of the harbor.

Tufts’ Cove gets its name from Gerisham Tufts, who obtained un 18th century Crown Land grant of such vast acreage that it is said to have extended easterly to the borders of Lake Micmac.


In the waters of the Narrows between Tufts’ Cove and Richmond, occurred the tragic disaster of 1917. An incoming French munition steamer, the “Mont Blanc” loaded with picric acid and i NT. was struck by the Belgian relief ship “Imo”, steaming out-

• «i. i Bursting drums of benzol sprayed other chemicals to set Mu deadly cargo on fire. Flames licked out of her gashed side.

The terrified crew leaped into lifeboats, rowed frantically Mir Dartmouth shore, and raced for the distant woods, all the Ah tic screaming out warnings in French which were not under-'"0(1 by innocent onlookers. Not even the pilot thought of giving t'-lrphone warning. The abandoned ship drifted near Richmond.

At 9.05 a.m., when the “Mont Blanc” blew to pieces, the '"-mondous concussion arched tons of metal missiles, which ' Mi whizzing through the air to land as far east as the Albro i ikr urea and downtown Pine Street in Dartmouth. Death and

111 Iruetion ensued. Over here about 50 persons were killed.

Christmas sight of 1917 at north Dartmouth, looking down the harbor. This is the ill-starred “Imo”, flung somewhat parallel to the shore, with her starboard side canted towards Halifax. The stump of the smokestack is seen slanting up from the twisted mass amidships. Holes in the stem and stern, flooded the steamer to water level.

Pinned on bottom under the “Imo’s” bow could be seen the remains of Walter Meredith’s 27-foot motor-cruiser. Tidal waves deluged all level lands to the left of the railway. “Imo” survivors afterwards declared that they were unaware of the nature of “Mont Blanc” cargo.

(Courtesy Walter J. Meredith)    (Cut    by    Eastern    Photo Engravers, Ltd.)


In 1885 when the Narrows’ bridge was completed, the Dominion Government acquired about eight acres of land for a Cattle Quarantine station near the foot of Lovett Road. It was the only such station east of Quebec. By 1894, five sheds had been erected to accommodate nearly 150 animals. Pigs, sheep and cattle arriving on ship in this port, were detained 90 days before moving them westward.


The building of the first railway bridge at the Narrows coincided with the construction of the Sugar Refinery at Wood-side. As has been previously explained, the erection of the

latter plant had been delayed for a considerable period of time. One reason was the lack of land transportation facilities.

Work on the Narrows’ bridge commenced in May 1884. The structure curved northward from the railway station shore at Richmond as far as the hemlock pilings would allow. Then the drawbridge span was in a straight line. The Dartmouth end curved southerly, landing near Norris’ Point whence it ran through the little valley. Then a short trestle extended over Tufts’ Cove inlet, and followed the fringe of shore to the present track location.

The length of the bridge was about a quarter of a mile, and the width from 26 to 40 feet. It carried a single track.

The first train came over in March 1885, and was able to steam down as far as the foot of Jamieson Street. The first shipment over the new road came up from Woodside in October 1885. It was a carload of refined sugar consigned to Vancouver by an all-Canadian route. The event marked a new era in the history of Dartmouth.

The bridge lasted until September 7, 1891, when a portion was carried off in a severe storm. The structure was soon rebuilt, but on July 23, 1893, most of it silently floated away. The town was again cut off.

Grass grew amid the hemlock sleepers and in the cowcatcher pits. Horses at the cab-stand no longer bolted. Then in June 1896, the present branch line to Windsor Junction was finally completed. Our long isolation was over.

For the construction of the 1885 railway to Woodside, the

Town of Dartmouth was obligated to compensate the Dominion

Government, the sum of $4,000 annually for a period of 20 years.

Not a dollar was ever paid because the Town claimed the contract was not i ompleted according to the agreement.


That gouged-out cross-section of rocky land from the tip of i ufts’ Cove towards Norris’ Point marks the beginnings of a fireproof 500-housing unit for the families of Naval personnel, i he completion of this project will no doubt present the greatest

< hange in our rapidly changing shore line.

* ****

The foregoing are perhaps rather desultory sketches of sights H-n from the harbor in this year 1950, together with an attempt 1 > <li\s<;rlbe vicariously the sights that met the eyes of our ancestors

in bygone days.

It is to be hoped that the outline will be of some service to

MHfolk entertaining Bicentennial visitors, who will at least »urn u little of Dartmouth’s storied past.

(Courtesy Dartmouth Patriot)    (Cut    by    Eastern    Photo    Engravers,    Ltd.)

This was the railway bridge built of pine, with hemlock pilings that once spanned the Narrows. The timber came from Cumberland County, the steel from the iron works at Londonderry and at New Glasgow, and the stone on the Dartmouth end was obtained from Beaver Bank. There are very few townsmen left, who have walked across this bridge.

The average number of freight cars that went both ways over this Narrows’ bridge totalled about 135 per week. The purpose of the curves was to deflect the annual ice floes drifting down from Bedford Basin in late winter. Even before the bridge collapsed, Dominion Government officials were already at work on plans for a more sturdy and substantial structure.

But Dartmouth merchants had had enough of costly roundabout freight hauls and vexatious delays of passenger connections at Richmond. Town meetings, which were soon convened, sent vigorous petitions to Ottawa to demand a direct rail route from Windsor Jet. to join the old tracks at Tufts Cove.

(Bedford Basin was usually frozen every season during my youth, and no doubt from time immemorial because it was mixed with fresh water from streams and rivers which kept up a flowage all winter. In recent years the moisture is not being retained on the slopes but has a quick runoff as a result of the widespread deforestation. Hence Bedford Basin is now mostly undiluted salt water which requires 28 degrees for freezing. This change began to be noticed around the turn of the century when places like Fairview built oil piers for steamers. But the Basin ice surface continued to be used as a short cut for pedestrians and vehicles going to and fro until about the early 1930s. By that time the severe freezing and the annual drift of ice-cakes had ceased. For the last harbor freeze-up see pago 526. This picture taken from Halifax side. Dartmouth hills in the distance.)


Dartmouth from earliest Times to the End of the 18th Century

It is very highly probable that the Dartmouth side of the harbor has a long “liquid history”. The list of intrepid adventurers mentioned in school books as having explored the coast of North America, may include a few that once sought the sheltering waters of Mill Cove. Even the Vikings.

In the musical notes of the Mic-Mac tongue, they no doubt learned the name of the port, which sounds something like “Chebucto”. This word applied to the harbor only.

A census of the district of Acadia taken in 1688 shows that Chebucto had 33 Indians and 3 French people. The St. Malo fishermen who were located at Sambro and at Prospect in the days of French ownership, must often have run to the inner harbor either to dry fish on our long beaches, or to barter furs with the natives who were always their allies.

On this side of the harbor, geographical conditions were far more favorable for congregating, with three voluminous streams of never-failing fresh water flowing down to the estuaries of the two little bays, both later known as Mill Cove. Besides that, there was an abundance of shell fish available at low tide, along with lobsters, crabs, sea-trout, salmon, halibut, codfish, and haddock, with the usual runs of herring and mackerel in warm weather. The woods teemed with wild life. Partridge roosted

■ tupidly on trees, moose and deer roamed the forest, and wedges of wild fowl honked high overhead.

The evidence already submitted that Indians resorted to the Cove, is borne out by the description of Cobequid (Truro district) by Paul Mascarene about 1721, where he states that “there is communication by a river from Cobequid to Chebucto”. This Implies that the Shubenacadie route had long been in use.

Engineer Cowie, after studying several harbor sites for Ocean Terminals 40 years ago, was of the opinion that Chebucto had been used as a trading post over a century before its permanent settlement.

In 1701, when M. Brouillan the newly appointed French Governor, came here from Newfoundland to rule Acadia, he went overland from Chebucto to Port Royal. This is in Murdoch's History. Dr. Thomas H. Raddall, in his bicentennial story of Halifax, thinks that on this occasion, Indians transported the Governor by the well-known canoe route of Dartmouth Lakes. (One can’t imagine a viceregal party trudging over a rough black-flied trail from Bedford to Windsor, or portaging through the shallow rivers of that section of country).

One of the early sketches of "Dartmouth side is preserved at the N. S. Archives. It is a detailed drawing of the whole shore and harbor, showing the depth of water from the Eastern Passage to the head of the Basin, done by the French military engineer De Labat in 1711. The indentations of the various inlets seem quite accurate. The soundings must have occupied a full summer, and the work was no doubt done from small boats; otherwise his large vessel would have butted such shoals as Shipyard Point and the one off shore at Queen Street.

After the Treaty of Utrecht, the first recorded proposal for a settlement on this side, originated with Captain Thomas Coram of London in 1718. One of. the districts selected for establishing colonists was “northeast of the harbor of Chebucto”. But Massachusetts influence opposed this plan as being detrimental to their fisheries.

When Hon. Edward Cornwallis set out to settle Halifax in 1749, he carried a complete plan of the harbor, the Basin and the surrounding shores, which had been previously surveyed by British Admiral Durell. The latter’s information about useful places on the eastern side must have been noted, and probably soon inspected by Cornwallis, for he does not lose much time in sending men over to the present Canal stream with the necessary gear to erect the sawmill described on page 38.

There were about 30 men quartered at the sawmill during the winter of 1749-1750. More were living aboard the “Duke of Bedford” and oh an armed sloop, which were anchored in the Cove nearby. It must have been an especially severe season, for the two ships were frozen-in so that ice had to be broken every night to prevent incursions of Indians from the shore.

Major Ezekiel Gilman was in charge of the sawmill. This pioneer local industry seems to have been an utter failure. In April 1750 Cornwallis reported to London that the mill had been his “constant plague from the beginning. We have never had one board from it”. This was partly due to Mr. Gilman’s b,ad management and partly to the Indians.

On the other hand, the Governor makes more encouraging reports on a second undertaking, presumably carried out on the eastern side of the harbor. In July 1750 he writes that “30,000 bricks have been burnt here which prove very good”.


Brick clay can still be clawed out of the sloping bank along the railway from Tupper Street to the Passage. Mott’s Pottery, described on page 13, used tons of it a century ago. Until the 1880’s the Wellington brickyard flourished near the Seaplane base at Imperoyal. A 200-year old record in the New York Public Library says that Indians before going into battle, used to appear more ferocious by smearing their faces with “that red vermillion found on the east side of Chebucto”.

(This clay belt must extend under the surface of downtown Dartmouth, because recent excavations at 85 Portland Street brought up quantities of plastic mud from the bottom of a 20-foot well, unearthed in the back yard).


The earliest accounts of the colonists destined to become our first citizens have been obtained from the Secretary of the Public Record Office in London. Their 1750 files disclose that the “Alderney” was getting ready to sail for this port from Gravesend on May 25. On July 6, she was reported at Plymouth, having put in there on account of contrary winds.

Evidently then the pioneer settlers of Dartmouth sailed from the s&me English port as did the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620. The uctual day that the Alderney reached Halifax harbor is not definitely known. It was not before August 19, and not after the '^3rd, because Governor Cornwallis’ Council met on the latter date to select a location for the new settlers. The sites suggested were ut the head of Bedford Basin, at the North West Arm, in the present Woodside-Imperoyal section and near the Saw Mill. The lust mentioned was finally chosen. (The dates given are all old tyle. To conform to the present calendar, eleven days should be added).

The Alderney was a ship of 504 tons and the number of

angers on board totalled 353. No deaths were recorded on the

11 lp, mostly because immigrant vessels were by that time fitted-up with the newly-invented system of ventilation. The largest vessel miong Cornwallis’ transports of 1749 was the “Wilmington” of Ml tons Yet she carried only 340 colonists. Stretching space on the Alderney must have been very limited.

As a conjecture, the hold of the Alderney was also jammed with family heirlooms, household utensils, bedding, clothing, perhaps pet dogs, cats and parrots in the midst of seasick youngsters and oldsters inhaling the garlicky atmosphere so characteristic of old-time steerage accommodations. Hence, transatlantic voyages on these lurching and leaning sailing ships weren’t just exactly luxurious.

How our town came to be called Dartmouth is not definitely known. Dartmouth, England, was probably named for the first Earl of Dartmouth, George Legge the celebrated Admiral. He stood in high favor until suspected of treasonable correspondence with James II. Then he was imprisoned in the Tower for three months until his death in 1691.*

William Legge, the second Earl of Dartmouth, was Keeper of the Privy Seal, and perhaps held that office in 1750 when he died. The late Harry Piers, who edited Mrs. Lawson’s History, says that our town was doubtless named after this man.

On the other hand, the name may have come from Dartmouth in Devon on the west coast of England. The 1950 guidebook of the latter town informs us that people from that district of the river Dart, migrated to Newfoundland from earliest times, probably to prosecute the fisheries.

Governor Cornwallis’ reports of 1750 indicate that he is anxious to obtain fishermen in order to make his colony self-sustaining. He hoped to have “people from the West of England next year for the fishery. Mr. Holsworth of Dartmouth sent people here this year, they have cleared ground to begin upon the Fishery next year”.

Dartmouth, England, guidebook states that the Holdsworth family occupied the post of Governor of Dartmouth Castle in hereditary succession until 1832. The descendants still live in Devon, according to recent information received from Mr. B. Lavers ex-Mayor of Dartmouth, Devon.


The town plot as laid out in "1750 comprised 11 oblong-shaped blocks, mostly 400 feet long by 200 feet wide. Each building lot was 50 by 100 feet. Reference to the cut shows that all the streets running north and south, lead to the Point, which is the front part of the settlement. The northern boundary at the left side of page 80 seems to be the present line of North Street. The southern boundary is the present Green Street, if it were produced through to Commercial St. All the area from that line to the Point would be the 10 acre grant of Benjamin Green, described on page 50.

‘Manuscripts of the Earl of Dartmouth, Dominion Archives Ottawa.


The eastern boundary is at Dundas Street, and from there the present Queen Street extends through the middle of the plot to Commercial St. But Portland and Ochterloney Streets come to a aeaa end at King Street. (No street names appear on first plan).





2—Josiah    Roger son

3—James    Lawrence

4—Joseph    White

5—Daniel    Breast

6—Joseph    Scoffield

7—Thomas    Wiseman

8—Samuel    Jones


10—William    Cooper


12—John    Dunnevan

13—William    Steward

14—Daniel    Budgate


16—Josiah    Roger son


18—John    Dubois


1    —William Howard

2    - Abraham Mozar

3—Joseph Marken

4    -Albert Suremon

5    Henry Claaser Abraham Walker

7 -Joseph Gosterel ft—

i) Thomas Stephens

10    William Stephens

11    William Ross

12    Robert Brooks

l Reuben Hemsley


lf> Dennis Doran



1—Matthew    Staple

2—James    McKensey

3—Ralph    Nesham

4—Wm.    Manthorne

5—Thomas    Hardin


7—Edward    Potter

8—Andrew    Downing

9—William    Moore

10—Bruin    Rankin

11—Adolph    Witherall

12—Joseph    Scott








1—Dr.    John Baxter

2—Dr.    John Baxter


4—Robert    Vowles

5—John    Hall

6—Cheyne    Brownjohn

7—John    Hill

8—Mary    Clark

9—Mary    Clark

10—Mary    Clark

11—Walter    Clark

12—fidward    Stevens

13—Thomas    Bourn

14—Thomas    Bourn


16—George    Creighton

present Dundas Street


































present Wentworth Street




































































































































































present Commercial Street (Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers, Ltd.) (Courtesy Department Crown Land*)






E 3









1750 town plot of Dartmouth. Reference to th e lists will locate the settlers.

1—John    Crooks


3—David    McKey

4—William    Scraggs

5—Samuel    Blagdon

6—James    Owen


8—Robert    Sparks



11—John    Hoppy

12—Robert    Young

13—William    Hall



16—Thomas    Leuke

1—John    McDonald

2—Charles    Germain (fenced)

3—Henry    Sweetland

4—Nathaniel    Follet


6—John    Orr

7—James    Wright











18—Joseph    Cole



2—William    Carter



5—Eleazer    Robinson
















4—William    Nixon



















7 8—

9—Thomas Gunnel

10—Thomas    Ruddles

11—John    Orr




15— 1—




5—Edward    Barton












From that point all the way to Eastern Passage, larger areas ranging from 60 to over 200 acres, and fronting on the shore, were granted to people prominent among Cornwallis’ settlers. Adjoining Davison’s was that of Samuel Blackden (or Blagdon); next was John Salisbury at Hazelhurst shore, then Charles Lawrence in the Department of Transport vicinity; William Steele, Richard Bulkeley, Byron Finucane, Joseph Gerrish, Jacob Hurd, Charles Morris, Leonard Lockman, Rev. Aaron Cleveland, Rev. Mr. Tutty and others.


When the town was re-plotted for the Nantucket whaling families in 1783, Portland and Ochterioney were extended through to Commercial St., and the blocks were squared to have 240 feet on each side, as at present. The three oblong-shaped blocks still standing in downtown Dartmouth have a driveway at the ends of Prince Street and of Green Street, which suggests that all blocks of the new town were intended to be square-shaped.

All the new lots measured 60 feet by 120 feet. Most of the streets were widened from 55 feet to 60. That part of Edward Street known as Chapel Lane seems to be the only relic of original street widths.


According to Harry Piers’ pamphlet on early blockhouses, the timber for the one at Dartmouth was prepared in Halifax. Governor Cornwallis employed French inhabitants squaring logs for that purpose during the winter of 1749-1750. The first mention of ours, is on February 23, 1751, when the Governor orders a “Sergeant and ten or twelve men of the military of Dartmouth, should mount guard at night in the blockhouse, and that they should be visited from time to time by the lieutenant”.

But the blockhouse evidently did not afford much protection when the testing time came. The Alderney settlers had been here about eight months when they suffered a terrifying catastrophe. One night in May of 1751, a ferocious band of savages swooped down on the village, and brutally butchered the helpless inhabitants. The frantic screams of the victims could be heard in Halifax. Akins’ History says that Captain Clapham and his Rangers remained inside the blockhouse, firing through the loopholes during the whole affair.

The subsequent report of Governor Cornwallis gives four people killed and six taken prisoners. Private letters written from Halifax, and published in a London paper that summer, increase the number to eight. Another narrative states that the “Indians mussacred several of the soldiery and inhabitants, sparing neither women nor children. A little baby was found lying by its parents, all three scalped. The whole town was a scene of butchery, some having their hands cut off, their bellies ripped open, and others with their brains dashed out.”

Captain Moorsom’s description of Nova Scotia written in 1828, states that almost the whole number of the settlers were destroyed and only one or two escaped. At the time there was an old resident of Halifax who had been a child at the time of the Dartmouth massacre. When the Indians rushed into his father’s cottage and tomahawked his parents, he escaped their fury by hiding under the bed.

One result of the 1751 massacre was that a wooden wall was soon afterwards erected around the vulnerable sides of the town-plot, the same as had been done in Halifax. Mr. Piers in his writings, explains that these palisades or stockades consisted of stout trees, each six inches in diameter and about ten feet long, of which three feet were firmly embedded in the ground with the lower and upper parts spiked to a stringer. Their tops were sharply pointed in order to add to the difficulty of scaling.

As mentioned on page 59, this extensive work was done by German immigrants, who were alloted land outside the pickets. The course of the palisade probably ran from the area close to lot no. 1 of Block “E” which is near the Mayfair Theatre and was then a stretch of meadow. It no doubt followed the soft earth around to the northeast corner of Block “I”. Dr. MacMechan’s account says that there was a series of four stockades.


Most likely many inhabitants were scared out of Dartmouth after the massacre, but there is evidence enough in the records to show that the village was not altogether abandoned, as has been repeatedly asserted by various writers.

Many narratives of our early years give one the impression that Dartmouth was a ghost-town from the massacre days until the arrival of the Quakers. But soldiers kept coming and going, and civilians enough remained to create new excitement a few months after the spring Indian raid. In October there occurred a small riot.

The fracas started when Walter Clarke, whose inn stood near the location of the Bowling Academy on Portland Street according to the chart, had an encounter with *John W. Hoffman, a J. P., who had been sent over from Halifax by Commissioner of Peace Ephriam Cook to investigate charges against Clarke; and if necessary take him into custody. So says the Court records.

Clarke was overseer of the German picketers, and perhaps

*This is the man charged with being the chief actor in the Lunenburg riot* of 1753/ and later imprisoned on George's Island.

boarded them at his tavern, because the account states that he had them cutting wood and carrying it to the beach on Sundays.

Court records of that time list the complaints of the Germans against the accused of: “1—Strick German people without reason.

2—Obliged the German people to work for him on the Sabbath Day. 3—Employed people to shingle his house on the Sabbath.

4—Employed German carpenters paid by the King, to finish his house, as if the work was done for the King. 5—Sold liquors on the Sabbath. 6—The Constable has found last Sunday his son cutting pickets before his house”.

The military ruler of Dartmouth evidently sided with Clarke, for another Court record has a complaint of Mr. Hoffman against Ensign Francis Gilbert of His Excellency Gov. Cornwallis’ Regiment, on October 14, 1751, as follows:

“Hoffman was charged with a letter by Ephriam Cook, Esquire, for Mr. Gilbert—he delivered the letter, then Gilbert called me back saying, Mr. Hoffman, stop, whereupon I stopped, and he asked me what business have you here in Dartmouth. I answered that he had no power to make such a question to me; then he said to me, G- D- you, I will show you another way . . . Then he ordered five soldiers to take me in arrest, carried me as a criminal through *all the town of Dartmouth and I passing in that manner a house, where German people is living in, and Mrs. Clarke, the wife of Walter Clarke standing in the outside of the house, I heard a man’s voice and her loud crying and laughing at me, and I asked her if she did laugh at me, she answered yes, I do, because I see you a prisoner . . . Then I was obliged to go along with the soldiers who kept me in their custody longer than an hour till

I was in the boat.”


More proof that Dartmouth was anything but deserted, is furnished in the minutes of Cornwallis’ Council for February 3, 1752, when John Connor was given exclusive rights to operate a ferry service. The preamble points out that great inconvenience attends the inhabitants of Halifax and Dartmouth for want of a constant ferryboat. Henry Wynne of Halifax, and William Man-thorne of Block “B”, lot no. 4, took over the service the following December.

There were 53 families with a total population of 193 within the* town of Dartmouth, according to statistics of 1752. (This might possibly include the township).

In the same year Captain William Clapham requests the usual bounty for clearing land and erecting stonewalls on his 00-acre farm, shown on Crown Land plans as being along Saw

Mill river near the lower part of Crichton Avenue and Maple Street areas.

More local activity is inferred from a Halifax newspaper of January 1753 which informs us that Mr. G. Gerrish, blacksmith, has finished a crank for a new sawmill erecting at Dartmouth, which weighs nearly 17 cwt. The mill to go by wind and to carry 18 saws.

During 1754, gangs of soldiers are busily engaged cutting a road from Dartmouth to the new settlement at Lawrencetown. (This is probably the beginnings of Old Ferry Road from Parker’s wharf over the Cameron Street hill to Cole Harbor, by a route which no doubt avoided the outlet at Maynard’s Lake.)


Of all the fortifications built to protect the harbor of Halifax in early times, one of the first was constructed a$ the Eastern Battery, mentioned on page 11 .Engineer John Brewse was in charge, and he had seven heavy cannon mounted there by October of 1754. Military plans of this period show a road which seems to extend from Black Point to the Battery at Imperoyal.

In the beginning there were about 30 men at this fort. But in the autumn of 1755, military records tell us that a considerable number of soldiers spent the winter on this side of the water. These were none other than the troops of Colonel John Winslow, who had just returned from their job of expelling the Acadians.

Winslow’s diary of November 1755 says that “My 54 non-commissioned officers and privates are at Dartmouth”. In the same records is a memo signed by Henry Dobson stating that Lieut. Billings and Ensign Barrel, one Sergeant, one Corporal and all the Indians and mulattoes that belong to Colonel Shirley’s regiment are also here at Dartmouth.

Dr. John Thomas, a surgeon in Winslow’s expedition, has a very complete account of life in Dartmouth that winter. Even the weather is noted. On December 12 he wrote: “Snow last night, we paraded 150 men who went over to Dartmouth under the command of Captain Speakman to take up winter quarters there”.

On December 26, Colonel Winslow came over to Dartmouth to review the men posted there, and on the 28th (probably a Sunday), Mr. Phillips preached in Clapham’s windmill. By the end of that month, the roll of troops in Dartmouth totalled 230.

The reference to the windmill at the Canal suggests that these men were quartered in the buildings near there, as described on page 38: If so, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Clarke’s tavern on “Front Htn'et” probably did a thriving business with the soldiers, as Murdoch’s History states that the civilian population is small, consisting only of about five families at that time.

Dartmouth’s military population was high again in 1758. In the spring of that year, about 12,000 men of General Amherst’s army bound for Louisbourg arrived in the harbor with the fleet of Admiral Boscawen. With them came the 64th Regiment, recruited by Admiral Loudon in New York and Philadelphia, and known as the Royal American Regiment of foot. These men were quartered on Dartmouth side, according to George Mullane, Halifax historian.

The landing exercises of the Louisbourg troops, described on page 15, were carried out at this time, probably under the keen eye of General James Wolfe. Nathaniel Knap, mentioned on the same page, was a carpenter and no doubt a soldier in the 64th. His quaint diary, published by the Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts, and preserved in the Halifax Legislative Library, enlightens us regarding the contribution of Dartmouth to the Louisbourg campaign..

For instance, a considerable quantity of heavy timber used in the construction of blockhouses was cut and prepared here. This was evidently hewn in the woods from the Cove to the lakes, and floated or hauled down to the wharf on the beach. Nathaniel also mentions the burning of Samuel Blackden’s house (Blagdon, Block “E” lot no. 5). Here are some items pertaining to Dartmouth:

Teusday, April 11, 1758 we hove up this Morning & Came up to Dartmouth and Came to an anchor about noon in ye afternoon we went a Shore & Vieud the place & houses

Wednesday 12 we went a Shore & Carried our Tools on Shore

& fixt helves into axes adses & other tools then we built a wharfe about Seventy foot Long we built it in about 3 hours

Thirsday 13 a party of our Company was Sent into the woods to get wood in ye afternoon there was a building Burnt at ye City teusday 18 built out the wharf further it was Snowey weather and verry Squally

Monday 24 went up to hall the timber into the River which we cut a Saturday at night there was a prize came in a Scooner

teusday 25 went a cutting timber on Dartmouth Side thirsday 27 was out a hauling timber Down to ye River on Dartmouth Side hawls 25 sticks 32 of us

friday 28 was a hauling timber on Dartm 20 sticks Saterday 29 Workt a Cutting timber on Dartmouth (soft wood)

(A continuation of dates follow with the terse information that they were cutting timber in Dartmouth and hauling it).

Monday May 15 was to work in the woods afternoon there was a hilander whipt 500 lashes & Jest at night the man of war men

set old blackden’s house on fire & it burnt down by ye Admirals Order for selling of Rum

Sunday 21 was a Calking on ye Boat ye hiland Minister preach’t ashore we all went to hear his text Mathew 5 & 29 Vrs

Monday 22 it Rain’d & Stormed Rafted a block house & toed it of to a brig to Carry to Louisbourg

thirsday 25 the land army Came out of ye transports & got in to Boats a Gun Shot from ye Shore & then a Gun was fir’d & they pulled in to ye Shore and Draw’d up in 5 minutes from ye Gun firing

Saterday 27 was a making of Oars 30 feet long for ye Admiral left 10 Dollars to ye widow McClure to send home

Sunday 28 Sot sail at 10th Clock & went out with ye whole fleet the wind at NW I was very sea Sick


Another diary of Captain John Montresor, of Amherst’s army, has two references to Dartmouth in May 1758, as follows:

“Rangers under command of Major Scott encamped on the east side of R called Dartmouth composed of a number of men from each regiment with the Provincials.

May 27—This day one man scalped, one man taken away and one wounded on the Dartmouth side by the Indians while getting wood and water”.


Nathaniel Knapp’s diary confirms the statement that it was the practice of ancient mariners to coast along only in the daylight. On the voyage from Portsmouth, N. H., to Halifax, his Captain made nightly harbor at Cape Sable, at Lahave and at Sambro. On the trip they fell in with a snow from Lisbon which gave them flash news of the recent triumphs of Frederick the Great in the Heven Years’ War.

Knap’s lumberjacks must have pretty well decimated the stout ti'T.s bordering both sides of the lake waterway. Old residents iiM'd to relate tales of unearthing stumps of great-girthed pines that once grew in and around the lower part of the street which i ill bears the name. Horses used by the Germans, were probably «nmmundeered to perform the heavy hauling of the timber for Louisbourg.

Where the Royal American Regiment pitched their tents is "t even hinted, so we just have to draw conclusions. The men

certainly had to wash, drink and eat. Close to the camp, provisions had to be landed from the transports or from Halifax. In Dartmouth, the front part of Block “E” faced a sloping meadow on what is now Portland Street, east of Wentworth. Near Victoria Road would be the shallow pond described pn page 43. Ideal pool for perching on rocks to rinse out socks and shirts. Ideal camping site on the sheltering side of Queen Street hilltop.

More camps may have been set up across the river from the sawmill to the slope at St. James’ Church, because much of that area must have been cleared by 1758, and probably planted by Clapham. In May the troops could enjoy many a mess of Dartmouth dandelions served with issues of salt pork and beef, which was the usual expeditionary diet of those days. Or they could boil great potfuls of bony gaspereaux that no doubt often choked the nearby stream in spring.

Besides, you will notice that the “pubs” are in the vicinity of the meadow, and not down on the harbor front. One can easily imagine the rainy-evening crowds of Royal Americans thronging Clark’s or Blackden’s limited quarters where no doubt they were often badly pushed for elbow room. Let us hope that old Sam Blackden had warning enough to salvage his stock, and that neighbors Jim Owen and Billy Scraggs helped him roll out cracker barrels and pungent bales of dry codfish, before Admiral Bos-cawen’s firing orders were executed.

Captain Montresor’s men may have lost their scalps by venturing too far afield, or by taking fishing poles to whip the stream at twilight in the distant danger zone near Lake Banook.


An important political event which should be noted here, is that the first Nova Scotia election was held in 1758*. In that year, inhabitants of the various settlements went to the polls and named representatives to the first House of Assembly at Halifax. It has met regularly ever since. Previously, the laws had been made by a Governor and his chosen Councils

Most of those early Councillors obtained extensive grants of land in Dartmouth township, as described on page 83. This partiality seems to have aroused criticism, especially among Halifax settlers who had come up from New England. One of the latter, writing to a Boston merchant in 1757, made the caustic comment that Cornwallis’ Council had been “composed of military officers and a few dependent on him for the advantageous places he gave them”.

* The Memorial Tower at North West Arm commemorates this event.

Governor Cornwallis, however, did not appropriate any lands for himself; but before his departure from Halifax in 1752, he granted a large island (McNab’s) to his brothers in England. The comment of the above letter was . . . he gave to his family the very best island in the harbor of Chebucto, called Cornwallis’ Island, which in my opinion should have been given in small farms to the many settlers of Halifax, instead of cooping them up on a small isthmus”.


The year 1759 brought more activity to Dartmouth with the arrival of the large fleet bound for Quebec. The anchorage ground shown on page 14 is no doubt more exact than the position indicated on page 86. Drawings such as these, were sketched for the eyes of London officialdom to see just how British Government money was being spent hereabouts. Hence in order to emphasize the Blockhouse, the Sawmill and the military roads of Dartmouth, the artist had to leave out trees and houses, and even move the ships nearer to Halifax.

Both in 1758 and in 1759, sheltered Mill Cove must have been used to moor war transports, and their crews evidently employed the most convenient method of securing firewood.

This is inferred from a complaint of Mrs. Mary Clark whose house and garden, according to the list on page 79, stood at the southeast corner of the present Portland and King Streets. In 1759 she advised Secretary Richard Bulkeley that her “three lots have been improved, cleared and fenced-in twice but all the improvements, fences, etc., have been taken away and burnt by the Army and Navy”.


In that same summer of 1759, the Indians struck another fatal blow in our neighborhood. A band of Mic-Macs from Cornwallis’ Island surprised a small outpost stationed in a bay below the Kastern Battery, near the present Seaplane base. Five soldiers were slaughtered. The Indians had paddled over in the dead of nltfht, and were thus able to circumvent the defensive cannon pointed towards the Passage. The account of this conflict by n W Hewitt says that the bay was long afterwards known by th<* name of “Scalp Cove”.

Other events which interested Dartmouthians are noted in i in* Halifax newspaper of 1759. In September, Quebec was taken by f' >m\s that had left this port four months previously. And it was in Mils year that Hailey’s Comet re-appeared.

My 1761, the Indian reign of terror was at an end. After peace was made with the French in 1763, no more casualties seem to

have occurred. At least, nothing of that nature befell a party of 30 under the command of Captain William Owen, private secretary to Governor Campbell, who went over the well-known water route from here to the Bay of Fundy in September of 1767. His diary of the trip is most interesting. At Mill Creek, he “impressed a Dutchman with two horses and two trucks to transport their gig and small boats over the portage to the nether Dartmouth Lake”. (This was probably one of the Germans). His descriptions of Lake Banook, and of the islands in Lake Mic-Mac are very accurate. Porto Bello is also noted.

* $ $ * *

The year 1765 must have brought considerable excitement to Dartmouth, for it was in the month of May that the hangings occurred as described on page 49. The particulars already given were copied from the writings of the late George Mullane.

A search through the Supreme Court files, however, shows that six men were sent to the gallows that spring. Mr. Mullane omitted the name of John Evans. All six gave their occupation as sailors, perhaps merchant seamen.

Driscoll and Lawlor, convicted of murdering a man and a woman at Halifax on April 25, were sentenced to hang on May 20. The charge against Donnelly, Taylor, Smith and Evans was, “that on April 26, 1765, between 11 and 12 in the night, they did by force of arms feloniously break and enter the dwelling-house of Adam Prester at Dartmouth, and steal 20 pounds in gold and silver money and one silver buckle and some linen to the value of 10 shillings”.

Chief Justice Belcher presided. The four accused were convicted and sentenced to hang on May 28. Each man in turn begged the Court to be allowed the benefit of clergy, but was refused.

Adam Prester’s house was on the outskirts of the town-plot. Deed books show that in 1765 he owned lots 1 and 16 in Block “E”. There is no other record of executions in Dartmouth, so far as known, either before or since the above-mentioned.


The number of animals and-of people in Dartmouth about this time is recorded in the census returns for 1766, which give the town a total population of 39. This includes 30 adults, 8 children and 1 negro man. There are 14 horses, 6 cows and 4 pigs.


During the next few years, the weekly newspaper of Halifax kept Dartmouthians informed of the growing discontent in the American colonies leading up to the Revolution. Captain Preston, involved in the so-called Boston massacre of 1770, was soon to have his name applied to a new township here. Another connection


♦Thcophilus Chamberlain’s private papers state that he named Preston after a family in England.

is, that one of the East Indian Company ships, raided by the “Boston Tea-Party” of 1773, was called the “Dartmouth”.

When the British army under Lord Howe abandoned Boston, and sailed to Halifax with hundreds of refugees in 1776, there were more troopships on our side of the harbor. Records of the 65th Regiment in April of that year contain orders that,

“Soldiers are not to go on shore on the Dartmouth side with their arms, unless under the command of a Captain.

“Whenever weather permits, officers will air their men on the Dartmouth side, taking care that the soldiers do not commit depredations”.

:js sfc H5

Among the pre-Loyalists who came to Dartmouth at this period were Edward Foster, master blacksmith of Boston, and his son Edward. When the British cavalry were defending Boston, the Fosters were credited with making a number of horseshoes with erect prongs, fitted over the neck of horses to wound the attacking rebels. For this, they were proscribed and banished.

The Fosters settled at northend Mill Cove, where they established a large iron-works. In 1783 along with Samuel Greenwood, they were granted 1,000 acres adjoining the land of Gerisham Tufts. With it went another 200 acres, formerly laid out for Captain George Forthingham, of the 40th Regt., and also a 350 acre lot which had been originally assigned to William Magee.

Many of these 1750 grantees evidently were neglecting their Dartmouth holdings, because in 1779 the Government issued a proclamation threatening prosecution “to plunderers, particularly French-Acadians, who have cut down and carried away timber and grass growing on granted lands on the east side of the harbor without any leave from the proprietors”.

James Quin, mentioned on page 82, seems to have complied with conditions of a Crown grant. At least he built a house. Part of his land extended easterly to Lake Banook. When he died, there was ;i Court application for his estate made in 1773 by a sister Catherine O’Brien. The declaration of Mrs. O’Brien was that the woman alias Mrs. Quin”, had carried away most of the household articles, but that she had no right to Quin’s property.

♦ * * * *

During the 50-year period under review, most of the material In the Halifax weekly newspaper comprises advertisements and dippings from Old Country journals. Local items are largely limited to movements of ships. Incidents hereabouts had to be very exceptional to be published. A death or a marriage notice would often appear, but never a birth. Even to report that a person w:is ill, or had broken a leg, was regarded as a trespass on privacy.

As a consequence, hews from Dartmouth is very scanty. In

winter of 1780, however, there was printed an unusually long ount of a misfortune to William Cooper whose location, accord-to page 79, would be near the lower end of the present Queen The following is a transcript from the Nova Scotia Gazette:

“On Monday the 17th January, a direful fire broke out at the house of Mr. Wm. Cowper at Dartmouth, owing to the insufficiency of the chimney, it being built with clay, wood and straw, and notwithstanding his utmost efforts to put a stop to the conflagration, it communicated itself to the building in all parts and consumed his furniture, wearing apparel and such provisions that he had laid in for the comfort of life at the beginning of winter; but now by the melancholy accident, himself and family are reduced to the utmost extremity of getting immediate support and thereby are become real objects of charity worthy of the benevolence of all good people”.


James Creighton, senior, the Halifax merchant mentioned on page 21, seems to have been the largest landowner in the immediate neighborhood of the town-plot. At his death in 1813 he held several hundred acres, obtained both by grant and by purchase. Commencing at Hazelhurst shore, he owned the Prince Arthur Park area as far south as Woodside, and northerly to Wood-lawn section. Identifying landmarks of his property like “Shoulder of Mutton Hill” and “Folly Bridge” on Cole Harbor Road are mentioned in his will.

Part of this section had been purchased from John Hall (no. 5 Block D), who had returned to England after suffering the loss of his scalp in the 1751 massacre.

On the opposite side of the township, another large tract was acquired by James Creighton when the farm of the late Major Ezekiel Gilman was put up at auction in 1784. This land included the present Austenville section, and north of it beyond School Street, then from the Common easterly to Lake Banook. It comprised 210 acres, and was sold for £90.

The only identifying name of this vast area is perpetuated in that of the owner’s grandson George Augustus Seymour Crichton, who was afterwards given the portion on the western side of the lake. This will be referred to in subsequent pages.

Coming back to the Cole Harbor Road district, it has already been stated on page 21 that James Creighton was the owner of more extensive land surrounding Oathill and Maynard’s Lake.

This strip is thought to be part of the 200-acre grant to John Salusbury, mentioned on page 83, and escheated to Creighton in 1773. Although Salusbury probably did nothing to improve Dartmouth before returning to England in 1753, his name should be noted as being the father of Hester Salusbury, who grew up to acquire considerable fame among the literary lights of London.

Later she married Henry Thrale, the wealthy brewer. It was at the home of the Thrales where Dr. Samuel Johnson was frequently a guest for long periods, and where perhaps the great lexicographer often heard of the Salusbury possessions in Dartmouth.

Part of this land is shown on page 29, where Creighton’s Ferry was commenced in 1786. This date coincides with the Loyalist settlement of Preston. The original road from Old Ferry shore can be discerned on page 86. The position of the forks seen in the picture, is thought to be at the present junction of Newcastle Street and Pleasant St. The branch on the left climbed up Prince Arthur Park hill just west of 173 Pleasant Street, and continued in use as a footpath until Cameron Street was cut by Alexander Marvin in 1903. Peter Cameron of Montague was the surveyor.

This Old Ferry Road led to Lawrencetown through Cole Harbor. Travelers for Preston turned left at the Woodlawn forks to pass well-known places like Brook House, Stayner and Allen’s Tanyard and the Brinley estate at Mount Edward on what is now called “Old Preston Road”. Among its patrons of the 1790’s were Sir John and Lady Wentworth, and perhaps the Duke of Kent during the hunting season.

Other celebrities included Theophilus Chamberlain, surveyor of the vast Preston township, who was also a magistrate, schoolteacher, minister of the gospel and farmer. His neighbor was Titus ‘ inith, one of the world’s greatest naturalists. Very likely too, the

< >ld Ferry transported a future King of France to Dartmouth, for it is on record that Prince Louis Phillippe, exiled during the rule f Napoleon, taught a lesson in Chamberlain’s school at Preston m 1797. En route, he no doubt dismounted at Brook House to visit

•    ompatriot, Governor D’Anseville of St. Pierre, then a prisoner

i.    parole. (The Prince reigned as King of France 1830-1848).

There is a plaque of the N.S. Historical Society, on Old Preston i' t<l Just below the McPhee (Smith) farm near Salmon River,

11 kink the 18th century birthplace of George and Phillip West-    both of whom became British Admirals. On Church Hill, or

•    in Hill, just east of the river, was built the first church Hi'1 eastern side of the harbor in 1788. This became St. John’s

i in Parish, and ante-dated the erection of Christ Church at t mouth by nearly 30 years.

with the Loyalists to Preston, came a number of colored

• i' - who had been attached to British regiments in the Revolu-t . War In 1791 many of them chose to join the negro i to Africa. Escaped slaves from southern plantations came im )i hips during the War of 1812. These people are not to t umml with the Preston Maroons whom we shall describe

The removal of the Nantucket Whaling Company to Dartmouth in 1785, gave the town its first major industry; and also brought about a marked change in the shape of the 1750 town-plot. A local commission of inquiry set up in 1783, ruled that all but two of the Dartmouth proprietors had failed to fulfil conditions of their grants. The Legislature of*Nova Scotia voted a considerable sum of money to assist this enterprise, because candles, sperm oil and other products were as essential then, as are gasoline and electricity in our own day.

Most of the houses and lots in the town-plot were then escheated by the Government, and re-allotted to the Nantucketers. This procedure caused much discontent and created disputes over titles for years afterwards.

These Quaker people were industrious. Years ago, old residents used to relate how they could erect a dwelling within a few days. They must have been co-operative. No time was spent in excavating cellars. That they intended to remain permanently, is evident from the spaciousness of their houses and from the fact that they constantly cultivated and improved the soil by grubbing-up tons of our familiar slate-rock to build breast-high stonewalls along the borders of their gardens and orchards.

What is perhaps the last of these walls, still supports the bank at the corner of King and Queen Streets. On that elevation, the Quakers erected Dartmouth’s first house of worship. It was in this building that the Dartmouth Society of Friends made their decision to remove to Wales in 1792. Seth Coleman was clerk.

Houses directly opposite the site of the Meeting House at 63, 65, and 67 King Street, with their very small squared panes of glass over the porches, are typical of Nantucket style. And families still prominent on Nantucket Island, whose ancestors migrated to Dartmouth at the time, include names like Coleman, Coffin, Bunker, Greaves, Swaine, Macey, Ray, Barnard, Leppard and Paddock.

Promoters of the Whaling Company, like Hon. Thomas Cochran of Halifax; and leading Quakers like Samuel Starbuck and Timothy Folger (Foal-jer), got whole blocks of downtown property near Dartmouth Cove. Their idea of reserving Dartmouth Common was to provide grazing-ground for owners of livestock in the town-plot. They builded better than they knew, for the Common has always been the town’s chief recreational centre.

Besides their downtown holdings, Messrs. Folger and Starbuck obtained large tracts in the suburbs. One grant in 1787 comprised 1,156 acres in the present Westphal district. Another of 556 acres bordering Edward Foster’s property, seems to be near the Rope-works. These two men also made application for the swamp land of four acres, mentioned on page 59, which was to be drained and improved for English meadow. Historian George Mullane, writing of this period, calls it the “Folger and Starbuck land grab”. ,


In the same year that the Quakers left, there occurred the death of Christian Bartling, listed on page 82. He was of Danish origin. Despite the fact that he had built a house in the 1750’s, yet his property was escheated for the Nantucket families. Later he obtained Crown grants near Lake Banook. The well-known Walker families of Dartmouth are his descendants.

Another name to note is that of Thomas Hardin (no. 5 Block B). As an illustration of tangled titles and also of the hazardous existence of pioneer Dartmouthians, the following quaint petition of Mrs. James Purcell, dated 1792, is most enlightening:

“To the Hon. Richard Bulkeley,

“The humble petition of Mary Furcell, the Grand daughter of Thomas Hardin, most humbly sheweth. That your honor will be pleased to remember that my Grand Father was one of the first settlers in Dartmouth and lived on said place until about 15 years ago. And Bequethed said Lott of Land to my mother Jean Hardin which served her apprenticeship in Your Honors family and my father Lawrence Sliney likewise, at my Marrying my present husband James Furcell, about four years agoe My Mother and Uncle Thomas Hardin Resigned over their Right and Title to us for to subsist our Family- Which is a Lott of Land that was granted by Lord Cornwallis to my Grand Father which he sutiered a Vast Deal of Hardship in Clearing and Errecting a House on it. Likewise Lost his Son by the Indians as he was Obliged to Oppose them by Day and by Night. My husband having registered said Lott pursuant to the Laws of the Province.

“But now being informed by a Letter from Mr. Morrice Surveyor General that said Lott is made over by a Grant from his Excellency Governor Par and his Majestys Council to one Cristian Barlet in Dartmouth which has had no Right or Title to said Lott but was to pay to our Family Twenty Shillings Currentcy a Year. Therefore I Beg and Emplore the favour of your Honour to see me and my poor children Rightified. And will be in duly bound to pray”.


In that same summer of 1792, another menace presented itself. All the munitions for the port were then kept at the Eastern Huttery. Several thousand barrels of gunpowder stored in a wooden building near the border of the forest caused considerable alarm ix'cuuse there were frequent fires in the woods. In a petition to

• hr House of Assembly, the inhabitants of Halifax expressed fear for the safety of their town, and asked that the munitions be Vrd in a more suitable storehouse and in a more remote section.

Hartshorne and Tremaine’s gristmill, pictured on page 36, A.i-i commenced about this time. The firm purchased the lower miIM stream and lands on both sides, where Richard Woodin had his dwelling. They also obtained permission from James Creighton, the proprietor of the upper stream, to lower the bank at the outlet of the lake, and to dam up the river in order to provide a head of water for the millrace, as explained on page 35.

In 1793, Lawrence Hartshorne purchased from Samuel Starbuck, jr., for £100, the square block “L” bounded by King, Portland, Wentworth and Green Streets. On the old plan it is marked “D”. The lofty tenement building demolished at Woolworth’s corner in 1951, was known a century ago as the “Mansion House” of the Hartshornes. The estate was called “Poplar Hill”.

Jonathan Tremaine acquired the triangular block “M” at Green and King Streets, just below “Poplar Hill”. This had been the property of Samuel Starbuck, senior. But Tremaine’s residence is thought to have been in square block “E”, because he was regranted land at the northeast corner of Portland and Wentworth in 1796, and purchased the remaining lots and buildings in that block from the Starbucks. According to Tremaine genealogy, Jonathan died in 1823 at Dartmouth where he had “a country seat.”

At the same time, the wharves and water-lots left by the Nantucket Whaling Company were also taken over by Hartshorne and Tremaine. For many years this firm had the most extensive flour mill in the Province. Their warehouse was on Water Street in Halifax, whither the finished products were transported by the first vessel built in Dartmouth, “The Maid of the Mill”.

The milling business evidently was profitable in those times, for in addition to the windmill mentioned on page 70, a third one commenced in 1798. An advertisement in the Weekly Chronicle of that year announced that Davis and Barker “have erected a gristmill in Foster’s Cove, and are ready to receive grain to manufacture into flour etc.”

A search through every available record fails to reveal the location of the town-plot ferry-dock during the first four decades of Dartmouth’s history. Certainly the present landing was not the place. The original acclivity of Portland Street can best be gauged by bridging with the eye, the space between the natural heights still seen in the rear of properties on each side of Portland Street, just east of Commercial Street.

The most suitable part of the waterfront for pulling up small boats and erecting cribwork wharves, was on the shelving shore of the crescent-shaped bay which then curved from Queen Street to Church Street. The low-lying land, still seen a few yards west of the Belmont Hotel, indicates that some harbor inlets must have flooded little bays of the original beach now covered with tons of fill levelling the area east of the railway tracks.

During the Quaker period, Zachariah Bunker of the Whaling Company, was located at the southeast corner of Ochterloney and Commercial Streets, where now stands Morris’ Drug Store. On the beach not far from his door he had a water-lot and shed set up, no doubt to ply his trade which was that of a boat-builder.

After the Quakers’ departure, all of Bunker’s town and rural property was bought in 1797 by Dr. John D. Clifford, the ship’s surgeon attached to H.M.S. “Leopard”. Whether Dr. Clifford resided in the corner house is not known, but it was in the above mentioned year that John Skerry commenced his ferry service.

There is no apparent record as to who operated ferries from the 1756 charter of John Rock until Skerry started 40 years later. Perhaps there had not been any organized system, and boats ran privately, for in 1785 a bill was introduced in the Legislature by Hon. Michael Wallace for the establishing of a “public ferry” between Halifax and Dartmouth. This might possibly refer to Creighton’s, or the lower ferry, already mentioned as beginning in the year 1786.

Waterfront plans of those years have Skerry’s dock marked “Maroon Wharf”, which suggests that the foot of Ochterloney Street was the landing-place used by the Jamaica Maroons during the four years that they were billeted at Preston.

Although the story properly belongs to the latter township, yet a brief sketch of these negroes is included here, because their sojourn in our suburbs stimulated real-estate and transportation activities, and also resulted in the laying-out of a new highway.

The Maroons, deported from the island of Jamaica, arrived in this port in the summer of 1796. For a time they were employed by the Duke of Kent on the Citadel fortifications at Halifax. Later, most of the band were settled at Preston where their superintendents Colonel William D. Quarrell and Alexander Ochterloney bought some 5,000 acres of land with funds furnished by the Government of Jamaica. More was purchased on the Windsor Road near Sackville. In addition, Colonel Quarrell secured several properties in the town-plot of Dartmouth.

The Preston residence of Quarrell and Ochterloney was at famous “Maroon Hall”, an expansive 10-roomed structure bordering the original highway just east of Lake Loon, and standing near thr middle of the surrounding settlement. This building was also um*(1 as a school, a church and as a centre of entertainment.

The old hall was burned in 1856, but its site is still pointed out tn strangers as being on the location of the present red-roofed

■ «»11:ik*• on the hilltop opposite Broom Road intersection.

I lie intention of the Jamaica Government was to have these mio Maroons distributed throughout Nova Scotia, but Governor

Sir John Wentworth was determined to have them settled in groups. Later he regretted his decision. The Preston crowd became discontented, troublesome and were everything else but industrious.

The expense of their maintenance was a drain on the meagre resources of the Province. By the summer of 1800, when all of these negroes were sent to Sierre Leone in Africa, they had cost both the Nova Scotia and the Jamaica Governments thousands of pounds sterling.

The names of Ochterloney and Quarrell were commemorated by streets in downtown Dartmouth. The extension of the first named thoroughfare marked the beginnings of the present no. 7 highway.

From the old town-plot boundary, it veered to the north beyond Pine Street. Opposite the Greenvale Apartments, the antique stone-house demolished only recently, and apparently built “on the bias”, probably fronted the original line of Ochterloney Street as it continued through the property, now occupied by the Nova Scotia Light and Power plant, and headed for the millstream flowing from the lakes.

This road then bridged the stream near the western end of the circular-dam (which then did not exist) and ran diagonally to the rise of Prince Albert Road, just below Hawthorne St. Mounded evidence of this route used to be exposed whenever Sullivan’s Pond was drained.

At Silver’s Hill, the slope no doubt originally extended down to the lake shore. Pioneer trails generally avoided lowlands. Hence this “new” road to Preston followed the broad path still seen on the hillside below Sinclair Street, until it emerged around the bend at that bay of the lake called by the Mic-Macs “Hooganinny Cove”.

The causeway-bridge over Carter’s Pond at the town limits, was very likely built during the time of the Maroons, for the road is shown on military maps as early as 1808, indicating that this section of highway had been constructed some years previously.

From the vermillion color of the protective wooden railing, this crossing was long known as “First Red Bridge” to distinguish it from “Second Red Bridge” with similarly colored railing, built about 1826 across the bay of Lake Mic-Mac near Miller’s Mountain.


Up to the end of the 18th century, only a few of Dartmouth streets had names. On property descriptions of that time, Wentworth Street and Dundas are marked “Fourth” and “Fifth” Streets respectively, as if they were numbered easterly from the harbor.

As Portland Street fronted the Cove, it was called Front St. Commercial Street was “Rockingham Street”, a name chosen perhaps by Sir John Wentworth to honor England’s late Prime Minister Lord Rockingham, whose family was closely related to the Wentworths. So were the Fitz-William families.

The assessors for 1792 were Timothy Folger, Rufus Fairbanks and James Creighton. Richard Woodin, a brother-in-law of James Creighton, was keeper of the pound. James Munn and Edward Foster were fence-viewers. Their jurisdiction probably extended over both the town-plot and the surrounding township of Dartmouth, which was quite extensive.


Names of Loyalists and others who took up grants, or purchased farms in Woodlawn, Westphal and Cole Harbor districts include many names still prominent thereabouts. Some of these properties are described as being “in the new settlement back of Dartmouth”.

In 1783, Nathaniel Russell of Boston acquired a large tract from Benjamin Wakefield. Separated throughout the thickly wooded rural areas were such farms as those of John Elliot, Robert

< ollins, Henry Runt, Alexander Farquharson, William Mott, Joseph Hlssett, Ephriam Whiston, —Hitchcock, —Bell and others. Their produce was marketed at Halifax.

Topsail Lake was called King’s Lake after the proprietor Sami' I King. John Wisdom’s mill was at the foot of Lamont Lake.^aret Floyer, a refined English lady, lived in exile with her i v;mts opposite the Woodlawn Church. This was “Brook House”. I* i om there to Lawrencetown had been mostly the grant of Hon. i '•« ii lumin Green.

Thomas Bambridge had a 125 acre farm near Breakheart Hill, uni rvldrntly lived alone. He was passionately in love with Mary

1 i HI, a daughter of Nathaniel, but the parents discouraged the it' ll on account of Bambridge’s intemperance and ill-temper.

Hubert Collins’ estate was “Colin Grove”, on the present farm f i i .ink Settle. In a diary kept by Collins, there is an entry of »’•. 1797: “Mr. Provo Wallis here to dinner”. This would be

f ifhrr of the famous Admiral.

'iu.irr rigged warships came and went from the Halifax Dock-w.u raged with France from 1793 until Waterloo. French l> -I w«*re quartered in the building pictured on page 22 of Ihln book.

v ?hr .tream near that spot, John Allen kept his tanyard.

* 5>i    , it shore to the south, stirred with activity on the depart-

»•* a I ui rival of the small ferry-boats or the scows.

Pi * «'ott family and later the Fairbanks’ advertised bricks

* fm Mill*, burnt In their kiln at Woodside.

On Tuesday, September 25, 1798, a gale of hurricane force destroyed wharves, tore ships from their anchorage and drove them ashore, strewing the beaches with wreckage. Akins’ Halifax History says that the tide came up to the old market house. (The circular drinking fountain near Bedford Row, marks the site). Lowlands, such as those at the Old Ferry Inn shown on page 29, must therefore have been flooded. Fallen trees blockaded the roads.

On Thursday evening, a cheerful walking party of young people journeyed in from Cole Harbor Road, probably to view the resulting havoc from the vantage ground of the Old Ferry terminus. Mary Russell, or “Polly”, as she was familiarly known, was among the gay group.

Thomas Bambridge had gone to Halifax, but on reaching Dartmouth he unfortunately heard from someone that his ladylove was seen in the company of another youth. This was William Bell, an employee of the lower ferry, who according to a later account, escorted Miss Russell safely home before 9 o’clock.

She lived at the lake, still called after her family, on the location of the present residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Harrison. Those acquainted with its history have long been fascinated by the pathetic tale which has been told so frequently, that one can almost reconstruct the events of that fatal September night at Russell’s Lake in 1798.*

It is another season of Michelmas with its lengthening and darkened evenings. Mary Russell is relating to her mother the scenes of destruction along the waterfront, and the especial enjoyment of the hike because she had been unmolested by her obnoxious admirer.

In the candle-lighted kitchen, Nathaniel Russell, Moses Pitcher and John Phelon are chatting by the cozy fireside.

Suddenly the three entrance doors are flung open, without the ceremony of knocking. In bursts Bambridge. Mad jealousy is manifested on his tight-lipped countenance.

Nathaniel Russell, always the gentleman, greets his neighbor calmly and civilly: “Good evening, Tom, what’s the news?”

The reply is not recorded. Suffice to say that Bambridge insisted on speaking with Mary, alone and outside. The latter, fearful and suspicious, came downstairs with her mother and sister. Keeping close to her mother, she refused his request.

Bambridge’s right hand was concealed under his waistcoat. He stepped towards Mary as if to whisper into her ear. In the next instant, he inflicted a mortal wound.

Mrs. Russell screamed, as she caught the limp and sagging body

* See Mrs. i-'iwssn’s History of Dartmouth; Volume I of the ‘‘Provincial”: and the Kins vs. Bambridge, Supreme Court cases 1798 at N.S. Archives.

of her loved one. “Bambridge! You have killed my child!”

Moses Pitcher leaped at Bambridge. He bore him to the floor and grasped the knife as the murderer turned it on himself.

In the heartbroken home next day, Coroner Daniel Wood of Halifax conducted the inquest, after impanelling jurymen Moses Pitcher, Alex Farquharson, Ebenezer Allen, Alexander Creighton, Henry Wisdom, William Fishon, John Alien, Mark Jones, Henry Runt, Donald McDonald, John Collins and John Phelon.

Retribution followed speedily. The Michelmas term of the Supreme Court was even then in session. Chief Justice Blowers presided at the subsequent trial where the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

The practice of hanging a criminal near the scene of his crime was not followed in this case, evidently through the intervention of another noteworthy summer neighbor, Governor John Wentworth.

On the death-order written by Sheriff Wilkins, the place for t.he hanging was left blank. Then under date of Tuesday, October 16, and over the Governor’s signature, is this annotation:

"Let execution be done on Thursday next between the hours "f 10 and 2 of the clock of that day on the Commons back of the town”.

This is thought to be near the garrison recreation grounds on .i. kville Street and Bell Road where 18th century hangings are

•    • ft i*n described as being carried out “behind the Citadel”.

Mary Russell sleeps in the peaceful little cemetery of Wood-i.iwn Church, but the location of her grave is unknown.


Two other teen-age    youths, who probably    patronized    the    Old

1 • n v. left their Salmon    River home during the 1790’s    to    join    the

They were Philip Westphal and his younger brother George, h i 11 hereafter note    their progress.

11 ir Duke of Kent,    who had suffered an    injury    in    Halifax,

'to Kngland for treatment in 1798. Prior to his departure he > nmm 1 all the local forts in honor of the Royal Family. The •in Buttery was then changed to “Fort Clarence”, after his 1 ■ ! (hr Duke of Clarence, who later became William IV. In the v« ti the Fort was surmounted by a 3-storey Martello Tower.

i r was another massive fort in Dartmouth on Black Point fnui <>i Lyle Street, thought to have been erected at the out-

• f thr French War in 1793. It was called Fort Duncan, after

*    - unii'i Henry Duncan. R N.t and consisted of a mounded earthen redoubt about 160 feet square. Maps of 1808 have it marked “DISMANTLED”.

On the same map is seen the locations of the proposed watch-towers between Cole Harbor and Dartmouth. One appears to be on the heights of North Woodside. Enemy landings could thus be signalled.

The life of the colony depended on the sea. No doubt spyglasses were continually focussed on the Citadel staff for the dreaded red flag to indicate an enemy ship; or perhaps a white one to mean that a European square-rigger was bringing them news of the outside world and the latest creations in wearing apparel.

Halifax merchandise, consigned to settlements as near as 50 miles inland, used to be loaded on sailing vessels for ports in Hants and Kings Counties, and freighted around through the Bay of Fundy. Firms in St. John, N. B., were underselling their Halifax rivals because of cheaper transportation rates to these sections. Thus it came about that in 1797, the Legislature voted £250 to survey the route of a canal from Dartmouth Cove to the Shuben-acadie River.

This scheme aroused high hopes for greater port expansion. Another promising project of the time was that of Jonathan Tre-main, who was endeavoring to sell shares in the “Halifax Bridge Co”., already noted on page 66. He didn’t succeed.

Mr. Tremain’s associate in the milling business was Lawrence Hartshorne. In addition, the advertisements of L. Hartshorne and Co., show that they carry a line of hardware and general goods on the corner where now stands the Bank of Commerce at Halifax. Besides an assortment of ironmongery, they offer harness, olive oil, cowbells, house-bells, telescopes, spermaceti candles, Jamaica sugar, spirits in hogsheads and barrels, and “a new consignment of men’s and youth’s fine beaver and willow hats”.

The Hartshorne family, along with that of Dr. James Boggs, had come from New Jersey with the Loyalists. At Halifax, Dr. Boggs was Surgeon to the Garrison and to the Duke of Kent. In 1798 his son Thomas Boggs entered the a-bove firm, which then became known as Hartshorne and Boggs.

A member of the House of Assembly and later of the Council, Hon. Lawrence Hartshorne was one of the most influential men of his time. When the Province of Nova Scotia voted 500 guineas for a Diamond Star to the Duke of Kent, Lawrence Hartshorne and Charles Wentworth, the Governor’s son, presented the address and the gift to the Prince in London in 1799.

As Mr. Hartshorne, along with Seth Coleman, was agent for property left by the Quakers, the assumption is that he was living in Dartmouth about this time. In addition to the square already mentioned, he purchased from Hon. Thomas Cochran the whole of Block “Q” bounded by Prince, Portland and King Streets. The Cochran house stood near the present Prince and South Streets.

From land descriptions of the time, the residence of Timothy Folger seems to have been the lofty house which still stands at no. 9 South Street. The newspaper advertisement of the sale of this property in 1800 explains that the estate is 240 feet square and contains “a large and convenient dwelling-house formerly occupied by Timothy Folger and lately by Colonel Quarrell. The building is two storeys high, has four rooms on a floor with fireplaces in five rooms. The whole area is enclosed with a stone-wall, has a good barn and a well of water. In the field are two cultivated gardens. Under the house is a deep cellar”.

This would take in the whole southern half of the present town-block “R” from Glendenning’s old lane at Fairley and Stevens’ premises on Commercial Street.

Folger’s agents sold the place in 1793 to Rev. Wingate Weeks, lie in turn sold it to Sheriff Francis Green, who evidently resided there until 1796. Mr. Green’s summer home was near Lake Loon. Both these properties were purchased by Colonel Quarrell at the coming of the Maroons. The Lake Loon cottage was then enlarged to become “Maroon Hall”.

Colonel Quarrell had himself and his staff well provided with Dartmouth dwellings for he bought the three-storey wooden house at northeast corner of Portland and Commercial Streets, formerly in the possession of David Grieve of the Nantucket Whaling Co. The place is described as Sterns’ corner on page 54. I here is a tradition that Governor Wentworth once used the old building. At least he had charge of the sale of Maroon lands, which might account for the erection of his Preston cannon at that corner probably before the year 1801 when the property was old to Theophilus Chamberlain for £100.

Colonel Quarrell also acquired the house formerly assigned Timothy Folger at the southeast corner of Commercial and Queen ;t I rets and a water-lot at the foot of that hill. Hence the name quarrell Street”—often misspelled “Quarl”.

John Reeves was granted Block “C” (the theatre block) in The corner at Portland and Victoria Road would in those days

.1 .• wampy meadow fringing the mill stream.

In the same year water-lots and two acres adjacent, extending

in Ochterloney Street to Church Street were granted to Seth « l« mun A street still bearing his name was later laid out through this property.

Other large landowners of that decade included Hon. Michael Wallace, Treasurer of the Province. Both by grants and by purchase, he acquired Block “B” (wherein the Baptist Church stands), and Block “F” (Town Hall block). The first was then probably a field, and the latter contained the house formerly possessed by Jonathan Coffin near 59 Queen St. The present Central Apartments may be the same building.

The supposedly Quaker-built house at the foot of Queen St., now the building used for Bell Bus terminal and offices, was purchased about 1800 by Martin Meagher, a mariner. This is the man Who, in return for Government services, was given 5,000 acres in Musquodoboit Valley in 1783. Hence Meagher’s Grant.

The trusteeship of the Dartmouth Common which had been vacated by the departure of Cochran, Starbuck and Folger, was in 1798 vested in Lawrence Hartshorne, Jonathan Tremain and Michael Wallace.

Other public officials of that time included Seth Coleman, Surveyor of Lumber and Roads; his son Brown Coleman, Fence Viewer; Benjamin Robinson, Pound Keeper; James Munn, Hog-reave; and John Mott, Surveyor of Streets.

Ebenezer Allen (of Stayner and Allen’s Tanyard at Woodlawn), was Supervisor of the road from Old Ferry to Lawrence Lawlor’s farm. (The new town reservoir is located on Lawlor’s Hill). From there to Simpson’s Inn (at Broom Road intersection), the Surveyor was William Mott.

This is the progenitor of the well-known Dartmouth family of Motts, whose farm was then about 500 yards in on the road from Lake Loon to Montague. For some years previously, William Mott had been in business at the northwest corner of Duke and Hollis Streets, which he had purchased from Henry Austin in 1783 for £1,000. The lot contained two houses and a store.

Mott came to Halifax at least as early as 1753. For in that year, records reveal the purchase from Daniel Wood “of a lot on Argyle Street Halifax for three pounds two shillings and six pence paid by William Mott, Matross in the Company of the Royal Train of Artillery residing in said Halifax”. (A matross is a gunner’s assistant).

St. Paul’s Parish Register contains the record of William Mott’s marriage in 1758 to Catherine Higgins. One of their sons was John Mott, mentioned above. He grew up to marry Miss Deborah Webb at St. Paul’s in 1789.

The succeeding generations of Motts must have been very methodical. Carefully preserved in Dartmouth is an ancient packet of documents and land deeds, some of them beautifully scrolled on oiled parchment, containing descriptions of Halifax, Preston and Woodside properties which have passed in and out of Mott ownership down through two centuries.

The name of McNab also had its beginnings on our side of the harbor about this time with the arrival from Perthshire, Scotland, in 1789 of three brothers Alexander, James and Peter McNab, cousins of that Peter who owned McNab’s Island.

Their vast extent of land adjoining the Eastern Battery included all of the present Imperoyal area. The old McNab homestead still stands as a remodelled residence almost opposite the Company school building. Three generations of the various branches of McNab progeny were interred in the private burying-ground on their farm-land.

When the oil plant came, Colin McNab had most of the graves and monuments removed to a section of the cemetery at Woodlawn where the quaint, weather-beaten dates and epitaphs are still fairly legible for interested antiquarians.


The necessity for such an official as a Hogreeve may be gathered from the following minute of the Court of Quarter sessions held at Halifax in May 1796:

“Whereas much damage is done to the town-plot and the Common of Dartmouth by pigs and swine being permitted to run at large without being ringed and yoked, whereby the pasturage for cattle is destroyed and streets, lanes and enclosures rooted up and otherwise materially injured . .

Then follows a long regulation compelling the use of rings .Hid yokes to prevent swine from breaking through fences of town-plot enclosures. Otherwise the animals may be taken up by i hr Hogreeve. Fine five shillings per pig.

Stock raising evidently was a profitable undertaking in those . 'There was probably a ready market for slaughtered animals 1 Halifax, especially in summer when British warships were in "it with their heavy requirements of beef, mutton, pork and irv products. The annual amount of hay and straw needed for

■ hundreds of Halifax horses and cows must have been enormous.

(Jrazing-ground was a problem. As far back as 1788 a number of

i proprietors in the districts surrounding Dartmouth petitioned rnor Parr for relief. The petition stated that there was a con-

• ruble stock of cattle in the township of Dartmouth and but " - |»:i;it urage for them in summer, except the Common laid out

' h.i.,t purpose. They asked that a grant of the Commons should i»< i* in trust to James Creighton, Michael Houseal and Robert for the use and benefits of the whole proprietors. The name:, on the petition included Nathaniel Russell, Richard

Woodin, James Pedley, Henry Wisdom, J. Snelling, Nicholas Smith and Ephriam Whiston.

It will be recalled that the above mentioned year 1788 was the date that the Common had been granted in trust to the Nantucket families. Hence Governor Parr’s reply Was as follows:

“The ungranted lands adjoining the town-plot of Dartmouth was reserved for the accommodation of settlers there; and have been promised to those who have and may settle on that town-plot, as a Common for the pasturage of their milch cows and other cattle. The settlers more remote in the township having farm lots and many of them large tracts of land do not stand so much in need of it. The prayer of the memorial cannot therefore be granted”.

$ sjs :J: *

What Dartmouthians read in the 18th century may be inferred from Halifax newspapers where shop-keepers advertised the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, Paradise Lost, Don Quixote, Gil Bias, Sir Charles Grandison, Plutarch’s Lives, Pope’s Works, Chesterfield’s Letters, Shakespeare’s Plays, Dr. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, Sherwin’s Logarithms, The Ready Reckoner and “a full assortment of books and stationery too tedious to mention.”

Of course, there were many who did not possess the advantage of being able to read or write. Educational opportunities were limited and comparatively expensive. Hence illiterate persons kept a mental, rather than a written record of transactions. Often valuable land sales were signed merely with an “X”.

Faithful Dartmouthians ferried over to church in favorable weather on Sundays for service at old St. Paul’s; at St. Matthew’s on the corner of Hollis and Prince Streets; or at St. Peter’s near the present location of St. Mary’s Basilica.

At Preston, the Rev. Joshua Wingate Weeks, who resided in Halifax, served as the first Rector of St. John’s Parish from 1792. His report of 1794 states that, “The Mission consists of four towns. Dartmouth is the principal, which consists of 50 families. Preston has 15, Cole Harbor 12 and Lawrencetown 23”. When Rev. Benjamin Gerrish Gray took over the parish in 1796, he had the additional duty of being chaplain and teacher to the Maroons.

Travelling was a trial in itself, because roads were primitive, being frequently flooded by freshets or obstructed by fallen trees. Wolves, bears and wildcats infested the forests.

Certain week-days of prayer and fasting were frequently proclaimed by Governor Wentworth “to call down the aid and blessing of the Supreme Dispenser of all things, in the war which His Majesty is engaged against an inveterate enemy”. In 1795 there were two such days within a fortnight.

One can imagine the fears, doubts and hopes experienced by our inhabitants during those years of uncertainty. Attention was largely centered on France, where the people had decapitated their King in an endeavor to secure liberty and equality; only to find that by 1800 an individual named Napoleon Bonaparte had usurped even more than monarchial power.

England’s coast was being threatened. The British Navy had decreased in prestige. One of the principal objects that Britain had in view when she enticed the Nantucket whaling fleet from Dartmouth in 1792, was to have on her own shores a continual source of supply of trained seamen for war-vessels.

Even after the Nantucketers left Dartmouth, the Society of Friends evidently continued to function and to control the Meeting House. Seth Coleman’s family remained. Other Quakers were Miss Phoebe Coffin (probably daughter of Jonathan), who married Stephen Collins of Colin Grove in 1794. Lawrence Hartshorne, senior, and the Elliot family were also included.

A sister of Stephen Collins had married Dr. John D. Clifford in 1788, which explains why Bell’s Lake was once called Clifford’s Lake, and Colin Grove became Clifford’s farm. One of their sons who remained on the farm was Hood Clifford.

* * * * *

A Company of soldiers from the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment with their colorful uniforms, passed through Dartmouth in the pring of 1797 on their way to camp at Preston where the Maroons wrre showing signs of mutiny.

Some time later, misunderstandings arose between Governor wmtworth and Colonel Quarrell, resulting in the latter’s resign-i inn and departure for Jamaica. Mr. Ochterloney soon followed, i hr last supervisor of the Maroons was Theophilus Chamberlain ■ho assumed the duties of minister and school teacher until the Maroons finally left in January 1800.

All of the Maroon lands were put on the market after their

• parture. The various sales lasted for nearly a year. The highest i (or* the South Street property was £320, and the purchaser was i itthew Richardson, a Halifax merchant.

Maroon Hall with its outbuildings and its thousand acres of and forest went to Samuel Hart, wealthy Jewish business in, whose establishment was on the Royal Bank corner of

11r Street in Halifax. The price was £655.

On Church Hill, a house and 30 acres of land opposite the . ;iran Church were bought for £75 by Timothy Crain. Hence »m\ Mill (Part of this is the present Seaboyer property.)

The auction sales of Maroon properties were held at the Wentworth Tavern in Halifax. The statement of receipts and expenditures, drawn up by auctioneer Charles Hill, contains this concluding item:

“Paid for punch at the several sales £3 5/6”

$ $ * $ *

The foregoing sketch will convey some impression of what Dartmouthians observed, thought and felt during the first half century of the town’s existence. Although our settlement was not officially begun until 1750, yet the establishing by Cornwallis’ men of a saw-mill and fort at the Canal in the summer of 1749, makes the age of Dartmouth coeval with that of Halifax.

By 1800 there were many still living who vividly remembered the 1751 massacre. The child described on page 84 as having escaped the fury of the Indians was very likely John George Pyke, who became a member of the House of Assembly and was for many years afterwards a police magistrate of Halifax at the old Court House just up the George Street slope from the ferry landing.

To the list of military men in early Dartmouth should be added that of Major-General Sir Jeffrey Amherst, Commander-in-Chief at Louisbourg in 1758. His diary of Nov. 14, 1758 records that he “went in a boat to Dartmouth, walked over the whole ground. It is picketed with block-houses, an officer and 31 men there”.

Sheriff Francis Green, a son of Treasurer Benjamin Green, was one of the first persons to advocate the education of the deaf. His son Charles, instructed at Edinburgh, was the first educated deaf person of American birth.

Students of history should note that General Amherst was in command at the second siege of Louisbourg. The only association that Dartmouth has with the first siege of Louisbourg is an indirect one and occurred in 1895. In that year the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars erected a monument at Louisbourg to commemorate the achievement of New England troops in 1745. On their way thither from Massachusetts in June 1895, delegates from the Society stopped at Halifax where they were treated to an excursion around the harbor and down Eastern Passage. The party then disembarked at the wharf of the N. S. Hospital to be entertained at a dinner in the main diningroom of the Hospital. Among the group in Dartmouth that day was Hon. E. P. Wheeler, a great great grandson of Sir William Pepperell who commanded the 1745 Expedition. Mr. Wheeler had in his possession the diary kept by his ancestor from the time they left Massachusetts to the surrender of Louisbourg in 1745.


Dartmouth in the Early 1800’s

One of the first of the 19th century documents dealing with Dartmouth is a letter from Governor Wentworth to the Anglican Bishop in March 1801. Sir John wrote that “he had finished a commodious room at Dartmouth for Rev. Mr. Gray to perform public worship to that populous part of his mission. We have lately been

• irprived of that benefit, every room in the village being inhabited, and the Quakers having withdrawn the use of their room, all public worship was postponed thereby . . . and the inhabitants

- \ posed to the seductions of unoccupied time ...”

Another letter in the Wentworth correspondence reveals that Mir life-saving station on Sable Island, begun at this time, owes ' rarly establishment to the favorable report of a Dartmouthian, I HOI As a result of complaints that bands of pirates were decoy-' .hips to their doom by means of false lights, Sir John com-loned a competent and trustworthy man to make surveys as i in- practicability of erecting a lighthouse in the sands of that 11tin** soil. The man was Seth Coleman.

Ills subsequent recommendations for wooden lighthouses, sig-

• .muon and life-saving facilities at both ends of the Island

■ at once adopted by the Province, and thus pioneered the lurnccment of this internationally-known station.

riirir must have been a military chaplain on our side of the »<>t (luring those years, for in September 1800 there is a record A'f'ddini; at Fort Clarence of Mr. Charles Boggs, merchant of M f.i\ to Miss Mary Frasier, the daughter of Dr. Frasier of the Nova Scotia Regiment.

that same month another member of that well-known I homas Boggs, was married at Halifax to Miss Sarah De-iiuUKhtcr of the late George Deblois.

In the Royal Gazette for November 1800 appeared the obituary notice of Mrs. Sara Foster, wife of Edward Foster, who had just died in the 40th year of her age.

Other deaths in the township about this.time, included Mrs. Nathaniel Russell and also her daughter Rebecca. Neither of these ladies survived the shock of Mary Russell’s tragic end. Both fretted so much over the affair that they died broken-hearted.

Louis Mizangeau, Secretary to Governor D’Anseville at the northeast corner of Old Ferry and Old Preston Roads, announced in the newspapers of 1803 that he was giving up his employment to open a school to teach French and also the art of fencing. He later married a Miss Nagle of South-East Passage.

The name of a rather juvenile Dartmouth bride appeared among wedding announcements of March 1805 when Rev. Edmund Burke of St. Peter’s Church, Halifax, united in marriage Mr. Francis Le Quire of H. M. Fuel Yard to “the amiable Miss Margaret Messer of Dartmouth aged 15, endowed with every accomplishment necessary to render the marriage state happy”.

Land transfers in the year 18C5 included property of 100 acres on the harbor front immediately north of Fort Clarence, sold by Samuel Prescott for £50 to Michael Herbert, a farmer.

* * * * 5ft

Many young men of that day found employment at the brickyards and gristmills of Dartmouth. The mill of Davis and Barker, however, seems to have been a failure for John Barker is listed as an absent or absconding debtor in 1805.

Other youths followed the sea either on merchants ships or on privateers. Some were taken by force into the Navy. If a war-vessel, after being readied for patrol duty, found herself lacking in numbers, the press-gang simply raided the shops and streets to impress the first men that they met. As a consequence, there were occasional desertions.

Newspaper notices offering a reward for their apprehensions often appeared. These were prominently displayed like the one in the Royal Gazette for July 1805 -which reported the desertion of “James Wright from H.M.S. Milan. He is 25 years old, 5’ 10” in height, sallow complexion, long visage, high cheek bones, light brown hair, grey eyes and stout-made. He passes for a brick-layer having worked as such near Dartmouth for several years, and it is conjectured he may have returned to his former employment”.

The same issue of the Gazette advertised the desertion of “John Wawerofsky a native of Poland, 30 years of age, 5’ 4” in height, grey eyes, round face, brown curled hair, speaks little English and stutters. This man deserted from H.M. 5th Battalion 60th Regiment of Foot at Dartmouth. A reward of £2 is offered to anyone who will deliver him to the main guard”.

As enemy ships captured off the coast were usually brought to this port, their crews were quartered at Melville Island, or at the old prison shown on page 22, or they were put on parole in private homes at Preston where they often worked for their keep. Some were attractive young fellows whose talents often captured the hearts of the village belles in and around the district which we now know as Woodlawn. Years after they left, a few continued to carry on correspondence with friends of that neighborhood where they had spent so many happy hours.

The prison in Dartmouth Cove, pictured and described in the early pages of this book, seems to have had a section for hospital cases, and quite likely a surrounding enclosure where the interns could enjoy recreational activities.

French and Spanish prisoners, confined in that area and no doubt thoroughly bored with their monotonous existence, must have frequently plotted and planned means of escape. The daily

■ lf.hts of the capacious ferry-boats, such as the ones seen on page (‘quipped with lugsails, oars and tholepins; and the nightly olation of such craft roped to the Old Ferry wharf scarce a stone’s throw from the prison, perhaps gave the men an idea:

What was simpler than to load a boat with a cask or two of a ter and a cuddyful of provisions; then to disappear down the n bor in a midnight breeze during the dark of the moon!

Kvidcntly something just like that did happen one midsummer lit in 1805, for in the “Royal Gazette” a few days later appeared lollowing notice from John McKeller, Agent for Prisoners of •a n' at Halifax:

Whereas 14 of the French prisoners at the Depot of i t*1 mou h effected their escape from the Prison on the night • • i July 23rd and took with them the Ferry Boat, whereby it is i» »ri*d they may seize on same coasting vessel and thereby rt Hear of (he Province, one guinea reward for each prisoner it l iken will be given for their apprehension. And I do hereby « hi (ion all persons from harboring any of the said prisoners i thc\ will be prosecuted to the utmost rigor of the law.”

1 ' • result of this getaway was that the next issue of slop-

• for Dartmouth and Melville Island camps, had the initials

> W prominently marked in red print on the back of jackets, thii’h of trousers and on the breast of shirts. Inside their 1 i the word 'PRISONER”.

r.ioup quartered at Preston apparently were exempted ‘i i' h an Identifying uniform, but they must have been influenced and emboldened by the success of their compatriots in July, because within a space of three months there was another nocturnal flight on the ocean waves.

This was a smaller party comprising Lieutenants Kogle and Longchamps, and Midshipmen Galt and Jellet. Breaking their parole at Preston and making for Dartmouth no doubt over the newly constructed highway, they picked out a large boat belonging to Mr. Coleman at his boat-yard near the foot of Ochterloney St. In the dead of night, the prisoners surreptitiously commandeered this craft, and probably with muffled oars or hoisted sail, silently stole away. Late in October they were reported as being seen at La Have, but were still moving westward. The posted reward of £10 for their recapture seems to have been ineffectual.

As a consequence, sharp orders were issued from the office of Prisoners of War at Halifax to all civil and military officers and privates, that in future the parole of said prisoners must not exceed a distance of one mile around Preston.

News of the naval battle of Trafalgar fought on October 21,

1805, was read by Dartmouthians five months later in the Halifax Weekly Chronicle of March 22, 1806. That paper published a two-column account of the engagement together with a casualty list of killed and wounded. Listed among the latter were:

George A. Westphal, Midshipman of flagship “Victory”.

Lt. Robert Lloyd of H.M.S. “Conqueror”, well-known in Halifax, and widely respected.

George Westphal was then about 20 years of age. Details of the conflict learned long afterwards revealed the interesting information that this Preston-born boy, after being wounded on deck, was carried below to the cockpit where Lord Nelson lay dying. An attendant hastily rolled up the great Admiral’s coat, and placed it under young Westphal’s head for a pillow. His hair, matted with dried blood, became so entangled in the bullions of Nelson’s jacket that they had to be cut off before the coat could be released. These bullions were for many years retained by Westphal as a souvenir of Lord Nelson.

The spring of the year 1806 was one of exceptional drought. Pumps and wells were bailed to the dregs. The woods were like tinder. To aggravate the situation, destructive forest fires raged in the rural areas of Dartmouth.

On Thursday evening, May 29th, the cottage on Old Preston Road belonging to Margaret Floyer and occupied by Governor D’Anseville, together with all the elegant furniture and decorations, and the surrounding outbuildings were entirely consumed. A house out there owned by Hon. Michael Wallace, and another belonging to Mrs. Phoebe Moody had the same fate. Henry Wisdom’s mill also fell a prey to the flames.

At Halifax, a request was issued by the Firewards asking inhabitants “to remove all combustible material from their homes while the drought prevails. They think it would be prudent for persons who are in the habit of smoking segars to abstain from a practice which may be at this time highly dangerous”.

On Wednesday, March 11, 1807, Christian Bartlin and Alexander McDonald were drowned by the oversetting of their boat as they were returning home from Halifax. (This man may have been a son of that Christian Bartlin who died here in 1792).

In that same year 1307, ferryman John Skerry purchased from Dr. Clifford the premises at Ochterloney and Commercial Streets, mentioned on page 99, and also the wharf on the shore below. This was formerly Maroon wharf or King’s wharf, and no doubt used by Skerry when he took over the ferry service in 1797. He may also have leased the corner building from that date.

As it was in that same year that construction of no. 7 highway got started, Skerry’s wharf would be the most convenient place to land tools and supplies for the use of the road workers.

Skerry’s Inn on the corner developed from the building of this new road which offered an alternative route to Halifax for (he produce of farmers who preferred it to the longer boat trip from the lower ferry.

Until the Steamboat Company established the Portland Street dock, Skerry’s spacious stable-yard and the surrounding area was the focal point or market square of downtown Dartmouth. Property advertised for sale would be described as being such and such a

• listance from Skerry’s. Annual appropriations for highways were

< ir-marked, for example: “To repair the road from Skerry’s to Lake Loon”.

The Surveyor of Highways for this new road in 1809 was John I .i rquharson, and for the road from Dartmouth “up the Bason”, iimuel Albro. The Town Constable was Edward Quin, and the Pound Keeper, Brown Coleman.

Samuel Hart, who had been lavishly entertaining summer . ur:.t,s of army and navy officers along with the aristocracy of Halifax at Maroon Hall, suffered business reverses about this Mic, and became mentally deranged. In his very violent moods, had to be chained to iron stanchions set into the floor.

In the Royal Gazette for July 1809, the livestock of Maroon lull was advertised to be sold at Mr. Bell’s Ferry House (Old i « i ry lnn>, at one o’clock on Saturday the 29th inst. The lot ineluded one pair of beef oxen, one pair small oxen, seven milch cows, one calf, six handsome horses and one bay stallion.

Theophilus Chamberlain advertised the loss on the Preston Road between Crane’s and Ross’ of a linen girdle two feet long and three inches wide, containing 50 guineas and two Joes. The owner was Monsieur Chaunion, a prisoner of war at Mr. Crane’s, who offered half the money as a reward to the finder.

Through the summer of 1809, newspapers continued to advertise runaway prisoners from Preston. In June, Joseph Bissett of “Coal” Harbor received £5 reward for apprehending a deserter from a ship in the harbor, and readily donated the money to the Halifax Charitable Institution.

Dartmouthians interested in the cultural and the lighter side of life probably betook themselves to the Theatre Royal at Halifax in August, where elocutionist Powell was advertised to deliver Gray’s Elegy, Satan’s Address to the Sun, and Hamlet’s Soliloquy; followed by the whimsical entertainment: “The Evening Brush” or “RUBBING off the Rust of Care”. To conclude with a critical and entertaining dissertation on NOSES.

Hartshorne & Boggs advertised a new supply of hardware, a large quantity of blankets and two hogsheads of men's hats of different colors. They had likewise a few puncheons of rum.

Large real-estate deals during that decade included the purchase of almost the whole of town-block “R” by Thomas Donaldson whose fashionable Halifax confectionery was on Granville St. The northern boundary was at Portland St. Hence Donaldson’s Lane near 10 Commercial St., later called Glendenning’s Lane. Much more property, both in town and township, other than the section described on page 53, was acquired by this family.

On the old Preston Road about that time lived Mrs. Jonathan Elliot, a widow with a large family. Her maiden name was Almy Green, a daughter of Thomas Green who came from Nantucket as a preacher to the Quakers. Almy’s mother was Mercy Cook. Almy’s father was a direct descendant of Roger Williams the founder of Rhode Island. As is inferred on page 146, Almy’s children were reared as Quakers. The Elliot family afterwards settled in Dartmouth.

Robert Collins’ diary records a visit made by his wife and daughter in July 1798, when they “drank tea at Quaker Greens”. Another entry a few weeks later, says they “drank tea at Sheriff Greens”. That would be on the Maroon Hall hill. But the expression “Quaker Greens” probably means Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Green.

In the year 1808 Mrs. Jonathan (Almy) Elliot, widow, was married to Nathaniel Russell, widower, of Russell’s Lake, who had been long bereft of all his family. Of the Russell union, one son

Nathaniel was thus a half-brother to the Elliot children.

Friday, February 23, 1810, was appointed by the Lieut-Governor as a day of public fasting and humiliation in the Province.

In the following October, Samuel Hart died at Maroon Hall. Most of his local and Halifax property was then sold for debt.

A son born in 1810 in James Creighton’s home at former Fort Grenadier, Jacob St., Halifax, to James Crichton, R.N. and Mary Creighton, must have so pleased the latter’s father that he deeded 200 acres of Dartmouth land, described on page 94, in trust for this grandchild. Hence Crichton Avenue. Old Mr. Creighton died in 1813 in his 81st year. He had been associated with Dartmouth over 40 years.

Edward Foster and Sons were still doing business in 1810 as "millsmiths, housesmiths, anchorsmiths, axe, tool and screw makers ;it their extensive Dartmouth works at the Narrows and at their newly erected shop on Prescott’s wharf, Halifax; where old customers and new ones were invited to leave orders”.

In 1811 John Prescott, probably a brother of Samuel at the Woodside brickyard, purchased Maroon Hall. He called the place Mount Cleverley” after the maiden name of his wife.

For the year 1811, Lawrence Hartshorne was Surveyor of Highways for Dartmouth town-plot; and Robert Day was Constable.

Marriages that year at St. Paul’s included that of John D. Iliiwthorne to Miss Mary Story daughter of Marshal Story.

And at Preston in July, Miss Elizabeth Chamberlain, daughter I Theophilus, to William N. Silver of Halifax.

In October occurred the deaths at Dartmouth of Mrs. Miriam Mratfher in her 60th year, relict of the late Captain Meagher; and f William Mills aged 32.

In April 1812 died Robert Collins aged 69. To this man we ’ • indebted for a complete record of wind and weather conditions and around Dartmouth for nearly 10 consecutive years at the " «• of the 1700’s. His diary reads like a ship’s logbook.

It was in that same spring of 1812 that Napoleon Bonaparte t <»ut for Moscow on what was to be the turning point of his 1 < i Monsieur D’Anseville, the exiled royalist Governor at M «»«)k House, Woodlawn, must have read all this with intense in-« t and waited anxiously for the monthly mail-boat bringing

■ of . the usurper’s progress. Meanwhile his duck-pond, lawns ■'i beds and hedges were converting the new Floyer home » «>nr of the most beautiful and attractive show places of rural

I >urt mouth

Not long after that, word came to Halifax that England and the United States had declared war.

This aroused great activity around the Dockyard and Halifax wharves where privateers were continually being fitted out for expeditions that were sometimes disastrous, but often very profitable. As owners shared prize money with crew members, no doubt many Dartmouth young men often ventured on these voyages.

Preston and Woodlawn sections then began to add American officers to the number of prisoners already quartered there. Most of them were friendly and spent money freely, and thus became quite popular with the villagers.

In 1812, there died William Birch Brinley, the man who built Mount Edward. He was a nephew of Sir John Wentworth, and named the estate in honor of the Duke of Kent. His wife was Joanna, daughter of John Allen whose nearby tanyard spread over the location of the farm now owned by John Cross.

Their daughter Frances Brinley married William Lawson, a son of the first President of the Bank of Nova Scotia; and this family occupied Mount Edward, along with the mother, for many summers afterwards. The farm-land continued to be cultivated until about 40 years ago when the original house disappeared. But the foundation stones of the old dwelling and of the outbuildings are still visible. The view from that elevation is ideal.

In those war years sailing ships of all sizes from shallops to square-riggers constantly entered and cleared the harbor. Many of them were prizes. On June 6, 1813, great animation prevailed when the Shannon brought in the captured Chesapeake. The picture in Grade IX school-books conveys an idea of what Dartmouth-ians rowed out to greet on that exciting Sunday. Captain Broke (Brook) of the Shannon was so badly wounded that the command of the ship devolved upon 2nd Lieut. Provo Wallis, 22-year old native of Halifax; and the same man after whom Port Wallis is misnamed. %

The restless and changeful ^harbor still churns up its foamy wrath at times, but never had the inhabitants seen the waters in such a freakish and tempestuous turmoil as was exhibited late in the autumn of the year 1813.

About five o’clock on Friday evening November 12, a terrific hurricane suddenly sprang up from the southeast, driving in an immense volume of sea-water. On that day there were about 100 ships in port. Although the tide was dead low at the time, within the short space of one hour, the height of water lifted almost every vessel from its anchorage and bore it madly along in a swirling tide.


♦ Port Wallace is named for Hon. Michacl Wallace, Canal President p. 144. (Please don’t spell it Port Wallis.)

The bulwark of Halifax wharves breasted the brunt of the surging ocean swell as it pounded small craft against the pilings until they were smashed and sunk. Larger vessels were torn violently from their moorings to be swung outward and pitched crazily into mid-stream where they wallowed and collided with other ships as everything movable kept sweeping up the harbor.

Along the stretch of lee-shore at Dartmouth some 30 or 40 vessels were washed up in all sorts of positions on the beaches where in many cases the hulls were bilged by hidden boulders. Broken bowsprits and stripped rigging bore evidence of more collisions. These ships must have been lifted ashore by the buoyant tidal-wave, and not by the wind.

The driving November rain, the inky darkness, the blue flares of rockets and the intermittent sounds of distress guns amid the piercing shrieks of drowning persons, made the night a memorable and awful one for the inhabitants.

As if in answer to a prayer, the freakish storm suddenly ceased about seven o’clock, when the wind veered to the northwest and the water became comparatively calm again.

Next morning, Haligonians looked across the harbor. They saw the extensive stretch of Dartmouth shore from Fort Clarence to Tufts’ Cove strewn with ships. Editor John Howe of the Halifax Journal must have sent a reporter to Dartmouth, because a few days later his newspaper published the following list:

The brig “Friendship” ashore near Fort Clarence, rudder and bowsprit gone. Ship “Jubilee” ashore near Prescott’s limekiln. A it captured brig ashore near Prescott’s, bilged; foremast and i»owsprit gone. Brig “Astrea” ashore near McMain’s limekiln, much injured in her upper works. An American prize sloop, ashore near McMain’s, rudder gone.

His Majesty’s schooner “Canso” (12 guns), bowsprit gone, much <i;tinaged; ashore northward of McMain’s. (This is the rocky shore iiown on page 14). Schooner “Four Sisters” (204 tons), ashore near 'ii«' “Canso”, bowsprit gone, damaged in upper works. Schooner Dove” ashore near the Lap-Stone, foremast and bowsprit gone.

‘ hooner “Rachel & Mary” ashore near the “Dove”, not much Injured.

A small Lunenburg schooner ashore near Ryan’s ferry-wharf

< >l<i Ferry). Schooner “Mary” of Portland, ashore in Dartmouth

■    < . not much injured. A small shallop ashore on Dartmouth

mt A schooner laden with sugar, sunk near above vessel.

.Schooner "Ferdinand” ashore near Skerry’s house, much in-■'i in her upper works. Brig “William” ashore near Coleman’s of. foremast and bowsprit gone, stern much injured. Sloop n< nry“ with country produce struck shore near Coleman’s wharf,

and soon went to pieces, the whole cargo lost. Mr. Coleman’s boat-shop blown down. Schooner “Sally” of Nantucket, prize-ship to H.M.S. Loire, ashore near Coleman’s. Sloop “Gleaner” brought up near Coleman’s wharf, lost her bowsprit.

H. M. brig “Manly”, ashore to the north of the “Sally”, much damaged, feared total loss. The transport schooner “Three Sisters” sunk near the “Manly”, total loss. H.M. sliip “Maidstone” ashore to the north of this.

H.M.S. “La Hogue” ashore near Black Rock. Schr “Concord” ashore nearby. Schr “Paragon” ashore north of the “Concord”. American ship “Massachusetts” prize to the “Canso”, ashore to the north of Black Rock. A Portuguese brig and an American sloop near the “Massachusetts”, not much injured. A neutral brig and a lumber-loaded schooner ashore to the northward of the above.

H.M.S. “San Domingo” ashore near Foster’s wharf. Ship “Juno”, the re-captured brig “Ann” and a schooner ashore above Foster’s. The transport ship no. 429 ashore near Foster’s Point. The brig “Mariner” ashore near Pryor’s windmill. Schr. “Edward” ashore north of above. Spanish poleacre ship “Catherine Patriota” ashore near Albro’s tanyard. Sloop “Elvira” ashore above Albro’s, overset— her owner Mr. Koch and two men lost.

Brig. “Christiana” ashore north of the “Elvira”. Ships “Ned” and “Divina Pastore” ashore in Tufts’ Cove. A Lunenburg sloop sunk near the above vessels, the crew of four said to have perished. Men-of-War brigs “Fantome” (18 guns) and “Epervier” ashore north of Tufts’ Cove. (Five months later, “Epervier” was captured by the Americans. “Fantome” was wrecked in 1814 at Prospect).

The above lengthy list gives one an idea of the number of vessels usually anchored on our side of the harbor. Foster’s wharf was near the “watering-place” at the foot of Jamieson Street, mentioned on page 67. The schooner “Three Sisters” may have been the one owned by Jonathan and John Tremain on which Edward Jordan committed murder and mutiny in 1809. Her wreck would be near the foot of North Street. (See “Jordan, the Pirate” by Dr. MacMechan).

George Westphal was in the news again that year. He was then in command of the “Anaconda”, and in the attack on New Orleans during 1813, had lost his right hand.

A packet-boat from England which arrived on Saturday, May 21, 1814, brought the most welcome news in 20 years to Governor Nicholas D’Anseville still in exile at Woodlawn. Napoleon had abdicated; and the Bourbon King Louis XVIII was being restored!

Mrs. Lawson, in her History of Dartmouth, says that the enthusiasm and excitement of the old Governor knew no bounds. Dressing himself in the old royalist uniform with the white cock-aded hat of the Bourbons, he abandoned his customary dignity, and marched up and down the road during one whole afternoon, shouting “Vive La France”.

Shortly afterwards M. D’Anseville returned home to his family in France. Then Margaret Floyer’s life, deprived of the courtly companionship of the silvery-haired old gentleman, became more and more lonely as she remained secluded with her servants. She declined rapidly and passed away on Dec. 9, 1814. On her grave stone under the first cedar tree on the main path of Woodlawn cemetery is the date “1815”, erroneously etched.

At the beginning of 1814, there was recorded the death in January of Mary Hawthorn, consort of John D. Hawthorn^ .

In the month of May the newspapers announced that a branch of Walter Bromley’s school had already been established in Dartmouth at the Meeting House, which the Society of Friends had lent them. The trustees were Jonathan Tremain, Seth Coleman, Robert Hartshorne and Lawrence Hartshorne.

Fortunately the identity of the first teacher in Bromley’s School is revealed to us by the fortuitous circumstance that his signature is on the Government grant receipt for the latter half of the year 1814. His name was Thomas Cook. During the previous two terms he had been teaching at Halifax.

From the scant school-returns available, one gathers that Thomas Cook was still teaching in the spring of 1816. He may have remained longer, but there is no definite record.

Bromley’s school was not the first one in Dartmouth. Seth Coleman’s diary, long preserved by the late Benjamin Russell, has a record of payment for teaching to Abigail Proctor. Evidently there was no date given, but Judge Russell thought that it was long before the year 1812”.

Seth Coleman must have been a man of extraordinary talents. In the autumn of 1814, smallpox broke out in an alarming manner n i the village of Dartmouth. Dr. Samuel Head, prominent Halifax nmctioner, recommended Seth Coleman as a man competent to ir nder the inhabitants medical aid, because “he has long been in hr habit of assisting people of Dartmouth, and has thereby acquir-i ; i considerable knowledge of diseases occurring among them”.

On orders from Lieut. Governor Sir John Sherbrooke, Mr. Cole-

■ in subsequently vaccinated over 400 poor persons in Dartmouth m<l Preston, with great success.

About this time, a number of negro slaves who were escaping in plantations in the United States, took refuge on British men-

• it In Chesapeake Bay. Many of these were sent to Halifax and »t« .1 ut Preston and Hammond’s Plains.

Philip Westphal’s ship H.M.S. “Junon,” of which he was 1st Lieutenant, was in and out of port all that season. In November 1814, he was married at St. Paul’s to Miss Frances Davis, daughter of the late Burrowes Davis, former commissary of stores.

Philip Westphal was noted for his heroism and many acts of personal bravery under fire. As Lieutenant of the “Amazon” in

1806, he was especially mentioned for gallantry during the engagement of the “Amazon” with the French frigate “Belle Poule” off the West Indies. After her capture, Lieutenant Westphal was placed in charge of this prize and navigated the French ship to England.

Deaths in December 1814, other than Margaret Floyer, included Ebenezer Allen, jr, aged 47, leaving a wife and 11 children; and Mrs. Isabelle Farquharson, consort of John Farquharson.

In the following May, William Mott died at Preston, aged 89. He had been among the early settlers ©f Halifax. A son John Mott, seems to have died earlier, for the latter’s four children were reared on the grandfather’s farm. Of these, the best known were Henry, mentioned on page 13; and a daughter who afterwards married William Baker, well-known cocoa-manufacturer of Dorchester, Mass. This explains how the Mott family became interested in the business of chocolate-making in Dartmouth.

About the middle of May, a large sum of money stolen in Halifax, was found in Dartmouth under the floor of a small house occupied by Johnny Hennycut, a colored man.

Charles R. Fairbanks, one of the several sons of Rufus Fairbanks, was married in 1815 to Miss Sarah Lawson, daughter of William Lawson. Another fashionable wedding the same year, was that of Miss Mary Tremain to Lawrence Hartshorne, junior. The fathers of this couple were proprietors of Dartmouth’s gristmill.

The spring of 1815 was very backward. As late as the month of June, slob-ice kept coming down from the Basin. In addition to that, frequent southerly winds blew much drift ice back into the harbor which often impeded £he progress of the ferry-boats. Towards the end of July, a hail-storm, attended by rain and thunder, showered down lumps of ice over two inches long, near Burnside.

In this year, much of James Creighton’s Dartmouth property was put up for sale at auction by the executors of the estate. The whole of what is now the Austenville section, comprising some 67 acres, was bought by Thomas Boggs for £348 6/3.

A larger block of 77 acres commenced near the foot of Sullivan’s Pond and included land on both sides of Prince Albert Road over Sinclair Street hills to Christian Bartlin’s line at the town imits. On the west, the boundary extended down through the middle of Lake Banook to Ochterloney Street. The highest bid for this vast area was £450, and the purchaser was Lawrence Hartshorne. As the new Preston Road of 1797 ran through all this property, it looked promising for investment returns.

In 1815 the Halifax Steamboat Company was organized. They obtained from the Legislature the exclusive privilege of operating ferry-steamers for a period of 25 years. The principal incorporators were Hon. Michael Wallace, Thomas Boggs, Lawrence Hartshorne and Charles Morris. Reduced fares were promised.

The Government that year voted a sum of £190 to complete surveys and plans for the Shubenacadie Canal. A previous sum of £250 had been appropriated for the same purpose in 1797.

Listed among the highway grants of 1815 was an amount of £70 “to assist the inhabitants of Dartmouth township to open a road from Mrs. Floyer’s to Shubenacadie river”.

This appears to be the first mention of communication being opened from Dartmojuth to meet the road from Truro leading to Halifax. The latter, known as the “Cobequid Road”, turned westerly to cross Fletcher’s bridge where now stands Fletcher’s Locks. Then it continued for six miles over the hills to emerge at the junction of the present no. 1 highway and Old Cobequid Road, which is about 12 miles from Halifax.

The trunk roads from Halifax to Windsor, and from Halifax to Truro were classified as “Great Roads”, and consequently received the largest annual appropriations for upkeep.

For many years Robert Fletcher’s Inn, or the “18-mile House,” stood on the slope 50 yards west of the bridge where there were urrounding stables, outbuildings and gardens. Hostelries like Fletcher's and William Fultz’s “12-mile House” were famous stage-

■ n;ich stopping-places and overnight resorts where man and beast ought shelter at the end of a day’s journey.

Of the two landmarks, Fletcher’s was much the older. There i no apparent record of an inn at 12-mile corner until 1814 when FulU’8 is noted on Canal surveys. But long before that date, n <’<>rding to early Almanacs, there were Inns at Bedford.

Mine host at these latter inns could not have been very much

> Mi used in 1815 on hearing that a steam-ferry was planned and ’ I hi t n new road was to be built from Fletcher’s to Dartmouth ». Iwould shorten the journey to Halifax, and would thus

• i t a Rood deal of Truro and Pictou traffic from their doors.

In those years rural residents often took the initiative in

tructtng their own roads. Subscription lists would be passed around or posted up at the inns. Everyone benefiting was expected to pledge money or labor, or both. This explains the phrasing “to assist the inhabitants’’ in the £70 grant of 1815.

The promoters of the new highway no doubt included those who owned land along the chain of lakes. For instance, Bartholomew O’Connor was on the present farm of Fred Hoskin. Charles Reeves had a sawmill at Porto Bello. John Kennedy, whose old farm-house still stands on the hilltop, got 300 acres of the Richard Prowse grant in 1810. And the Farquharsons had been in possession of land on Caledonia Road years before.

As has been stated, the water-route from Shubenacadie to Chebucto is one of the oldest in the Province. When winter-travel over the ice was unsafe, it would be most natural for Indians or whites to follow a trail along the bordering banks of the lakes to Dartmouth. This probably expanded into a bridle-path and eventually became the winding highway no. 18, which we call “Waverley Road” and which Waverley people call “Dartmouth Road”.

Of course, there was no village of Waverley as yet, nor any causeway at “Second Red Bridge”. Hence the “road from Mrs. Floyer’s” of 1815, was cut from Woodlawn Church through Caledonia Road past Kennedy’s to cross Lake Loon outlet at Barry’s Run, or “Beaver Dam Run” as it was then known. At Lake William the road went up the hill through the old Finlay (Skerry) farm so that it paralleled Lake Thomas about a mile to the eastward, until it met Cobequid Road beyond Fletcher’s. This old trail is still used by trout-fishermen, and huntsmen.

News of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon was received here by a brig on August 3rd. No doubt numerous Dartmouthians voyaged to Halifax that week to view the illuminations and to participate in the public dinners and other celebrations.

In a subscription, which was opened at Halifax for the relief of Waterloo wounded among the British and Prussian armies, over 200 names were appended. Heading the list with the greatest contribution was Lieutenant-Governor Sherbrooke. The second highest was that of Hon. Lawrence Hartshorne of Dartmouth.

George Westphal, now raised to the rank of Captain, came home that October. His companion was Captain Michael Head of Halifax. They had sailed from Liverpool, Eng., to Liverpool, N. S., in the brig “Fanny” which took 54 days on the passage.

Another diary for part of the years 1815 and 1816 kept by Miss Louisa Collins, daughter of Stephen, contains much more information concerning social life around Colin Grove than the earlier one of her grandfather. Louisa’s boy friend was Thomas Beamish,*

~ *This man’s sister was the mother of Beamish Murdoch, the historian.

son of the Port Warden of Halifax, who visited her regularly and evidently traveled via the Old Ferry.

The entry after his departure on August 30, 1815, expressed anxiety for his safe return as it was very dark and she “could hear the melancholy sound of horns” from the ships three miles away. She often “wished there was a bridge across the harbor”.

On December 26 they attended a ball at Mount Edward “given by the young gentlemen” where they danced until four in the morning. Next evening she recorded that “the dance has affected us so little that we were out sliding on our lake all morning”.

The Steam Boat Company corresponded with several foundries in the United States that year, with regard to the purchase of a steam-engine. The price quoted was $6,000. This must have been prohibitive for they abandoned the idea of steam, and obtained permission from the Legislature in 1816 to substitute a horse-boat. A lease of property was also obtained to build the present Halifax dock. In Dartmouth, the Crown granted them water-lots in trust.

There was another petition regarding the Dartmouth Common about this time from several proprietors in the township who complained to the Government that some of the land was being encroached upon by squatters and that parts of the Common on the harbor front were being used as water-lots by private persons. They asked that a re-survey be made to protect the rights of the public.

The names appended to the petition were George Coleman, Seth Coleman, Thomas Davie, Robert Jackson, James Skerry, William Wilson, Mark Jones, Charles Reeves, William Allen, Na-i haniel Russell, John Elliott, Stephen Collins, John Prescott, Dennis Connor, John Stayner, Thomas Maynard, R. N., James Allen and James Crichton, R.N.

The large building at Sterns’ corner, mentioned on page 105, was sold to Edward H. Lowe in 1816 for £100. This was the same price that Theophilus Chamberlain had paid for the property 15 years before.

The account books of John Skerry reveal that he towed over horn Halifax supplies for the use of the American refugee negroes

• t Preston in 1816. These were stored in a rented building of Kerry’s whence they were transported to Preston at intervals. Hii hard Inglis, the Government agent, evidently traveled out there quite frequently, for the ferriage-bill often mentions “Mr. ImkU.h and his horse” at 2/ for each trip.

Among famous men in our neighborhood about this time was i unes Gordon Bennett, who later founded the New York Herald. Wune biographies state that he emigrated from Scotland in 1819,

and first earned a scanty livelihood on Halifax journals. But he assuredly came earlier, for he taught school just outside Dartmouth as early as 1816, and remained at least two years.

Records at the N.S. Archives show that there was paid Trustees Joseph Bissett, Martin Beck and Joseph Kuhn a Government grant of “twelve pounds ten shillings for the support of a school established at Cole Harbour whereof James Bennet is the teacher, and continued from the 1st of July 1816 to January 1st, 1817”.

One of his pupils was 7-year old Nathaniel Russell, mentioned on page 117. Mrs. Lawson’s History gives the location of the school at Allen’s Tanyard, just northeast of Brook House; but Judge Beniamin Russell’s autobiography definitely states that the young Nathaniel “went to school at Cole Harbor, where the teacher was James Gordon Bennett”. (Both may be correct. See page 132).

During the summer of 1816, the construction of the new team-boat, or horse-boat, continued in progress. The machinery necessary to revolve the propellor seems to have been imported from New York firms experienced in rigging similar such boats. The launching took place on Monday, September 30, and the place was somewhere in Dartmouth Cove, pictured on page 37. The only previous record of a ship being built in Dartmouth was that of the “Maid of the Mill”, launched in August 1801.

Among the gay crowd at high-tide that September day, there were evidently many brightly dressed ladies mingled with their companions along the shore, and others who came over from Halifax in small boating-parties. Perhaps a military band also enlivened the air.

One enthusiastic spectator has left us his impression of the scene in a letter to the “Acadian Recorder” the following week:

Sir,—I have been present at many Launches but never witnessed one, take it “all in all”, with so much pleasure as that on Monday last. Dartmouth Cove is in itself picturesque, the assemblage of beauty on the shore, the boats plying in the Cwe and the novelty of the team-boat, formed a scene worthy of the pencil of the first masters in painting; the public spirit and disinterestedness of the gentlemen who have so promptly come forward—the pen of the poet—that both may be found is the earnest wish of ... K. I. „

The 25 shareholders of the Company included the enterprising Samuel Cunard. The President was Hon. H. H. Cogswell and the Secretary was Charles R. Fairbanks, a rising young barrister.

The first trip of the team-boat was made on the 8th of November. Dr. Akins’ History says that it was considered an immense improvement, and the additional accommodation for cattle, carriages and horses was a great boon to country people traveling to market at Halifax.

This is the 70-foot ferry “Sherbrooke” launched at Dartmouth in 1816. Inside the housing on the deck, a team of eight horses harnessed to iron stanchions traveled around a cogwheel which turned a crank. The crank then moved the single propellor located under the middle of the boat. As auxiliary power, sails were hoisted whenever the wind was favorable. This type of ferry was common at the time.

The road from Dartmouth to Bedford apparently was made available for vehicular traffic about 1816. Up to that time there existed only a trail or pathway over which cattle evidently were driven around the Basin to be sold in the market at Halifax by farmers from the eastern sections and Tufts’ Cove area.

This is inferred from a request signed by 33 rural residents presented to the House of Assembly that spring asking for financial assistance. The petition stated that the footpath, which had been brought into the shape of a road by small sums previously granted, was found to be very useful. In consequence they had subscribed irnong themselves the sum of £124 for the further progress of the road during the ensuing summer.

The Legislature responded favorably to the request, and agreed- to an appropriation of £130 for this work.

The extensive property of Charles Reeves in north Dartmouth opposite the Halifax Naval Hospital, was advertised for sale in March 1816. On the premises were a dwelling-house, a grist watermill and a well-built windmill.

Married that year were Louisa Sarah Collins of Colin Grove, I-) 'rhomas Ott Beamish; Ann Prescott, daughter of John Prescott t Maroon Hall to John E. Fairbanks, brother of Charles; Isabelle McNab, daughter of Peter McNab, to Robert Lyon; and Jane Howe. half-sister of Joseph Howe, to Captain William Austen.

Mrs. Mary McQuinn died in 1816, aged 51 leaving a husband 11wl four children. Other deaths were Ebenezer Allen, the tanner;

Samuel Prescott of the brickyard, aged 47; James Munn aged 56, an old resident, whose property was at the northwest corner of Ochterloney and King Streets: James Conkey, son of John Conkey, drowned off Albro’s wharf in August; Peter McNab, who died in Fort Clarence section; and John Farquharson aged 59, “a zealous servant of His Maker”.

The winter of 1816-1817 was exceptionally cold. Teams crossed over Bedford Basin all winter and the Eastern Passage was closed in with ice until April. Much distress prevailed among the laboring classes. Inmates at the Halifax Poor House numbered nearly 200. Potatoes were scarce, and in some parts of the Province flour was not available at any price.

The Old-Ferry property, including the Inn, stables and wharf, was advertised for sale in March. Peter McCallum was then the lessee. John Skerry seemed to be thriving at Ochterloney Street where he continued to transport and to store supplies for the American refugee negroes at Preston.

Skerry’s Inn was as yet the centre of activity. Whenever auctioneers came over from Halifax to sell farm-lands in the outlying districts, Skerry’s was the spot where the bidders gathered.

By that time the Team-Boat Company were constructing Portland Street dock, fences, gates, stables and an adjacent dwelling-house to be fitted up as a rival inn.

There were no gates, so far as known, at Skerry’s terminus. Travelers waited for the trips, probably refreshing themselves at the bar, then paid their fare in shillings or pence at the Inn where the coins were tossed into a large cask. When the casks got filled, they would be barrelled up like pork, and rolled into a corner. To rob charitable John Skerry evidently was unthinkable.

Settlers in the rural parts of the Province kept increasing, due to the influx of immigrants after Waterloo. In order to assist these newcomers to market their country produce at Halifax, further substantial road grants were voted by the Legislature. In 1817, the large sum of £200 was appropriated for the road from Woodlawn to Fletcher’s past Kennedy’s. And £150 more was spent on the Dartmouth-Bedford router

The year 1817 also witnessed the beginning of the first building in Dartmouth to be used exclusively for church purposes. Prominent Anglicans had already obtained a Crown grant of Block “G” where now stands Christ Church. The land was granted in trust to Thomas Boggs, Richard Tremain and James Creighton.

The Earl of Dalhousie, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, laid the corner-stone of the new edifice on Wednesday, July 9, of that year. Rev. Charles Ingles was the first rector. His wife

was Hannah Hartshorne, daughter of Lawrence, senior. His mission extended from Bedford to Seaforth. Until later on, when it was formed into a separate parish, Christ Church was a chapel-of-ease to St. John’s Church at Preston.

There is a tradition in Dartmouth that when Christ Church was being constructed, a 6-year old girl named Elizabeth Marvin was carried off by an Indian. The child had been sent to the church to call her father home to dinner when the red-man enticed the little one by feeding her with sweet-cakes. She was carried off quite a distance before being rescued. Thomas Marvin, probably the father, owned the property near Lahey’s present paint-shop.

The team-boat did not perform very regularly that first winter, and seems to have been laid up for a considerable time, for there was a news item in the Halifax papers on May 28, 1817, stating that “the team-boat, we are happy to state, commenced her operations this morning”.

The first casualty was reported in November of that year, when Sergeant Frederick Hart of the 3rd battalion 60th Regiment, accidentally fell overboard from the team-boat and was drowned.

An atrocious deed was perpetrated on this boat in the month of December when a young man named William Hurst stabbed, with a penknife, all of the eight horses as they passed by him. He was immediately committed to jail to await trial, and later convicted in the Supreme Court.

The first mention of the new inn at the Portland Street dock is contained in the following newspaper advertisement, dated September 17, 1817:

DARTMOUTH COFFEE HOUSE—The subscriber having taken a house at the head of the team-boat wharf respectfully begs leave to inform her friends and the public that she has opened the above hotel for the entertainment of ladies and gentlemen where they can be accommodated with breakfast dinner and tea and trusts by assiduity and attention to receive a share of the public patronage.


N.B.—The best of liquors always on hand.

Another advertisement announced that W. H. Worthy had t ;iken over the lime-kilns of the late Samuel Prescott at Woodside, where there was a large stock of white and brown lime.

An elderly resident of that section was married in November when the newspapers announced the wedding at St. Peter’s Church Halifax, of Mr. Michael Herbert of Dartmouth, aged 90 years, to Mrs Morrison, aged 32, widow of Bombardier Morrison.

In December, widower John D. Hawthorn was married by

the Rev. Dr. Gray to Ann Langley, daughter of Edward Langley.

Deaths of well-known persons that year included Captain Martin Meagher, aged 76; and Mr. Moses Pitcher, aged 84, who died at his residence near the Halifax Dockyard.

A document of November 1817, signed .by Rev. Dr. Stanser, Rector of St. Paul’s, certifies that George Bragg “is a fit and proper person to teach school at Dartmouth”. In all probability, therefore, this man taught during 1817-1818, and perhaps later.

The first Magistrate’s Court was established at Dartmouth in 1817 when Samuel Albro and Robert Hartshorne were empowered to hear cases as a result of the following petition:

The Honorable Chief Justice,

Sir—I am authorized by the principal inhabitants of Dartmouth to solicit your aid in obtaining two Magistrates for that neighborhood, as for the want of such we are constantly offended by breaches of law, in Sabbath breaking, shooting in the Town Plot of Dartmouth, drunkenness and other crimes not of magnitude enough to bring the parties offending to Halifax for trial and punishment. We have been casting around for proper persons to fill that important office who are at all capable, and at length have got Mr. R. Hartshorne of Dartmouth and Mr. S. Albro at the Windmill to say that they will act if appointed. Your attention to this request will be considered a public benefit, and will oblige, your respectful humble servant,



In January, 1818, flags half-masted on Citadel Hill announced the London death of Princess Charlotte, who had died in childbirth the previous November. As a daughter of the Prince who later became George IV, it was confidently expected that this beloved lady would one day be Queen of England. The name is noted in these pages because Portland Street in Dartmouth, was for many years afterwards called Princess Charlotte Street in her honor.

That winter was again severe. ^ Teams crossed back and forth over Bedford Basin for a much longer period than in the preceding year. In February, ice in the main harbor became clogged and so compact that teams and pedestrians passed over without danger for nearly two weeks.

In March, the House of Assembly spent nearly a whole afternoon trying to decide whether or not the incorporation Act of the Steamboat Company gave them the right to use small boats, then being built for the service. The debate followed the submission of a stout protest from John Skerry and James Creighton, who resented the proposed move of the company to “barge-in” on their type of ferries.

The new boats were known as “Grinders”, having paddles at. the sides moved by turning a crank. As the Company’s outlay had far exceeded expectations, something had to be done to lessen the overhead. By the end of 1818 disbursements amounted to nearly £6,000, while gross revenue totalled only £2,500. One of most gnawing expenses was provender for the team-boat horses.

In the road grants that session, the Assembly approved a vote of £400 for the new road from Cobequid Road to Dartmouth. Mr. Mortimer of Pictou, and other rural members, argued that the above amount would make a good winter-road by cutting towards the head of Dartmouth Lakes whence there would be a level surface over the ice to the team-boat. Countrymen driving cattle to market at Halifax would thus save a distance of nearly seven miles.

Next day, the Legislative Council rejected the £400 road-ap-propriation, but agreed to a grant of £150.

When the Steam Boat Company met in September, shareholder Michael Wallace came to the rescue by offering to advance £150 which was necessary to make this road passable, because its use would increase ferry traffic. On receiving a guarantee that he would be protected against any loss, Mr. Wallace forthwith transferred the amount to Road Commissioner Scott.

Meanwhile John Skerry seemed to be prospering. In fact he had become sort of town-banker. In 1817 he lent £1,000 to John Prescott, taking a mortgage on Maroon Hall; and £400 to Abraham Peitzch on his property at 41 Ochterloney St. Another £50 was lent to John Kennedy on his farm already described.

Mr. Skerry was also the owner of considerable real estate hoth in Halifax and Dartmouth. About this time he purchased t hr lot known as Skerry’s field, then a swampy meadow south of Portland St., and east of Wentworth. Another large tract of tlmberland was acquired at Lake William.

In 1818 John Wolfe purchased from the Creighton heirs, the til acre farm in the wilderness of Mount Thom, whither he had in’vvn a trail on settling there in 1806. The family cleared and ultlvated that land for over 60 years. Adjoining their farm on Mir rust was that of Henry Keeler, who had come there in 1801. i ii«* Wolfe homestead stood quite near the location of the present N<» 12 Rreen on Brightwood golf links.

Daniel Eaton announced in 1818 that he had taken over the u t mouth brick kilns where he would in future be able to supply

• http and brown burnt lime at short notice.

The building used for a school and known as the Quaker Meeting House had become so decayed in 1818 that it was torn down. Subscriptions for a new building were then collected among the inhabitants to which the Government contributed £50.

School returns for 1817-1818 show that James Gordon Bennett taught that term in Dartmouth township. A document dated April, 1818, reports that “a school has been provided in the township of Dartmouth, and James Bennett a duly licensed teacher is appointed thereto”. It states further that this school had commenced on September 24, 1817, and continued regularly ever since. An amount of £50 had been raised for the support of the school. The trustees were John Allen, Henry Wisdom and Nathaniel Russell. (These are Woodlawn names. Compare with those p. 126).

Mrs. Lawson’s History says that James Gordon Bennett taught in the school at Allen’s Tanyard. This may have been “Brook House”, because the Rev. Charles Ingles conducted a boarding-school in the same building a few years later, which suggests that it may have been used as such after Margaret Floyer’s death.

The year 1818 brought to Dartmouth 21-year-old Andrew Shiels, a master-blacksmith from Scotland. During the ensuing 60 years this man contributed considerably to the literature of the community under the pen name of “Albyn”.

Married that year were John Blacklock and Eliza Coleman, daughter of J. Brown Coleman and granddaughter of Seth.

Lime and bricks from Dartmouth evidently were used in the erection of Province House then being constructed at Halifax, because the last cost sheets of this building, credit W. H. Worthy with £36 for materials supplied from his kilns.


In January 1819, the first use was made of the snow-covered trail from Cobequid Road to Dartmouth. Newspapers of that date reported that several sleds with produce for Halifax, were coming in by the new road and down over the Dartmouth Lakes. The landing-place is thought to have been at Banook Avenue, because that street was long known as “the winter road”.

Letters advocating the commencement of the Canal project appeared frequently that winter. One writer suggested that a large dam be constructed “at the end of the swamp behind the church”. In his opinion such a dam would raise the level of the two lakes so that there would be water communication to Lake Charles without need of any locks. A series of locks from the dam to the harbor would then complete the Dartmouth end.

(Evidently most of the land eastwardly from Christ Church was, at that time, still in its primitive state).

Another correspondent pointed out that as the passes from lake to lake were fairly level, a sort of ship-railway could be made so that boats of 8 or 10 tons could ply with cargoes directly from Halifax harbor to the Bay of Fundy.

“’Tis in vain we have elegant public buildings if the Canal project is not made effective, and the trade of Halifax will decline to a very low ebb”, concluded the writer.

(This was a reference to costly Province House which had just been completed and opened for the session of 1819).

About that time another petition to the Lieutenant-Governor from John Skerry and William H. Worthy stated that as the Roman Catholics in Dartmouth were then very numerous, they found it both inconvenient and expensive to attend church at Halifax. The petitioners therefore made application for any vacant town-lots which His Lordship would deem sufficient for the purpose of a church, a priest’s house and a churchyard.

Lord Dalhousie replied as follows:

“I am fully disposed to comply with the request of this petition, but having made inquiries as to the number of Catholics on the Dartmouth side, I do not find that there are anything like a congregation and besides that I do not wish to see at present any new establishment to take away from the highly respectable church of Bishop Burke”.

In May, a vein of limestone was discovered on Mr. Silver's farm at Preston by W. H. Worthy of Dartmouth brickyard. He thought there was not the least doubt but that coal existed under the bed of Salmon River below the lime-quarry.

Road grants that year included £140 for the road from Kennedy's towards Fletcher's. John Munro was Commissioner. The sum of £10 was voted for the winter-road to Dartmouth Lakes with John D. Hawthorn listed as Road Commissioner.

The latter amount was in response to a petition of February iMM), signed by Charles Reeves, John Kennedy, Jacob Kuhn, John i • Hawthorn, James Bissett, Robert Hartshorne, Seth Coleman, Andrew Malcom, Joseph Findlay and Frederick Major, wherein they stated:

“That your petitioners at a great deal of labor and expense to (hr amount of £30 paid in cash, have opened a complete road between Lake Charles and Dartmouth Lakes being a distance of about one mile, which work has been done in the last 3 \* irs; that this road is now very much travelled, and all teams

< omlng from Cobequid travel on this road; that your petition-« i , :isk for no remuneration but that the sum of £30 will make

II u very excellent road".

Andrew Malcom lived in town-block “H” on escheated land hrtr now stands the Dartmouth Fire Station. Evidently this

location was then considered as being out in the suburbs, as is inferred from his petition of 1819:

“To His Excellency the Rt. Hon. George, Earl of Dalhousie,

The petition of Andrew Malcom respectfully sheweth that your petitioner from Thurso, County of Caithness, Scotland, has been in Dartmouth this 2 years last past, and has lately been Granted a Town lot in Dartmouth from your Lordship, on which he has already built a house and fenced it in, and owing to the lot your Lordship was Pleased to Grant, being in the Back part of the Town he is now desirous of obtaining another lot, nearer the most Public part of the Town, for the purpose of erecting a shop to carry on the Cart and Plough Manufactory and such improvements as will be satisfactory to your Lordship,

“And as in duty bound your Humble Petitioner will ever Pray


At Kensington Palace in London that year was born on May 24th, the Princess Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent.

Of two Dartmouth weddings performed by Rev. Charles Ingles in 1819, one was that of Maria Marshall daughter of Benjamin Marshall to W. H. Berton; and Elizabeth Prescott of Maroon Hall to Henry Y. Mott, a neighbor, already mentioned.

In August, Captain Joseph Findlay and the Team-Boat crew interrupted a trip in mid-harbor to aid in rescuing the occupants of a sail-boat from the Dockyard which had upset in a squall.

The third anniversary of Team-Boat establishment was celebrated in October by the memberjs dining together at their new Inn in Dartmouth. The report stated that the “dinner and wines were excellent, a number of very pleasing songs were sung, and the day was spent in the utmost harmony”. H. H. Cogswell presided.

* * * * *

At “Brook House” in January 1820, Rev. Charles Ingles opened a boarding-school for a limited number of boys.

In the House of Assembly that spring, a Committee appointed to inquire into the various surveys of the Canal made since 1796, compiled a report on the work already done. They estimated that the Canal project would cost about £32,000.

Captain H. W. Scott submitted to the House a plan of a proposed road he had surveyed, which would shorten the distance from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s. It recommended that a new stretch be opened from the present Graham’s Corner to Lake Loon Run.

A sum of £50 was voted for the road from Kennedy’s to Fletcher’s, and £25 for the Dartmouth-Bedford road.

The Court of Escheats at Halifax in 1820 granted one Dartmouth town-lot each to Edward Langley, Jonathan Elliot, Benjamin Elliot, Joseph Hamilton, Seth Coleman; and two water-lots each to James Tilton and William Kidston.

The Brinley house at Mount Edward was offered for sale. It was described as being 2 y2 miles from Creighton’s Ferry, consisted of a roomy dwelling with a detached house for servants, a large barn, stables and 180 acres under enclosure.

At Maroon Hall in August, John Prescott died in his 60th year. He had long taken a prominent part in the life of the community, being an active member of the Provincial Agricultural Society of which John Young (“Agricola”), was Secretary.

In the autumn of 1820, Seth Coleman lost two daughters within a week. One was Mrs. William Allen. The other was his tenth and youngest daughter, Mary Coleman aged 26 years.

John Hartshorne, aged 30, died suddenly that year at the residence of his father at “Poplar Hill”; Bartholomew O’Connor died at Lake Charles; and Jane Elizabeth Kuhn, an old inhabitant of the town, aged 81, died at the home of Edward Langley.

The Catholic Bishop Burke died in Halifax; as also did Sir John Wentworth, aged 84. His former associate the Duke of Kent died in England about the same time as His Majesty George III. Proclamations were read aloud to the populace at Halifax Market Square announcing the accession of the new King George IV.

The teacher at Dartmouth in 1820-1821 was Daniel Sutherland, who taught at least from November until May. The trustees then were John Skerry, William Allen and Joseph Moreland.

Canon Vernon’s History of Christ Church states that the reports of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, contain the name of Mrs. Mary Munn, who was paid £5 per annum as schoolmistress at Dartmouth commencing from 1821. This lady, who was familiarly referred to as “Ma Munn”, is thought to have been the widow of James Munn, builder of the windmill and of Quaker houses. The £5 would be the contribution of the S. P. G. Kxcept for indigent cases, school expenses were collected from Inhabitants, according to their means.

In March 1821, Team-Boat directors made another move to vvt John Skerry out of the ferry business by inviting him to join their organization. Mr. Skerry’s reply was that he would agree on condition that the team-boat run to his wharf, and that he t>i* permitted to continue his own boats. Negotiations then deadlocked.

In the summer of 1821, the much respected Seth Coleman, then about 77 years of age, evidently decided to leave Dartmouth, and return to his native Nantucket. Perhaps he had become disheartened by the recent deaths of his two daughters.

Several of his properties were put up for sale. The dwelling with its large garden and good well of water, on the present location of Belmont Hotel, was described as being “favorably situated for a house of entertainment, being only a few rods from the ferry”. It was purchased by Captain John Stairs for £400. John Skerry bought the water-lot and boathouse on the shore below.

Maroon Hall at Preston was sold for £800 that autumn by Mrs. Prescott to Christian Conrad Katzman, a retired officer of the 60th Regiment. To finance the deal he borrowed £400 from John Skerry. Lieutenant Katzman was then about 40 years of age and a widower. He had recently been living at Annapolis, N. S.

The once extensive possessions of James Creighton, which had taken him years to acquire, were periodically being sold by James, junior, ever since the father’s death. By this time, much of the real estate was mortgaged or otherwise encumbered.

In 1821, more Creighton properties were up for sale. One was the stretch of hillside fronting the Cove, from Cuisack Street to Maitland Street. The lot included Old Ferry wharf and Inn.

Canon Vernon’s History also states that the Hon. Michael Wallace was a parishioner of Christ Church about this time. He was credited with £5 for pew rent in 1820, and later presented a bell to the Church. As has already been mentioned, Mr. Wallace owned the house at 59 Queen Street. The depression in the sidewalk, still seen at the northwest corner of Queen and Dundas Sts., marks the site of an old well on that property behind a curtilage of hawsey trees bordering the former Wallace field on Queen Street.

Louisa Collins’ diary, already quoted, did not make mention of her sister Charlotte having a beau at the Brinley ball; but evidently she did, either then or at later house-parties. P\>r there was another wedding celebrated by Rev. Charles Ingles at Colin Grove on a Saturday evening in November 1821, when Miss Charlotte Collins was united in marriage to Mr. Jonathan Elliot.

Other members of the family were little Mary Ann, Eliza and Phoebe. When the last named was 11 years of age, an entry in the diary recorded that “poor Phoebe has met with a sad misfortune, a crow having taken away one of her favorite chickens”.

At Dartmouth in 1821, Rev. Mr. Ingles also married Andrew *Malcom, blacksmith, to Miss Eleanor Jackson, daughter of Robert Jackson. The latter’s property extended from Queen Street to the


♦Andrew Multom (p. 134) etldenll> was llicn u widower Wrcuutr hi* rlilrnl duuKliIrr Ann »us horn In IH20. Andrew'* first wife win my icrruf Mrundniullirr hut I do not kmm Iter niimr. See Hie footnote puur I Si.—If M

southern end of the present Simmonds building where he at one time conducted one of the town’s several inns, or taverns.

The month of January 1821, was the coldest for 40 years. The harbor was a bridge of ice, at one period extending down to Meagher’s Beach Lighthouse. On fine afternoons crowds on foot, on skates, in double and in tandem sleighs, ranged over the whole surface. Lt- Gov. Kempt and the aristocracy of Halifax, accompanied by their ladies, were out in large numbers with their sleek horses and liveried coachmen. On market days there was a continual procession of loaded sleds crossing between Halifax and Dartmouth.

On Saturday evening February 3, a man named William Crowe returning to the Dockyard from a hunting expedition in Dartmouth, fell through the ice in mid-harbor, and was drowned. A lad named Gibb, who held out his stick to the doomed man, lost his foothold and also perished. Shipping was at a standstill until the middle of February, when the ice broke up and drifted to sea.

Government road appropriations for 1821 included £15 for the cross-road from Brook House northward; and an additional £40 for the road from Kennedy’s towards the Cobequid Rpad. This was the last time that money was voted for the Kennedy section.

The Steam Boat Company got a subsidy of £250 that year. It was the first of many. Repulsed in previous attempts, the Directors finally convinced the Government of the valuable public service rendered by their team-boat, and also of the desperate state of the finances shown on their account books.

At St. Paul’s Church that December, James W. Johnston, barrister, was married to Miss Amelia Almon, daughter of the late Dr. W. J. Almon. This has already been mentioned on page 16.

Deaths in 1821 included Mark Jones, blacksmith, who was instantly killed while blasting rock. He had resided in Dartmouth for several years, no doubt in the Cole Harbor district. Mark Jones and Moses Pitcher, it will be remembered, were two of the Jurymen at the Mary Russell inquest of 1798.


A business depression which had been cycling downward since the peace of Waterloo, sank to its lowest in the year 1822. The

price of flour and of real estate decreased proportionately. Farm— ♦•in, travelling long distances with produce to the Halifax market, mude not much more than their road expenses.

The House of Assembly tightened its belt accordingly. Road

■ rants for our side of the harbor were pared down or deleted entirely, although the Steam Boat Company managed to get £150. Their request for a ferry monopoly, however, was rejected.

Prominent people died in 1822. Word came from Nantucket of Seth Coleman’s death in March. He survived but a few months after leaving this town where he had labored over 40 years, giving freely of his talents and energy. Among his many aptitudes, it was said that he could hurl a harpoon with deadly accuracy, build a whaleboat, mend a wheelbarrow, heal the sick, keep accurate accounts and could reverently read aloud passages from Scripture.

In the same month, Hon. Lawrence Hartshorne died in his 67th year at his home on “Poplar Hill”. He was buried in old St. Paul’s cemetery. The newspapers lauded his business integrity and his usefulness in industrial and public life. Along with his partner, Jonathan Tremain, the deceased had spent large sums clearing land in early Dartmouth, and contributing much to its improvement.

Edward Foster, mentioned on page 93, who had resided here many years, also died that summer in Union, Maine. He was 72.

The business of tracing the varied activities of forgotten people endows research workers with sort of a vicarious acquaintance with places and persons who are most familiar, so that a death notice, turning up when least expected, often conveys a sense of personal loss. Seth Coleman’s, for instance.

But we confess to a particular twinge of sadness on reading this next obituary in the newspaper of November 1822:

Died at Dartmouth in the 19th year of her age, Phoebe Collins, fifth daughter of Stephen Collins, of Colin Grove.

Mrs. Sophia Cornwell, widow of Dr. D. Cornwell, also died at Cole Harbor in 1822. This lady was a daughter of Rev. Michael B. Houseal, a Loyalist, who was the well-known Minister to the Germans at the Little Dutch Church in Halifax. One of her sisters married Captain Seymour, aide-de-camp to the Duke of Kent; and a brother became an eminent surgeon in the British Army.

Out at Maroon Hall that year, Lieut. Conrad Katzman was married to Martha Prescott, daughter of the late John Prescott; and at Dartmouth the wedding took place of Benjamin Elliot to Ann Coleman, second daughter of John Brown Coleman.

The first Fire Department of Dartmouth was organized on September 21, 1822, and comprised the following citizens: Captain William Allen, Sec’y E. H. Lowe, Lieut. James Coleman, Henry Yetter, James Allen, Andrew Malcom, John Tapper, George Coleman, and Benjamin Elliot. Membership was limited to nine men.

Our rising village could now boast a fire-engine, a Board of Firewards and a new engine-house. This building stood on Queen Street near Wentworth, and was about the size of a modern single garage. Meetings were held on the first Monday of the month, at sundown. In winter, one member per month was chosen by lot to keep snow shovelled from the entrance. (Located on page 227.)

With three ferry-services still operating in 1822, the Steam Boat Co., in November, resolved to curtail expenses by selling their horses and laying up the team-boat for the winter.

Before this was effected, however, Richard Tremain again approached John Skerry on the question of abandoning competition. The latter submitted his terms, and in a few days was invited to confer with the shareholders. As the latter were Halifax men, the meetings were usually held in the Exchange Coffee House on the old market site (p. 102). After considerable parleying, an understanding was reached whereby Skerry was to get a share equal to other members. Thereupon he joined the Company, and thus terminated a seven-year ferry-war. The team-boat continued.

The agreement provided that the “grinders” were to ply from Skerry’s wharf; the boatmen were to board at his Inn; 5% commission was allowed on fares, and 12 cords of wood for his ferry-room had to be supplied annually by the Steam Boat Company.


The first news of any consequence to be recorded in 1823 was somewhat tragic in its nature. In the deep snow of mid-January, Francis Smith and a 13 year-old son, exhausted by cold and fatigue, perished while returning to their farm on lonely Preston highway after a day’s trudge from Musquodoboit. The bodies, buried in the drifts, were not found for three days. The unfortunate father and son were only a quarter-mile from their door.

The Steam Boat Company again petitioned the Legislature for financial aid, and obtained a subsidy of £200. In that year the um of £40 was voted for “altering and improving the road from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s”. This phraseology and such an unusually i iri'.r grant, suggest that the section from Graham’s Corner was i bout to be opened up, no doubt during that summer.

In May 1823, another of the town’s early builders passed away, lonathan Tremain, prominent Halifax merchant and promoter of i hr harbor bridge, died “at his country seat in Dartmouth”. He wii.H 82.

In the same month, Dartmouthians were aroused over a cow-Hilly and mysterious murder. The bruised body of William Hedg-

■ "'k, a 05-year-old pauper, was found on a by-road, with marks of ft uiKulation on the throat. The killer left no clues.

There was a large real estate sale at Skerry’s Inn that spring. \n tin Donaldson lands (p. 116), consisting of three dwellings, m town lots two water-lots and a wharf were on the auctioneer’s


The newspapers of October 31, 1823, reported that some fine ripe strawberries on exhibition at Halifax, had been gathered in Mr. Wallace’s garden at Dartmouth. These were probably picked on his Queen Street property, as he had previously sold the field, Block B (p. 106), to John Skerry for £250.

Down at Eastern Passage that year, died Jacob Horn at the remarkable age of 101. He was among the last veterans of the Seven Years’ War, having fought under General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham in 1759. After the peace, he is said to have traveled from Quebec to Halifax on snowshoes, and later received grants of escheated land at the Passage.


The year 1824 witnessed the first curling matches on Dartmouth Lake. The game was introduced hereabouts by Sir Houston Stewart, Captain of H. M. S. Menai, then on this station.

The Legislature that spring voted the largest sum yet for the road from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s. The amount was £200. Another noteworthy fact is that from then on, this highway was under the category of Great Roads of the Province.

The section from Graham’s Corner was cut through land which was part of Christian Bartlin’s grant, but in 1824 was evidently owned by Joseph Moreland, husband of Susannah Bartlin. Moreland complained to the House of Assembly that he was left with two triangular pieces of property, open to the new highway, from which people were plundering his wood. Being a poor man with a large family, he requested £5 compensation for fencing. He then lived near the foot of Queen Street, and was listed as a carpenter. (See photo on page 493.)

The era of wooden shipbuilding, which lasted over a century, began to develop about this time. The shipyard of John Chappell, established prior to that of Alexander Lyle, is thought to have been on the shore where now stand the Dartmouth Shipyard cradles. The first record of a ship being built there is in December 1823 when Chappell’s launched a brig named the “Sir James Kempt” for the Halifax firm of Collins and Allison.

Theophilus Chamberlain, the man who laid out the township of Preston for the Loyalists, died at his Salmon River home that summer in his 88th year. He is buried in Crain’s Hill Cemetery.

Another death occurred at Colin Grove where Mrs. Stephen Collins passed away after a long illness. She was 47.

An inquest was held in August on the body of Peter Skerry, who left his home one evening in a delirium, and was found next day in an inclosure near Creighton’s Ferry. The verdict was that he “died by the Visitation of God”. Another inquest was on a Swede found drowned near the Team Boat wharf. He had been

selling fish there the previous day, and it was supposed that he fell overboard in attempting to board his boat at night.

Thomas Quilty, alias James Ryan, wrote from the jail at "• 'ton) Kingston, N. B., in October to the editor of the “Recorder”, saying that he was to be executed next day, and wanted to confess that he was the man who robbed A. H. Holland’s store at Bedford in 1820. The prisoner also asked that Mr. Simpson of Dartmouth be notified that he had robbed him twice—and “in God’s name to grant me his forgiveness”. (This break must have been at George Simpson’s Inn on 7 highway at McLaughlin’s Road.)

Dartmouthians disembarking from the ferries on the morning of Nov. 13, 1824, witnessed the sight of a bald-headed middle-aged man named John Crutch, sidling and ducking in the pillory at the market square. He had been convicted of a serious offence. Anticipating the usual one-hour barrage of hard vegetables, the prisoner had an armor of boards under his coat, and links of stovepipe under his sleeves and trouser legs. Most of the missies from jeering spectators went whizzing at his head, which was the only vulnerable part of this ostracized Achilles.

There is no record of any schoolmaster in Dartmouth after the term of Daniel Sutherland, until the spring of 1824 when William Walker came to our village. He taught during 1824-1825, but got no Government grant, receiving remuneration from tuition fees which amounted to only £40 that year. (Now we know what Oliver Goldsmith meant).

Married in December 1824, were Mr. Stephen Elliot to Miss Jane Augusta Collins, daughter of Stephen Collins of Colin Grove.

In New York that year, died John Reeves, the former Dartmouth miller. At the N. S. Archives there is an excellent painting r Reeves’ Mill as it then stood on the bank of the stream at the foot of Jamieson Street, a few rods west of Windmill Road. The picture shows the waters from Albro Lake rushing along through 'he mill race to turn the water-wheel for the mill power. John i'- eves’ downtown field at the southwest corner of Victoria Road and Queen Street was sold about that time to Edward Warren, who later erected an Inn there.


The House of Assembly in 1825 voted £200 to the Steam Boat

•    m puny, as they had likewise done in the previous year. There

•    i • also a grant of £200 for the Great Road from Dartmouth to i ■ teller's. By this time, no doubt the causeway known as Second i i Bridge, was completed and in use.

Tin* road which we know as School Street was first mentioned 1 Hi!!), for in that year there was a petition before the Legisla-

ture from owners of the 20 and 80-acre lots near Mount Thom on the western side of Lake Banook. The petitioners complained that there was no public road to their properties, but that a road had lately been commenced crossing the Dartmouth Common which could be extended easterly if financial assistance were given to augment the work of the small number of settlers there who were performing statute labor.

Another petition signed by Joseph Findlay, Richard Sevelin, John T. Vorey (or Vosey), Wm. Corkum, James Mensom (or Mer-son), Isaac Bartlett, Wm. Prince, James Woods, Michael Nowlin, Anthony Romma, Martin Power and Ben. Howard, stated that “these men have been employees of the ferry for many years. Nevertheless they have been required to perform the Statute labor, which is a great hardship on themselves and also to-the public which may require to pass the harbor during their absence from the ferry”. They asked to be exempted from Statute labor.

William Walker petitioned the Legislature that term asking financial assistance for his school at Dartmouth. Out of a class of 30 pupils, only 20 had paid fees. The remainder could not contribute, because of the poverty of parents.

Francis Hall, a civil engineer from Upper Canada, reported to the Government that he had surveyed the Dartmouth and Shubenacadie Lakes, and that the approximate cost of a Canal having a 4V2 foot depth of water would be about £29,000.

Commutation tickets were first issued by the Steam Boat Company in 1825. On the list were names like Rufus Fairbanks, John Fairbanks, Hugh Hartshorne, James McNab, Samuel Black, Temple Piers, Andrew Richardson, Michael Bennett, James Bain, Wm. Neilson, John L. Starr, J. N. Shannon, J. Mansfield and others. The rate was 20 shillings annually for a family and servants.

As an experiment, the Company also leased the rights of Creighton’s Ferry for a period of one year. They sub-let the service (and probably the Inn) to Thomas Davie. Two small boats were operated from that point at the time.

One of the worst conflagrations of early Dartmouth occurred in June 1825, when fire broke out on the premises of Edward Langley in the vicinity of Church and Commercial Streets. In an outbuilding adjoining his barns and residence, there were about 300 hhds. of freshly burnt lime in storage. A fall of rain leaking into a cask, created spontaneous heat that burst into flame and quickly spread to the hayloft nearby.

As the fire-brigade could not obtain sufficient water, the wardens ordered the Langley residence pulled down, which was soon accomplished, thus halting progress of the blaze.

Navy men from H. M. S. Menai, anchored in the harbor, hustled over with buckets and rendered valuable assistance. (One of the officers of the “Menai” was Lieut. William Canning, son of the famous British statesman. It is quite possible that he was among those assisting our firemen that exciting afternoon).

The minute book of the Dartmouth Engine Company for July 1825 records that “after the fire at Langley’s the Company assembled at 4 p.m. when the engine    was taken to pieces    and

cleaned and repaired and exercised    at    the Mill brook”.

In November of that year, Sampson Carter was convicted of stealing a quantity of wheat from the brig “George Henry” which was unloading her cargo near the Grist Mill in Dartmouth Cove. It seems that Carter had loaded several bags in a small boat, and sculled it around the Point to Skerry’s wharf in the darkness. Then the grain was hidden somewhere, for later transportation to his home in Preston. In addition to paying a fine, the accused was sent to Bridewell prison.

Deaths at Dartmouth during 1825 included Benjamin Marshall, aged 55; and Thomas Finn, aged 66, who died at John Skerry’s. Mrs. Elzabeth Clifford, widow of Dr. John D. Clifford, died at Halifax in June, aged 56. This is Robert    Collins’ daughter.

In the year 1826, school districts    of    the County were    laid    out.

Dartmouth was number 26, and extended from the entrance of Bedford Basin to Fort Clarence. Then the line ran to Russell’s Lake and in a northerly direction to the causeway at Dartmouth Lake. The adjoining Port Wallace school district embraced all the territory from there out as far as Fletcher’s Bridge.

A letter to the Legislature from Robert Fletcher that spring tated that the new road being cut from the Cobequid Road to

< onnect with the Dartmouth Team-Boat road, went through his I arm in a southerly direction for a distance of some 300 yards and laid the whole enclosure open to the public. He asked for compensation to the amount of £20 to cover the cost of fencing.

The Shubenacadie Canal Company, incorporated in 1826, brought the biggest boom to Dartmouth in 40 years. The pur-uance of this enterprise made a great change in the topography of the town, and contributed materially to its early growth by

111 racting scores of skilled and unskilled workmen, many of whom tetnalned to become permanent residents.

When Canal shares were put on the market that spring, over l i.OOO was subscribed in the first few weeks. Of this amount

• arly £700 was taken up by Dartmouthians, among whom were tinuel Albro, George B. Creighton, Lawrence Hartshorne, John i 'Try, Edward Warren, Andrew Malcom, William Donaldson,

John Elliot, Benjamin Elliot, William Foster, Henry Y. Mott, Leslie Moffat, Edward H. Lowe, Joseph Moore, Edward Peitzsch Alexander Farquharson, John Farquharson, jr., William Wilson, Charles Reeves, J. W. Reeves, John D. Hawthorn and John Tapper. The value of a share was £25.

To the subscription list, the Legislature voted a sum of £15,000 which was to be paid according as the work progressed.

Few shares were sold elsewhere in the Province, many regarding the Canal scheme as impracticable and even fantastic.

The great work of the Canal was commenced with appropriate ceremonies in the isthmus between Lake Mic-Mac and take Charles on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 25, 1826, when the first sod was turned by Lord Dalhousie, Governor-General of British North America, who was visiting Halifax that summer. Others present with their ladies among the 2,000 spectators were Lieutenant-Governor Sir James Kempt, Rear Admiral Lake, Officers of the Regiments at Halifax, members of the Government and principal officials of the Canal Company.

Dartmouth must have been alive with activity early that summer morning as the “Grinders’’ and the Team-Boat kept disembarking Companies of infantry with their bands, and the squads of artillerymen drawing heavy field pieces. Then came the various Halifax Masonic Lodges with their banners and regalia to re-form their ranks at the ferry for the dusty three-mile march to Port Wallace.

Arriving at the spot chosen for the excavation, the above-mentioned bodies formed themselves into a hollow square about

1.30 P.M., when a bugle from the main road sounded the approach of Their Excellencies. At once the artillery boomed out a 19-gun salute, following which the band of the Rifle Brigade struck up “God Save the King”.

Hon. Michael Wallace, 83-year-old master of ceremonies, then escorted the Earl of Dalhousie under an arch formed by the Masons, and delivered his introductory address, part of which was as follows:

“As I have been honored with the office of President, I cannot be a silent spectator of this first step of this important work. I have the confidence and pride to style myself the father of this project. It originated in my mind long before many of those who hear me, were born.....

“I cannot expect to have many years added to my life, but it is not impossible that I may yet view the progress and even the completion of this great design .... Our children, I venture to prophecy, will bless us for the undertaking, and our posterity will find it one of the best legacies bequeathed to them by their ancestors......”

Lord Dalhousie then threw out a few shovelfuls of earth, and pronounced the work commenced. After His Excellency’s address, and a prayer pronounced by the Anglican Bishop, the cannon fired another salute. The whole of this interesting ceremony closed with the Buglers playing “The Meeting of the Waters”, and with three hearty cheers from the assembled gathering.

Returning to Dartmouth, the carriages of the principal guests stopped at “Poplar Hill” where they were entertained at a luncheon given by Lawrence Hartshorne. The Canal celebration concluded with a ball and supper at Government House in the evening.

Christ Church at Dartmouth was consecrated by Bishop Inglis on Sunday, August 21, in the presence of a numerous gathering including Hon. Michael Wallace, Chief Justice Archibald and “other respectable individuals”. As the Rev. Charles Ingles had gone to Sydney in 1825, the parish was without a resident rector until Rev. Edward L. Benwell, an Englishman, came to Dartmouth in December of 1826.

The first regatta on Halifax harbor was held in the summer of 1826 as part of the program arranged for the visit of Lord Dalhousie. All the warships in the harbor and numerous small craft were bedecked in colors for the occasion. The prize for first-class sailing boats was won by Admiral Lake, who steered the craft himself. The fishermen’s races, however, pulling over the long course around George's Island, created much more interest.

Besides the rowing contests, there was a canoe race open to native Indians. It was a new and novel sight for the crowds of spectators to see several canoes impelled with surprising velocity by Mic-Macs in their native costume with their long black hair flying in the wind, and to hear their exciting shrieks of the most extraordinary yells as they dashed down the harbor.

The regatta was such a decided success that it promised to become an annual affair. Money prizes were awarded the winners, chiefly in the canoe and rowing events.

Shipbuilding continued to thrive in Dartmouth. At the yards of Thomas Lowden that July, there was completed a 320-ton ship named the “Atlantic”. She was 104 feet long. Despite the early hour of 7.30 A.M., throngs came from Halifax to witness the launching. The newspaper report says that the masts of the Atlantic” were festooned with flags, and her decks were filled with the adventurous. As she moved majestically down the ways and plunged headlong into the water which rose and danced around her, loud huzzas were raised from point to point, softened Into melody by the martial music of the Regimental band stationed “on the opposite side of the creek”.

This description suggests that the location of Lowden’s yard wu.s near the outlet of the present Canal stream, perhaps on the

sheltered beach just south of the railway trestle.

There must have been a second keel already laid in that yard, for on the last day of November, 1826, there was another gala launching from Lowden’s. This ship was the 400-ton “Pacific”, built for a Halifax Company, and intended for the South Sea whale fisheries. She was constructed of the best Musquodoboit oak, and was copper-sheathed and copper fastened.

Considerable exertion had to be used before the vessel started to move, but after the first few impulses, she moved gracefully down the skids into the water. She was then towed by the Team-Boat to Cunard’s wharf to be fitted out.

The Quaker Society was still flourishing in 1826, for in that year they expelled six of their Dartmouth members. Three Elliots and three Colemans were involved. The Elliot family were no doubt reared as Quakers by their mother whose maiden name was Almy Green. According to Judge Benjamin Russell’s autobiography, Almy was the daughter of an old Quaker preacher who ministered to the Society of Friends at the Dartmouth Quaker Meeting House, late in the 1700’s.

Almy Green was the senior Mrs. Jonathan Elliot, as is explained on page 116. Two of her sons, Jonathan and Stephen Elliot married Charlotte, and Jane Collins respectively. Another son Benjamin, married Ann Coleman, granddaughter of Seth Coleman.

Of the Coleman boys, George and James Coleman, brothers of Ann, married Jane Storey and Sarah Bell, respectively. These marriages had taken place over a period of years.

But the point to be noted is that they were performed by Anglican clergymen. Evidently, according to Quaker principles, this was unorthodox.

The Quaker Society must have mulled over such violation for many months, because it was not until October of 1826 that the following decree came forth from Charles G. Stubbs, the Secretary in Nantucket:

“Information being received that George and James Coleman, Jonathan, Benjamin and Stephen Elliot, Members of this Meeting, residing in the Province of Nova Scotia, have joined in marriage contrary to the Established Order of our Society—it is the conclusion of this Meeting in accordance with the advice from our Quarterly Meeting on the subject, to disown them as Members of our Religious Society, with which the Women's Meeting unite, and Mark Coffin and Tenas Gardiner are appointed to inform them of their right to appeal and report at a future Meeting.

“We unite with the Women in the disownment of Ann Elliot, daughter of John Brown Coleman, residing in the Province of Nova Scotia, for marrying contrary to the Established Order of our Society”.

Construction work on the Canal during that autumn and winter was confined to the Port Wallace section where about 150 workmen and a few families were quartered in huts lined along the level area in the valley. John Kidd was the contractor.

Names of sub-contractors, who dug the big ditch there, are still preserved in old Canal reports. They include John Whalen & Co., Philip Shelley, John Kennedy, Laurence Murphy, John Wheelan, Patrick Kerwick, William German, Patrick Shortall and Michael Debay. Dates given are November 1826 to May 1827.

Before very long, trouble began to brew in this temporary colony. Near the end of February, 1827, some of the laborers became involved in a fight which resulted in the death of John Cully. The latter, wearing a small Scotch bonnet, received a terrific blow on the head from a heavy stick, alleged to have been wielded by a man named John Shallow. This was on Thursday.

On Saturday a posse of Constables travelled to Port Wallace to apprehend Shallow, but he held them at bay with an axe, and threatened murder. The police returned to Halifax, and on Monday set out with a squad of 20 soldiers. Shallow, however, was forewarned, and by that time had decamped into the snow-filled woods, so that the officers of the law had to be content with the arrest of a few of the culprit’s accomplices.

Opposition to the Canal continued to crop up in the newspapers. A farmer from Hants, acquainted with the Shubenacadie river since 1779, claimed that it would not be navigable for boats in winter and for 12 days in every month during the neap tides.

Francis Hall, Chief Engineer of the Canal, was married in March 1827, to Miss Mary Albro, daughter of Samuel Albro. Mr. Hall came from Upper Canada, and was a widower.

The House of Assembly that spring, voted the usual £200 subsidy to the Steam Boat Company, and pledged an additional £300 to assist in building a steam ferry. The sum of £200 was voted for the road from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s.

A petition was presented to the House from Dartmouth inhabitants stating that they had commenced building a school to include a dwelling for the master, and that if such a building were completed it would allow free rent, and thus secure his continuance. They had erected a house 38’ by 28’ which afforded a school-room and two rooms for the master on the ground floor, with two or four in the attic. One end of the building they had built up with stone and it contained two fireplaces. They petitioned for £50 to complete the building.

Names attached were Rev. E. L. Benwell, James Creighton, John D. Hawthorn*, E. H. Lowe, S. Albro, Thos. Davie, Edward

•This signature, In hl» handwriting, spalls the name HAWTHORN.

Warren, Wm. Reeves, Wm. Conkey, Jos. Moreland, John Keating, Frederick Coo, Patrick Connor, Robert Jackson, George Coleman, John Tapper, Edward Langley, William Wilson, John Elliot, John Storey, Charles Reeves, John B. Coleman, Gab’l Edgecomb, Josiah Ash, Timothy Maher, Joseph Findlay, George Creelman, Joseph Moore, Henry Yetter, John Barss, Jacob Myers, George Bell, A. Horner, David Frost and others.

An order was subsequently issued to the Treasurer of the Province to pay Rev. E. L. Benwell, Rector; J. D. Hawthorn and E. H. Lowe, Church Wardens of the Parish Church at Dartmouth, the sum of £50 “to aid the inhabitants of that township to finish a building erected for a school-housa and for the residence of the teacher of said school”.

This is the same building mentioned on page 132; and to which the Government had subscribed £50 in 1818. The understanding among townsfolk, who contributed money and labor towards its erection over the years; was that the place should serve as sort of a community centre. Therefore the payment of this last £50 to officers of the Church of England in 1827, soon give rise to trouble. We shall return to this later.

The coming of the Canal to Dartmouth caused the village to develop in the vicinity of the inland waterways. On the western side of the present Victoria Road near Queen St., Edward Warren erected an Inn and skittle-alley in 1826. He called it “Mill Bank House”. All such proprietors were “Publicans”.

On old land descriptions, lower Victoria Road is marked “East Street” to indicate the eastern boundary of the original town-plot. It was a narrow little thoroughfare, and in early years probably extended only from Portland St., to Queen. This passageway got to be called “Warren’s Lane”.

Mill Bank House was appropriately named, for it stood at the foot of Queen St., hill, which then was quite close to the bank of the old mill stream as it flowed down through the swampy hollow still apparent at Queen St., but now filled-in along Victoria Road. The original course of the river can be traced across the lowest level of Portland St.. Excavations made thereabouts always expose masses of sand or silt.

The Portland St., depression must have been the location of the first bridge over the river; and of the dam, constructed in 1792 to provide the flour mill with water power, (see p. 35).

Edward Warren’s advertisement in the Halifax newspaper of May 1827, informs the public that “he has made a large addition and improved his buildings and gardens, and would continue during the summer months to accommodate parties with breakfast, dinner and tea at short notice”.

The Dartmouth Firemen and other groups soon began to patronize Warren’s Inn. The minutes of the firemen’s meeting on January 1, 1827, record that they met at the Engine House at the usual hour (sundown), and then “adjourned until 6.30 P.M., and assembled at Mr. Warren’s”. (A New Year’s party).

The firemen’s suppers or entertainments at Warren's seem to have been held every quarter. The April minutes are almost identical with those of January. This custom of holding convivial gatherings at Inns continued for some years.

Two items, which create mixed emotions, appeared in the newspapers of 1827 concerning the well-known Collins family. In March, Mary Ann Collins was married to William H. Reeves.

The second event was a calamity. On Sunday, May 20, while the family were at church, Stephen Collins’ house at Colin Grove was destroyed by fire. Only a little furniture was saved.

Property sales in 1827 included 50 acres of land purchased by Andrew Shiels from Captain Thomas Maynard, an executor of the Creighton estate. Part of the old Shiels’ farm is now East-mount section. On the level hill-top 150 yards north of the corner of Portland, at No. 11 Joffre Street, Andrew Shiels built a large manor-house which stood as a lofty and secluded landmark for over a century. Much of his poetry was written there.

In the summer of 1827, Engineer Hall reported that “800 tons of granite stone have been removed from the Quarry to Dartmouth Lake. A commodious line of road is now completed from the head of Dartmouth Lake parallel with the Canal. By this road, the Lock Stone will be conveyed”. (Shown on page 442.)

This must also; mean the laying out of Maitland Street, because the terminus of the Canal was at first intended to be located on the shore there, as mentioned on page 28.

In July 1827, a fine ship of 344 tons named the “Halifax” was launched at Lowden’s in Mill Cove. The newspaper account stat-i d that “a numerous concourse of people collected on the high ground near the shipyard, and a great many small boats filled with spectators gave the scene a very animated and pleasing effect”.

The gaiety that morning suddenly changed to gloom because <>f a fatal accident to Joseph Moreland, prominent townsman activities have been recorded in this book. He was a ship

• u pen ter. As was customary, the launching was celebrated with i discharge of cannon. One shot had been set off when Mr.

I.>rrhind commenced ramming down the second charge. By

- ident. the gun was fired. The unfortunate man had both his un , blown off to the elbows. Within a few hours, he died.

On the very spot where this ship was launched, a Halifax resident had a narrow escape from death a few evenings afterwards. He had just emerged from a dip off the shore, when a huge shark shot violently in on the beach where the bather had just lately stood. The monster was about 12 feet long.

In August, the second annual regatta took place on the harbor. Dartmouth won the 5-oared rowing race, and a $45 prize, in a boat called “Britannia”, built by Mr. Coleman. The crew were Philip Brown, Daniel Cogill, George Bowse, Philip Shears and William Fultz, steersman. (They look like Eastern Passage names).

In September, the Canal colony was increased by about 100 persons when the brig “Corsair” arrived from Greenock with 44 masons and stonecutters. Some brought their families.

On September 25, the Rev. James Morrison landed in Dartmouth. He was a missionary sent out by a Society established in Glasgow to further the interests of the Kirk of Scotland.

The Acadian Recorder has a long account of a banquet held in September at Warren’s Inn by Officers of the 3rd Regiment Halifax Militia, with the dinner “being handsomely provided and the wines excellent”. The bugles of the Rifle Brigade were present and their music “swelled proudly” at the entertainment.

On the morning of September 16, a vivid lightning storm passed over this district. At Port Wallace, Timothy Kennedy was instantly killed when a bolt struck the hut where the victim lay in his bunk alongside two others. Everyone in the encampment was more or less affected by the shock. A woman was knocked senseless as she stood on the floor. Two children in the same hut were likewise struck and somewhat scorched about the chest.

Many customs of bygone days, taken for granted at the time, would never be preserved for this generation but for that trait of human nature which urges a person to register complaints against what he regards as public nuisances.

On the slow-going team-boat, for instance, it seems to have been the practice of some passengers during trips, to catch and gut the odd mess of mackerel from the thousands of such fish that came schooling into the harbor in spring and autumn.

This aroused the indignation of other commuters who protested to the Magistrates—the only governing body at that time. Or else, they wrote the newspapers, as did the undersigned in a letter to the “Acadian Recorder” on October 20, 1827:


It has fallen to my lot to cross the ferry from Dartmouth to Halifax in the Team Boat during the fall run of mackerel.

I have frequently seen the deck covered with fish, and splitting and salting carried on with as much facility as at any fishing establishments along the shore.

From the “delicate” manner this complaint was canvassed by the Magistrates last Spring, I am disposed to think the public will be compelled at last to take other steps to regain their rights on the above ferry.

Yours etc., A. F.

In the next issue, another writer defended the practice, and praised Captain Findlay who “always renders the voyage as commodious as possible. If he has sometimes permitted passengers to amuse and exercise themselves with hauling in a mackerel, it is more proof of his desire to accommodate”.

In October, a fine brig of 141 tons was launched from Lowden’s shipyard. She was named the “Lady Ogle”.

The Rev. Mr. Morrison lost no time in organizing a Presbyterian congregation in Dartmouth. No doubt many of the Canal artisans were of that faith. Late in 1827, the land of Andrew Malcolm, mentioned on page 134, and other adjacent lots in Block “H” where now stand the Fire Station and the Town Workshop were purchased for a Church and “as a place of burial if not prevented by lawful authority”.

Names of St. James’ trustees were John Farquharson, the Elder, farmer; and John Farquharson, the younger, all of Dartmouth; Andrew Shiels, blacksmith and Alexander McNab, farmer.

Newspaper reports give December 15, as the date when the foundation was laid. On that occasion, Rev. Mr. Morrison delivered a most impressive and appropriate prayer.

The trouble over the use of the school-house mentioned on page 147, was explained to Dartmouthians of that day by the following letter published as a paid advertisement in the Acadian \<reorder of Nov. 17, 1827. The statement was signed by William Wilson, who evidently wished to exonerate Schoolmaster Walker.

1 Wr have already made the acquaintance of Mr. Wilson on page i.> of this book).

“Few tradesmen have opportunity, time or means to acquire i degree of knowledge sufficient to qualify them in their sentiments in company fit to appear in public, yet when the poor man’s character is misrepresented, traduced and calumniated, he casts an anxious look for some means whereby lie may hope to vindicate himself; and having seen a portion ol your paper thus employed, he asks permission to state a lew facts so that whatever degree of censure may be attached to the transaction in question, no innocent person may be implicated therein.

It is generally known that a public building has been lately erected in Dartmouth by public subscription, upon the site of the one formerly occupied by the Society of Quakers as a place of worship, and in later years as a school-house and place of common use for the inhabitants.

“When the present building: was commenced, a town meeting was called, and five persons (myself among the number) chosen a Committee to supervise the work and expend the money collected to the best advantage, and to render a fair statement of the same at a public meeting. This however, has not been performed, no meeting having been held. This building was to be appropriated for all public purposes which the public might from time to time require.

‘On a late occasion, in consequence of the arrival of a Presbyterian Minister from Scotland, Mr. Ferguson (Farquh^rson) waited upon the Rev. Mr. Benwell to know if he had any objection to the congregation of this persuasion assembling in the public building on the Sabbath until a Church could be erected. But strange as it may appear, they were refused except at hours when no service was performed in the Episcopalian Church. But the congregation thought proper to refuse these restricted conditions, and held their meetings in another place.

“Recently a respectable Minister of the Methodist Association offered to attend at Dartmouth every Thursday evening for the purpose of preaching to such of the inhabitants as might think proper to attend, and on the first evening of the Minister attending, over 40 persons assembled, and after hearing an excellent discourse proposed to meet again on the Thursday evening following—but upon their coming together were informed by Mr. Walker, the person keeping school in the building, that he had received orders from Messrs. Hawthorn and Lowe (calling themselves trustees) to nail the door and not to allow the people to enter.

“This created a general murmur, and they as well as myself conceived that no persons had any right to exercise authority over these premises without being first invested therewith by the general voice of the community.

“Under this impression, I, as one of the persons originally and legally appointed Committee of this building, opened the door and admitted the people.

“For this ‘criminal action', as it is termed by these self-created trustees, I have been summoned to attend the Police Office at Halifax.

“Mr. Walker has also been accused by the trustees of col-leaguing with me in admitting the people into their own property, and threatened by the Rev. Mr. Benwell to be deprived of his salary.

“In order to exonerate Mr. Walker from all blame, and upon whose account I have made this statement, I solemnly declare that he took neither act nor part in the transaction and as every individual in this community is interested in the transaction, I cheerfully submit the subject to their serious con-sideration.,,

In a Provincial census taken in the year 1827, returns showed that the Township of Dartmouth had 150 families, containing 405 males, 411 females, 93 male servants, and 51 female servants. Total population of Township 9C0.

Some households were large. Youths learning trades were apprenticed to their masters and lived with them. Robert Lowden, the shipbuilder, was listed as having 11 hired laborers under his roof. John Skerry had 13 in his household, six of whom were probably employed as ferrymen.

Also in the Township were 58 horses, 195 horned cattle, 162 sheep and 130 swine. On 504 acres of land under cultivation, there were raised that year 74 bushels of wheat, 921 bushels of other grain, 301 tons of hay and 8,480 bushels of potatoes. (There was no separate census for the town-plot.)

Married in 1827 were Simon Fudge to Caroline King; David Donley to Jane Ross. At Halifax, James Holland to Elizabeth Ann Jackson of Dartmouth.

Among deaths that year were Mrs. Elizabeth Brown 87; John Condavan, Canal worker; William Perrott 65; David Marshall Lowden 3, son of Thomas Lowden; a girl named Gaston 13 years of age, drowned in September at Russell’s Lake.


At the beginning of 1828, readers of the “Nova Scotian” learned that the paper had a new editor. He was Joseph Howe, a talented young man, then about 25 years of age.

The first Dartmouth activity to record, occurred in the predawn of January 4th, when local firemen and the team-boat crew were aroused to help fight a big fire on Duke St., in Halifax. Our new hand-engine rendered valuable assistance.

The first Commissioners “for repairing and keeping the streets of Dartmouth” were appointed by the Legislature in the session of 1828. They were Samuel Albro, Hugh Hartshorne and E. H. Lowe. Their jurisdiction extended a distance of one mile north, east and south of the Steam Boat wharf.

In the road grants that year, the sum of £15 was voted for the road from Dartmouth to Sackville; and £250 “to repair the road and bridges from Creighton’s Ferry to Cow Bay”. Another £150 was earmarked “for altering the road from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s, so as to avoid the hills between Reeves’ Mill (Porto Bello).and Lake William; and also to avoid the hill at the south end of Dartmouth Lake”.

This last item reveals to us that the level part of the present Prince Albert Road bordering the lakeside was cut that year, and the hillside road abandoned. (See p. 100).

A petition was read in the House of Assembly from Edward

Allen asking financial aid to extend his glue factory at Dartmouth which had been operating for three years. Glue was being manufactured there from damaged hides and other substances formerly considered useless. Besides local sales, Mr. Allen shipped his product to Canada, Bermuda and Jamaica.

James Creighton (son of the first James), was then in his 67th year, and suffering ill-health at his home in Dartmouth. Lands bequeathed to him by the father, had been subject to certain legacies. In order to settle such claims, all the unsold properties were advertised to be disposed of at a Chancery Court sale in April, 1828.

One area comprised 2 y2 acres of gardens and field where the large Inn and stables stood, also the wharf with the water-lot in front, known as the Lower Ferry.

Also 96 acres “lying opposite the Ferry Inn having extensive frontage along both the Preston and Southeast Passage Roads, and comprising the whole of the cultivated and cleared land on the hill called Shoulder of Mutton Hill, and the house formerly occupied by one Hitchcock”.

The purchaser of most of this vast section was James W. Johnston, then an able young Halifax barrister and member of a Loyalist family whose descendants were destined to gain distinction in the public and professional life of Nova Scotia. Johnston Avenue perpetuates the name4.

By 1828, Joseph Findlay evidently had given up the captaincy of the Team-Boat, and had taken over management of the Lower Ferry and Inn. This is inferred from an advertisement that spring offering “to let his house in Dartmouth, adjoining Mr. John Skerry’s, with an excellent garden and field attached, sufficient to raise 100 bu. potatoes”.

James Creighton died on May 5. The obituary stated that “his funeral will cross the harbor in the Team Boat at 1 o’clock on Thursday, and proceed from the wharf at 1.30. A punctual attendance of friends of the family is requested”.

The Rev. Mr. Benwell was succeeded at Christ Church in

1828 by Rev. Mather Byles DesBrisay, a graduate of King’s College, Windsor; and, on his mother’s side, a descendant of Cotton Mather, the famous New England divine.

As Mr. DesBrisay did not enjoy robust health, his congregation built him a rectory, described as being “near the First

Lake”, where he lived with his mother and brother until his death there in 1834. Plans had evidently been made earlier, for Christ Church records of 1826 state that “the pew rents are to be appropriated to the liquidation of the Parsonage House debt”.

This rectory was a roomy three-storey structure in a secluded spot which is now the northeast corner of Hawthorne and Sinclair Streets. Situated amid a thick grove of native trees, it stood alone in the whole of that then wooded area, and remained in those surroundings until about 1S04, when Charles E. Peveril built the house at the northeast corner of Prince Albert Road and Hawthorne Street, in a field which then stretched as far as the present no. 145 Prince Albert Road.

In 1906, Stephen A. Heisler, who had recently purchased the 12-acre “Grove” property, deeded to the Town a strip 60 feet wide for a street through his land to meet the dead end of Hawthorne Street at Silver’s Road.

The stretch of Hawthorne Street commencing at Prince Albert Road is constructed on the original rutted and rocky driveway which led into the residence from a carriage gateway jit the present intersection of these two streets.

From the names of later occupants, the place was afterwards known as the “Sinclair house” and then the “Fairbanks house”.

11 was torn down only about 1930. The residence of Lt. Col. Flawn now stands on part of the site of the extensive old rectory, the foundation walls of which may still be seen in his rear garden, apparently as sturdy as they were in 1828.

In Mr. Benwell’s time also, St. John’s Church at Crain’s Hill p 95) on Old Preston Road was dismantled and re-built in a more thickly tiled part of the parish.

This second church    stood on    the southern    side of no. 7 high-

<\ at    the western end    of Long    Swamp, on a    now heavily wood-

i hillock southeast from Riley Road. The ground there was "innnly consecrated by Bishop Inglis in 1828.

In    the summer of    1849, a    forest fire destroyed this little

lifter    Its site can be    located    a few yards    from the highway,

' hrrr the foundation stones still remain amid an accumulation >f vordant moss and tangled tree roots.

In the hallowed ground immediately north of the founda-•n and also on the western side, many parishioners of early ! ■ ton are interred.. Among them is William Ross, who fought i !.«>rd Nelson’s fleet at the battle of Copenhagen in 1801. This lie man after whom the Ross Road is named and also William Ross •i»l built near the old cemetery in 1961.

1 hr third St. John’s Church, erected after the 1849 fire, «i prominently on no. 7 Highway at the intersection of New

Road. The large smooth stone at the southwest corner of the foundation, is said to be the same corner-stone laid under Crain’s Hill Church and also under the one near Long Swamp. This stone is hollowed out, indicating that old documents or coins had once been deposited therein. Some years ago, the stone was noticed to be partly loosened. Examination disclosed that the contents had completely disappeared.

In July 1828, Andrew Shiels who had been carrying on a blacksmith shop near the Halifax market slip advertised the “Elen Vale Tavern” formerly the forks, 1*4 miles from Findlay’s Ferry. (This is the junction of the present Cole Harbor and Woodlawn roads). He states that “the Cyclops are deposited therein, forging thunderbolts as usual”.

At the annual regatta on the harbor in August, the Dartmouth crew again won the race for first-class row-boats with five oars. The name of the boat was the “Lawrence Hartshorne” which was built at Dartmouth for the occasion “by the private subscription of a number of young men there”.

The first sight-seeing bus of Dartmouth went into service that summer. Edward Warren of the Mill Bank Hotel, advertised that the “Fly Caravan would leave the Team-Boat wharf for the Canal works at Port Wallace at 8.30 and every two hours thereafter during the day”.

The route of the Canal from Sullivan’s Pond to the harbor, seems to have been changed about this time. As already stated, the Maitland Street terminus was abandoned and plans were made to cut the Canal down through the present property of the Starr Manufacturing Works.

The first mention of the “circular dam”, at the present Crichton Avenue Park, is noted in the report of Engineer Hall in August

1828. He refers to it as the “Dartmouth dam head”. He expected that this dam, or Waste Weir, and also the upper entrance to Lock no. 6 (i.e., the Channel at the foot of Lake Banook) “would be raised sufficiently to preserve Dartmouth Lake in a navigable state through the ensuing season”.

In October the newspapers reported that “the new road on the line of the Canal is nearly completed and already affords great convenience for travelers. It is perfectly level and shortens the distance between Fletcher’s Bridge and Halifax via the Team Boat by nearly eight miles”.

One editor must have heard contrary opinions, for he adds a footnote that “in some places the road is so narrow as scarcely to admit two gigs to pass each other”.

Since writing the paragraph on page 27 about the swampy

Hamilton fields between Maitland and Canal Streets, we have come across another theory concerning the waterways of Dartmouth published in a Halifax paper, “The Free Press”, of 1828.

The writer of that date pointed out that the low lying lands from the lakes to the harbor, present the appearance of a gorge, through the elevated banks of which, a noble river may have flowed ages ago. Along the route of the Canal, the “quantity of rolled stone suggests that they have been brought there by the powerful agency of running water”.

Some of these stones are still noticed in Lake MicMac, and many others are known to have been removed by Canal workmen, especially at the Tittle.

After this voluminous stream had passed through the valley at the present Hawthorne Street crossing, it may have spread out into two branches, one swerving through the lowland east of Prince Albert Road, and the other continuing down through the hollow at the foot of Crichton Avenue.

The earliest Dartmouth school register, preserved in the Public Archives, is dated 1828; and contains a record of the term from June 1 to December 1. The teacher was William Walker. Opposite each pupil, the amount of tuition fee is noted. Below is a list of the children attending that year, with the names of the parent or guardian in parentheses:

Susanna Goreham, 14 years, Margaret Goreham 12, (William Goreham); Eliza Anderson 11, Margaret Anderson 9, (William Anderson); Susannah Hays 7, (an orphan taught gratis); Mary Frame 11, Elizabeth Frame 9, Samuel Frame 7, (Joseph Frame); Sarah Peitzsch 16, William Peitzsch 9, (Captain Peitzsch); Margaret McKenzie 12, May McKenzie 10, Christopher McKenzie 8, (Thomas McKenzie); Ellen Davie 13, Charlotte Davie 13, Mary Davie 9, William Davie 8, George Davie 7, John Davie 5, (Thomas Davie); Louisa Elliot 12, Mary Elliot 10, Sophia Elliot 6, (John Elliot); Martha Vaughan 18, David Vaughan 10, Mary Vaughan 8, (David Vaughan); Catherine Reeves 5, Henry Reeves 3, (William Reeves); Mary Hunter 10, Adam Hunter 7, (Robert Hunter); John Gaston 16, Elizabeth Gaston 10, (John Gaston); Ann Mal-com 9, Ellen Malcom 7, Catherine Malcom 5, (Andrew Malcom); Jane Moreland 6, James Moreland 4, (Widow Moreland, taught gratis); Mary Murphy 10, (John Skerry).

Ann Walker 13, William Walker 9, Caroline Moreland 6, Elizabeth Walker 7, Henry Walker 5, (Caleb Walker); Mary McDonald 16, John McDonald 13, William McDonald 9, Silvester McDonald 7, (John McDonald); Mary Wisdom 14, William Wisdom 11, (Nathaniel Russell); June Manning 7, John Manning 6, (James Manning); Mary Blacklock 10, George Blacklock 9, (George Coleman); Lucy Graham 8, Mary Graham 5, (Asa Graham) ; Rose Farrell 5, John Farrell 3, (John Farrell); Mary Rasley 5, Elizabeth Rasley 4, (Thomas Rasley); Margaret Aitken

11, John Aitken 10, Mary Aitken 6, (Robert Aitken); William Warren 12, Henry Warren 10, Gerard Warren 3, (Edward Warren).

William Findlay 10, John Findlay 7, (Joseph Findlay); John Wilson 7, George Wilson 5, William Wilson 3, (William Wilson); John Coo 12, James Coo 7, Edward Coo 4, (Frederick Coo); William Walker 7, George Walker 5, Elizabeth Walker 3, (William Walker;; John Lennon 7, James Lennon 5, (John Lennon); George Shiels 12, John Shiels 10, (Andrew Shiels); Mary Jason 10, Susan Jason 8, Joseph Jason 7, (John Jason); William Mapplebeck 7, Thomas Mapplebeck 6, (Widow Mappleback); Michael King 8, Charles King, (Widow King); William Coleman 16, (Brown Coleman); Joseph Lawrence 7, (Widow Lawrence).

John day 9, (John Gay); Samuel Conkey 13, (William Conkey); John D. Hawthorn, 7, (John D. Hawthorn, Esq.); Henry Elliot 5, (Jonathan Elliot); William Elliot 4, (Benjamin Elliot); Francis Mooie 6, (Joseph Moore); William Myers 5, (Jacob Myers); Nathaniel Tapper 12, (John Tapper); Edward Tufts 13, Caroline Tufts 10, (William Tufts); Benjamin Tufts 7, (John Tufts); Benjamin Tufts 8, (Samuel Tufts); William Tufts 12, (Francis TuftS); Mary Verge 4, Sarah Verge 4, (George Verge); Arthur Holland 11, (Widow Holland). 5

In December of 1828 Joseph Findlay, proprietor of the Lower Ferry, advertised that about three weeks previously, an unknown man left a bay horse with saddle and bridle at his Inn, with orders that he would call next day for the animal. As the stranger failed to return, the horse was for sale.

Deaths in 1828 included that of John George Pyke at Halifax, where he had been Police Magistrate from the previous century. He was in his 85th year. Mr. Pyke’s figure was a familiar one, clad in drab colored knee breeches with grey yarn stockings and snuff colored coat, sitting in the little police office at the old Court House just up George Street from the Halifax ferry landing.

His parents had come from England with the first settlers to Dartmouth, and were among the victims of the terrible Indian massacre in 1751. John George Pyke was then about six years of age. He is thought to have been the child referred to on page 84 of this book, who escaped the slaughter by hiding under the bed.

Richard Woodin, an original owner of land In Dartmouth, also died at Halifax in 1828, aged 81.

Mrs. George Coleman, died in Dartmouth, aged 28. Others were Mr. Malcom Patterson aged 32; Mr. J^hn Symonds, late carpenter of the “Grasshopper”, aged 45; and Mrs. Abigail Hall, aged 78, a native of Boston, who died at Mr. Skerry’s.

Baptismal records* available for 1828 give Charlotte and Henry, twin children of Margaret and Adam Miller, carpenter; John, child of May and John Brown, laborer; Susanna, child of Anne and Jacob Myers, tradesman; John, child of Rose and William Walker, schoolmaster; Amelia, child of Sarah and David Frost, farmer; Sarah, child of Grace and Robert Tines.

Married that year were Miss Jane Anderson to Henry Donaldson, by the Rev. Mr. Morrison. Miss Dorothy Hawbolt to Thomas Marvin by Rev. Mr. Desbrisay. Miss Mary Settle of Preston to George Bell of Dartmouth by Rev. Mr. Morrison; and Richard Preston (coloured man) to Mrs. Mary Manlibock, widow of the well-known “Cockney Bill”.


During January 1829, this district must have experienced one of those recurring mild spells. A newspaper item stated that on the 20th day of that month, George Ormiston ploughed one-half acre of land at the Maynard farm of Andrew Shiels.

This kind of weather did not continue, however, for at the « rid of March there is a record that “the fall of snow has been more continued than for seven preceding winters”.

The House of Assembly that session, alloted £282 to complete the road from Dartmouth to Fletcher’s, and also granted 1200 to the Steam Boat Company.

The coming of spring in 1829 inspired “Albyn” to bring out mother long poem entitled “The Snow Drop”. The morning sun n the hills at Colin Grove is described:

“And sipping dews of crystal sheen That lay on Clifford’s pasture green”.

In the columns of the “Nova Scotian” where the poem ap-i < irod, Joseph Howe revealed the identity of Albyn as Andrew ' 11 iris, blacksmith and farmer. The editorial page praised him i possessing “original genius and fine poetic feeling”.

In addition to his ministerial labors, Rev. Mr. Morrison took

< i the. superintendency of the Royal Acadian School at Halifax 1 fiat year. He had living quarters in the building where Mrs. Morrison assisted in school work. This move had the approval Mt James’ congregation at Dartmouth.

Ills church on King Street was now completed sufficiently

<• baptismal date Is not necessarily the year of birth.

enough for occupancy, for in March there was an advertisement asking estimates from carpenters and plasterers “for finishing the inside of that building according to specifications which may be seen at Mr. Andrew Malcom’s”.

The Steam Boat Company also advertised for the frame of a building to be delivered at their Dartmouth terminus “for the reception and security of loaded teams or carriages arriving from the country or elsewhere”. By this time they had given orders for a steam ferry-boat and consequently anticipated an increased volume of traffic.

In the building development up town, following the influx of Canal settlers, evidently little attention was paid to street lines. Local affairs were administered by Magistrates at Halifax who met quarterly—hence the “Quarter Sessions”.

A body known as the Grand Jury submitted certain presentments at these sessions. The Jury made an inspection of Dartmouth occasionally, and in 1829 reported that “the trespassing of streets originally laid down, has been committed by persons building, etc”. They advised that street obstructions be forthwith removed in order to avoid litigation in future.

The cutting of the Canal gorge through the slate rock on both sides of Portland Street was also started at this time. In June, Engineer Hall reported that the first Dartmouth Lock had been commenced, and the works were progressing along the whole line. Daniel Hoard was the contractor.

This first Lock was a double one at Portland Street bridge, shown in the picture on page 45. It was numbered 1 and 2. The length of each of six Locks between this point and Lake Banook was to be ninety three feet.

The changing of the Canal route put the Directors to an unforeseen and additional expense. For instance, they had to purchase all the land from the mouth of the Canal to the Lake, on both sides of the stream. This included Tremain’s large gristmill and outbuildings. The price was £7,000. As a result of such a drain on the Company’s accounts, due to this exigency and other factors, the funds of the Canal were now beginning to peter out.

In order therefore to secure additional capital, Secretary Charles R. Fairbanks sailed for England in May 1829. His mission was to procure a loan of £20,000 from the Home Government and to dispose of Canal shares among British investors.

The annual regatta that summer took place on a Saturday morning in July, over the usual course from the Dockyard around George’s Island and return. Again the Dartmouth crew won the $50 prize for 5-oared gigs in a boat called the “Dartmouth”, and owned by Lawrence Hartshorne. The time for the race was 29 y2 minutes.

The first steamer to be built in Nova Scotia was under course of construction at this time in Lyle’s shipyard, described on page 51. This was the steam-boat to which the Government had pledged a £300 subsidy. Rapid progress was being made in the work, because of prolonged dry weather that season.

Evidently Mr. Lyle was prospering, for in 1829 he purchased from Peter Donaldson the southern half of town-block “R” mentioned on page 105. Elderly residents of our own time like B. A. Weston and W. H. Levy, have identified the spacious house at 9 South Street as being the former Lyle homestead. Structures of such a size were a necessity of master craftsmen in those days, in order to shelter the apprentices.

On a windy evening in September 1829, two men were drowned from one of Skerry’s small ferries while returning from Halifax. There were no passengers aboard. When the boat was picked up in Eastern Passage, a newspaper account says that “her sail was still hoisted and the sheet made fast abaft—a sad proof that sufficient care was not taken in her management”.

In October there was a grand military review in Dartmouth w'hen a pair of colors lately obtained from London, were pre-<‘nted to the 3rd Regiment, Halifax Militia, commanded by Lieu-trnant-Colonel J. L. Starr. Crowds came from Halifax.

The parade ground was on a hill eastward of Findlay’s Ferry. The report of that day says that “a well-wooded hill sheltered the field on the east. To the north of that, lay the straggling but pretty village of Dartmouth with flags flying from many houses to denote the holiday occasion. The Band of the Rifle Brigade rtilivened the air with music”.

The 3rd Regiment was flanked on the right by a Volunteer company in red and green uniforms, commanded by Captain i H Lowe; and on the left by a light company in white trousers, Mur Jackets and Scotch bonnets, commanded by Captain T. urassle. The colors were consecrated by Rev. J. T. Twining.

In the evening, the officers of the Regiment with a number r Kuests, exceeding 80, dined together at Warren’s Hotel, and - turned home in the Team Boat at 10 o’clock.

A Roman Catholic Church was commenced in Dartmouth in Uir autumn of 1829, largely through the philanthropy of John

-    try. who donated land enough for a church and churchyard, i M t eomprised one-quarter of town-block “O” at the southeast

»i nrr of Edward and Ochterloney Streets.

The deed to the Catholic Bishop, William Fraser, stated that

-    property was being leased at a shilling a year for 999 years;

that the land would have to be used for church purposes, and the cemetery enclosed with .a picket fence. It was. (See photo).

The name of the church came from Halifax, for the first Catholic edifice in that city bore the name “St. Peter’s” from its erection in 1784. When St. Mary’s stone Cathedral was opened in

1829, the adjacent wooden church was abandoned, and such articles as the altar, pews, settees and the name itself, were brought to Dartmouth. The legend that the whole building was rafted across in sections, has never been verified.

(Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers, Ltd.)

This is what old St. Peter’s galleried Church looked like about 1890. Commenced in 1829, the steeple and attached glebe house were not erected until some years later. The vertical dark line in the picket fence at the Chapel Lane entrance is a turnstile. There is another barely discernible at the northwest corner of the Church. From there, a path led to Ochterloney St. Turnstiles were common sights, because gardens had to be protected from marauding cattle.

The trees were planted in Father Geary's time, and solicitously watched over by Thomas Gentles, senior, whose house was to the left of the picture. Just left of the telephone pole, is seen a diamond-shaped glass case surmounting a shorter post. Inside the case was an ordinary kerosene lamp. That constituted our street lighting system. This church was demolished in 1920.


(The last service here was January 1892. There was a itallery on each side with two pews—one behind the other. We occupied the rear pew on the north side under the “x” and therefore could not »ec the coiiKrcKuflon below. They responded to the rosary in such a low tone that to me it sounded like the tnounlnu of Ihr wind.)

Some idea of the appearance of Dartmouth about this time, may be gathered from the following unusually long description published in the Acadian Recorder, October 31, 1829:

DARTMOUTH—On Monday, the frame of a new Catholic chapel was raised in this delightfully situated little village. The caulking of the Steam Boat was nearly completed, and she appears ready for her machinery; piles are driving, and repairs making at the wharf intended for her use. Considerable animation seemed to pervade every quarter, which made the town appear very attractive. We are glad to witness indications of improvement in Dartmouth; we augur that ere long it will increase rapidly in size and value. Independent of its being the outlet for the Shubenacadie Canal, it has many attractions which must operate favourably on her circumstances according as Halifax improves.

With a south west aspect; sheltered from keen north and east winds by hills; enjoying a delightful sea scene and breeze, possessing romantic walks along the shores, and through the surrounding very picturesque country; having the retirement of country life, with the convenience of being divided from the metropolis by not more than a ten minute sail; we think that Dartmouth to the invalid and to many other classes holds out peculiar inducements as a place of residence.

The first public library in Dartmouth was organized in November 1829, through the exertions of Rev. M. B. DesBrisay. At a meeting held in the vestry room of Christ Church, it was announced that the Anglican Bishop and a prominent Dartmouth layman had contributed £5 each towards obtaining a collection of religious and miscellaneous books for distribution. A subscription list was to be opened towards defraying expenses of what was to be called a “Parochial Lending Library”.

The half-yearly examinations of the Dartmouth National School took place on December 4. Rev. Mr. DesBrisay, E. H. Lowe and others were present. The report says that upwards of 100 pupils were accommodated at this school, and their answers in scriptural questions and in arithmetic problems as exhibited on the slates of the scholars, indicated the interest and diligence on the part of Mr. Walker, the village schoolmaster.

The Collins family, burnt out at Colin Grove, afterwards moved to Brook House. Jane Collins, who had become Mrs. Stephen Elliot, was now evidently a widow, for in 1829 she was i!mrrled at Brook House to Alexander Coleman of Dartmouth.

Other nuptials that year included William Whiston to Miss Kli/.u Munn, daughter of the late James Munn of Dartmouth; uid at Fort Clarence the wedding of Miss Jane McNab to Alex-uulrr MfcNab of the same place. Rev. Mr. Morrison officiated.

Deaths recorded in 1829 were Mr. Michael Herbert aged 85, in old and respected inhabitant of Dartmouth”; Mrs. Elizabeth

Woolfe, consort of John Woolfe; Mr. William Shortall, a Canal stonecutter, killed by being “struck with a spale of rock”; and Miss Eliza King, aged 20, whose funeral from Mrs. McGregor’s house was to catch the 1 o’clock Team Boat to Halifax on Sunday. The body of Patrick Moore, who died in December, was the first to be interred in the new Catholic cemetery, located above.

Baptisms on Christ Church register for 1829 were Henry, child of Ann and John Wells, laborer; Mary, child of Sarah and William Bowers, baker; Francis, child of Elizabeth and William Wilson, miller; Susanna, child of Ann and John Gay, halfpay officer; John, child of Maria and William Reeves, carpenter; Margaret, child of Ann and John D. Hawthorn, Justice of the Peace; Ann, child of Ann and Thomas Rashley, farmer; James, child of Sarah and James Coleman, carpenter; William, child of Mary and William Anderson, tradesman.

The ferry boats seem to have been the clearing house, or local post office in those days. An advertisement of December

1829 states that about five months previously, a letter containing money was put into the hands of Samuel Oakes of the Team Boat, directed to Thomas Langley, Halifax. As the letter was still undelivered, Captain Oakes felt that it was his duty to publish the above information.

The ferry-boat at Lyle’s yard was now completed. As no name had been chosen, the following letter signed by the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Steam Boat Co., was sent on December 30 to Rear Admiral Sir Charles Ogle:

As the first steam vessel in Nova Scotia has been built during the period of your command upon the North American station, the Company avail themselves of this opportunity of expressing an opinion of the zealous, unremitting and effectual advantage which you have ever afforded to the navigation and commerce of this part of His Majesty’s dominions.

As a memorial of such opinion, they request permission to call their vessel the SIR CHARLES OGLE—a name which will long be respected in this Province.

(Signed) H. H. Cogswell,

Thomas N. Jeffrey,

Lawrence Hartshorne.

This very complimentary letter produced one of a similar character from Sir Charles Ogle, with permission that the Steam Boat should bear his name.

The new craft was a paddle-wheeled one-lane ferry, 108 feet long, and of 30 horsepower. On the first day of the New Year,

1830, she was all ready to be launched.

When Alexander Lyle’s workmen loosened the wedges at high tide that winter morning, the steamer started slowly down the greasy skids, and slid about 50 feet. Then something jammed.

Perhaps the weather was cold and unfavorable, because there is no record of bands playing nor crowds cheering as was usually the case at such events. Among the onlookers, however, there were likely a number of naval officers and men; for when the tide returned at 10 o’clock that night, Captains Boxer and Travers, of His Majesty’s ships of war, were on hand with a large party of sailors to assist in a second attempt. Largely through their efforts, the launching was accomplished. Had the boat remained on the skids, she would have been at the mercy of southwest gales and dashing waves. Mr. Lyle was overjoyed.

The “Sir Charles Ogle” was the first steamer to make an appearance on the harbor of Halifax. Never before had the natives seen a floating funnel belching up smoke over the waters. On January 21, when she set out from Halifax dock with a crowd of excursionists, every vantage point was black with groups of spectators to witness the marvelous sight of a ship moving without sails. “It was wonderful to see her breasting along”, says a newspaper report, “regardless of wind, tide or currents”.

As she passed through the Narrows heading for Bedford, passengers sought shelter from the snow squalls in her comfortable cabin below deck, where Mr. Keefler of the Exchange Coffee House was serving refreshments. The fare was 15 pence.

In the afternoon the “Ogle” steamed around Point Pleasant md proceeded up the Northwest Arm. John Howe, father of Joseph Howe, who happened to be in his field at the time, h< ard the usual solitude of his habitation broken by the chug-r.InK of paddles and the hearty cheers of those on board. Mr.

I (owe “gazed in wonderment at the sight and heartily returned the cheers”.

Shortly afterwards this modern steamer—the very last word Irrryboats—commenced scheduled service. There was one crew ly William Hunter was in command at a salary of £100 per it James Simmons came from Pictou to be Engineer at 7/6 a Other employees were George McConnell, Patrick Tierney,

1 'hii Ivor and a colored man named John Weeks. The boat re-

•    nicd at each dock for eight minutes, except at breakfast-time

•    • n she stopped at Dartmouth for half an hour, and again at > • n lor 45 minutes.

Phe inception of steam began a new era in harbor transpor-"ii The Team Boat seldom crossed in less than 20 minutes, *« was often an hour making the passage. One day the “Ogle”

■ •■•I a total of 53 teams, most of them laden with produce for ' * This was an unprecedented record for numbers.

«>n another January day, she performed her first deed of i < hlvalry It seems that the inward bound brig “Kate”

(Courtesy Dartmouth Ferry Commission- -Cut by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd).

This is the first steamship to be built in Nova Scotia. She had a sidebeamed engine which had been imported from England. The one-lane for carriages was open to the weather, so that loads of perishable merchandise often suffered damage from sudden showers or hailstorms. This boat was in active service for 62 years, and after that, did other duties until she was sold for scrap about 1895 to N. Evans’ Boiler Works at the foot of King Street. The “Acadian Recorder” had previously suggested that the old boat be hauled up and preserved as a historic relic by the Ferry Commission. Her hull now forms part of the cribwork about opposite the plate-shop building at the Dartmouth Shipyards.

got caught in the ice off Point Pleasant. The proprietors of the Steam Boat offered the steamer’s services, and “she proceeded gallantly amid the gathering ice, took the ‘Kate’ in tow, and in a short time had her alongside the owner’s wharf”.

When the Legislature convened in February, the Steam Boat went on another excursion. This time, the Directors were hosts to the members of the House of Assembly and a great number of the official gentry of Halifax. “An excellent collation was served In her cabin”, says the report, “and she proceeded up and down the harbor, breaking the ice into morsels, and exhibiting all the advantages of an aquatic locomotive”.

For a while, the subject of ferry changes was the talk of the town. The advent of machine-run boats, for instance, released the horses from the monotonous toil of the Team Boat treadmill. This provided a topic for discussion in an imaginary organization, known as “The Club”, whose meetings were humourously reported in “The Nova Scotian”. The Club is thought to have been the creation of Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Joseph Howe sind others wits in Halifax.

At the January meeting, the Chairman of “The Club” read an account of a banquet held by the horses in the Dartmouth .stables to celebrate their emancipation from the Team Boat. After dinner, the leading horse (maybe a mare) proposed prosperity to the Steam Boat which had just come to their relief. The toast, which sparkled with nautical and equine puns, is given In part:

Gentlemen:—Although MER is the word for sea, it is not the element of horses. Some of you may now cross the breed without having to cross the water. The mode of life that we have led has so severely tried our REINS that sooner than have my spirit again broken at the WHEEL, I would consent to be tied to the RACK.

The boat in which we toiled was a long while SADDLED upon the public, and though we worked it by MANE strength across the FOAMING SEA, all the world could SEE US FOAM while performing the operation. Some wicked wits were wont to assert that because we lived upon the Harbor, we must be

•    II HAY horses, which was an UNSTABLE insinuation that on ill occasions I made a point of saying NEIGH to.

While we were DOCKED, to be sure, we had no reason to

•    omplain, but to animals accustomed to tread the firm earth,

It was no joke to be compelled every day to go OVER BOARD. None of us would object to going in a GIG, but a great lub-i*« rlv boat like ours required such a devil of a pull; and then,

« wr were enclosed on all sides, we were DEBARRED the i»r Ivllcge of BOLTING, and were forced, like Brown’s Cows to ^ o right behind one another; and no matter how fast the bn»t went ahead, we were always astern.

thanks to the Steamer, we may now be allowed to take time by the FORELOCK and enjoy by anticipation the pleasures to come. We are all yet in the HAY day of existence, and can enjoy a BIT of amusement as well as our neighbors; and while we are wise enough to BRIDLE our CHOLER as the ills of life arise, we may hope to enjoy the blessings of Provender.

Here’s to the Steam Beat! May her boiler be never better fed than we were, and there will be no danger of its bursting!

The first record of another new hotel in Dartmouth is noted in newspapers of 1830 when on January 9 there is an account of a distinguished party in town. The report says:

Rear Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, and Hon. Michael Wallace, the Treasurer of the Province, visited the Canal yesterday, and afterwards dined together at Medley’s Hotel in Dartmouth, where a sumptuous fare was provided in handsome style for them.

Medley’s Hotel was at the present Central Apartments on 59 Queen Street, owned at that time by Hon. Mr. Wallace. It outlasted all the other local inns of the 19th century.

The Legislature that winter made an unusually large grant of £970 for the road from Dartmouth to Keyes’ Inn on Truro Highway. The Steam Boat Company got £500 “to compensate them for heavy expenses in building the new ferry”. The Eastern Stage Coach, which had replaced Ezra Witter’s four-passenger waggon in 1829, was now traveling to Truro via the ferry from Halifax.

Wm. M. DeBlois petitioned the Assembly for aid in behalf of his new iron foundry at Dartmouth, where he made mill machinery and other small castings. A petition from Edward Warren prayed for “a redress of grievances felt by him in the narrowing of a street near his Inn at Dartmouth”.

Rural residents sent a long petition to the House signed by John L. Bissett, Road Commissioner for Cole Harbor and Law-rencetown; William Lawlor, Alex Morash, John Morash, Robert Turner, James McKenna, Hood Clifford, Robert Cummings, James Beck, Jacob Kuhn, Jacob Huskin, Joseph Green, John D. Hawthorn, George Bose, William Turner and John Hawkins. It read:

We the inhabitants of Cole Harbor Road and Lawrencetown pray your Honorable House to-grant us a sufficient sum of money for cutting down those two immense hills known as Break Heart Hills where we have labored under every disadvantage these 40 years past. We have often been exposed to the greatest danger both ourselves and cattle, particularly in winter when the faces of those hills are covered with ice where the weary traveler is often obliged to rest before he ascends to the top—and then the Driver when he comes to the foot of the first, must lighten his load and draw it up with trouble and disadvantage.

These hills are supposed by travelers to be the highest of any road in the Province and the most dangerous. And such great quantities of produce are continually driving down this unsafe and dangerous road as much as any part of the Province for the extent. The extent of each of these hills is about 20 rods. We hope and trust your Honorable House will take our humble petition into consideration and grant us such a sufficient sum as will enable us to reduce these two above-named hills.

The new ferry steamer was again a topic of discussion at “The Club” about that time. One of the members known as Barrington related his experience “on seeing the ‘Sir Charles Ogle’ come into the Halifax dock the other day, affecting to be half-seas over; then she pretended to take a slue to the right until she effected the ruin of the posts which she, from the first, has shown a decided disapproval of. After this ingenious manoeuvre, she bolted forward at a certain gentleman who stood on the wharf ready to receive her, and only for the fortunate interposition of the new buttress, she would have gotten rid of at least one of her husbands”.

In March there appeared a letter in the “Acadian Recorder” signed by “An Inhabitant of Dartmouth”. This writer complained ;ibout the streets “being incumbered with wood, timber, manure-heaps and other obstructions, to the great danger of our shins und our noses, at night. If I run my nose against a cart or break my shins over a pile of wood or logs, my friends will accuse me of intemperance”.

Referring to the Canal shanteys, he says: “A little farther out of town, a nest of hornets has been allowed to settle, which may sting us to some purpose, next summer. Within half a mile of the steamboat wharf, you may count seven or eight huts built upon the street, and preparations made for as many more”. He ippeals to the street commissioners for action.

Besides the encroachments made by the shantey occupants, thrn* were other obstructions near Mill Bank House on East :>tn»et (page 148). Prior to the Grand Jury’s visit to Dartmouth, thry had received a long complaint, signed by Edward Warren, •lulm Gay, William Reeves, James T. Allen, W. V. Holland, Henry Alien, Jonathan Elliot, John D. Hawthorn, Peter Donaldson and William Foster.

The petition to the Grand Jury humbly sheweth that the street commonly called East Street, is at present walled in on both sides leaving only a width of highway about 13 feet, which is less by 37 feet than the width of admeasurement of other streets in said township.

That the said street was originally laid out on a plan of Dartmouth, and commences about the Bridge near Messrs.

I t rmain’s Mill, and thence runs in a northerly direction until it meets the main road from the Upper Ferry to Preston •Orhtcrloney Street),and would be considered one of the

principal streets in Dartmouth, was it opened to its full extent.

Its utility would be of importance to persons residing at Eastern Passage and settlements around, who attend the different places of worship in Dartmouth, and who, for such purpose have now to take a circuitous route.

That as this street is now enclosed, it is almost impassable in the winter season from the snow drifts collecting between the stonewalls to a considerable height.

That about the middle of said Street at the northeastern corner of Quarrell Street, there is standing a privy which is a serious nuisance to the neighborhood, and which your petitioners have reason to understand, is erected on East Street, was that Street opened to its original layout.

That one of your petitioners has applied to the Commissioners of Streets for Dartmouth, and laid before them verbally the foregoing statement, but who in reply stated that they would wish the authority of the Grand Jury of the County to warrant them a premise.

Your petitioners humbly pray that the Grand Jury would be pleased to adopt such measures for extending the said Street, and to a proper width calculated for travel.

In April 1830, a Boarding and Day School was opened in a large wooden house at the northeast corner of Commercial and Portland Streets. The announcement reads:

Mrs. Pratt, from London, most respectfully announces to the inhabitants of Halifax and Dartmouth, that she intends opening a Boarding and Day Seminary for young ladies, at the house of Mr. Lowe, opposite the Steam Boat wharf.

In May, word came from Charles R. Fairbanks in London that he had been successful in obtaining a loan of £20,000 from the British Government. In addition, £27,000 worth of shares of Canal stock had been purchased by private subscription.

It is of interest to record here that Dartmouth received considerably publicity as a result of Mr. Fairbanks’ visit. Famous men in the House of Lords who debated the Shubenacadie Canal Bill, included Lord Durham and the Duke of Wellington. The former was firmly opposed to the measure, while the latter seemed to be favorable to the loan.

The newspapers about this time had many more items concerning Dartmouth, than ever before. The Canal cottages were no doubt along Ochterloney Street ior the convenience of workmen at the new Circular Dam and the new Locks near the Starr Works, as the following newspaper item suggests:

DARTMOUTH—Several new houses have been erected this spring. Others are being repaired and enlarged. A few rods above the Church, a new village has arisen almost spontaneously in the wilderness. The Dartmouth Canal Locks are progressing rapidly, and on a working day a visitor may see in miniature, some of the wonders of art which we hear of from other countries.

The poetry of “Albyn” continued to appear in Joseph Howe’s newspaper. Early in 1830, he wrote a 15-verse rhapsody, entitled SPRING’S WAKE. We quote two verses:

Birds from the East and West Know their appointed time,

Thrice welcome, ev’ry aerial guest,

Come to repair its ruined nest,

Or sport on beds of thyme.

The field-fare, in a flock,

Have spread their pilgrim wings The ravens round Cole-Harbor croak,

And geese that come ‘like clouds of smoke’,

There stay their travellings.

The first casualty on the “Sir Charles Ogle” occurred in April. A young man in the employ, descended into the boiler for the purpose of cleaning it out, without first ascertaining if the fixed air had escaped. The result was instantly fatal.

Trouble soon developed on the Steam Boat, for in July she ceased running for a time. This is inferred from a complaint in the papers by a Halifax resident who went down to the Halifax dock with a group intent on a trip in the Steam Boat. After trying for two days, they had to “cross in one of Findlay’s barges”. At Dartmouth they found 14 or 15 teams laden with produce which had been detained on that side for several days, and at their own expense.

Meantime Joseph Findlay at the Old Ferry Inn, was taking every opportunity to encourage travelers to use his route. His card of July 1830, announced:

Joseph Findlay begs leave to return his sincere acknowledgements to the public, for the many marks of their kindness shewn him since he commenced his establishment at the Lower Ferry, Dartmouth, and likewise informs them that he has erected a convenient BATHING HOUSE near his wharf, where the water is pure. Adults can be accommodated at 3d each and children half price. Tea and Refreshments as usual.

There was no regatta cn the harbor that summer. Other matters engaged public attention. On Sunday, August 1, a barque arrived at Saint John, N. B., with Dublin newspapers announcing the death of George IV. Halifax got the news on Wednesday night’s stage-coach from Annapolis.

The Legislature was consequently dissolved, and the Province plunged into the heat of a general election, for this was the year of the famous “Brandy Dispute”.

The brilliant S. G. W. Archibald, of Truro, led the poll in Halifax County, which then extended to Pictou. He subsequently became Speaker of the new House. Our fellow townsman and late member, Lawrence Hartshorne, was not re-elected.

Of particular interest at that time was the circumstance that of the two European Sovereigns who had just ascended Thrones, at least one, and probably both, had trod the soil of Dartmouth. They were King Louis Phillippe of France, and William IV of England.

The former is mentioned on page 95 of this book as having visited Preston, and the latter was on this station in command of H. M. S. “Pegasus” forty-odd years previously. It will be recalled that the fort at Eastern Battery was re-named after Prince William when he became the Duke of Clarence.

Proof that Dartmouth was used as the main route of no. 2 Highway is shown by an occurrence in August of 1830. The Eastern Stage Coach, due on a Saturday evening, did not get to Dartmouth until Sunday morning, owing to accidents on the road. Davidson, the driver, complained afterward, that they had reached here just as the 8 o’clock ferry was docking. Despite his pleas to Captain Hunter that he carried English mail for H. M. S. “Pallas”, which was on the eve of sailing, the driver and his passengers were compelled to wait for nearly an hour while the Steam Boat crew went off to breakfast.

All the lands of the late Jonathan Tremain were advertised to be sold at auction that summer. Included was his country seat, already mentioned. His 12-acre field, containing a house, a garden and a wharf on the waterfront, was purchased by Joseph Hamilton of Halifax. Hence the Hamilton fields. Most of this property is shown in the picture at top of page 36.

An old plan of the field shows that there was a proposed thoroughfare called “King William Street”, which was to extend from Canal Street to Maitland. It was to run parallel with Portland Street, about half way to the shore.

The northwest section of this field, where now stands the Dartmouth Medical Centre, was acquired by William Foster, son of Edward Foster (page 93). The Foster deed of 1830, described the property as being “120 feet on Canal Street and 138 feet on the road to Creighton’s Ferry”. Foster’s corner was a landmark of last century. For many years they operated a tobacco factory at this spot, manufacturing plug tobacco.

There was also for sale a 50-acre Tremain lot bordering Dartmouth Common on what is now the upper side of Victoria Road extending from about Brightwood Avenue to Boland Road. A plan of the area shows that School Street divides the property which has one lone house standing near the present southeast corner of Slayter Street and Gladstone Avenue. The description says that the land was “partly improved, but mostly studded with a growth of spruce, birch, beech and oak trees”.

The plan divides the land on the southern side of School

Street into four oblong-shaped lots of about five acres each, while four others on the opposite side contain about seven acres. The whole of the estate, which comprised a great part of the present golf greens, was called “Abbeville” probably after Mrs. Tremain whose Christian name was Abigail.

A name that was prominent in real estate holdings in Dartmouth for over a century was that of Allan McDonald. There were three generations of them. The first Allan carried on a tobacco and cigar manufactory along with a stock of general merchandise including liquors, at 48 Bedford Row in Halifax. The building which now stands at no. 78 is perhaps the same one.

Allan McDonald’s name first appears on property deeds in 1830, when he bought 50 acres of land from John Elliott at Russell’s Lake; and eight additional acres from Nathaniel Russell. Hence McDonald’s Lake. Older maps name it Morris’ Lake. In course of time a flour mill and snuff mill were erected there.

The newly elected Provincial Legislature convened in November. They heard more ferry complaints. A petition, signed by several Dartmouthians was sent in by Peter Donaldson, asking permission to run a competitive ferry from his wharf on the shore below the present no. 11 Commercial Street.

The petitioners stated that the fare was now four pence instead of 3d as formerly charged on Skerry’s boats. Furthermore the Magistrates had recently made a regulation forbidding any landings within a certain distance of the Steam Boat wharf. As a consequence, passengers on Findlay’s boats from Halifax, had to be landed in the Cove. The petition was refused.

Deaths in 1830 included Thomas Barrons, a Canal workman, killed by falling 20 feet from the top of Lock no. 6, (the Channel). In September, James Purvis and Patrick Riley were drowned from one of Findlay’s small ferries while crossing from Halifax to Dartmouth in a violent wind and rain.

Dr. James Boggs (p. 104) died at Halifax in his 91st year. At Lake Loon, Mary Ann Morris, daughter of Hon. Charles Morris, died aged 20; and at Preston, Miss Eleanor Simpson, aged 42. At Warren’s Hotel, Dartmouth, died Jeane, wife of Capt. Richard Gethen, 96th Regt., leaving a young family.

Marriages that year included    a fashionable one    at    Mount

Edward by the Rev. M. B. DesBrisay, of Frances Mary Brinley, daughter of the late W. B. Brinley, Esq., to William Lawson, junior. Other nuptials performed by the same Minister were those of Sarah Rogers, daughter of John Rogers, to Thomas Medley; and Mary Ann Marvin to    Joseph Robinson.

Rev. James Morrison officiated    at the weddings of    Mrs.    Jane

Bell to John Meagher; Elizabeth Green to George Irvin; and Jane

Albro to James Hall, Esq. The last named was a brother to Engineer Francis Hall, the husband of Mary Albro.

The first Roman Catholic marriage was recorded in October

1830, when Captain Michael Dormandy was united to Mrs. Mary Shortell, by Rev. James Dunphy of the new St. Peter’s Church.

Baptisms that year were Rebecca, child of Rose and Wm. Walker, schoolmaster; Ann, child of Dorothy and Thos. Marvin, shipbuilder; Edward, child of Eliza and Chas. Allen, shipbuilder.

Many rural members of the Legislature remained in Halifax for Christmas in 1830, for the House sat through the holidays to finish up business, and finally prorogued in mid-January of 1831. A bonus of £250 yearly until 1834 was voted the Eastern Stage Coach. The Steam Boat got a grant of £190.

The Company’s petition stated that they now had a valuable steamboat and enlarged wharf accommodation. The year’s expenses had exceeded £4,000, making the total outlay to date over £12,000. From this investment, shareholders had never received a shilling of dividends. Appended to the petition were lengthy sheets filled with signatures, or symbols, of Company supporters both in Halifax and Dartmouth.

Despite all this backing, the ferry service was unsatisfactory because the “Sir Charles Ogle” gave considerable trouble, and sometimes had to cease running. Salt water, which was used in her boiler, kept clogging the tubes. Frequently fires had to be drawn, in order to clean out the crusting of salt. During three weeks in the early winter of 1831, she was laid up for ten days. Teams arriving with country produce, were put to the necessity either of selling their supplies at a loss in Dartmouth, or of driving around the Basin to Halifax market.

There was an immense snowfall in January of 1831. As usual, the distress was great among the poor. Many endured their privations in silence, while others forced themselves into notice by begging from door to door.

Charity bazaars were held at Halifax. A colored man named McLaughlin set up a small weaving industry at Preston, where many found employment making homespun clothing. The Bazaar Committee furnished the wool and paid full prices for the product.

At Fall River, Charles P. Allen commenced a chair manufactory in 1831, using water power from Miller’s Lake. He also made settees, benches, buckets and other wooden utensils. As this man was an admirer of Sir Walter Scott, he named his home “Waverley”. The designation was subsequently applied to the village that arose there long afterwards. Mr. Allen’s residence is known to us as “Palmer Lodge”. His property extended to Lake

Thomas and then west to the branch railway.

The “Sir Charles Ogle” narrowly escaped a scorching in March when a load of loose hay caught fire as the boat docked at Halifax. It may have been caused by a lighted cigar, according to an onlooker who wrote to the newspaper protesting the practice of smoking on a boat carrying combustibles. “Evidently no rule exists to prevent this indulgence”, he said, “judging from the numbers that I have seen smoking on the boat, both during the week and even on Sundays”.

The ferry lost its Chief Engineer in May when James Simmons was drowned. He had disembarked at Halifax, and fell into the water, some time after the boat left on her last trip.

In May also, there arrived the sailing ship “Argyle”, 90 days from Waterford, Ireland. Three passengers were found afflicted with smallpox. This is the vessel on which came the well-known Donovan family whose farm was for years at Lake Lamont.

No doubt the “Argyle” brought more workers to be employed on Canal construction. In that same year there is a record of the arrival of an additional number of Scottish families, among them being that of George Tulloch.

The latter’s brother-in-law, Hector Elliot a stonemason from Edinburgh, was here at least by April of 1831 because in that month he purchased from William Whiston for £70, a tract of 52 acres extending from no. 7 highway to Cole Harbor Road. Included in the transaction was a larger area of 200 acres on the east side of Lake Major, and a further 50 acres bordering the property of James Putnam, Innkeeper at 12-Mile House. The 50-acre lot had been originally granted to British Freedom.*

A handsome brig, built in the shipyard of Alexander Lyle, was launched in fine style on a June afternoon, in 1831. She was owned by George and Andrew Mitchell, of Halifax.

Regattas on the harbor were resumed that summer. In June, the four-mile whaler race was won by four Dartmouth men rowing the “Edward Cunard”. The second boat was the “Pucelle”. Both had been built by Mr. Coleman at Dartmouth.

At a second regatta in August, the “Edward Cunard” was defeated by the “Riflemen” rowed by four fishermen from the eastern side of the harbor with Philip Brown, steersman. This whaler was owned by the Volunteer Rifles Dartmouth militia.

The dog days came early that summer. On the first Sunday of July, the heat was intense. On Monday, it was intolerable. Al-

* Hector Elliot’s farm was the present property of the N. S. Home for Colored Children. The old Elliot house on the edge of no. 7 highway was destroyed by fire as recent as 1953. It was then being used as a brooder house. British Freedom was one of several colored men who received Crown Land grants in Preston at the close of the American Revolutionary War. These included either freemen or slaves who had gone over to the British Army.

though the thermometer stood at 99 in the shade, there was a difference of 50 degrees between that and the waters of the harbor.

What Dartmouth looked like from the Halifax side is included in the following description by a writer in the “Halifax Monthly Magazine” for May 1831:

The town forms a prefty balanced picture. An abrupt woody hill, unsoftened by any trace of art, rises to the right. To the left, a gentler ascent nas brushwood on its front, and spruce and pine alongside the rising outline, but on the summit, some green patches and white farmhouses.

In the centre foreground, the brilliant surface of the harbor conducts the eve for a short mile to the sloping banks on which the village lies. Wharves and houses and gardens and pebbly beaches, and abrupt cliffs meet the water; and behind seemingly scattered in pleasing irregularity, the party colored town rises up a gentle ascent.

The churches are easily discerned. The Scotch Church appears dark and grave-looking under the hill to the left. The Catholic Chapel, white and clean as an Old Country parsonage, stands more central; and the English Church between, sends its spire proudly, but not tauntingly, above all.

The eye mfives along the undulated ground until it rests on a clump of trees and the snug-looking dwelling at the Lower Ferry. Findlay’s is delightfully situated, but no advantage is taken of its beauties. A little bay which terminates in the Mill Cove, sweeps within thirty or forty yards of the House; a soft and verdant hillock rises in the rear, and in front a fresh water stream comes babbling under the trees. A marquee or summer-house should be erected on the summit of the little hill, its side would afford lovely situations for pleasure gardens and rural seats. A shade-walk might conduct to the pebbly beach, along which arbours easily formed, would be a delightful resting place for visitors from the City.

In the autumn of that year, the same writer evidently crossed over in the Old Ferry and made a tour of the town. The ascent from the Cove up King Street and the Hartshorne house on “Poplar Hill’ (p. S8) are described. At that time only Christ Church possessed a steeple. Note also that the recreations of the Canal people included hurley, or ground hockey. This game no doubt was also played by them on oui ponds and lakes, as it was perhaps played in the land of their ancestors. Hockey might be as old as Adam.

Findlay’s 40-passenger boat sits gracefully on the water, yet appears, alongside the Indian’s birch canoe, spacious enough for a Boston packet. The tide lies limpid on the ferry slip, and beneath a pellucid flood are exhibited many colored marine plants on its bed, at the very places where it supports the traffic of a populous city.

Soon the sonorous conch has ceased sounding, and the boat is out on the calm stream bearing its motley freight to the rural shore opposite.

There sit the Chief Engineer, and the Solicitor of the Canal Company; and there appear a pair of colored lasses from the black settlement at Preston. There is Shiels, the Poet, with his plaid cloak laid beside him, holding rather cold conversation with one of his Lawrencetown neighbors. There are two grayheaded negroes “siring” and “mistering” each other with infinite politeness.

Here are a group of cigar-loving dandies, bent on a game of skittles at Warren’s; and there some half-dozen sunburnt and weather-beaten laborers repairing to the public works. Scattered amid the company, a beautiful sprinkling of ladies appear, passing over to their residences, or only intent on enjoying the benefits of a sail and a walk; while a nearly equal number of less fine females are returning home with sundry household conveniences purchased with the product of their gardens which they conveyed to town early this morning.

An Indian and his Squaw sit silently in the bow of the boat, or only return answers to the ferrymen, who take ad-v vantage of the gentle breeze by shipping their oars, and resting their sinewy arms. At last we are ashore.

We commence our walk from Findlay’s snug farmhouse Inn, p. 29 and soon leave the cackling and quacking of its numerous poultry behind. The landscape appears diversified and picturesque with its hills and vales. A few years ago, this bold hill to the right was a wilderness, and the ground at its base a stony swamp. Cultivated fields now sweep over its breezy top and its declivity. A cottage stands on the slope delightfully situated in a little garden. Squashes and watermelons are ripening luxuriantly on the sunny slopes.

We pass along, and again pause as an opening to the left exhibits a lovely situation for a cottage. A rural gorge-formed by a flat which meets the harbor, and a small eminence on each side. The flat in the centre runs imperceptibly into the tide, and the bright sparkling waters seem secluded in a little romantic cove.

The next pause in our tour, shall be on this soft-shaped hill, the property of Lawrence Hartshorne, Esq. And what a noble site might this be for a mansion! Equal doubtless to any other in America. See photo on p. 536

If you look westward, Halifax appears climbing its hill. Northward, the town of Dartmouth is spread before you.

The increase in population which the Canal work produced in Dartmouth, has occasioned a new settlement about a quarter of a mile from the water. This consists of about 40 huts and houses, raised for the greater part, by the laborers employed at the Canal; and called by some “Canal Town”, and by others “Irish Town”, because the majority of persons who own the little buildings are natives of Ireland.

Irish Town affords a curious specimen of the first steps of civilization in a new country. The log houses and little enclosures are very rude, the stumps of the trees which form them stand all around, and in small openings in the brush, scraps of gardens appear.

The settlement also exhibits many primitive features of Irish rural life. On summer evenings, the groups reclining about the doors, show their proper quota of flaxen-haired

chubby-cheeked youngsters, while from one or two taverns of the village, the scrapings of a fiddle, the squealings of a bagpipe and the shuffling of feet announce that the labors of the day were not sufficient to bow the everlasting mind, or to prevent zeal for the evening’s exercise and pleasure.

A hurley match, a game at balls or bowls, throwing the sledge, leaping, or a jog, are commonly resorted to, as amusements after the work of the weekday, or the devotions of the Sabbath.

The last houses of Irish Town are within about a stone’s throw of the “Church with the steeple”; and the first houses of Dartmouth are within a stone’s throw at the other side of the Church, so that a junction may be formed, and Irish Town becomes a suburb of its older neighbor.

The town of Dartmouth has a loose scattered appearance and consists of about 100 houses, many of them of respectable dimensions. Besides those, a number of houses are in course of erection, and considerable promise is exhibited of a rapid increase and improvement.

The water lots of Dartmouth are lessened in value by the shelving nature of its shore. The water is shoaly in most places at considerable distance from the beach, which of course renders it unfit as a harbor for vessels of large burden.

This summer (1831) preparations were made to do mercantile business at its north extremity. Several sealing ships unloaded there, and vats have been erected for the purpose of making oil. An extensive wharf and timber dock have been built by Mr. Stairs. A large West Indian store is building by Messrs. Tobins, and several other improvements appear along the base of the hill which encloses Dartmouth in that direction. These buildings are delightfully situated, and the rising ground above them offers splendid sites for cottages.

The location of the Canal huts east of Christ Church is quite definite here. Of course, Victoria Road and Pine Street were not then laid out. There may have been more huts along Crichton Avenue on St. Peter’s School grounds. Others were possibly built on the sloping area bordering the east bank of the Canal from Hawthorne Street to Nowlan Street, because that elevated space was long known as the “Canal Field”.

The recently constructed Circular Dam and the downtown locks at Dartmouth attracted an ever increasing number of visitors. Nearly all Halifax citizens were then confined to dwellings situated on streets fronting the" harbor. It became a popular practice for working people and their families to resort to Dartmouth for recreation especially on Sunday afternoons. Liquor was obtainable on this side, for Halifax tipplers came for that purpose and remained late at night. Even ferrymen fell under the influence.

This state of affairs resulted in a wholesale drowning tragedy in the summer of 1831. On Sunday night, August 14th, a small ferry carrying thirty passengers set out from Skerry’s wharf. A low tide, first caused the overloaded gig to ground on the shoal off Queen Street. Then a second boat took off ten passengers. More would have followed, but were prevented by the ferryman, Costley, who was intoxicated. So were some of the others.

Midway across the gloomy darkness of the harbor, Costley’s boat ran into torrential rain and heavy waves. The boat capsized, plunging twenty screaming men, women and children into the inky waters. Only six survived. Among the victims were Mrs. Murphy, Costley and his assistants; Messrs. Hennessy, Brown, Leahy, Ready, Riley, Barrow and two unknown seamen.

The first ocean-going steamer to enter Halifax harbor was the “Royal William”, built at Quebec through the enterprise of Samuel Cunard. She arrived on the morning of August 31st. Malachi Cleary, who died at Eastern Passage in the 1890’s, distinctly remembered the day, and often related to his family how the wharves and housetops of Halifax were black with people to hail the modern liner with an enthusiastic succession of cheers as she passed along.

The equinoctial gale that autumn, hit the harbor from the southeast on September 28th, and strewed seven ships on Dartmouth shore. They included the schooner “Friends”, and the brig “Indus”.

The final item concerning the Team Boat “Sherbrooke” appeared in November when she was put up for sale at auction. The advertisement stated that the boat was copper bottomed and that her machinery could be applied to milling purposes. She had cost the Company £7,000. All the auctioneer could get was £85. (What a tourist attraction that old boat would have made!)

The first book by a Dartmouth author appeared in December

1831, when Editor Joseph Howe published a volume of poetry written by Andrew Shiels. The title was “The Witch of the West-cot—a Tale of Nova Scotia; and other Waste Leaves of Literature”. Howe’s newspaper, “The Nova Scotian” explained that:

The chief poem extends over half the volume, and is woven from such materials as are supplied by the sufferings of an interesting family, during an early period of our Provincial history when the forays and cruelties of the British, French and Indians, made life precarious.

Widow Scott, the relict of a Major in the British army, having retired to a humble cottage on the eastern side of Halifax harbor, from her secluded habits and superior intelligence, acquires among the ignorant settlers the reputation of a witch.

The report of her skill in divination procures her a visit from her granddaughter, Ellen, who all unconscious of the relationship, comes to consult her about a love affair, and to ascertain when Eustace Wynne will return from England, and fill up the void his absence occasions in her heart.

A bible, which Dame Scott gives to the girl, discovers the relationship—and elicits from Ellen’s mother the story of her woes; a large share of which arises out of the adventure at the Bloody Creek, and the capture of the Old Fort at Annapolis. A winter march, a residence among the savages, and an escape through the instrumentality of a friendly Indian, are among the incidents of this narrative.

The capture, and sack, of the early settlement at Dartmouth, or Quaker Town, hastens the denouement. The whole family are taken prisoners by the Waghon tribe, but just as the stakes are preparing for a bloody execution, a British ship heaves in sight, bearing the emblems of peace and brotherhood:—

The first that leapt upon the land,

And with him carried high command,

Is Eustace Wynne — a gen’rous tar,

Prepared alike for peace or war;

In the boat also is Sir Arthur Grhame, the father of Ellen. She and her mother, along with Dame Scott, are soon ransomed, so that all are reunited after years of separation. The Indian Chiefs bury the hatchet, and peace reigns once more.

The location of the fictional “Westcot” is placed at Eastern Passage “between Fort Clarence and Green Bay”. The cottage of Ellen Grhame and her mother is at Creighton’s Creek, but the latter had no idea of the whereabouts of her parent, Dame Scott; whom Mrs. Grhame had not seen since being carried off years before by Indians. It was during her captivity that Ellen was born.

At Creighton’s Creek, this little girl spends her time playing in rowboats, or romping along the beach of Mill Cove where she often listens to tales of combat told by the tars confined in the French prison nearby. Bloody Creek is mentioned in Haliburton’s History as being the site of an Indian battle in Annapolis County. The Waghons are MicMacs.

As the author puts the arrival of the warship at the time of the Dartmouth massacre of 1751, some events in the story are misplaced chronologically. For instance, the French and Spanish prisoners were not at Dartmouth until the 1790’s, when Ellen would have reached womanhood.

However, if Mr. Shiels is not exactly faithful in historical accuracy, he is certainly skillful in his use of rhythmical lines of beautiful poetry. The work is particularly praiseworthy because this long epic, which is datelined Ellenvale, was no doubt conceived in the imaginative mind of “Albyn” as he pounded ploughshares in the seclusion of his rural smithery. (The genius of Andrew Shiels may still be seen in several poetic epitaphs etched on the family tombstones in the southwest part of Woodlawn cemetery. See also a book of his poetry at N. S. Archives).

The “Sir Charles Ogle” was off the route for a considerable period in the autumn of 1831 while new boilers were being installed. On such occasions, word used to be sent out to Fletcher’s Inn, so that notice could be posted there regarding the stoppages. The “Steam Boat Road” became unpopular.

The first mention of a Supervisor for the Steam Boat Company is recorded in December. The appointee was Edward H. Lowe, then in his early thirties. His annual salary was to be £150, and his engagement was to last one year. He remained on the job until his death in 1861.

Winter set in early that season. There was good sleighing early in December, and after Christmas the weather became very cold, freezing up some small harbors along the coast.

During the holidays, the community was surprised to learn of the death of John D. Hawthorn, aged 53, at his country estate in Lawrencetown. He was buried from his Dartmouth residence which still stands at 91 Commercial Street.

Mr. Hawthorn left four children. Many of their descendants are still in our midst. One of the daughters became the wife of Judge James. Hence Hawthorne Street, and James St., nearby.

Other deaths in 1831 were 86-year old Nathaniel Russell, father of the murdered Mary; and George Simpson, aged 78, the Innkeeper at Broom Road in Preston. The well-known Stephen Collins died at Brook House; and Israel Evans of Cole Harbor, was killed by falling off a wagon. At Halifax in October, died Hon. Michael Wallace, President of the Canal Company. He was 87.

In November, Mrs. Maryann Smith, Consort of the late Captain W. Smith, and eldest daughter of Mr. W. Goreham, died of Consumption. Her funeral was held on a Friday afternoon between one and two o’clock from Dartford Cottage.

Another Dartmouth resident bearing a name long prominent in colonial history, died in December. He was James Luttrell DesBarres, son of Colonel J. F. W. DesBarres, the first Lt.-Gov. ernor of Cape Breton Island and later of Prince Edward Island. The old Governor had just died seven years previously in Halifax, at the great age of 102. He fought with Wolfe at Quebec.

Among the marriages recorded is that of Nathaniel Russell to Miss Susannah Cummings of Cow Bay, performed by the Rev. Mr. Morrison. The latter seems to have had some misunderstandings with St. James’ congregation at this time, for he had charge of the outside districts only. At Dartmouth, Margaret Bacon was married to John Fisher by the Rev. John Martin of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, then at Eaton’s corner in Halifax.

Rev. James Dunphy’s new parish of St. Peter’s extended far along the eastern shore. At Dartmouth that year he married Miss Elizabeth O’Brien of Ship Harbor to Duncan McPhie of Sheet Harbor. Chezzetcook already had a priest.

Dartmouth marriages by the Rev. M. B. DesBrisay included those of Mary Gillere to Daniel Nicholson; Margaret Tufts to John Wolfe; and Sophia Wolfe to Joseph Frame.

Baptised in 1831 was Maria, child of Sarah and Thomas Medley, hotel keeper.

The “new” road to Preston, mentioned as crossing the mill-stream on page 100, was interrupted by this time, as a consequence of the construction of the Circular Dam, which resulted in forming Sullivan’s Pond for a storage basin.

The Canal Company then laid out the present Prinee Albert Road down past the Starr Works, and also cut Canal Street to the Cove. The whole stretch from the shore to the Town limits on    no. 7 Highway got to be called    Canal Street.

As a shorter route to the Steam    Boat wharf, they    opened    the

road down the present Nowlan Street to cross a bridge at Lock no. 6 (the Channel), where it continued down the west side of the Canal to meet the old road at the Great Dam.

Land sales that year included the purchase by Cornelius O’Sullivan, a Halifax trader, of the old storehouse at the northwest corner of King and Point (Marine) Streets. The price was £200. The building had been formerly used as a candle factory by the Nantucket Whaling Co. (See photo page 49.)

James W. Johnston offered building lots for sale on an oblongshaped area of land commencing about 100 yards east of Christ Church, and fronting on Ochterloney St. One of the lots was purchased for £20 by Timothy Murphy, a shoemaker. Another went for    £26 to Richard McCabe and his    wife Alice.

Labor troubles began to loom    over the Canal    zone    in    the

latter part of 1831, mostly because the Contractors were not paying out wages regularly to the workmen. The Directors of the Company in turn were not paying the Contractors. One reason given was that the expected instalments were not arriving on time from England. There were* other causes too.

For one thing there was a dispute between the Company and the Contractors concerning the instability of the work done at Port Wallace and at Porto Bello. The Locks at the former were the first to be constructed. The tunnels, or spillways, were soon found to be faulty, so that after a year or more, these had to be renewed at the expense of the Company.

The worst deficiency in foresight and in workmanship seems to have been at Reeves’ Section, or Porto Bello, where the embankment walls became undermined by pressure of water, and had to be rebuilt. This was due to the negligence of the Contractors, according to Secretary Fairbanks. Frosts of successive winters also kept crumbling the masonry.

During 1831, the Company was under the necessity of hiring its own men to reconstruct these Locks. This put them to an additional expense of some £4,000. Near the end of the season, heavy rains burst the northern dam there, and the consequent onrush of water caused considerable damage to the costly Locks at Fletcher’s and at Grand Lake.

This dissatisfaction with the Contractors, and the circumstance that funds were late coming from England, eventually obliged the Company to suspend payments. Their total outlay up to that autumn was about £89,000. In November when the workmen had nearly completed the downtown Locks near the Starr Factory, and had been long in arrears for wages, they abandoned the whole undertaking, and refused further labor. Canal shares, which had cost £25, were now selling at about £2.

In January 1832, there appeared in the “Nova Scotian” seven stanzas of poetry written by “Albyn” at Ellenvale on the occasion of the death of John D. Hawthorn. The latter was a prominent merchant of this community, and a Justice of the Peace. He had been a promoter of the Aboiteau, across the Law-rencetown River near the present railway trestle, which resulted in the reclamation of a wide area of dykeland for hay.

The weather that season continued cold. Ice formed in the Coves and extended all over the harbor by mid-February, when the mercury sank to 12 below. Hundreds amused themselves skating across. Sailing ships could not enter the port owing to heavy drift ice, which for a time clogged the entrance.

As for the unemployed Canal workers, this was the winter of their discontent. Contractor Daniel Hoard had made an assignment and was now incarcerated in the debtors’ jail at Halifax. With the whole project at a standstill, poverty and distress prevailed among helpless families in “Canal Town”, which was only partly relieved by intermittent local charity.

The men appealed successively to Canal officers, to Government officials and finally to Lieutenant-Governor Maitland. Even rioting was threatened.

Some went so far as to set fire to the wooden gates at Lock number 6. This brought forth a proclamation from the Government, offering £50 reward for the culprits.

When the Legislature met that winter, the workmen had a long petition prepared explaining their position. They had not received their hire regularly since the summer of 1831. When later on, several left their jobs, they were persuaded to return by Mr. Dealey, a Company Inspector, who assured them that the pay would soon be forthcoming. They asked that any Government grants for the Canal be applied to their wages.

The petition was signed by Robert Hunter, John Turnbull, Robert Wilson, Robert Johnston, Michael Murphy, James Sinnott, Thos. McMillan, John Elliot, Wm. Elliot, James Elliot, Thomas Elliot, Hector Elliot, John Murphy, Nathaniel Russell, Jeremiah Donovan, John Shenston, Paul Shenston, James Colbert, Laurence Feeney, John O’Donnell, Wm. Beattie, Oliver Cumerford, Michael Lahey, Andrew Smith, John Bowes, John Evans, Wm. Carroll, Michael Carroll, David Goggin, John Loney, Pat Galaher, Tim Haley, Wm. Russell, James Russell, jr, John Fisher, Dan Nicholson, Thos. Dey, James Hailey, Luke Langley, Morris Power, Wm. Forren, Tom Sullivan, Morris Conden, Timothy Meagher, Alexander Grant, George Tully6, James Fitzgerald, Patt Doyle.

Thos. Meagher, Michael Dormady, John Beattie, James Young, James Young, sr, James Shortell, Michael Shortell, Tim Hayley, John Wilson, Patrick Devine, Patrick Shea, James Fenerty, Terry Sullivan, Michael Kennedy, Michael Kennedy 2nd, John Kennedy 2nd, Daniel Keating, Danl Sullivan 2nd, James Walsh, Thomas Shea, John Kennedy 3rd, John Kennedy 4th, Danl Sullivan 1st, Cornelius Kennedy, Thomas Sullivan, Andrew Forhin, Wm. Donohue, Pat Murphy, James Coleman, Thos Hogan, Michael Doweling, John Boyle, John Roatch, Donald Flinn and Walter Currie.

When member John Young read the complaint in the House that February afternoon, Charles R. Fairbanks, representative for Halifax, whose heart and soul was in the Canal project, rose to his feet at once to exculpate the Directors of the Company and lay the blame upon the Contractors.

The latter had been paid in regular instalments until, forced by circumstances already described, Company funds had become depleted. This was partly due to the dishonest work of at least one Contractor. The men were in the employ of Contractors, and not of the Company, he said." Payments to Daniel Hoard had been withheld, pending an adjustment.

Mr. Fairbanks warmly assailed members like John Homer of Barrington, who had called the Canal a “Slough of Despond”, not realizing that £50,000 in British capital was being spent in promoting the development of Nova Scotia. The speaker praised the undertaking as a great public work which would tap our immense natural resources through to Minas Basin, and make

Halifax harbor the seaport of the Bay of Fundy

In March, the House voted a sum of £100 to be used for the relief of the distressed workmen. As a matter of record, Gov-ernor Maitland had already paid over that amount.

The petition of the Steam Boat Company that year was not so fortunate. Their application for a grant was opposed by several members who contended that the boat stopped for days, weeks and sometimes months during 1831. Their charter was retained only by running an occasional trip.

Despite the explanations of Messrs. Fairbanks and DeBlois, and their pleas that the Directors were each out of pocket by some £500, the vote was defeated. (This was the first rejection of a ferry grant in ten years.)

Indeed when an opportunity came later, some lawmakers struck another body blow at the Steam Boat Company. Peter Donaldson, whose application had been refused the previous year, now presented a second onq signed by 279 persons. He asked permission to ply a ferry “between the Steam Boat wharf and Gilbert’s Point”. (This is probably Gibbet Point, Page 49.)

A Committee of the House of Assembly were unanimous that this application be granted, but there is no record of Donaldson’s service ever being started. Perhaps the necessary authority got the hoist in the Legislative Council where sat some influential Shareholders of the Steam Boat Company.

Another complaint concerning Dartmouth came from inhabitants in the northeastern part of Halifax County, which then extended to Pictou. Their memorial noted that all road money in 1831 was expended on the Steam Boat road between Dartmouth and Fletcher’s, “the necessity of which was caused by the overflowing of lakes and by Canal operations”.

Farmers using that route, often could not reach Halifax on account of steamboat trouble, and were forced to sacrifice their produce to huxters and others in Dartmouth.

The petitioners requested assistance in laying out a new and level road from Fletcher’s to Fultz’s, which would be built by the men themselves if Government aid and permission to collect tolls from travellers were allowed them.

Of more local interest was a petition from inhabitants of Cole Harbor, Lawrencetown and Preston Roads. Familiar names like Bissett, Kuhn, Tulloch and Wisdom are appended. Christian Katzman’s name is in large bold handwriting.

These people asked for assistance to make improvements “on that part of the road leading from the North and South ferries up over Creighton’s Hill”.

As will be seen by the sketch, the road over that immense bank had been originally cut in zigzag fashion in order to lessen the difficulty of climbing up to the level near the present Mount Amelia residence. (The sketch is shown on page 192.)

This section, known as “Shoulder of Mutton Hill” was noted for its “amazing steepness”, said the petition. Even in the best of weather, “travellers cannot load their waggons with more than one-half the usual load”. The road was cut into, after every rainstorm because the gutter became clogged with mud washing down the sharp slope.

The sentences quoted from the petition, indicate that the Lower Ferry wharf was also the landing place of much heavy merchandise destined for the eastern sections.

We should note here that the petition mentions the use of Old Ferry Road by teams from the “North” ferry, i. e. the Steam Boat terminus. From this fact, we assume that the present Portland Street was not yet cut in a westerly direction from the foot of Maynard Street. The route then from Cole Harbor districts evidently went down Old Ferry Road and turned westerly along Pleasant Street to the Steam Boat wharf.

As a result of the above petition, John Stayner and John Allen of Dartmouth were subsequently instructed to submit plans for altering “Shoulder of Mutton Hill”.

The dreaded disease of Asiatic Cholera, prevalent in Europe at this time, began spreading throughout North America with the arrival of shiploads of immigrants. Hundreds of deaths were being reported at Quebec and Montreal districts.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia proclaimed Wednesday, May 23rd as a day of public fast and humiliation when “prayers and supplications were offered to the Divine Majesty that this Province might be spared from such an afflicting calamity”. On that date, business was suspended, shops were closed and divine service was performed in the various churches.

The authorities made provision to cope with any outbreak by organizing Boards of Health for the various Halifax Wards and for Dartmouth. The Board for our side of the harbor consisted of Dr. Thomas B. DesBrisa/, G. B. Creighton and E. H. Lowe.

The failure of the Canal venture had a very disastrous effect on shopkeepers, tradesmen and artisans of the town. James Synott, a partner of Joseph Moore, subcontractors for masonry and stonework, is said to have lost heavily because he advanced the wages of the workmen from his own funds.

There is a tradition in the Synott family that old James was very liberal and indulgent with his employees in the boom days, even supplying them with issues of rum.

All the real estate of the late Hon. Michael Wallace was auctioned at Dartmouth that year. It included Medley’s Hotel, stable and garden, together with four lots in rear of the house. Also a corner lot opposite the Church, formerly owned by Adam Miller; a lot south of Skerry’s wharf with a water lot in rear; and another water lot at the end of North Street, 100 by 300 feet. Medley bought the Hotel.

The extensive possessions of John D. Hawthorn were also up for sale at auction. His Dartmouth property consisted of two dwellings, coach house, stable, bake house, a store on the wharf and other buildings. At Lawrencetown were his farm lands, horses, cows, sheep, waggons and a large scow.

Thomas Boggs advertised to let the house on Dartmouth Point formerly occupied by him, with coach house, stable, garden and field. Also his wharf in the Cove. Inquiries were to be left with Mr. Hugh Searl, at Dartmouth Hotel.

(From Prince Street to King Street, the railway now runs through the middle section of the original Boggs’ field. It used to be lined with hawsey and chestnut trees. At the intersection of the railway track with the east side of Prince Street, there once stood a fashionable house which was no doubt the Boggs’ residence; although another plan shows a building at the southwest corner of King and South Streets. Boggs’ plank-floored coach house, converted into a dwelling, still stands at the southeast corner of Prince and South Streets.)

Engineer Francis Hall, who was about to leave the Province, advertised his 10-roomed house, garden, stable, outhouses, with a water-lot in front, near the Ferry. Along with it went the whole of his household furniture, “a very superior horse, harness, saddlery, gig and sleigh”.

John Tapper, a blacksmith, who no doubt fashioned ironwork for the Canal, advertised his house for sale. Andrew Malcom, his one-time partner, offered five more in downtown Dartmouth—all heavily mortgaged. The latter’s account books showed long lists of uncollectible bills. Finally he was forced to make an assignment.

James Synott mortgaged to Donald McLennan for £300, three adjoining dwellings northeast corner of South and Water Streets. Also the “land and store on the north side of the old road leading from Dartmouth to Preston, said road now being obstructed and shut up by the waste-weir”. (Lower stretch of Crichton Avenue on east side.)

John Skerry purchased for £85, two seven-acre lots of Abbeville estate with buildings thereon, commencing at the northeast

corner of School Street and Victoria Road. (Until new streets were laid out in that vicinity a few years ago, pastures and woods surrounding Cherry Drive continued to be called Skerry’s fields.)

Alexander Lyle sold for £40 to Thomas Marvin, block-maker, the property which is now no. 6 Commercial Street.

A lot of land 50 yards from the northeast corner of Ochter-loney and Dundas Streets “on which corner stands John Chamberlain’s dwelling”, in Block “A” which had been granted to Christ Church along with Block “G” (page 128), was sold in 1832 for £25 to Robert McNeSly. The proceeds were used to discharge debts due on the new Parsonage.

James Stanford, the tanner, bought for £85 two of the lots on Ochterloney Street, mentioned on page 182. It comprised a large area of lowland and stream near the present Maple Street.

The collapse of the Canal was not without its humourous side. In March, some wag contributed to the “Nova Scotian”, a ludicrous account of the demise of the undertaking. The writer cleverly burlesqued several well-known features, with an occasional gibe at the manner in which funds were dissipated. Mention of the Great Lakes, probably refers to plans for the Chig-necto Canal. The article appeared under an “Obituary Notice”, with the subheading:


We are again called upon to lament the exit of a DEAR, VERY DEAR friend, and to mingle our tears with those of the DISTRESSED POOR, and a numerous set of SUFFERING FRIENDS; while the Province responds to our grief, and proclaims THE LOSS IRREPARABLE.

Descended from respectable parentage, and connected with the greater part of the first families in this Province, her birth diffused a joy throughout all classes, and her ample income, added to a handsome annuity from the Province, and a liberal legacy from England, rendered her early life a season of great promise.

In the expenditure of her money, she was very liberal; regarding it only as a means of doing good to others; she was above that paltry economy, that wrings from the poor their utmost labour at the least possible price; but paid with true Christian feelings those who came in at the 11th hour, as well as those who labored from the day dawn.

All participated in her liberality, lawyers, merchants, mechanics and servants, and all alike feel the extent of their loss. Her health had been the subject of anxious solicitude of her friends for some years past. Although, to the world, she exhibited the deceitful hectic flush of health, yet it was well known to her relatives that she was on the decline, and that a consumption was rapidly hurrying her on to her end.

The original cause of her death is supposed to be over-

exertion, in attempting to proceed from Dartmouth to the Great Lakes, an excursion undertaken against the Wi^h of her prudent friends, and by all considered as infinitely beyond her years and strength.

We hear her ample fortune has been wholly expended, for, anticipating an early death and a short career, she thought it unnecessary to HOARD up wealth, which she could neither require nor enjoy. How sweet, how refreshing to K(jr friends, to think that the blessings and Che regrets of the p^or, hallow the spot that is honored with her remains.

The fondest wish of her heart, the one that she cherished to the last, was to bring about a union between her to distant relatives, DARTMOUTH and MiNAS; but owing to causes, unnecessary to detail, they always preserved a 6JREAT DISTANCE from each other, which her utmost efforts were unable to REMOVE or DIMINISH.

The failure of this object, ever so dear to her, jjs conjectured to have brought on the crisis, that terminated in her death.

The first record of the ferry being used for a fire-boa‘t was logged in October of 1832, when the “Sir Charles Ogle” interrupted her schedule to transport the Dartmouth Firemen to fight a conflagration which was raging in the vicinity of Cunard’s buildings at the foot of Proctor Street in Halifax. The newspapers reported that the fire engine “worked on board the Steam Boat, assisted very materially in checking the spread of flames in the rear of the buildings”.

In the same month, the Steam Boat Company, whose shares had been limited to the number of 100, announced that they were offering an additional 100 shares at £30 each. Their intention was to provide a second steamboat. One share entitled the proprietor and his wife to free passage. Two shares would include unmarried children. Three shares extended the privilege to servants, constant inmates, also a horse and gig.

About that time also, Treasurer Lawrence Hartshorne reported that the Company were having trouble with the Eastern Stage Coach. The Coach drivers were refusing to pay ferriages for their vehicle and its passengers, on the ground that they were transporting His Majesty’s mails.

There was a very fashionable t/edding out at Mount Edward that summer when widower S. G. W. Archibald, then Attorney General for Nova Scotia, was married to Mrs. Brinley, widow of William Birch Brinley. Rev. Mr. DesBrisay officiated.

The same Minister performed the marriage at Dartmouth of Martha Vaughan (see 1828 school register), to Francis Hoard.

Among Dartmouth baptisms were Henry, child of Sophia and Joseph Frame, farmer; Margaret and John, twin children of Maria and John Morton, laborer.

John Thomas Wilson, aged 11, (also on school register) was drowned while skating on the Canal just before Christmas.

A similar tragedy was reported the previous March, when Robert Mills, who missed the last boat at night, attempted to cross to Halifax on the ice opposite the Naval Yard, and was never seen afterwards. He left a widow and two sons.7

Other deaths recorded were Michael Meagher, of Dartmouth, aged 39; and Francis Mizangeau aged 30 at Eastern Passage.

Notable deaths abroad in 1832 included Sir Walter Scott. When news reached here in November, it brought forth from “Albyn”, an elegy filling nearly three newspaper columns.


The month of January 1833, exhibited a variety of weather hereabouts, often changing in a few hours from mildness to snowstorms, succeeded by intense cold. The “Halifax Journal” of Monday January 21st, reported that “on Saturday the thermometer ranged from 12 to 14 below. Yesterday and today it has ranged from 30 to 40 above”.

About mid-February the weather grew steadily cold, and remained that way for nearly a month. The “Journal” of March 4th recorded that, “The ice in the harbor this morning extends as far down as the Island, is strong enough to admit of traveling upon, and some persons have crossed from the Dartmouth side. Several vessels ready for sea, among which are two sealers belonging to Mr. Foster, are prevented from getting out”.

On March 9th, another newspaper reported that the frozen harbor was “covered with snow, and specked with numerous travelers crossing to and from Dartmouth. Several persons fell through near the wharves, and the ice is now unsafe. We understand that blue winged dueks &c., are perishing in great numbers owing to the severity of the weather”.

Funds for the relief of the poor continued to be raised by private subscriptions, by benefit concerts and by the Ladies’ Bazaar at Halifax. Twice as many poor laborers as in the previous year, among whom no doubt were many ex-Canal workmen, earned a pittance breaking stone on tiie Grand Parade. Indian meal to the value of £25 was distributed among the colored people of Preston by Rev. M. B. DesBrisay and E. H. Lowe, of Dartmouth.

Among the petitions before the House of Assembly that winter was one from Alexander Lyle of Dartmouth, asking a £400 subsidy to erect a Marine Railway in the port of Halifax. John Stayner and John Allen submitted their plans to alter the route of “Shoulder of Mutton Hill”. They estimated the cost at £140. The House voted £75. (See accompanying sketch of old and new roads.)

Dennis O’Connor, whose wife was a daughter of Christian Bartlin (page 140), sent in a petition accompanied by a sketch of his oblong-shaped land on both sides of the crossroads at Graham’s Corner, and extending northwesterly to the Tittle. He complained that about 1826, the Road Commissioner had cut a piece of road through his land to the lake.

Then later, a new line of road was cut through his lot in another direction by the Canal Company. This road had recently been made a part of the Great Eastern Road (Route 18), and was being used by the public. His appeals for compensation to both the Government and the Canal Company had been fruitless. Mr. O’Connor was granted £10. (See photo on page 493.)

Another petition from the freeholders occupying property on or near the new Guysborough Road, urged the building of a level road westwardly towards Sackville. They pointed out that if the connecting road should be laid out from Fletcher’s to Fultz’s, they would be deprived of its benefits, and be under the necessity of travelling with their produce to Halifax via the undependable Dartmouth Ferry.

The Journals of the House of Assembly for 1833 contain a long report from George Wightman and Peter Crerar on the results of their surveys of routes to connect the present no. 1 and no. 2 Highways. They seemed to favor a road from the head of Lake Thomas to Sackville, (Bedford).

Descriptions of property preserved at the Registry of Deeds Office show that Portland Street was called Princess Charlotte Street about this time. Dundas Street was Wallace Street, and Wentworth Street was Tremain Street.

Some people were “property poor”. Andrew Shiels offered for sale or to let “that beautiful farm of Maynard-hill, comprising a comfortable dwelling, a large barn, 26 acres under the plough, and a quantity of woodland and pasturage”.

Leslie Moffat, a merchant tailor doing business in Halifax, wished to dispose of a 10-roomed Dartmouth house, formerly occupied by Francis Hall, Esq.

Something must have happened to Edward Warren’s Mill-Bank House, for his property was also under the hammer. The two-storey building was described as having seven rooms and a

(Cour'rsv N. S. Archives    Cut    by Eastern Photo Engravers Ltd.)

The dotted lin^ *s present Old Ferry Road from Pleasant to Portland Street adopted when the zigzag route was abandoned, ^vi ently Co’e H^^bor traffic from Steamboat wharf followed Pleasant Street an5. went up Shoulder of Mutton Hill, indicating ihat Portland street from Burton’s Hill to Old Ferry Road was not yst rut. N^r Pleasant Street from Old Ferry Road to the eastern end of Newcastle Street extension. "Mr. Johnston’s house” is in the same location now as in 1832. See page 186.)

brick gable. On the lot was another dwelling, an ice-house and a lumber house 58 feet long. (Probably the skittle alley.)

The hotel business in Dartmouth evidently went down with the Canal. In May, Mr. Hugh Searl advertised the Dartmouth Hotel to let. Meantime the establishment was “open for the reception of company who will be supplied with every attention”. He offered for sale two excellent ball alleys and a billiard table.

(This hotel was well remembered by old residents, who referred to the place as the “Commercial Inn”. The building had been erected by the Quakers, and is thought to have stood at the northeast corner of Dundas and Portland Streets.)

After almost six years of prosperity, no doubt mine host “Joe” Findiay at the Old Ferry Inn, also got caught in the current of the Canal washout. This is inferred from the following newspaper notice in October 1833:—

Thomas Brewer informs his friends that he has taken over the eslabiishmenl recently conducted by Joseph Findlay* and will carry on the House of Entertainment at the South Ferry where his iartier will always be well supplied and his liquors will be of the best quality. The Ferry Boats will touch at Dartmouth Point when requested.

In that period of depression, even shoemakers felt the pinch, as will be gathered from another advertisement:—

TO LET—Three large rooms with a fireplace in each, and a bedroom attached, on the main street leading from Mr. Skerry’s to the eastward and close to the English Church. These rooms are in the most pleasant and wholesome part of the Town.


Sign of the Golden Boot,

Dartmouth, N. S.

By this time, Robert Fletcher, well-known Innkeeper near Fall River, was dead. His widow passed away also in 1832. David Fletcher of Halifax, now advertised for sale the Inn, stables and a vast acreage of farm and woodlands at Fletcher’s Bridge. As the Eastern Stage Coach was using the Dartmouth Road at this period, it is possible that the famous old hostelry at Fletcher’s was being bypassed.

(It is Suggested that readers of these pages visit the site of Fletcher’s Inn, reached by walking across the old Canal Locks connecting Lakes Thomas and Fletcher, just off no. 2 highway near the cemetery. Then one can see the route of the original post road between Truro and Halifax.

Plans of the area preserved at the Public Archives show that the Inn (page 123) stood on the northern side of the road, with the stables on the other side. Unless the ground has been transformed recently, their locations may still be traced by the oblong rows of foundation stones.

Standing there in the solitude, one’s imagination goes back to the many years when that spot was alive with activity, especially on the arrival of the stagecoach disembarking its load of muffled and stiffened occupants seeking warmth and refreshment Horses would be changed, orders shouted to the stablemen, parcels and letters stuffed into pockets of passengers, or under waggon seats, for delivery along the road.

Then the fresh start, with the driver cracking his whip at the four horses, through a succession of hearty “good-bys” that temporarily drowned the sharp cackle of the poultry, or the mournful moo of the cattle.)

The stagecoach from Pictou on August 24th, 1833, carried among its passengers a man whose name is still familiar to thousands of bird-lovers throughout North America. He was John James Audubon, famous ornithologist and artist.

We learn from his diary that the distinguished naturalist spent at least forty-five minutes at or near the ferry in Dartmouth, because the stagecoach seems to have arrived there just at the time when Captain Hunter and the crew of the “Sir Charles Ogle” were off to their midday meal.

Audubon was making his first visit to Nova Scotia. He had been in Labrador, and afterwards went to Pictou where he was presented with several specimens of stuffed birds and sea shells from the collection of Dr. Thomas McCulloch. The latter had accompanied his guest as far as Truro.

We append the portion of the diary dealing with his impressions of Dartmouth. The party had left Truro at 11 p.m., and breakfasted at Grand Lake:

The road from that tavern to Halifax is level and good, though rather narrow, and a very fine drive for private carriages. We saw the flag of the garrison at Halifax, two miles before we reached the place, when we suddenly turned short, and brought up at a gate fronting a wharf, at which lay a small steam-ferry boat. The gate was shut, and the mail was detained nearly an hour waiting for it to be opened. Why did not Mrs. Trollope visit Halifax? The number of negro men and women, beggarly-looking blacks^ would have furnished materials for her descriptive pen. ... 8

The well-known Esson family of Halifax first purchased land in Dartmouth in the early 1830’s, and evidently erected dwellings thereon. One was the large field now occupied by the Community Coal Company on southern Commercial Street. In 1833, Adam Esson advertised a house to let on Prince Street, suitable for two families.

On Esson’s Commercial Street land, just south of the former Dr. Campbell residence (page 52), there stood two small cottages in the last century. The following newspaper item of July 1833, may refer to their construction:—

A spear head about six inches long, made of flint—and two pieces of hollow tube of the same material, finely polished, were found at Dartmouth a day or two since, by persons digging a cellar. They are evidently of Indian manufacture— and are interesting curiosities—having very probably been fashioned by the hands of Aborigines, either before the discovery of these countries by the Whites, or during the early attempts at settlement. They are now in the possession of Mr. Adam Esson, who will, we dare say, finally deposit them in the Museum of the Meehanics, Institute.

There was at least one man on this side of the harbor who had faith in the future. In September, Thomas Moran announced that he was opening the Dartmouth Nail Factory, where he would manufacture cut nails of iron and copper. The location was on the road leading from Dartmouth to Preston, “about two miles from Skerry’s Ferry”.

The original road to Preston in that vicinity, is the present Lakecrest Drive, and the site of Moran’s establishment therefore, would be on the rise of the hill approximately one-half mile from Graham’s Corner.

Sir George Westphal, now Captain of the flagship “Vernon”, was in this port from July until October. In recognition of his gallant services in battle, he had been knighted the previous year on the recommendation of Sir Robert Peel.

There is no record of Sir George visiting his boyhood haunts that summer, but he may have done so. Just prior to H. M. S. Vernon’s departure for Bermuda, \his name appeared among guests at a military and naval ball an Government House.

At the Public Archives there is a copy of the Dartmouth school register for the first half-year ending June 1833. The name of Robert Jamison appears therein, as an assistant to William Walker. Total enrolment is 137.

Seme idea of the hardships of the clergy who labored in rural districts, may be ootained from records of the S. P. G. For instance, Rev. John Stevenson’s report of July 1st, 1833:—

About sunset, I departed from Dartmouth, and walked twenty two miles that night; as it was then raining, I took

shelter in a house by the way, and sat by the fire until the dawn of day.

The Presbyterian Church at Dartmouth was then being supplied by Rev. Alexander Romans, of the University of Edinburgh, who had come to Halifax in September to take charge of classics and mathematics at Dalhousie College.

In December, the Church Committee presented him with a beautifully bound religious volume, “as a token of gratitude for his acceptable ministerial labours in their congregation, during the past season”.

At St. Peter’s Church, Rev. Dennis Geary had replaced Rev. James Dunphy in 1832. Both these priests were stationed at Dartmouth in later periods also, but at this time they probably resided at St. Mary’s glebe house, Halifax.

According to the Catholic Reference Book, collections for the church steeple were commenced in 1830 with names listed like John Skerry, Joseph Moore, James Synott, John Murray, Peter Manning, Michael Dunn, John Kennedy and David Vaughan. The dead were Interred in the adjacent churchyard which then included the area now occupied by St. Peter’s Hall.

The autumn of 1833 was comparatively mild. As late as the month of November, a newspaper item stated that “a large ripe strawberry was picked near Dartmouth, and field flowers there are in their second bloom”.

The blueberry, blackberry and huckleberry growth of Dartmouth Common, which until some 40 years ago, used to be the mecca for hundreds of berry-pickers; perhaps lingered longer that season to provide a supplementary harvest for the poor, in that period of rising commodity prices and diminishing prospects of winter employment.

The newspaper record of weddings that year is very slight. In July, Thomas Croak was married to Elizabeth Shortell by Rev. Dennis Geary; and in November, Captain Nathaniel L. West of Halifax was united to Rachael Margaret, daughter of George Turner of Dartmouth. Rev. M. B. DesBrisay officiated.

The list of baptisms for 1833 included Elizabeth, child of Elizabeth and Edward Warren, innkeeper; James, child of Margaret and John Wolfe, farmer; Henry, child of Dineth and Wm. Johnson, millwright; Adam, child of Margaret and Adam Miller, carpenter; Thomas, child of Effie and Patrick McBride, mechanic; James, child of Ann and Jacob Myers, tanner; Esther, child of Maria and John Tapper, blacksmith; Elizabeth, child of Sarah and James Coleman, carpenter.

Deaths in 1833 included one in August of “a woman named Finne who died suddenly at Dartmouth on Wednesday sennight”.

An inquest was subsequently held.

Others were Mrs. John Chamberlain, aged 42, leaving seven small children; and Mrs. Sarah Langley, aged 74, a native of Oxfordshire, England. At “Coal” Harbor died James Robertson aged 84 years.

The record for longevity that year, went to Ship Harbor. The “Nova Scotian” of December 19th had this obituary:

Died on Sunday, the 8th instant, at Ship Harbor, after a short illness, Mr. Michael Hyson, senior, aged 103 years; an old and respectable inhabitant of that place—he was a native of Pennsylvania, and came to this country during the time of the American Revolution—leaving a wife (being the third) whom he led to the Hymeneal Altar in his 101st year; and a numerous offspring of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren to mourn his loss.

(The correct spelling of the above is probably Michael Eisan, as there are families of that name still in Ship Harbor.)

William Wilson, who had been chief miller at the bake house and Gristmill in the lower Canal since 1816, took over Warren’s Hotel in the autumn of 1833, where he was prepared to offer “good accommodation for travelers, also for tea and pleasure parties.” There was convenient stabling for animals.

A few months later, Mr. Wilson announced that he had erected “two very superior skittle alleys for the amusement of visitors”. From that time, Warren’s Lane got to be known as “Wilson’s Lane”. It was then only 13 feet wide.

In November, Walter Currie of Dartmouth advertised that he was selling a horse, left at his stables some months previously by a man named Wood who had not returned. The expense of maintenance had then amounted to the value of the animal.


In the early days of January 1834, a violent wind and snowstorm set in hereabouts. This was followed by extreme cold with the mercury dropping to 19 below. In such thick weather, the brig “Cordelia” went ashore on Thrum Cap at McNab’s Island.

After the cargo had been removed, the “Sir Charles Ogle” took time out, and hauled her off the shoal one morning at flood tide. Then she towed the brig to Lyle’s shipyard at Dartmouth to be careened for repairing.

On February 9th, there died at the Anglican Rectory in “The Grove”, the Rev. Myles B. DesBrisay in his 31st year. His frail health did not long withstand the arduous labors of his extensive circuit. Often his Sunday duties involved officiating at Dartmouth, then at Eastern Passage and a third service at Cole Harbor in the evening.

He was buried under the altar of Christ Church. A mural tablet commemorating his memory there, was destroyed at the time of the Halifax Explosion in 1917.

Among the petitions presented to the House of Assembly that winter, was one of 15 foolscap-size sheets containing 500 names of freeholders in Dartmouth and settlements as far east as Mus-quodoboit River. In this district, it was estimated that there were some 5,000 inhabitants whose contributions to the revenue of the Province were considerable. They asked to be considered in any redistribution of seats, and to be allowed a representative.

The altruism of rural folk of that time, is revealed by this petition from a Lake Charles resident:—

Your petitioner Timothy Meagher lives six miles from the Steam Boat wharf on the new Dartmouth Road—that during the several winters he has resided on said road he has been put to much expense in keeping the road passable for a distance of about three miles. That the road near his house is extremely dangerous owing to the precipice on the side next to the Lake, and had he not devoted much time in keeping it in repair, it would have been in every winter, almost impassable for loaded teams and sleighs.

Your petitioner has employed his men for several days this winter, as well as previous winters, in collecting stones and placing them on the road, and in cutting the ice from the upper side and placing it on the lower side to prevent teams from sliding over the bank. He has frequently worked at night, lest passengers should meet with serious accidents in passing. Your petitioner cannot afford to devote his time to this extra work, and prays for some remuneration.

The trade of the country was at a low ebb in 1834. Shippers of lumber and timber to Great Britain were subject to heavy losses. Merchants claimed that the distress was largely due to the paper currency which was discounted at 7 or 8%.

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce also called attention to the amount of smuggling which must have been practised along the coast. Only small quantities of tea and flour were being shipped to the interior parts of the Province, because people were obtaining American goods cheaper and without duty. Dartmouth was not entirely innocent in this respect, for the Customs’ report of 1833 showed that a number of cigars and time-pieces were seized on our side of the harbor during that year.

Letters to the newspapers complained about high-salaried officials wresting the earnings of the poor. One writer published a list of Government expenses which included £1,800 paid as interest to England on money borrowed “to finish” the Canal. Beggars daily went the rounds hammering door knockers and telling deplorable tales. Some had long petitions.

The Steam Boat Company was again under fire. A vendor from the eastern side who peddled milk and rabbits in Halifax, complained about the curtailment of ferry trips.

Dartmouth industries seemed to be thriving, however. John Albro and Company advertised at Halifax, an assortment of leather and cut nails manufactured at Moran’s in Dartmouth.

Andrew Shiels had recently set up a carding mill at Ellen-vale where he installed expensive machinery and provided employment for a number of women. He informed “the public, and ladies in particular, that he was ready to execute their orders in the woolen line, having two splendid reservoirs of water at command, and an experienced engineer”. Coastal vessels were invited to bring him quantities of wool.

But for his faith in printer’s ink, we would have lost track of Joseph Findlay, whose activities have been recorded in these pages since the days of the Team-Boat. He eventually turned up in an advertisement of 1834:

The subscriber begs leave to inform his numerous friends and the public generally that having taken the WASHING MACHINE at Dartmouth, he is prepared and will be happy to receive orders for washing all kinds of heavy articles, such as Army and Navy and Transport bedding, rugs, blankets, bags &c., on very moderate terms. All articles intended to be washed, will be called for and punctually delivered.


The new Iron Foundry at Dartmouth was still running that year, because an item in the Halifax “Times” recorded that a 600-foot wooden railway was in operation at the Engineers’ quarry at North West Arm. An inclined plane to the wharf was shod with iron manufactured at Deblois’ Foundry.

Another newspaper correspondent brought to the attention of the Magistrates, the misconduct of boatmen on the small ferries belonging to the Company. Recently a man had been thrown overboard; a lady’s new dress had been torn by a boat hook, and a party of men and women who had arrived from the country, were charged one dollar each for being rowed to Halifax at four o’clock in the morning.

More land was on the market in 1834. Mrs. Lucy Wright advertised 50 acres in the Cove behind Stevens’ Island, containing a house and barn. There was a stream running through the property, and a good road to the Steam Boat wharf.

Another attempt was made in May to sell the remaining lands of Jonathan Tremain. The auction took place in front of Medley’s Hotel. This included block “M” (page 98), where there was a limekiln in the hollow near the Canal; all of block “E” (page 98), which was to be divided into building lots; five acres on the road leading from Dartmouth Common to Wolfe’s (Bright-wood); and 200 acres at Lake Loon Run.

The only buyer seems to have been Andrew McMinn (Mc-Main), the brickmaker at Sandy Cove, (page 13). He bid £35 for one quarter of block “E”, at the southeast corner of Queen and Wentworth Streets; and got it. The 200 acres at Barry’s Run also went to McMinn for £25. There is no record of other sales, if any, at the Registry of    Deeds    Office.

Another auction took    place    in September at Colin    Grove,

where the 160 acre farm and woodlands were sold to settle debts of the late Stephen Collins. His sons-in-law, Jonathan Elliot and Thomas Beamish, were the administrators. Hood Clifford, who owned the adjoining farm, was the purchaser. The property extended northerly to Brinley’s at Mount Edward.

Allan McDonald, who    recently had suffered    a fire    loss in

Halifax, bought an additional 48    acres known as    “Green    Grove”,

then occupied by Joshua Gruber at Russell’s Lake. There was a house containing three fireplaces, stables, &c. (The foundation stones on Flaherty’s hill may be the location).

The Dartmouth school register with a record of the term from December 1st, 1833 to June 1st, 3 834, gives the name of the teacher as Robert Jamison, indicating that William Walker had left the profession. The school trustees then were John Chamberlain and Benjamin Elliot.

Their report showed an enrolment of 77, of whom “6 were learning Latin, 11 were learning Geography, 23 were in the English Grammar class, and the remainder in the Common school class”. At his own expense, Mr. Jamison had employed Mr. Joseph Thomas “as an Usher to take charge of the Common School class”.

Tn September, Thomas Medley the well-known Publican, announced that he was removing from Dartmouth to open a new hotel opposite St. Paul’s Church in Halifax.

The water lot and building of William Foster,    who    had    recently made an assignment were up for sale.    On    the    property

stood a good wharf, a cooper shop and an oil    vat.

In 1834, an appeal was made by a newspaper correspondent, in behalf of Othello Pollard, an aged colored man, well-known in Halifax, who was then living in a small house at Dartmouth, in abject poverty. His sight was impaired, and during the winter his hands and feet had been frozen.

The best account of the unlucky Othello can be obtained from the letters of “Occasional”, published for many years by George Mullane in the Acadian Recorder.

Othello Pollard, a genius in his way, along with his “dark Desdemonia”, had been previously in very comfortable circumstances, and operated a thriving restaurant in Boston, where the bon vivants of that City used to exult in the praises of Othello’s culinary art.

When his business was ruined by a disastrous fire in 1802, Othello came to Halifax, and soon again was in a fair way of doing well. But he suffered another loss in 1816, when fire destroyed his restaurant-saloon just north of Mason’s Hall.

In 1831, Othello opened an eating-house on Hollis Street where he adopted the unique practice of inviting patrons to send in orders, a few hours in advance, for whatever viands were suitable to their taste; and also send the sum they wished to expend.

After several vicissitudes, he took up his abode on the “Sir Charles Ogle” where he vended “sundry superfluities” to ferry passengers. (His restaurant menus were always interspersed with clever puns on the eatables). But the irregular trips and the occasional tie-ups of the steamboat, proved the final adversity for Othello.

However, the appeal of the correspondent in Othello’s behalf, did not go unheeded by his old friends. He was then 78 years of age, and a widower. (We shall return to Othello a little later.)

Towards the end of August in 1834, the alarming disease of Asiatic Cholera, long feared in this seaport, broke out at Halifax. The first cases appeared among the militia, then spread among the poor on the upper streets and finally extended its ravages throughout all classes of persons.

The pestilence lasted for six weeks. Over 1,000 cases and about 600 deaths were recorded. Nothing like it had ever been experienced in cholera-stricken centres. Halifax people who were walking the streets in the morning, were often dead by nightfall.

Everybody who had the means or opportunity, fled to the country. Dartmouth was the resort of multitudes. The “Sir C. Ogle” transported the Rifles Regiment to Bedford, while the remaining Regiments encamped upon Halifax Common.

The flagship of the Admiral, which had cholera on board, anchored in the Basin and landed the sick on Stevens’ Island. The Sisters of Mercy went among the dying like ministering angels. The Rev. Fitzgerald Uniacke of St. George’s Church, along with his wife, were also indefatigable in their attentions to the sufferers there. At Halifax Rev. John Loughnan of St. Mary’s Cathedral went day and night among the afflicted, consoling them with the last sacraments of the church.

Dalhousie College (City Hall) was converted into a hospital.

Huge tar pots burned day and night in Grand Parade and in thickly settled streets of Halifax. Business was abandoned, only drugstores and Doctors being active.

The silence of the long nights was broken only by the rattle of waggon wheels carting the sick from their homes, or the dead to be buried in the Poor House grounds.

Coastal vessels and country people with fresh produce avoided Halifax. At Mount Thom a barricade of trees was placed across the road to prevent the Halifax stagecoach from entering Pictou.

Lieutenant-Governor Sir Colin Campbell proclaimed Wednesday, September 17th, to be observed as a day of fast and humiliation. Supplications were offered in places of worship.

Their prayers were answered. Within a short time, the deadly malady showed signs of waning. Fewer and fewer cases occurred. By the end of September many people had returned to town. Streets and shops resumed their accustomed activity. On October 8th, the hospital at Dalhousie was discontinued. Lieutenant-Governor Campbell proclaimed Thursday, December 18th, to be observed “as a public day of General Thanksgiving to acknowledge the goodness of Almighty God in removing the grievous disease”.

The newspapers do not mention it, but the cholera must have prevailed in Dartmouth. Only a small fraction of the number of * deaths was published at the time, but among them are noted some Dartmouth names.

When the outbreak was at its worst, the obituary list contained the deaths at Dartmouth “after a short illness” of Joseph Hamilton, aged 28; and of Joseph Thomas, schoolmaster, leaving a wife and four children. Also Mrs. Sophia Connor, 48, consort of Patrick Connor, and second daughter of Mrs. Mary Ann Bartlin. She left eight children. At Halifax, died Leslie Moffatt, an old and respected inhabitant.

Later in the year, Dartmouth deaths included Mrs. Margaret McMinn, aged 51 years; Mrs. Sarah Allen, widow of Ebenezer Allen; and Miss Mary Reeves aged 22, daughter of Charles Reeves who died in December at Lake Charles.

Prior to the epidemic, the death took place in July, “after a long and tedious illness” of Timothy Murphy, aged 48. (Probably Timothy at the “Golden Boot” on Ochterloney Street). At Preston, died Mrs. Gertrude Crain, 71, widow of Timothy Crain.

Also in July, occurred the sudden death of Mrs. John McKeen of Truro Road. She had crossed in the steamboat, and was on her way to catch the stagecoach at Medley’s Hotel, when she “fell to the ground and almost instantly expired”.


*At the home of James Herbert (see index and photo), about opposite Crawford Street, there died of cholera three childrett on successive days. Joanna a»rcd 4, died Sept. 19th; Michael aged 2, on Sept. 20th and an Infant daughter on Sept. 21M. (Till* Information is in a diary of the well lintwit O’Rcuun family who ore dlrrct descendant#.)

The Rev. A. D. Parker, who had succeeded Rev. Mr. DesBrisay, officiated that year at the marriage of Miss Susan Haverstock to John Thomas. Other weddings of 1834 were Miss Agnes Cummings to Edward Bissett; and Miss Jane Bissett to Alexander Kuhn. Both ceremonies took place at Cole Harbor by Rev. Mr. Morrison. At Lake Porter Miss Elizabeth Cullymore was married to George Edward Orman by Rev. Mr. Cogswell.

Only one Dartmouth christening was recorded for 1834. This was Harriet, child of Harriet and Addington Parker, missionary at Christ Church. Public baptism administered by Rev. Jonathan Shortt.

The little graveyard of St. Peter’s Church in Chapel Lane evidently was getting filled up by 1834, for a move was made about that time to obtain another site for a cemetery. There may have been also a mortality of cholera victims, which influenced townsfolk to discontinue burials there.

At any rate the following document was circulated among the citizens in October, and signed by the four Dartmouth Magistrates, Samuel Albro, George B. Creighton, E. H. Lowe and Dr. DesBrisay, brother of the late Minister. Then followed the names of 48 other residents:

We the undersigned freeholders and inhabitants of the township of Dartmouth, upon considering the necessity of providing a place of burial for the congregation attached to the Roman Catholic Chapel, and the embarrassments that may result from burying in the ground on which the Chapel is now situated in the centre of the Town, are of the opinion that a part of the Common should be appropriated for that purpose, as there is no vacant ground that can be had in the neighborhood; and we for the consideration aforesaid, do freely and voluntarily agree that the piece of land described in the accompanying p*an, containing one acre, may be enclosed and used for the purpose of a burial ground as aforesaid; and we hereby surrender and relinquish our claim to it forever.

The plan was drawn by Deputy Surveyor J. G. MacKenzie, and the area was shown thereon, as has already been described on page 62. Legislation was subsequently secured, and in 1835 the new cemetery was opened on Geary Street. This was the first encroachment upon Dartmouth Common.

During the autumn of 1834, there was brought to the attention of the public, another matter which must have furnished the leading topic of conversation on the ferryboat, and in almost every home. In the newspapers, there appeared a long report to the Lieutenant-Governor from the Grand Jury of Halifax County.

This was very unusual. Grand Jurors, elected annually, always made (heir presentments to the Magistrates at the Quarter Sessions. This report stated that the affairs of the Municipality were entirely unsatisfactory. Some account books were in a hopeless tangle, and many were not available at all. Their auditing was a mere mockery. “The County Treasurer will refer to the Collector —the Collector to the Magistrate—the Magistrate to the Clerk— and the Clerk back again to the Treasurer”. The Grand Jury recommended a thorough reform.

The red-bricked County Court House then stood on the location of the triangular parking lot on George Street at Bedford Row. The upper part of the building contained the spacious Exchange Coffee Room. Dartmouthians patronizing or passing the spot every day, no doubt heard and experienced many a tale of unjust exactions of fees, utter laxity among the police, Indians and others lying intoxicated near the market slip, liquor licences granted against the recommendations of the Grand Jury, glaring inequalities in the assessment of property, or perhaps no assessment at all, and consequently no taxes paid.

(Courtesy N. S. Archives    Cut    by    Eastern    Fkoto    Engravers    Ltd.)

At left is shown the red-bricked Court House fronting George Street where the Magistrates long administered the affairs of Halifax and of the whole County. After Halifax was incorporated in 1841, both City and County business was transacted there until the County Court House was erected about 1860. Then it housed the civic offices and jail until the present City Hall was opened in 1890. The 82-year old Court House was demolished in 1892.

The building seen in middle, still stands at George and Water St. At right is shown the City Market House on the Customs House location. The stalls fronted Water Street, and were not much used. This is a Saturday morning sidewalk market scene of July 1886, taken by Dr. Sinclair from the corner of Cheapside and Bedford Row looking northeast.

Halifax City had not yet been incorporated. Many of the ruling Magistrates were men of excellent character, but of a kindly and lenient disposition, and of an advanced age. Evidently a few others were the direct opposite.

Not many of the poor and middle classes dared to protest against these abuses too openly. They lived largely on credit, and influence might be used, to cast them into the debtors’ prison. Or they might suffer a prolonged delay in payment for goods or services rendered the Municipality.

In the month of November 1834, a correspondent who signed himself “THE PEOPLE” contributed a critical article to the “Nova Scotian” dealing with some of the complaints that were contained in the lengthy report of the Grand Jury. (Long afterwards, it was learned that the name of the contributor was George Thompson, prominent Haligonian.)

This writer declared that the burden of County taxes fell mostly upon the shoulders of the middle classes who lived in the Peninsula of Halifax. Many outside districts paid nothing, yet they sent their poor, their debtors and their criminals to be lodged in Halifax jails and workhouses.

In the “Nova Scotian” for January 1st, 1835, there appeared from the same correspondent, another lengthy and more daring letter which must have made long-suffering persons gasp with astonishment and admiration.

The writer noted that about one-half of the respectable middle class people had, in recent months, been summoned or sued for the amount of their taxes, while some wealthy inhabitants of Halifax went unmolested for years. Furthermore, “the people were entirely in the dark in regard to the collection and appropriation of their monies”.

“During the last 30 years”, continued the convincing correspondent, “the Magistracy and Police have, by one stratagem or other, taken from the pockets of the people, in overtaxation, fines, etc., a sum that would exceed in the gross amount £30,000; and I am prepared to prove my assertions”.

These and other censorious statements, resulted in the Editor being prosecuted for libel. The indictment charged Joseph Howe with being “a disseminator of sedition and dangerous to the peace of society”. The trial was set for March 2nd.

Howe prepared his own case. Having previously served on the Grand Jury, he was well acquainted with conditions. In February, a writer in the “Acadian Recorder” called upon the community to furnish Mr. Howe with any information that might be of value in his defence. Next morning, Howe had difficulty getting into his Granville Street newspaper office. Even the passageway was crammed with people.

When the trial opened on the first Monday in March, the Courtroom in Province House, where now is located the Legislative Library, was crowded to suffocation.

Howe spoke for six hours and a quarter. The Halifax “Times” described his cjefence as being “eloquent, impressive and caustic enlivened often with witty sallies, which proved at times too exciting for even the gravity of the Bench”.

After a general survey of the situation, Howe centred his attacks ofi officials at the old Court House near the Ferry, whlcn he ironically called “the brick Temple”.

In alluding to specific examples of negligence, Howe’s thoughts turned to our side of the harbor. He charged that in the populous and thriving districts of Musquodoboit, Chezzetcook and Preston, no taxes had been collected since 1821, or else vvere unaccounted for.

As it was nearly six o’clock when Howe finished, Chief Justice Brenton Halliburton suggested that adjournment be made. Mr. Murdoch remonstrated. It would give the other side the advantage of the night for more preparation.

After a consultation with the Jury Foreman, the Court decided to continue, but by this time the excitement of the crowd could not be restrained, making it very difficult to preserve order. Thereupon adjournment was made.

When they reconvened at 10 o’clock on Tuesday, Attorney General S. G. W. Archibald addressed the Court, followed by the Chief Justice, who explained the law of libel to the Jury. He thought the letter was a libel, and told the Jury it was their duty “to state by your verdict that it is libellous”. However, he added that they were not bound by his opinion.

Then the Jury retired. In ten minutes they were back. When Foreman Charles J. Hill had again led the panel into the jury box, and stood facing the Chief Justice, there was a breathless silence ...


A voluminous shorthand report of this famous trial afterwards filled eight pages of the “Nova Scotian”. The enthusiasm of Howe’s admirers at the conclusion is. thus described:

On leaving the Province Building, Mr. Howe was borne by the populace to his home, amidst deafening acclamations. The people kept holiday that day and the next. Musical parties paraded the streets at night. All the sleds in Town were turn-

ed out in procession with banners; and all ranks and classes seemed to join in felicitations on the triumph of the Press. The crowds were briefly addressed by Mr. howe from his window, who besought them to keep the peace — to enjoy the triumph in social intercourse round their own firesides; and to teach their children the names of the TWELVE MEN, who had established the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

The twelve jurymen were Charles J. Hill, Robert Story, Edward Pryor, junior, James H. Reynolds, David Hall, Edward Greenwood, John Wellner, Robert Lawson, Archibald McDonald, Samuel Mitchell, Thomas A. Bauer and Duncan M’Queen.

Edward Greenwood, who outlived them all, and died only in 1898, was a near relative of the Chamberlain, Wisdom and Allen families, mentioned in this book. John Wellner’s wife was a daughter of Robert Collins, of Colin Grove. Thomas A. Bauer, whose people owned fields near the present Bauer Street in Halifax, removed to Dartmouth in the 1860’s and died at his home on Windmill Road near Best Street, in 1871.

His widow survived him by nearly 40 years, and was a familiar figure in Dartmouth where she boarded at Mrs. Lawlor’s, and later lived with her daughter Mrs. W. Noel Forbes at 41 Pleasant St. Mrs. Bauer was the former Susan Fletcher, daughter of David Fletcher. The latter is thought to be a son of Robert, well-known proprietor of Fletcher’s Inn.

(Information furnished by Roy Fletcher Forbes, a grandson of Thomas Bauer. Also by Charles S. Stayner, grandnephew of E. Greenwood. Rev. C. Bauer of Antigonish* is a grandnephew of T. Bauer.)

Changes among the governing officials soon resulted. Even before the trial, a new Town and County Treasurer was appointed in the person of William Lawson, Bank of N. S. President.

Another appointee, however, was not so popular. This was W. Q. Sawyers, a Halifax lawyer, who had been given the post of Chief Magistrate. In the columns of the “Nova Scotian”, his character was openly assailed by John Howe, the octogenarian father of Joseph; and by James Dawson, of Pictou.

There were also a number of new magisterial appointments, because of the resignations of several members after the trial. Some of these were not involved in the charges, but merely wished to be dissociated with one or two others who still retained their seats. •

The mention of sleighs being used in Howe’s triumphal procession confirms the report that winter lingered along until March of 1835. In the latter part of that month, there was a heavy fall of snow and hail. A newspaper item stated that they “had had

four months of snow and cold weather, and spring not yet in sight”.

McDonald’s grist and snuff mills were going by 1835. The fact is mentioned by D. Creamer in a newspaper advertisement of his 42-acre farm for sale on Cole Harbor Road “in the immediate neighborhood of Allan McDonald’s Mills”.

There is more definite evidence of the location in the Chancery Court records. In 1835, Andrew Shiels brought action for damages against Allan McDonald because the latter had erected a dam for the purpose of driving his water wheel and machinery at Russell’s Lake outlet. This stoppage, backed up a stream which ran down through Shiels’ meadow at Ellenvale, causing a flood of water to rise on his land.

Although McDonald lost the case, and probably paid the assessed damage and Court costs, he didn’t remove the dam.

About this time, William Walker the schoolmaster, purchased from Joseph Findlay, a lot of land in Town Block “T”, where he afterwards started a grocery shop.9 He is said to have been the first merchant to sell flour in Dartmouth, and the first to inaugurate a delivery system. The flour was made at the gristmill in the Cove, where William Wilson the innkeeper, was the chief miller. The goods were transported by John Shea, a local truckman, whose long-tailed cart was a familiar sight on our streets in the middle 1800s.

A lot of 40-foot frontage, adjoining William Walker on the west, was 'also sold by Mr. Findlay to John Jenkin.

Jenkin, in turn, sold half his property to Thomas Miller, a blacksmith. (Miller’s forge was well remembered by old Dart-moulhians.) The western boundary of the blacksmith shop adjoined the stable yard of John Skerry.

Joseph Findlay and John Skerry seem to have shared equally the ownership of the whole of Block “T”, although Findlay’s portion was burdened with mortgages. The Findlay house stood on the southwest corner of Ochterloney Street and Chapel Lane. Between that and Skerry’s boundary, Joseph Findlay raised large crops of potatoes and other vegetables. The cherry and plum trees in the whole of that area, also yielded a harvest of delicious fruits.

The extensive property and building at the Belmont Hotel corner, mentioned on page 57, were purchased that year from John Tapper by Michael Dunn of Economy. The price was £400.

Other real estate transfers in 1835 included the large lot where now stands Grace United Church and Parsonage. This was purchased from the Tremain estate for £100 by John Metzler, a mason of Halifax. Adam Esson purchased from Peter Donaldson another lot at the southwest end of Commercial Street.

A large section of land on both sides of Jamieson Street brook, in north Dartmouth, was also acquired that year by John Jamison, miller, from James Moore. The price was £31. This had been part of the old Foster grant. (Ihe street perpetuating the name of the miller, is obviously misspelled. Both John Jamison and Robert, have no “e” in their signatures.)

The Dartmouth school register for the period from December 1st, 1834, to June 1st, 1835, showed an enrolment of 82. For the last half-year ending on December 1st, 1835, there were 84. One pupil was studying Greek. Mr. Jamison seems to be the only teacher since the death of Joseph Thomas.

Rev. Alexander Romans, who had been supplying at St. James' Presbyterian Church for two years, was ordained as Pastor of that Church in September, 1835. (He died at Musquodoboit 1890.)

That autumn, John Chamberlain became involved in a newspaper controversy with Magistrate E. H. Lowe, who had ordered the seizure of certain articles left with Chamberlain. The latter charged the Magistrate with being “highhanded”.

Mr. Lowe’s reply was that he had only carried out his duty, and did not expect “such an impertinent letter” from a man who had previously received his favors. (From the correspondence, we learned the name of a Constable for the district of Dartmouth. It was Jeremiah Calnen.)

Another Constable was Patrick O’Connor. This man suffered the loss of a hand, for which he received £50 compensation from the Legislature, on the recommendation of the Dartmouth Magistrates. His petition stated:

He was for seven years in H. M. Rifle Brigade, and after being discharged, he went in 1829, to reside at Dartmouth where he was afterwards appointed one of the Constables.

I hat one night in September 1835, one of the Dartmouth Constables called about midnight, and requested him to accompany him and another Constable to apprehend four men who had broken into and taken possession of a house situated about three miles east of Dartmouth.

That he and the two Constables went thither and found the men armed with axes, whereupon they returned to Dartmouth, and were sent back again by a Magistrate with orders to watch the house so that the men would not escape until daylight.

That he took a Blunderbuss loaded with powder and small shot, in case the men should offer violence. On reaching the house he found that the men had barred the door, and refused to admit the Constables.

That while he was endeavoring to gain admittance, the Blunderbuss exploded and burst, thereby shattering one of his hands to such a degree that it had to be amputated above the wrist. He had a wife and family who depended on his earnings for a livelihood.

In the autumn of 1835, a Diver named Hawkesworth, equipped with a new diving apparatus invented by Mr. Fraser of Halifax, made some researches in the waters of Bedford Basin for the purpose of recovering the supposed treasure of Admiral d’An-ville’s Expedition, mentioned on pages 32 and 34 of this book. At that time, and for years afterwards, the old hulls were visible off Rockingham and in the waters near Stevens’ Island.

A wag in the “Acadian Recorder” suggested that “it would be more economical for our Preston and Dartmouth friends to provide themselves with one of Fraser’s suits, and walk under water with their vegetables to Halifax market, particularly on the Mondays that the Steam Boat is taking her nap”.

Another object of intense interest in October of 1835, was the re-appearance of Hailey’s Comet after an absence of 76 years. According to the meagre newspaper report, this Comet looked the same as it did to us in May or June of 1910. (Watch for this luminous phenomenon again about 1986.)

James Skerry, the brother of John, by this time, had a house erected and land cultivated on a tract of 900 acres fronting Lake William, which both had purchased in 1815. *In November of 1835, John Skerry conveyed his northern half containing 450 acres, to John Skerry, junior, the son of James, “ill consideration of the good will and affection to John Skerry, junior,” for the nominal sum of five shillings and “the further consideration of furnishing four cords of hardwood in each and every year” to John Skerry and his wife Maria, at Dartmouth.

Perhaps the aging ferry-proprietor was in poor health, for in that year he also drew up his will. This was probably done by

♦This 900 acres of woodland was sold for £32 to the Skerry brothers in 1815 by Thomas Whitaker and John King. The whole property was divided at the small brook still seen flowing down from the eastern side of no. 18 highway at about the middle part of Lake William. South of Skerry’s brook extended James Skerry’s portion. His house stood quite near the brook and the road, and was demolished only recently to make room for a new cottage.

John Skerry, the son, who was given his uncle’s northern portion in 1835, built a large farmhouse on the slope where the foundation stones are still visible in the bank of earth amidst his once extensive hay fields and orchard. This dwelling was destroyed by fire in the early 1930’s. It was then unoccupied. Numerous descendants of this John Skerry are scattered throughout Halifax, Dartmouth, Westphal, Waverley and Enfield. He is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery. See page 124 of this book. (Information furnished by T. S. Skerry, grandson).

James B. Uniacke, of Halifax, who had been his professional advisor for many years.

The whole block from Morris’ Drugstore to Bell’s Bus Terminals was left to his wife. Also the tract called “Abey Vale” together with all the buildings. Also the old house and large field opposite Wilson’s, enclosed with a stonewall. (This field is probably Town Block “B”, the Baptist Church block. Edward Warren once complained about Skerry’s wall encroaching upon the present Queen Street near his Hotel.)

It was provided that on Mrs. Skerry’s death, the two houses (demolished in recent years) in the middle of Water Street block, also the Bell Bus corner and a double dwelling on the Quarrel Street side (also demolished), were to go to his niece Maria Ann Smith.* Two lots of 23 acres near Graham’s Corner were also included. William Skerry was to inherit other houses and the Abbey-ville tract. Money legacies were later added for Maria Smith, Joanna Murray, Mary Murphy, Elizabeth Holland and Mary Ann Duggan. Two little grandnieces, Mary and Bridget Fitzmaurice were to get £50 on attaining 65 years of age.

To his son John, he bequeathed the lot of land and house “near the Steamboat wharf, opposite the property of E. H. Lowe”. (This is the southeast corner of Portland and Commercial Streets. It comprised the whole block to Prince Street.) Also “the lot of land containing two dweinng houses and other buildings at present occupied by Andrew Malcom”. (This is on the south side of the lane on Commercial Street now used by the Dartmouth Coal and Supply Company.) Also the large field opposite the Grist Mill.

(The latter was the swampy section described on page 44, through which Green Street now extends easterly from Wentworth Street and a little beyond Dundas Street. John Skerry, the son, evidently had left here for parts unknown, because the executors afterwards advertised for his whereabouts.)

To another John Skerry, the son of William Skerry, grocer of Halifax, was left 300 acres at Musquodoboit. William Skerry was a nephew of the old ferryman.

The sum of £100 was left to erect a spire to St. Peter’s wooden Church, and £10 for requiem Masses.

The mortgages remaining on Maroon Hall and on other Halifax and Dartmouth properties were to be taken care of by the administrators of the estate.

After reciting that he was born and brought up in Ballyhail,

*Maria Ann Smith became Mrs. Thomas Elliot, and resided for many years at what is now the Bell Bus corner. Her husband’s carpenter shop was at the foot of Quarrell Street. Mrs. Elliot was a daughter of Captain and Mrs. Alexander Smith. Both Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Skerry were daughters of Captain Martin Meagher, mentioned on page 56. Thomas Elliot was a son of Jonathan.

Ireland, John Skerry gave specific instructions regarding the details of his funeral arrangements:

I request and desire that my executors will order and direct my funeral to be conducted in a plain and unpretending manner. I wish to have no velvet over my coffin to moulder in the grave. Let it have only a plate with my name and age upon it. The cost of such useless trappings, I hope my dear wife will distribute amongst the poor for the good of my soul.

I particularly desire that she or they will not seek for pall bearers among the rich and great men of the Town10, but call upon such of my friends as may be in Dartmouth or its vicinity to help me to my last home.

I desire that my body be so interred in the new Ground11 provided as the place of Burial for the Catholic congregation of Dartmouth Chapel.

Of course, John Skerry was by no means inactive in 1835, and still took a lively interest in ferry matters. At a meeting of shareholders that year, an agreement was reached with John Ross, Proprietor of the Eastern Stage Coach, whereby the Stage was to pass on the ferry at a reduced rate of 5/ per week. The ferriage arrears were to be paid.

The Steam Boat Company were still having financial difficulties. One of the causes is suggested in the minutes for June, as recorded by Secretary Charles R. Fairbanks:

The expenses of maintaining the small boats are not only great, but the whole system as connected with this branch of the ferry is necessarily loose and admits of no satisfactory investigation.

The task of collecting the daily fares is left to common laborers, picked up and hired at low wages, and there neither is, nor well can be, any check upon the amounts they receive. They pay certain sums daily as the amount collected, but these may fall far short of the actual amount of fares paid into their hands.

The “Sir Charles Ogle” suffered a mishap that summer. While crossing the harbor one morning, she “ran afoul of the brig ‘Queen’, and in the ensuing encounter, lost her chimney and steam pipe which was dragged out from her deck and carried overboard”.

In the autumn, there was another stoppage. The Company announced that the “Sir Charles Ogle would be laid up for a few weeks, it having been found necessary to repair the engines and boilers, before the severe weather sets in. A small shallop will ply from the Steam Boat wharf for the convenience of carriages, etc”.

(The shallop may have been that of “Jolly Bob” Anderson, whose ballast vessel was often mentioned by old residents.)

Tie-ups like the above, together with a dearth of employment, again brought up the suggestion of a bridge across the harbor. A newspaper writer of 1835 asked “if it would not be one of the very best improvements that could be made for the Province generally to build a drawbridge across the Narrows by means of soliciting public and private aid”. The cost might be from 10 to £20,000, but it would afford work to many, who are not able to emigrate to the United States, because of their debts, and of their strong British feelings.

Joseph Howe in the Nova Scotian, had another solution for the economic distress. He proposed a railway to Windsor. Farmers from Cumberland and Colchester who now sail to Saint John with cattle, hay and produce, could cross the Basin of Minas, and then reach Halifax in two hours.

A railroad to Windsor would pass through a rich agricultural district, and terminate at a town already in existence. He considered it preferable to the Shubenacadie Canal, “which passes through a wilderness, is frozen up five months in the year and terminates at a place without any connecting roads”.

Whereupon the Halifax “Times” addressed an open letter to Howe, ridiculing his editorial, and referring to the above scheme, described it as “your monstrous absurdity of a rail road communication to Windsor”.

Another writer of that time contributed a poem of almost two columns in the “Nova Scotian”. He thought that as we were not likely to make much else by the Canal for some years, we might as well “make fun” of it. Here are some portions:

... Oh! mighty work — deserted now and lone,

Thy money spent — thy reputation blighted Afflicted with the “gravel” and the “stone”

By those who in thy “company” delighted.

Even the Parents, from whose loins you sprung,

And on whose lips your praises ever hung,

Would “cut you” if they could; . . .

But when at Public Meetings thou wert prais’d,

When on Election flags your name was hung,

When glittering thousands, by subscription rais’d,

To penniless Contractors all were flung; . . .

Tow Boats, and Row Boats, Boats to go by steam, Embankments, waste wears, dams and cubic feet Of stone and earth, they wove into the scheme,

With thoughts so vast, and eloquence so sweet,

Till, catching inspiration from the theme,

An Engineer was found in ev’ry street —

Who talk’d of timber which he never saw,

And lime stone quarries that would never end,

And vast advantages, in time of war,

Should Brother Jonathan his cruizers send

To catch our beef and butter, pigs and cheese,

And oats and apples coming o’er the seas.

The shifting sands of Shubenacadie

Those fond enthusiasts held in great contempt;

And e’en the canny little Jamie Kempt

The difficulties either could or would not see ....

Poor Pat, who digs his tardy freedom out

From penal statutes harder far than stone,

Dug at thy sides, with heart almost as stout,

For many a day —

But where’s poor Paddy’s pay?

I fear he’ll get it when the Gods bestow

The long arrears that Peace and Freedom owe ....

Oh! mighty work! like other works before ye,

In prose and verse,

Like Christabel and Virgil’s Roman Story,

After a multitude of “labor” pains,

You’re only perfect in your authors’ brains,

And are not worth a curse ....

Married in 1835 by the Rev. Mr. Knight were Captain Kendall Holmes to Mary Ann Frost, daughter of David Frost of Dartmouth; and James McNab, of Brookfield, Dartmouth, to Eliza Cameron. Miss Elizabeth Lintemen and Alexander Merron, both of Cole Harbor, were married by Rev. James Morrison. At Preston, Joseph Thomas of the Preston Hat Factory, was married by the Rev. Richard Preston to “the amiable Miss Hannah Saunders, a lady of color, of the above place”.

Baptisms recorded v/ere those of Louisa, child of Lucretia and Thomas DesBrisay, M.D., J.P., Emma, child of Ann and John Parker, painter and sexton of Christ Church.

The saddest death in 1835 was that of Michael Murphy, aged 31 (see Canal names), a native of County Wexford, who was the sole support of his aged mother, and who was drowned while gathering kelp in his boat off Dartmouth Point in July.

Other deaths included George Hollingsworth, 28, son of the late Mayor of Kingston-upon-Hull, who died after a lingering illness at Wilson’s Hotel; Sophia, consort of Joseph Frame and daughter of John Wolfe; Sophia, wife of John W. Reeves, died at Lake Charles; and Lawrence Lawlor, aged 60, a native of Ireland, who died at the Poor Asylum. The oldest death in Christ Church records that year is Mrs. Sarah Johnston, 71 years.

At Halifax in December died John Howe, the father of Joseph Howe. He was nearly 82. In the last year of his life, the old gentleman’s mind gave out, and he fancied himself the owner of large tracts of land near Shubenacadie. According to George Mullane, he became imbued with notions of laying out homesteads

for the old maids of Halifax.

To stock these farms, he began buying horses, cattle and one thing and another, until his sons intervened. Every Saturday he came over to Dartmouth and travelled out the Eastern Road, bound on his benevolent enterprise of mapping out locations for his imaginary proteges. The last visit was on the Saturday previous to his death. He used to stay at the house of Mr. Reeves. (This is probably Charles Reeves at Porto Bello, who may have been operating an Inn.)

John Howe’s second wife was Mrs. Mary Austen, widow of Captain Henry Austen, prominent Halifax shipping merchant. Her maiden name was Mary Eade, sometimes spelled Eades, or Ede. She was the mother of Joseph Howe.

One of her grandsons from the first marriage was Joseph Austen. He later settled in Dartmouth at the northeast corner of Church and Edward Streets, where his descendants still occupy part of the old property.

Two of Joseph Austen's numerous family were named Harry Ede Austen and Joseph Howe Austen. These men founded the well-known Halifax firm of Austen Brothers in 1877.


The first news of local importance in 1836, recorded that in early January a small ferryboat “too deeply laden with shingles and seven or eight persons filled in mid-harbor about 10 o’clock in the morning”. No lives were lost.

One newspaper stated that the boat belonged to the Lower Ferry. This was promptly denied in a letter from Thomas Brewer, the proprietor, who took a fling at the Steam Boat Company by implying that there was no supervisor on the job attending to their early morning trips. He stated that he was too poor a man to employ Superintendents, or Agents or Captain; and that he filled all those positions himself. The consequence of his attention to passengers, was that in three years of ferrying, “not one of them had ever received a ducking”.

The next item of interest in the records of 1836 brings our old friend Othello Pollard back into the limelight. By this time he had discovered a second Desdemona, although somewhat withered; and, running true to form, Othello plunged into another venture which was announced thus in the Halifax newspapers:—

MARRIED at Dartmouth by Rev. A. D. Parker of the Anglican Church on January 13th, Mr. Othello Pollard, aged

78, to Desdemona Jackson, aged 106.

Among the petitions before the House of Assembly when they met in late January, was a memorial from colored people of

Dartmouth asking financial aid to help them establish a school for their children. It was signed by Jeremiah Page, Louis Cassity, Daniel Fendal, George Gibson, Samuel Wood, John Garo, William Andel, Robert Tynes, Nim Carter, Henry Clark, Daniel Gross and John Franklyn.

The petition of Jeremiah Page humbly sheweth that there are many colored persons residing in the Town Plot of Dartmouth and in its immediate vicinity. That they have among them as many as 40 children and they are entirely without the means of giving them schooling.

That the school which receives the aid of the public allowance in this place, is already so numerously attended that in all probability there would not be room in it for memorialists, children, if they had the means of sending them.

That the memorialists are willing to do all in their power, but without aid from your honorable House, they have no prospect of ever being able to support a school among them; and their little ones will consequently not be taught sufficiently to read the Bible.

Among the road petitions that year, was another from George Bissett and 40 others along Cole Harbor Road, who stated that they were “subject to great difficulties by the dangerous ascent and descent of Break Heart Hill. This Hill has been a great annoyance to numerous farmers for the past 40 years”.

Surveyor Peter Crerar reported to the House that there was an embankment at the south end of Beaver Dam bridge, extending to 68 yards, and 6 feet in height where it joins the bridge. As the road was but 13 feet wide, “this renders it exceedingly dangerous” for passing vehicles.

(This refers to the dam previously built at Barry’s Run by the Canal Company to form a reservoir at the foot of Lake Loon. The purnose was to have a ready supply available to augment the waters of Lake Charles, especially in times of drought.)

By 1836, the financial affairs of the Steam Boat Company were perhaps worse off than ever. In order to raise money to provide a small steamer, to repair property and to discharge pressing debts, a fund of £2,500 wa.s needed. The only method of raising the money was by assessing an amount of £25 on every share. This was most discouraging. Some members held 20 or 25 shares, and had not only never received dividends, but had frequently been taxed for extra assessment.

The situation brought on a crisis that caused a major break among the ranks of the members. Charles R. Fairbanks, who had been Secretary since the inception of the Company in 1815, announced that he and William Lawson, jr., had decided “not to advance any further sum of money towards the enterprise, being satisfied that the present management of the Company is such that the undertaking will never succeed, or be advantageous to the shareholders”. Their shares were forfeited.

Other charter members who withdrew at the same time, were President H. H. Cogswell and John Stayner.

Hon. Samuel Cunard, who hitherto had not been attending many ferry meetings, now became active and purchased the Cogswell shares. About 40 more were offered at auction, but yielded only five shillings apiece. A few remained unsold.

Other members like John Skerry, paid their assessment and stood by the Company. Mr. Skerry also decided to abandon his ferry service. That winter he turned over his small boats to the Company for £75. At a reorganization meeting in January, Samuel Cunard was elected President, and Lawrence Hartshorne became Secretary.

The new Directors submitted a strong petition to the Legislature that winter, asking for an annual subsidy and also for a substantial grant towards a new boat. They maintained that the ferry was a floating bridge connecting Halifax with the eastern parts of the Province, but that they could not be expected to take on themselves the task of keeping it open merely as a convenience to the public.

Charles R. Fairbanks, who used to be a leading supporter of Steam Boat grants, was not in the Assembly at this time, for he had recently resigned his seat after being appointed Master of the Rolls for the Province. (It would be interesting to know what stand he would have taken.)

A majority of the House considered the ferry application a reasonable one, and voted £200 for its relief. An additional £500 was promised whenever a second steamer should be provided and put on the service. The vote passed through the Legislative Council successfully, as ferry grants usually did, when shareholders like Cunard, Cogswell, Judge Blowers and T. N. Jeffrey were members of that 12-man Council, and carried* on their deliberations of public business behind closed doors.

Mrs. Lawson s History says that the ice business in Dartmouth commenced about 1836, when William Foster built a small icehouse “near the Canal bridge”. In summer, the ice was transported in a wheelbarrow to be sold at Foster’s store near the ferry landing at Halifax. (Mrs. Lawson does not state where or by whom the ice was cut. It may have bepn Adam Laidlaw )

Thomas Medley’s hotel evidently had -been • closed for the winter, for He announced in April that he was returning to his former residence at Dartmouth, “where every accommodation •would be afforded. The best and choicest wines will be provided,

John Tapper, the blacksmith, lost one of his apprentice boys in June, when the following advertisement appeared:

RAN AWAY—An apprentice named William Bell, height 5’ 9”, has dark brown hair and a down or forbidding look. Had on a straw hat, round blue jacket and dark trowsers. All persons are hereby notified not to harbor the said runaway apprentice, nor trust him on my account, and the sum of ONE PENNY is hereby offered to any person who will apprehend him.

(John Tapper’s blacksmith shop was in a small building on the area    now used    as the banauet room of the    Belmont

Hotel. The    shop was    separated by    an alleyway    from the

Quaker-built    house on    the corner.    Captain John    Stairs of

Halifax had    purchased    the property    from Seth Coleman in

1821, and sold it to John Tapper in 1828. Then in 1835, the latter sold the corner house and land extending 120 feet on Water Street, to Michael Dunn of Eeonomv for £400. Mr. Tapper seems to have retained the blacksmith shop and the land thereon for his own use.)

In July, the Anglican Bishop of the Diocese came to Dartmouth and administered the sacrament of Confirmation at Christ Church, “when upwards of 30 persons were admitted to that holy rite”. At the conclusion of the service. His Lordship delivered an appropriate and impressive sermon from the altar.

A circus came to Dartmouth that summer. Or at least it was advertised to play here on the way from Truro to Halifax. There was an elephant, lions, tigers, monkeys, hyenas, etc., with a rare collection of birds and serpents never before seen in Nova Scotia. The menagerie was scheduled to play at Gay’s River on August 26th, and at Dartmouth on the 27th. No doubt they travelled via No. 18 highway.

The first launching to be recorded for some time, took place from Lyle’s shipyard on the last Saturday of August 1836. The vessel was the largest ever constructed here, being of 627 tons measurement, with a length of 128 feet by 33 feet overall. She was built for the Messrs. Cunard.

The newspaper reports said that on the occasion, Dartmouth was alive with spectators, among whom no doubt was Sir Colin Campbell, the Lieutenant Governor. Lady Campbell performed the honors of baptism on the good ship “Margaret”, which glided off the stocks in the most beautiful style "as if she was hastening

All but one of the animals In the above-mentioned circus suffered death In a frightful fire which broke out in the steamer transoortinq this menagerie from Saint John, N. B., that autumn. See the painting at the Public Archives, depicting th» artist’s concQptUpi of the burning steamer with a Solitary elephant in the v/ater, SpTasnfrfg hts way towards the Maine coast-lirie.

to her natural element”, amid the cheers of a very numerous and enthusiastic crowd of spectators.

After the ceremony, many of the distinguished guests were invited to breakfast with Captain Rice Jones, R.E., whose residence was situated in the vicinity of Lyle’s shipyard.

After a lapse of five years, a regatta was held on the harbor in August of 1836. The contests attracted a motley assemblage of townfolk to the Dockyard and points along the waterfront. Mingling among the crowd were groups of Indians . . . “some gaily attired, others splendidly, the whole forming a kind of masquerade scene”.

Philip Brown’s crew from the Eastern Passage, who had won the professional whaler race in previous regattas, lost 100 yards in making a wrong turn. But they finished second.

The fifth event on the program created much interest. It was a gig race for a silver cud open to gentlemen amateurs. Two of the crews were composed of full-grown and athletic men from the Army and the Navy. Two other boats were rowed by local youth, who appeared to have little chance.

To the great astonishment of all, the town boys finished in first and second positions. The winners were R. Beaumont Boggs, George Paw, Samuel Story and Jared Chipman. The steersman was Thomas Boggs, junior.12

Lewis Paul again captured the money prize from a large number of competitors in the canoe race. In the contest for Indian women, each canoe was “manned by three stout nutbrown dames”. Mary Tony’s crew used Lewis Paul’s canoe, and won the $10 first prize. (These Indians were no doubt from our side of the harbor.) The “Sir Peter Halket” which won the prize for first class sailing boats that day, had been built especially for the regatta by Ebenezer Moseley, of Halifax, who later had his shipyard at Dartmouth. (See page 57.)

In September, John Skerry sought release from the cares of hotel life, when he advertised to let “that commodious dwelling house with barn and stables capable of containing 20 horses. The premises are too well known to require a particular description”.

The property of the late Timothy Murphy of the “Golden Boot”, was up for auction sale that year. It consisted of “a fine house, a yard and garden with all convenient appendages”.

Another auction was advertised to take place on the Preston Road, where the former Lawrence Lawlor house and 30-acre farm, then owned by Dennis Cronan, were to be sold.

Mrs. Abigail Scott, widow of John Scott who died in 1835, advertised her large dwelling house and 400-acre farm situated at the head of Cole Harbor on the road to Lawrencetown.13

John E. Fairbanks offered for sale the extensive farm then occupied by Henry Y. Mott, situated at the narrows of Lake Porter. The buildings included a commodious stone dwelling house with slated roof. The farm was two miles below the bridge.

In that same year, Henry Y. Mott purchased for £1,200 the former Samuel Prescott property and brickyard at Woodside shore, south of the Nova Scotia Hospital. (See p. 13.)

Christian Katzman at Maroon Hall, advertised his property for sale as he intended to remove to a milder climate on account of ill-health. Mr. Katzman also announced that he had completed, in the German language, an essay on diseases of the Epigastrium, which he had sent to the University of Gottingen. He had likewise a copy written in the English language.

At the Court of Quarter Sessions in September, John Kennedy and his two sons, John and Patrick (p. 124), were on trial for their lives for a felony of stealing two pigs from Thomas Hamilton, who lived three miles from Dartmouth on No. 18 highway.

On the Bench were Custos Rotulorum Sawyers, with Samuel Albro and Dr. DesBrisay, two Dartmouth Magistrates. Mr. Kennedy claimed that the pigs had been previously taken from his farm, and that he was merely seizing his own property.

After retiring for half an hour, the Jury brought in a verdict of acquittal, but ordered the pigs to be returned.

A general election was held in December of 1836, when Joseph Howe was elected for the first time to the House of Assembly. Some credit for the commencement of the public career of the great Reformer might properly be claimed on the eastern side of the harbor, for his name had been put forward in the previous summer, first by a meeting of freeholders at Musquodoboit, and later at Lawrencetown.

Dartmouthians voted at the County Court House in Halifax, where the poll opened on December 5th and continued for three days. Later it. moved to St. Margaret’s Bay, and finally closed at Musquodoboit on December 20th.

Candidates usually appeared daily at the hustings, and on opening day, or during a lull in voting, made campaign speeches to the cheers of supporters, or the jeers of opponents. As the vote progressed, tail-enders would resign. What with open voting, political arguments and liquor drinking, it is small wonder that there were frequent fist fights at those prolonged elections.

Howe’s successful partner in the County was William Annand. Hugh Bell and Thomas Forrester were elected for the Town. The two losers in the County were William Lawson, who had sat thirty years in the Assembly, and Henry A. Gladwin of Middle Musquo-doboit, who had been nominated by John Skerry of Dartmouth.

In this election, Halifax was divided from Colchester and Pictou districts, as these had just been made separate Counties.

Dartmouth school returns for the latter half of 1836 show that there were 69 pupils enrolled. The name of Henry Petty appears as an assistant teacher. He was paid by Mr. Jamison.

Marriages in 1836 included Charles Coleman of Dartmouth to Sophia Green of Lawrencetown, by the Rev. Mr. Morrison. Another was James Forbes of Halifax to Sophia Elizabeth Connor of Dartmouth, by Archdeacon Willis. Also Robert Gordon of Halifax to Louisa Miller, daughter of Tobias E. Miller, Esq., of Preston.

Married at Halifax that year were George A. S. Crichton14 to Miss Sarah Roach, youngest daughter of William H. Roach, Esq.

Among baptisms for 1836 were Matilda, child of Matilda and Robert Jamison, schoolmaster; Catherine, child of Eleanor and Andrew Malcom, blacksmith. Born May 26th, Freeman Elliot, son of Charlotte Collins and Jonathan Elliot.

Dartmouth deaths in 1836 were Miss Charlotte Kaler, aged 20, eighth daughter of Henry Kaler; Herbert Allen, 31; James Eusbury, 48; Hugh McMaster, 70; Sylvester Smith, 63; and an infant son of Lieutenant Colonel Loring.

Johanna Houlihan, aged 15, died at D. Creamer’s in Dartmouth; and Walter Brown, a colored man. dropped dead on the Preston Road while driving home his ox-team.

Halifax deaths included the well-known David Fletcher, who died in his 59th year, after a long illness.


The newly elected members of the House of Assembly convened in January, and the Reform party occupied much of the session in attacking the prevailing system of government.

About the only matter of importance to Dartmouth was another grant of £200 made to the Steam Boat Company. The majority of members were no doubt influenced by the fact that some shareholders had lost hundreds of pounds sterling, and also that orders had been given for a new ferryboat.

A petition with a short list of names was sent to the House that winter, asking aid for the Dartmouth school so that the services of Mr. Jamison could be devoted to the higher subjects of the Grammar School, and a second teacher be engaged for Common School work. There were then about 200 families in the Township, and nearly 80 pupils enroled. Inability to pay ferriages, and weather conditions in winter, deterred the petitioners from sending their children to the Grammar School at Halifax. The petition was refused.

In March of 1837 the harbor was encumbered with ice, and the rural roads were completely blocked with snow. For a time this cut off Halifax and Dartmouth from their source of provisions. The dwindling supplies in the shops were sold at excessively high prices.

Allan McDonald was manufacturing flour at Russell’s Lake, and some of it had been sold in New York. Reports from that city stated that the flour had passed inspection and had been graded as “superfine”.

Medley’s Hotel was taken over in the spring of 1837 by John Kennedy. He called it the Tea Gardens. His announcement in the newspapers particularly noted that horses and vehicles were always available to transport “amateurs of the rod and Bird’s piece to the proper grounds”.

Andrew McMinn that year offered for sale his brickyard and extensive farm. Evidently there were no takers, because the advertisement ran for six months. This McMinn property, already described as comprising the property of the Nova Scotia Hospital, had originally been granted to Bryan Finucane, who was Chief Justice of the Province in the late 1700s.

Farther down Eastern Passage Road, James Herbert sold to Cornelius O’Sullivan, mentioned on page 182, a house and 72 acres of land for £180. This tract was between Fort Clarence and John E. Fairbanks’ line, and perhaps extended across the road.

(Part of this property is shown on page 12 where the former O’Sullivan house is seen near the trees and the small wharf. When Cornelius died in 1855, a son Michael continued to trade with Labrador in his father’s schooner the “Hibernia”, but evidently did not prosper, as he and his widowed mother always seemed to be in financial difficulties.

Two or three of her five sons were master mariners. Some of them died abroad. The last son to live on the farm was William. He was known to everybody as Bill “Suhlivan”, according to William Grant of South Woodside who has been living in that vicinity since 1879, and well remembers the old man.

In order to make room for the new cooper shop in 1913, Fred Naugle had the O’Sullivan house moved across the main road where it still stands about 100 yards north of Irvine St. The field shown on page 12 was used as a pasture until building development began. R. J. Marvin, Manager of the Refinery, says that older residents always called it “Herbert’s field”.)

A big real-estate deal in Dartmouth was the purchase from E. H. Lowe by Allan McDonald of the block of buildings and land on the east side of Water Street from the corner of Quarrell Street to Princess Charlotte Street. On the latter street, the property extended 120 feet up the hill. The price was £1,000.

Mr. McDonald had previously bought from Michael Bennett, another block bounded by Church and Water Streets, and extending to the harbor shore, where there was a wharf erected. This was the former property of W. H. Worthy.

William IV died on June 20th, but the news did not reach here until August. Then the youthful Queen Victoria was officially proclaimed at Halifax, amid the joyous peal of church bells, the music of military bands and the boom of a royal salute from Citadel Hill.*

In the harbor regatta that summer, Eben Moseley’s boat, i « ('red by himself, lost the whaler race because the crew made an error in turning. The contest was won by a boat named the

Up to and including the year 1900, the same salute continued to be fired from th# Citadel annually at noon on Accession Day, June 20th.

“Melville”, and rowed by “four strapping fellows from Eastern Passage”.

In September, another large crowd assembled in Dartmouth to witness the launching at Lyle’s Shipyard, of a 500-ton vessel built for Messrs. Cunard. She was named the “Lady Paget”, and was christened by the daughter of Admiral Paget.

Within a short space, keels were laid for two more ships at this yard. These, along with the ferryboat under construction, made a total of three ships being built simultaneously. The transporting of timber from Musquodoboit district, the shaping of iron fastenings and the supplying of cordage for these vessels created considerable employment for artisans, laborers and other classes of workers in and about Dartmouth.

The quarrel between McDonald and Shiels over the waterways must have reached boiling point by September, for in that month the former laid his case before the Lieutenant-Governor. Parts of his letter are reproduced here to give the reader an idea of the topography of that section in early days. (Preston Road means the present Woodlawn Road.)

On the northern side of Cole Harbor Road and 40 rods distant from the northern point of RusselFs Lake, Andrew Shiels holds a property, on which there was formerly a pond or morass, affording at times sufficient water on which geese swam, and overflowing the road to an extent so as to render it scarcely passable for foot passengers, and which afforded a watering place for horses and cattle, that it obtained the name Grog Brook.

Soon after he purchased his property, Shiels erected a carding mill on his own property, drawing water from Panhorn Lake to the site of his mill pond above the Preston Road.

The carding mill being in operation, Mr. Shiels conveyed the tail water into Goose Pond which overflowed Grog Brook, and then oozed through and swelled RusselFs Lake beyond its usual level. . . .

Mr. Shiels cut a canal through his field across Cole Harbor Road, by which he destroyed the watering place called Grog Brook. . . .

Mr. McDonald concluded by pointing out that the sluice gate which he had erected at the outlet of Russell’s Lake, “was 14 inches lower than the lowest part of Mr. Shiels’ land fronting said lake”.

He described the lawsuit that Shiels had brought against him, and stated that as he had to remove the sluice gate, the mills were then rendered useless. Mr. McDonald thought that Mr. Shiels had taken court action through malice, and begged redress from His Excellency.

Jamison’s gristmill in the northend, with its stock of grain and flour, was destroyed by fire in October. The loss was £1,300. Subscription lists were opened in Halifax and in Dartmouth for the purpose of assisting Mr. Jamison to rebuild.

The Rebellion of 1837, in which Papineau and William Lyon McKenzie participated, aroused some excitement in our vicinity, especially when Companies of the 34th and 85th Regiments set out for Quebec in late autumn. On two different days, the “Sir C. Ogle” transported these troops to Bedford on the first leg of their journey to Quebec via Windsor and St. John, N.B. The Steam Boat officials performed this service without remuneration, as did many loyal inhabitants who donated their horses and sleds all along the line of march.

Marriages in 1837 by Rev. A. D. Parker included Thomas Fisher to Mary Ann McDonald; Philip Miller to Lucy Reeves; and Thomas Leonard to Eliza, daughter of John Elliot.

Married by Rev. Dennis Geary were Joseph Wilmot to Magdalene Toney; and John Skerry Jr. of Lake William (Waverley) to Johanna Murray.

In October 1837, ferryman John Skerry mentioned this wedding in a letter written to another nephew John Skerry in Ballyhail, Ireland.** Here are a few extracts:

... As for my part I enjoy a poor health this two years mostly half the week sick in bed. As for my wife she cannot walk this two years only on crutches with rheumatism pains.

I wanted to rent the house that I live in this nine months, times is so dull that no person will hire it.

The Skerrys that is living up country is all well. I settled them there. Young John Skerry married Miss Murray. Her lather is fsrom near Mooneoyne Barney of Tverke, County of Kilkenny. 1 sold him 45© acres of land while grass grows or water runs.

The favor I beg of you. Get your son to learn the grammar well, too much writing and figures is no good without the grammar.

... I lost since the year 1&16 to the amount of sixteen hundred pounds mostly cash lent on interest, but the owners failed. But thanks to the great God above I have plenty yet of money and lsnd, and a gentleman’s living yet. I suppose rent and interest brings me £300 yearjy.

. . . Captain Smith is gone Master of a large brig to Liverpool, England, as big a vessel as the Corsair. His wife and two children lives in one of my houses.

Captain Smith and his wife sends best respecks to you.

•• For original letter, sse 1843 Chancery Court cases at N. S. Archives.

Your sister’s children is very well. Bridget lives with me and is going to school every day. Nelley lives with your brother, and one child (name illegible) lives up the country 36 miles from Halifax with her father . . .

Remember me to your wife and Thomas Burris and tell Thomas Burris that his cousin Lawrence Doyle is a great lawyer and member of our House of Commons ....

Baptismal records of 1837 give Isabelle, child of George Mayberry, boatbuilder; Margaret, child of Sarah and James Coleman, carpenter; Emma, child of Lucretia and Thomas DesBrisay, surgeon.

Mrs. James W. Johnston, the lady after whom Mount Amelia is named, died at Halifax in 1837. Edward Warren, aged 54, a native of England, died in the Poor Asylum.15

Mrs. Crawford Findlay, a native of Edinburgh, died in her 92nd year in December, at the home of her son Joseph Findlay “near the Catholic Chapel”. The funeral to the Anglican cemetery was held on a Sunday at the unusual hour of 12.30 o’clock.

Other Dartmouth deaths were Rachel Stanford, Elizabeth Macllreith16, aged 32; John Tasker, 43, a native of England; and Mr. T. Mahar who died at Porto Bello. At the brickyard died Andrew McMinn17 in his 76th year, “an old and respected inhabitant”.

* * * * *

The year 1838 brought with it a hope for the solution of our transportation troubles. At Lyle’s yard in February, a second ferryboat was launched. She was a wooden one-laned paddlewheeler, of the same type as the “Ogle”, but not as powerful.

The boat was called the “Boxer” in honor of Captain Edward Boxer, of H.M.S. Hussar, who had brought a party of sailors to Dartmouth to assist in the launching of the “Sir Charles Ogle” when she jammed on the skids, eight years before.

The Steam Boat Company made their usual appeal to the Legislature for assistance, and again received a grant of £200.

Another topic of Dartmouth interest about that time was the question of recommencing work on the Shubenacadie Canal. In February a largely attended meeting was held in the Exchange Coffee House where it was learned that Charles R. Fairbanks had recently spent £1,000 in new surveys. The latter, enthusiastic as ever, proposed that the British Government should be requested to advance funds to complete the undertaking.

This time he had the powerful Joseph Howe on his side, for Howe was present at the meeting and spoke in support of the project. Later, in the winter, the House of Assembly passed a resolution to be forwarded to Queen Victoria, calling Her Majesty’s attention to “the importance and magnitude of the work of the Shubenacadie Canal, in which a numerous class of this Province took such a deep interest”.

A Dartmouth petition before the Assembly that session was one signed by William Wilson, Alexander Lyle and Allan McDonald, who had been appointed trustees of all public property at a Town meeting held previously in Dartmouth.

(These men were representatives of Christ Church, St. James’ Church and St. Peter’s Church respectively, whereas the school trustees were all members of the first-named Church.)

The petitioners pointed out that the schoolhouse had been built by subscriptions of the inhabitants without any distinction of sect or religious denomination. Also that the land on which both the schoolhouse and the fire engine house stood was still vested in the Crown. They asked that the title to the land be granted to them in trust for the Town.

Attached to this petition in the Public Archives is a memo from John Spry Morris, Surveyor General, noting that,

John Chamberlain, one of the school trustees, now resides in Halifax but previous to leaving Dartmouth, introduced the Universalist preacher into the School House, who now holds forth there every Sunday afternoon, without the consent or opposition of the other Trustees. Would it not be advisable to grant the School Lot in trust to the three resident clergymen, Rev. Messrs. Parker, Romans and Geary, and their successors ?

A plan of the property shows it to be a double lot, having 120 feet on both Quarrell and King Streets. The building comprising the school and teacherage, stood close to the corner, and seems to front on King St. The fire engine house faced Quarrell Street, with its eastern boundary 120 feet from the corner. (Present western boundary of Post Office.)

In later years, the fire engine house was on King Street at the southern boundary of Grace United Church property.

A popular Municipal appointment was made that spring, when Lawrence Hartshorne of Dartmouth became Treasurer of the Town and County of Halifax. He held it until his death.

The birthday of youthful Queen Victoria was celebrated for the first time in 1838. It does not seem to have been a public holiday, but there were reviews of troops on Halifax Common, a salvo of cannon from the Citadel and a grand ball at Government House in the evening.

This royal anniversary eventually became such a favorite Canadian holiday that it has continued ever since. School children of last century used to sing:

The 24th of May is the Queen’s birthday —

If you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away !

Queen Victoria was crowned on June 28th, and on that day celebrations were held in several centres of Nova Scotia. Crowds thronged to Halifax where the demonstrations started at dawn with salutes of cannon, music of bands and the joyous peal of church bells. The weather was glorious.

All the principal shops were closed and shuttered, bunting billowed in the morning breeze and regal flags fluttered on church towers and other prominent places like Dalhousie College, then on the present location of City Hall.

People in holiday attire kept wending their way to the Common, where there were more parades and reviews of scarlet-coated troops before Governor Campbell and his staff.

On the Parade at noon, groups from Dartmouth joined in a patriotic procession of naval, military and civilian organizations, marching to the stirring music of intermittent bands and pipes through streets lined with hurrahing Haligonians. As each unit rounded the crescent-shaped driveway of Government House, the men halted to receive individual felicitations from His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor.

In the afternoon an immense concourse of people assembled on the green slopes of Citadel "Hill and on the Common, where there was a varied program of amusements and sports. No one went hungry or thirsty. On a massive spit outside the tent of the Irish Society, an entire ox was roasted. Refreshments were served in a large marquee set up by the Coronation Committee. Thomas Medley was chef.

At night there was a gorgeous display of fireworks from the Grand Parade, public and private buildings were illuminated, and a fashionable ball held at Government House.

Our townsfolk, who had probably crossed to Halifax by the hundreds that day, returned home in plenty of time for the Dartmouth celebration because on this side of the harbor the show was then only at the beginning.

As in Halifax, an energetic local committee had solicited subscriptions to defray expenses, and carried out a program most fitting for the occasion. How well they succeeded, may be judged from the fact that nearly 60 years later, elderly folks fondly recalled the memories of Queen Victoria’s coronation night, when they danced until dawn with the gay crowd on the pavilion in Medley’s Tea Gardens.

On the Committee were Dr. DesBrisay, William Hague, Mr. Turner, E. H. Lowe, Allan McDonald, Mr. Foster (probably William), Captain Galt, and Mr. Mcllreith18, Secretary.

The Coronation Address commemorating the event was “classically and eloquently spoken” by Robert Jamison, the schoolmaster. The vast throng listened with marked attention throughout, and at the conclusion gave vent to their feelings of loyalty and enthusiasm by uniting with Mr. Jamison in “three times three rousing and rapturous cheers”.

There was also a Coronation song sung, which had been composed especially for the occasion by a Captain Galt. The latter was particularly praised in the newspaper report, as having devoted considerable time and trouble in arranging the program, although a comparative stranger.

Most of the account of the Dartmouth celebration in the “Acadian Recorder” is reprinted here, so that imaginative readers may enjoy vicariously the fun experienced by our ancestors on that June night of 1838. Medley’s Hotel (the present Central Apartments at 59 Queen Street), with its stables, outbuildings and gardens, then occupied the whole of the southern half of Town Block “F”. Down Queen Street to Dundas there ran a slate-rock stone wall in front of a thickly-set curtilage of hawsey trees which continued northerly on Dundas Street, giving that particular block the nickname of “Hawsey Lane”.19

The skittle alley stood on the northeast corner of Wentworth and Queen Streets, with its length extending to the present property of the Telephone Company. There were other Inns at the time, like the Mill Bank, the Bush Inn at 63 Ochterloney Street, the Commercial Inn and Skerry’s Inn; but Medley’s had more attractive and spacious surroundings. It was also the stopping-place of the Halifax-Truro stagecoach. The hotel proprietor in 1838 was John Kennedy.


The village on this day came forward with a spirit eminently creditable. It not only contributed its numbers to enlarge the line of the procession in Halifax, but in the evening a large party of about 800, from a circuit of 15 miles, gathered in gay groups to welcome the event by a merry dance.

The whoje town of Dartmouth including the Anglican Rector, the Magistrates and their families were present. On no occasion do we believe, within the memory of the oldest resident has so large and respectable an assemblage been seen. A more attractive spectacle pf health and beautv has seldom been assembled, and few prettier faces smiled a welcome to our youthful Queen’s reign on that day.

The green area which separates Mr. Kennedy’s Hotel from the ball alley, was enclosed by an extended awning consisting of more than two thousand square yards of canvas, lined on the inside by the flags of all nations which drooped in festoons from the ceiling, and presented the spectacle of a splendid Turkish tent. It was lit by a variety of chandeliers.

The enclosure of the roof of Mr. Kennedy’s Hotel afforded a very pretty coup d’oeil from its windows, of the glad groups as they joined in the joyous dance. All was lighthearted and merry, and the tout ensemble did eminent credit to the zeal and attention of the gentlemen who conducted the scene.

A great abundance and diversity of refreshments were provided in the ball alley. On a high hill in the vicinity, a huge bonfire blazed during the evening.

At 9 o’clock, after the company had witnessed an exhibition of fireworks in front of Mr. Kennedy’s gardens, the gay contre dance and quadrille were persevered in until the gray streaks of dawn in the eastern sky, announced that the Coronation was yesterday.

A Coronation Ode of 42 stanzas by Andrew Shiels, published

in the Nova Scotian about that time, was another contribution from Dartmouth to commemorate the event.

The launching of a 600-ton vessel for the Cunard fleet in August, drew a summer crowd to the triangular field facing Lyle’s shipyard (the area now bounded by South and Prince Streets). Hon. Samuel Cunard, who stood on a platform with Miss Cunard and Sir R. Grant, performed the honors by flinging a bottle of wine at the ship’s head as she commenced to move. Her name was the “Lady Lilford”.

The quarrel between Andrew Shiels and Allan McDonald developed into a newspaper controversy that summer* when-each man presented his side of the case. From the letters, it is learned that McDonald had engaged the well-known Titus Smith to survey the area in dispute. When the surveying party attempted to enter the lands of Shiels, however, the latter appeared in his doorway with a shotgun.

“A few nights afterwards,” wrote Mr. McDonald, “Dr. Des-Brisay, who rides a horse resembling one of mine, was shot at on the road leading from Shiels’ towards Dartmouth.”

Mr. Shiels denied these charges in a subsequent letter, wherein he stated that the gun in question was not loaded, and that he wanted nobody surveying his land who would give biased testimony at the Court trial then pending.

The shooting at Dr. DesBrisay was only an aberration of McDonald’s, he said. There was a wedding at a neighbor’s house that night, and a few musket shots happened to be discharged just as Dr. DesBrisay was passing.

From descriptions of places in these letters, it is gathered that Shiels’ millpond and carding-mill were on the western side of the present Woodlawn Road opposite the forks where now stands James Power’s residence. The latter house was built in the 1890s, and is therefore not the original “Ellenvale”.

At the annual regatta on the harbor in September, Ebenezer Moseley’s boat “Joseph Howe” won the whaler race. A whaleboat named “Leander Starr” built in Dartmouth by Mr. Mayberry, and probably manned by a Dartmouth crew, also participated. Peter Toney was the winner of the Indian canoe race.

(In the Lady Falkland collection of pictures at the Dominion Archives in Ottawa, there is a likeness of Peter Toney among other sketches of Dartmouth, done about 1840.)

The practice of conveying sight-seers to the scene of the regatta was inaugurated that year by the “Sir C. Ogle”, charging a fare of ls.3d. Also in that summer, the “Ogle” commenced semiweekly excursions to the head of the Basin. The new “Boxer” took care of the ferry schedule.

There was a census taken in 1838 giving the names of heads of families in Dartmouth Township which then extended into the suburbs of Tufts’ Cove, Port Wallace, Porto Bello area, Woodlawn! and Imperoyal districts. The number of males who were heads of families totalled 195. The number of males under 6 was 118. Number of females under 6 was 139. Number of males under 14 Was 128. Number of females under 14 was 136. Number of females above 14 was 371. Males above 14 not heads of families, 163. The total number in the settlement was 1,246. This included 76 people of color.

Most of the names are familiar ones of townplot people, and thus the list constitutes a valuable directory of Dartmouthians of that day. It records the occupation of the head of the family, with the number of children, relatives and employees living in each household. The largest is that of Allan McDonald, tobacconist, with a total of 21. John Tuttle, grocer, has a total of 1.

The much respected John Skerry, a man who had contributed considerably to the maintenance and development of early Dartmouth, died in September. The esteem in which he was held may be measured by the unusually long newspaper obituary :

Died at Dartmouth in the 74th year of his age, Mr. John Skerry one of the oldest inhabitants of that village, whose rapid rise and improvement he had witnessed for the last 40 years. By the pursuit of a successful industry he acquired competence and wealth, and the poor often found from his Hospital the comforts of a home.

“Skerry’s Inn”, “Skerry’s wharf” and “the Road from Skerry’s” were household expressions during most of the 1800’s. The man’s name is now forgotten. Sic transit gloria mundi !

John Erown Coleman, son of Seth, also died that month, aged 67. James E. Coleman,20 second son of John Brown Coleman, also died very suddenly in December. He was 43.

Other deaths in 1838 included Mrs. Jane Jackson, aged 59; Elizabeth Shrum, aged 38; Sarah Money, aged 55, relict of James Money, R.N.; Thomas Lane, a ferryman who was drowned; and Mrs. Mary Ann Bartlin**, widow of Christian Bartlin, died in her 82nd year, after an illness of five years. Funeral took place from her residence at five o’clock on a Tuesday.

There was a double wedding in Dartmouth in 1838, when Rev. A. D. Parker united James Allen to Phoebe, sixth daughter of John Allen; also Dr. William Neilson to Susan, seventh daughter of John Allen.

Other weddings included Henry J. Creighton to Mary Stayner; George Bell to Hannah Settle; Thomas. Elliot to Christianna Laid-law; John McNab to Mary Jane Darby George Gray, 93rd Regiment, to Elizabeth Gaston. At Tufts’ Cove, Robert Gray was married to Susan Tufts by Rev. Alexander Romans.

Real estate transfers in 1838 included an acre of land fronting Lyle’s Shipyard, bounded by Prince and South Streets and extending to the shore. This was purchased by Mr. Lyle from Hon. Samuel Cunard, who had previously acquired the property from Peter Donaldson. As the price was £450, it is presumed there was

a dwelling in the field. (Cunard St., near the railway, is on the old property.)

THIS IS JOHN SKERRY (1764-1838), one of the builders of early Dartmouth. Before steamboats came, he conducted the Dartmouth-Halifax ferry by means of rowboats and scows from the foot of Ochterloney St. Skerry’s Inn nearby, was probably the first hotel in Dartmouth. According as Mr. Skerry prospered, he employed his money in assisting others, lending large and small sums especially to property purchasers. He became sort of “town-banker”. At his death, he possessed (or was encumbered with) considerable real estate, but comparatively little cash. His estate was valued at about £4,000.

Of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, Mr. Skerry was long remembered in Dartmouth for his many deeds of charity and humanity. Often he risked his life on the stormy harbor. “Skipper” Skerry is paid a high tribute in Mrs. Lawson’s History of Dartmouth, written in 1893.

This photo is from a large painting owned by Mrs. J. M. Vaughan, whose mol her was Mrs. Charles S. L*n<\ a frr?udn;ev^ of John Skerry. See the family tombstones in the plot north of main path near entrance of St. Peter’s cemetery:

The state of the rural roads about that time is learned from a report to the House of Assembly in January 1839, by John Ross, proprietor of the Eastern Stage Coach. He stated that the mails met with much interruption between Dartmouth and Fletcher’s Bridge, “in consequence of he very narrow state of the road, rendering it impossible to pass any team that may be met, especially those loaded with long spars and lumber which is the principal traffic on that road”.

The Legislature that session voted £1,500 for a new road to be cut from the head of Lake Thomas to Sackville (i.e., from Waverley to Bedford). This would avoid the hills between Fletcher’s and Fultz’s, besides being a shorter route for travellers from the Guysboro Road bound for Halifax. Farmers from the latter district, also from Colchester and Pictou, had already pledged £500 for such improvement. The Government made sure that this amount would be forthcoming, because the £1,500 was not to be made available until the sum pledged by the inhabitants had previously been expended.

Another grant of £200 was made to the Steam Boat Company, but not without the usual opposition in the House.

The month of February 1839 was unusually cold and calm. Under such conditions, the harbor became frozen and remained that way for about three weeks. In mid-February the thermometer went down to 19 below zero. “The harbor continues frozen below George’s Island,” said a newspaper report. “A regular path has been made from the Halifax Steam Boat wharf to Dartmouth, along which crowds of persons, loaded sleds and sleighs, travel.”

An advertisement ran in the newspapers for nearly the whole of that year, seeking the whereabouts of John Skerry, son of the late ferryman, who had left Dartmouth some years before and evidently failed to write. His mother (or stepmother), Maria Skerry was disposing of the household goods of the hotel- and wished to settle up her husband’s estate.

Michael Dunn, who had acquired the property opposite Skerry’s (Belmont Hotel corner), informed the public that he had just fitted up the establishment for^the accommodation of travelers. A large shed was erected in the yard where loaded vehicles would be protected from the weather. Teams could drive in at one gate on Ochterloney Street, and out of the other on the lower street leading to the Steam Boat wharf. There was accommodation in the stables for 30 horses.

At Halifax on the fourth of June, there was a complimentary dinner given to Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the author of “Sam Slick”. Functions like these usually had a fair share of representatives from the Dartmouth side.

The same would hold true for the first celebration of the natal day of Halifax, which anniversary was commemorated on June 8th21 by a picnic at Prince’s Lodge. The ferryboat “Boxer”, gaily bedecked with flags, made morning and afternoon trips to the Lodge, where the young people indulged in sports and past-times. The older folks “strolled through the shady walks, sought out the artificial lakes, the cleared spot, and the ruins of edifices which the tastes and liberal expenditure of the Duke of Kent had created some forty years previously”.

With two ferries at their disposal, the Steam Boat Company now seemed to be making a little headway financially. In August, the “Sir C. Ogle” carried about 400 members and guests of the Union Engine Company on an excursion, where there was dancing on the deck as they cruised around the harbor. The party finally landed at the picnic grounds on the North West Arm.

The President of the Steam Boat Company was then Hon. Samuel Cunard. In that summer of 1839, he had just returned from England, after entering upon a contract with the British Government for conveyance of the mails across the ocean by steam vessel. (This marked the beginnings of the great Cunard Line.)

Halifax merchants, desirous of showing their appreciation of a service so very beneficial to this port, tendered Mr. Cunard an outdoor banquet at McNab’s Island in August. John L. Starr presided. The “Sir Charles Ogle” again did the transporting, but this time the job was gratis.

In the harbor regatta that summer, several local names appear among the winners, indicating that Dartmouth contestants were again to the forefront. George Paw’s crew won the double wherry race. The first-class whaler race was won by the “Edward Lowe”, and a boat sailed by Mr. Maberley won the prize for sailing boats. In the canoe race, a prize went to Joe Cope, member of an Indian family long known near the Dartmouth Lakes.

More news concerning the case of Allan McDonald versus Andrew Shiels appeared in the papers that year when the decision of Judge Charles R. Fairbanks was published. The decree ordered that Mr. McDonald remove his obstruction at Russell’s Lake, and that he pay the costs of the suit brought against him.

At Woodside Cottage (page 12), Hon. John E. Fairbanks got a bountiful harvest that fall. He had bought nine seed potatoes in New York the previous March, and had cut them up at planting time. By actual count in October, he obtained a yield of 991 potatoes, each weighing ll/2 to 2 lbs.

Rev. James Morrison, first pastor of st. James’ Church, left the province in 1839 to take up an appointment in Bermuda. On his departure, he was presented with a complimentary address by the Presbyterian congregations of Lawrencetown and Porter’s Lake, who expressed appreciation of his long services there.

Robert Jamison, the schoolmaster, who had also been a lay reader at Christ Church, entered the ministry in 1839. School records show that he taught here until December of that year, and had only 57 pupils on the register. The comparatively low number is accounted for by the fact that there was a second school operating in Dartmouth by this time.

The teacher of the new school was William Lalor (or Lawlor), and the trustees were Allan McDonald and James Synott. These names, together with the names of the majority of pupils on the register, indicate that this was the parochial school of St. Peter’s Church. The evidence shows that it was commenced at least by the year 1838 — and perhaps by 1837. Absence of school registers for the two latter years, leaves the opening date unsettled.

Mr. Jamison’s school was supported by voluntary subscriptions and by Government aid. His salary was £120 per annum. Below is a copy of the school register dated June 1st to December 1st, 1839. Names of parents are in parentheses :

Mather B. DesBrisay, 11 years, William A. DesBrisay 9, (Dr. T. B. DesBrisay); Thomas C. Creighton 14, George J. Creighton

13,    Charles E. Creighton 12, (George B. Creighton); William Mott

14,    Henry Y. Mott 13, Thomas Mott 9, (Henry Y. Mott); John Elliot 12, Frederick Elliot 8, (Benjamin Elliot); Thomas Elliot 12, Francis Elliot 9, Edward Elliot 6, (Jonathan Elliot); Stephen Elliot 12, Charles Elliot 10, Jonathan Elliot 8, (John Elliot*; George Fulton J3, Elizabeth Fulton 10, (James Fulton); William Edwards 10, George Edwards 8, (George Edwards); Henry Walker* 14, Sarah Walker 12, (Caleb Walker).

Edward L. Allen 12, (Charles Allen); Edward Allen 14, (Richard Allen); Edwin Runt 8, Jane Runt 10, (John Runt); George Myers 8, (Jacob Myers); George Coleman 14, James Coleman 12, (Mrs. James Coleman); John Parker 11, (John Parker); William Newlands 12, James Newlands 11, John Newlands 9, Mary Newlands 14, (James Newlands); Henry Moser 10, (Mrs. Moser); George Poison 9, James Wilson 9, (sent by Henry Parker); Alex. Farquharson 13, (Alex. Farquharson); Sarah Jane Jamison 8,

Jonathan Jamison 6, (Robert Jamison)22.

Matilda Jamison 4, (James Wilson); Elizabeth Ensburg 13, Isabella Ensburgh 10, (Mrs. Ensburgh); James Suttie 8, (James Suttie); Edward Norris 13, (sent by G. P. Lawson); William Jenkins 10, (John Jenkins); Thomas Kennedy 14, James Kennedy 7, (John Kennedy); Martin Beighen 10, Patrick Beighen23 8, (William Beighen); John Lahey 10, Mary Lahey 6, (Michael Lahey); Henry Farrell 10, (John Farrell); Patrick Feeney 13, Martin Feeney 13, (Mrs. Feeney); Philip McCormack 13, Patrick McCormack

9,    (John McCormack).

A notation on the register shows that one pupil was taking Greek, 11 taking Latin and 20 English Grammar. The trustees were Dr. DesBrisay, Jonathan Elliot and George B. Creighton.

Mr. Lawlor’s school had an enrolment of 50. His salary was £39. The school was supported by voluntary contribution and by Government aid. Here is a copy of his register for the same six months of the year 1839 :

John Walker, 12 years, (William Walker); James Synott 15, Michael Synott 7, Mary Ann Synott 12, (James Synott); Allan McDonald 9, (Allan McDonald); John Murray 10, William Murray 7, James Murray 6, (Michael Murray); Henry Wells 12, William Wells 8, (Robert Wells); Cornelius Fogarty 12, Ellen Fogarty 6, (Mrs. Fogarty); James Fenton 12, Bartho T. Fenton 10, William Fenton 6, John Fenton 8, (John Fenton).

John McCabe 11, Michael McCabe 7, (Richard McCabe); Patrick Dunn 16, William Dunn 14, John Dunn 12, (Michael Dunn); James Corbit 8, Susan Corbit 10, Eliza Corbit 12, (Patrick Corbit); John McCarthy 10, Ann McCarthy 16, (William McCarthy); George Bowers 13, Andrew Oth 14, (William Bowers); Patrick Lahey 15, (Michael Lahey); Charles Elliott 9, (John Elliott); Michael Sullivan 11, Timothy Sullivan 9, (Gabriel Edgecombe); Michael Devan 7, Margaret Devan 5, (Mrs. Devan); Thos. Murphy 13, (John Murphy).

Wm. Fudge 14, (Simon Fudge); John Beighen 15, Mary Beighen 13, (William Beighen); Lawrence Maher 14, (James Marshall); Thomas Bowes 9, Peter Bowes 7, (John Bowes); James Whiteley

10,    John Whiteley 8, (James Whiteley); Catherine Dayley 10, (Widow Shortill); Bridget Fitzmaurice 9, (Mrs. Skerry); James Farquharson 13, William Farquharson 11, (John Farquharson); Mary Wall 7, (Michael Wall); Maria Smith 12, (Alex Smith).

(John T. Walker, at the head of the list, may have attended this school because it was only a few yards from his home.

It will be noticed also that children from the same family were attending different schools.

Many of the younger pupils on these registers were familiar figures in Dartmouth around the end of the century.)

More property of the late Lawrence Hartshorne was disposed of by his son in 1839. A double lot measuring 120 by 120 at the northeast corner of King and Princess Charlotte Street was sold for £136 to John Kennedy, Publican.

A single lot, 60 by 120, at the southeast corner of King and Quarrell Streets was bought by Joseph Smith for £120. This whole section had been purchased by the senior Lawrence Hartshorne from W. D. Quarrell in 1797. Both prices suggest that there were houses already on the land.

A large lot of swamp and hill containing five acres, purchased from Richard Woodin in the 1700s, was sold in 1839 to Thomas Hoben for £67. (This is the valley extending from the foot of Crichton Avenue about as far as Pine Street, and comprising the lands around Greenvale High School.)

Adjoining this on the west, a more fertile area taking in the property now bounded by Pine Street, Queen Street, and Ochterloney Street, was sold by the Hartshorne family to Allan McDonald for £150.

Married in 1839 were Charles Tufts to Ophelia Holland, James Thompson of Halifax to Elizabeth Turpell, and William Rutherford to Susanna Fulton of Stewiacke. At Cole Harbor, John C'ostley to Susan Bissett, daughter of Joseph.

Baptisms of 1839 were Elizabeth and Mary, twin children of Dorothy and Thomas Marvin, shipbuilder; Charles and Josiah (born 1837), twin children of Mary and William Jordan, boat-builder; Anna, child of Maria and William Ley, butcher; James, child of Janet and Joseph Harris, carpenter.

Deaths that year included Marshall Story, 79 years, Edward Langley 78, John Hague 32, Alex Innis 24, John Frame 25, Elizabeth Woods 44, George Gardiner Coleman, Mrs. Miriam Smith 39, consort of Captain Smith; James McNab24 43, leaving a widow and seven children.

At this stage of our story, we turn to the columns of the Dartmouth “Atlantic Weekly” to give readers a first-hand account of life in Dartmouth in the 1830s, as written by an old resident in April 1899. He gave credit to three octogenarians of that time for furnishing him with much information. The three were Thomas Gentles, Thomas Synott, and George Shiels.

(Readers will probably be able to identify places mentioned in this article. But wherever there is doubt, explanations will either be enclosed in parentheses, or marked with an asterisk for reference to the foot of the particular page.)

. . . The town naturally centered itself around the ferry. The ferry in those days landed at the foot of Ochterloney Street. The ferry service consisted at first of rowboats simple, later an addition was made in the shape of the “Grinders”, boats resembling whalers, having paddle-like arrangements driven by a hand-crank, which propelled them forward. These again were supplanted by the team-boat which requires no explanation. The horses used on the boat were housed overnight in an old schooner lying on the offside of the landing. The fare was fourpence, return sevenpence halfpenny, or twelve cents. The departure of the boats was signalled by the blowing of a horn, and shouting “hover rover”.

At the left on landing, i.e. the northwest corner of Ochterloney and Water Streets, stood the “Stone Jug”, being built of stone as the name suggests. It is said to have got its name from the fact that there was a well immediately back of it.25 This well constituted the water supply of the town, and in spite of being frequently flooded by the sea, the water in it never tasted the least brackish.

To understand this better, it must be remembered that the level of Water Street from the “Stone Jug” north was ten feet lower than now — or about the level of Coleman’s yard.* The lower side of the street was the sea wash at that time.

Across the street to the south (of the Stone Jug) was Indian Hill, on which was a flagstaff. Immediately opposite was Skerry’s corner, owned and occupied by “Skipper” Skerry. Passengers on the ferry paid their fare at the house, and it is said that it was as common a sight to see coppers barrelled as it was pork.

On the remaining corner stood the building recently replaced by the new Hotel. It had been built by Quakers, after the Quaker fashion. Continuing up Ochterloney Street on the left, a building stood midway in the block in which the late Frank Hyde’s father carried on a grocery business.* Farther along, a building stood near the corner of Prince Edward Street.* A building stood on Gentles’ Corner. (Gentles bakery, northeast corner Ochterloney and Edward Streets.)

From there to “Bush Inn” was a blank. “Bush Inn”* occupied the site of George Jackson’s house. It was built by Quakers. It was a low one-storey house with a large verandah. The place was kept by Mrs. Manning, who also ran a dancing school there.

From “Bush Inn” to Sullivan’s Pond was fields and woods* with the exception of the Church of England, a possible log-cabin on the corner of Pine Street, and Stanford’s Tannery at the foot of Maple Street. All the land back of Ochterloney Street and north of Pine Street then belonged to Thomas Boggs. Mr. Thomas Farrell’s father was old Boggs’ gardener, and lived about the present John White house.*

On the south side of Ochterloney Street there were Skerry’s corner already mentioned; a blacksmith shop stood where the drugstore is now*, being run by Thomas Miller who did iron work for the Canal Company. Findlay’s house stood where E. M. Walker’s residence is at present.* Then came the Chapel, and it is possible a building stood on the corner of King Street. This is all the buildings that Ochterloney Street could then claim, on that side.

On Water Street, Dave Vaughan had a slaughterhouse near where Mr. Tufts’ store now is.* The building on the northeast corner of Quarl and Water Streets* certainly ranks among the oldest existing houses in Dartmouth. The building lately occupied by Allan McDonald,* and which was recently torn down, was originally a cabin off a ship. Jackson’s house occupied the present site of James Simmonds and Company. The old wooden building* which stood where Sterns’ magnificent brick store is now, was a famous landmark of the town.

It showed traces of Quaker architecture, and was certainly built by them. It was owned by Edward H. Lowe and afterwards fell into the hands of the McDonald family._

*Bush Inn with its stables stood at 63 Ochterloney St. In front was a long hedge.

*    By the 1830’s the “fields and woods” on the upper side of Ochterloney Street were undoubtedly developed. In 1831, James W. Johnston subdivided 21/2 acres between the present Victoria Road and Crichton Avenue, and extending back to Thomas Boggs’ boundary, which was about on a line with Whebby Terrace. Mr. Johnston divided the land into lots having a 66-foot frontage on Ochterloney Street. Timothy Murphy purchased lot no. 1 for £20, and by 1834 had erected and was offering for sale a three-storey double house “At the Sign of the Golden Boot”, already mentioned. Some other purchasers in order of numbers, were David Vaughan, A. Spriggs, Alex. Farquharson, Richard McCabe, Michael Dormady, Mrs. Simpson and James Stanford, the tanner, not Robert. The site of McCabe’s is at the present 137 Ocfrter/oney. Ponnady’s foundation and vacant lot adjoins on the east, Simpson’s was the half-stone house opposite Greenvale Apartments, recently demolished. All this section is thought to have comprised part of Canal Town or Irish Town.

*    The John White house is now the property of Mrs. D. W. B. Reid at 13 Myrtle Street. On that property is the Farrell foundation.

*    The drugstore was Parksr Mott’s, son of Thomas Mott. The store is just east of Eldridge Lloy, the grocer.

E. M. Walker’s residence was southwest corner Edward and Ochterloney. J. W. Tufts’ drygoods store is now a restaurant at 73 Commercial St. The northeast corner Quarl and Water is the Bell Bus Station, described on p. 56. Allan McDonald had just died and the building demolished, but a few months before this article was written. It stood at the southeast corner of Quarrell and Water Streets. Mr. McDonald soid fishing tackle, made flies and mended rods. Over the front door, a metal fish dangled on a pole.

The old wooden building at Sterns’ corner had about a dozen rooms, with a grand staircase inside the front entrance on Portland Street, and a flight of ordinary steps near the back door to be used by the hired help. On the Water Street side were two separate shops. We lived there from 1890 till its demolition in 1893. — J PM. (See photo)

Mrs.26 Lawlor’s corner* stood there then as now. Immediately south of the corner there still exists a building which is second to none as regards age.

On Portland Street, a little above Mrs. Lawlor’s, stood a large barn occupied by “Cups” Murphy and “Larry” Ring, respectively shoemaker and tailor. Connors held out where J. B. MaeLean* is now, the entrance then being nearly 15 feet higher than now, the street having suffered considerable cutting away since then.

Dr. Milsom’s present residence* was built by John Kennedy. It was then known as Dartmouth Hotel, and it was a very favorite resort.

Perhaps the more favorite resorts of those days were “Commercial Inn” on the corner of Portland and Dundas Streets, which also showed the effects of Quaker settlement in the town. Its flowery days were under the proprietorship of Captain Searl. Its destruction by fire is within the knowledge of the present generation. “Mill Bank Inn” on Quarrel Street, now called the old salt box, was owned by William Warren who kept a skittle alley, the great game of those days. This place was the scene of the negro fight, in which many of the Dartmouth “boys” got a severe handling.

“Tea Garden”, latterly known as Hoyne’s Hotel, now the residence of J. B. MaeLean, is the remaining one of the three famous resorts of the boys in the Thirties. It also had a skittle alley. It was run by Thomas Medley.

Of course, Dartmouth had then as now its out-the-road houses. The favorite was Jimmy Scallions,* a little above Sullivan’s Pond. The “boys” of town used to assemble there on a Sunday and watch the Indians go through their war dances, jigs, etc., in all the paint, feathers and style of a more remote period.

I have already noted the lasting effect that the Quaker settlement left in the town, but they were not the only landmark makers.

The Scotch and Irish masons brought here to work on the Canal have left their lasting trademark in the shape of buildings. All the stone houses* in town were built at the time the Canal was undergoing construction. All of them were built by these imported masons, and all of them — no, I won’t say all, but at least some — were built of stone from the Canal, and they were not very scrupulous how the stone was come by — I don’t say it was stolen.

It may be mentioned here in passing that the Scotch masons had very crude ideas about how to trim and work granite — their sole tool being an ordinary pickaxe. It was not until the Irish masons arrived, bringing with them the approved stone-cutters’ tools, did the Scots get enlightened on the subject.* ______._

Mrs. Lawlor’s corner is the southeast corner Portland and Water Streets. J. B. Mac-Lean’s grocery was at 35 Portland Street, head of Prince Street. Dr. Milsom’s was northeast corner King and Portland, now the Owl Drugstore. Scallions was on the bank near 147 Prince Albert Road, foot of Bolton Terrace.

*    The Downey house on the west side of Coleman Street was a stone house. It was pulled down a short time after the 1917 Explosion. The only stone house left in the downtown area, is at North and Edward Streets.

During those palmy days, Dartmouth was not blessed with free schools. School was conducted in a little half-stone house on the present Central School site. William Walker, father of E. M. Walker, was schoolmaster. He was succeeded by Robert Jamison who had previously conducted classes in the “Stone Jug”. Jamison, however, apparently did not appreciate his task for he shortly afterwards entered the ministry. At any rate if the pupils did or did not advance in intellectual attainments, it is a fact beyond contradiction that the sound of the birch rang merrily throughout the town.

The industries of that time certainly cannot be overlooked. Among the then existing industries may be mentioned James Gregg’s* foundry on the hill just back of the railway depot; the bellows being blown by a horse working a crank.

William Stairs manufactured putty and oils near Symonds’ Foundry.* The land still belongs to the Stairs family, I understand. All kinds of pottery, etc.,* was prepared near the tobacco factory, which I am informed was also in operation. Robert Stanford* kept a tannery and curries business about the site of the Electric Light Station.

Silk hats, or to use a common expression, “beavers”, were manufactured by Robinson Brothers, about where Samuel Simpson* now does business. Benjamin Elliott had a soap chandlery on King Street, opposite Central School. Andrew Sutty ran a founary in the vicinity of Greenvaie School. He was succeeded in the business by Thomas Mitchell.

James Wilson manufactured the “ardent” next door to Sutty, as it were.* But the industry of the time was the gristmill in the Mill Cove. This mill was erected in 1792 and was first run by Tremain and Hartshorne. The head miller was William Wilson. They evidently made money; flour sold at $20 a barrel when the cholera was here 65 years ago.

The principal shipbuilders of the time were William Chappell,* Alexander Lyle and one Loudon.

Dartmouth can boast more than a dim religious light at that time. Christ Church was built in 1816. So far as t can

McCabe (name crn 4 83? school register; and two elderiy sisters. I delivered the “Atlantic Weekly” there on Saturday mornings about 1897/ and used to remain a while/ reading the news to Miss Anastatia McCabe who was both blind and bedridden.—J PM.

*    The name of the foundryman was GREIG. Symonds’ Foundry is located on page 58 of this book. Adjoining the Foundry and fronting Church Street, quite close to the shore, stood the fashionable residence of W. S. Symonds, first Mayor of Dartmouth. In that house was held the organization meeting of the first Town Council in 1873. To commemorate this event, an historic plaque has been affixed to the main building of the railway depot, just a few rods away.

*    The present Park Avenue was formerly called Stairs Street, after this man.

*    The pottery works and wharf of W. H. Worthy stood at the foot of Church Street, but at an earlier date than the 1830’s. «Allan McDonald bought all this property from Michael Bennett in the year 1835.

*    James Stanford lost heavily by fires in 1844 and again in 1857 at his plant on the location of the N. S. Light and Power Station. Then he removed to Halifax near the Dutch Village Road. Hence Stanford’s Pond, and Stanford Street.

* Samuel Simpson was one of the Ochterloney Street Simpsons. His harness and saddlery shop was on the location of the Mayfair Theatre. When the latter was erected, the Simpson building was removed on blocks to a hitherto vacant lot, and now stands at no. 110 Portland Street.

*    James Wilson’s Distillery was near Oathill Lake in the 1840’s, although he may have been at Greenvaie earlier. In later years, David Falconer’s Distillery was in the rear of the Greenvaie Apartments. The ruins of a small circular pond there mark the spot of his reservoir for supplying fresh water.

♦The shipbuilder was John Chappell. Robert Louden hailed from Pictou.

learn there was no distinction between high and low churchmen. Roman Catholics went on Sundays to the old chapel, built in 1827.27 The frame of this church, with all due respect to a writer in a Halifax contemporary, was the frame of the old St. Mary’s. This is positively asserted by the oldest residents. The Catholic dead were first interred in the field by the Chapel. The old cemetery (Geary Street) not being opened until 1837.

The Quakers had a meeting house adjoining the site of the school house on Quarl Street. The Methodist meeting house was conducted by Mrs. Moreland at the head of Chapel Lane. Her husband was killed by the explosion of a cannon, being fired in commemoration of the launching of the “Sir C. Ogle”.*

Even the Scotch masons could not get along in this fair Nova Scotia of ours without having a little kirk in which to worship. To them is due the erection of the present Engine House, which did service as a Presbyterian Meeting House for a long period.

Feeling that my narrative is but little to what Dartmouth deserves, I leave my work to the readers, trusting they will not be too severe in passing judgment. In subsequent issues I will endeavor to relate some memorable incidents in the history of the town.


We now enter upon another decade of local history commencing with 1840. Perhaps the two outstanding events of public interest during this notable year were the great advances made by the Reformers in their struggle for Responsible Government; and the beginnings of the famous Cunard Line with their fleet of transatlantic steamers — all paddle-wheelers.

The Cunard people were also engaged in the whaling business

— an undertaking which indirectly brought thousands of dollars to our side of the harbor, because it kept workmen at Lyle’s yard constantly at work turning out one ship after another, over a considerable period of years.

Much of the raw material, like timber and spars, evidently was hauled in over No. 18 highway, or perhaps rafted down the chain of lakes. It must have been the practice for teamsters to snake logs out of the forests in winter, and brow them up on both sides of the road because there were complaints from the stagecoach and other vehicles about the difficulty of passing each other along this route.

To remedy the grievance, the Legislature passed an Act in 1840 forbidding “the piling of all logs, planks, wood, stone, etc., in the ditches, or tracks of the road between Scallons (sic) in Dartmouth and Fletcher’s Bridge”.

Among petitions before the House that winter was one from Alexander Lyle seeking financial assistance to aid him in the construction of a Slip or Marine Railway at Dartmouth.

The Assembly also heard the usual petition from the Steam Boat. The Company now had two ferries, and were largely in debt. They had conveyed the mails to and from the country without any remuneration, and although operating for upwards of 23 years, had never been able to pay a farthing of dividends to stockholders. They were granted £200.

That winter, Samuel Albro announced that the partnership existing between him and his brother John Albro, had been dissolved by the latter’s death. The tannery business, however, was to be carried on as usual. (See page 69.)

The first record of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dartmouth is noted in the “Acadian Recorder” of March 1840 :

The Memory of the Tutelar Saint of the Green Isle was duly honoured at Dartmouth when about 40 persons assembled at Kennedy’s Hotel. The cheer was excellent, and the following toasts were given :

Her Majesty the Queen; The Rose, Thistle and Shamrock; Daniel O’Connell; The Little Mayflower of Nova Scotia; The Harp of Old Erin; Sir Colin Campbell; Our Own Town of Dartmouth — second to none in the arts of honest industry

— the busy scene which even the inclemency of the weather does not check, are now before us.

In the month of May, Thomas Medley announced that he was again taking over the Tea Gardens which had been leased for the two preceding years to John Kennedy.

In June the steamer “Unicorn”, bringing the first mails under the Cunard contract, was hailed by cheering crowds from the wharves and hilltops of Halifax and Dartmouth. The fact that Mr. Cunard was President of the Steam Boat Company no doubt moved the Directors to send out the “Sir C. Ogle” to greet a big sister paddle-wheeler and escort her up to Cunard’s dock, then near the present Pier 2.

The arrival of the paddle-wheeler “Britannia” with Hon. Samuel Cunard on board in mid-July is generally regarded as the commencement of the Cunard Line hereabouts.

There were four square-riggers completed in Dartmouth that year. The 500-ton barque “Thetis”, built for Cunards, and christened by the attractive daughter of Sir Colin Campbell, was launched from Lyle’s in June. In the same yard a few weeks later, a brig of 180 tons went off the stocks. This was the “Maria Grace”, built for the Halifax firm of D. and E. Starr.

From the adjacent shipyard of John Chappell in August, a barque of 260 tons named the “Wanderer” was launched for Fairbanks and Allison. Within a month, the “Wanderer” had set out on her first trip across the Atlantic.

The largest vessel to be built in Dartmouth up to that time was completed at Lyle’s in November. This was another ship for Cunards of 6 or 7 hundred tons burthen, and named the “Ocean”. She was copper-bottomed and copper-fastened.

The usual regatta was held on the harbor that summer of

1840, and the “Sir C. Ogle” plied up and down the course with excursionists, docking every hour for landings and refills. Newspapers that week did not devote much space to the regatta results, their columns being taken up with political controversies over the rights and wrongs of the Reformers in their fight for Responsible Government.

With an election in the offing, this party was appealing to the voters to sanction their action of petitioning Queen Victoria to remove Sir Colin Campbell from Nova Scotia, because he had become the instrument of the “Family Compact”, who largely controlled the patronage of the Province.

Sir Colin Campbell departed that autumn, accompanied by the well wishes of all, for the old soldier and hero of Waterloo was kindly regarded personaly. Viscount Falkland, the new Lieutenant-Governor, had already arrived. He was descended from Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII. Lady Falkland was a daughter of William IV.

About this time a ray of hope arose in the hearts of Canal shareholders. Word came that the British Government had ordered an inspection of the works, with a view of again renewing the undertaking. When the engineers and surveyors set out over the route, they were accompanied by Judge Charles R. Fairbanks. The latter, evidently as enthusiastic as ever, was now about 50 years of age and in failing health.

Deserters from H.M. ships of war in those days sometimes got inn-keepers into trouble, as is inferred from this advertisement which appeared in three Halifax newspapers :

I the undersigned, being a Publican, and keeping a House of entertainment at Dartmouth, do hereby make known for the information of the Public at large, that my Wife did supply three Privates of the Royal Marines belonging to H.M. Ship Winchester, with liquor, not knowing at the time that they were absent from the Ship without leave, and for which Captain John Parker of the said Ship commenced a Prosecn-tion against me; but in consideration of my being absent from home at the time, and the sincere promises and apologies which I considered it my duty to make to him, he the said Captain John Parker, has been pleased to withhold the prosecution commenced against me, and for which I shall ever feel grateful as in duty bound.

(signed) Michael Dunn.

Dartmouth, July 29, 1840.

Other advertisements during the early part of 1840 show that Allan McDonald had taken in a partner, and the firm was now known as Allan McDonald and Company. They were general merchants, millers and farmers. Their store, located at the present Dartmouth Furnishers’ corner (described on page 105), was moved about this time to a new building in the middle of the block. It was considered the skyscraper of early Dartmouth. (See photo later.) McDonald’s kept the Post Office, then called a Way Office.

Allan McDonald’s partner was his half-brother, Dr. John McDonald, alias McEachern, who had recently arrived in Dartmouth from Irvin, Inverness-shire. Scotland, which was also the native town of Allan. This man wished to relinquish his medical profession, and accordingly acquired one-third interest in the McDonald business by paying to Allan the sum of £1,354.

For some months previous to this, Allan McDonald had been suffering from a facial growth. About 1839 he went to Boston and remained for some time undergoing an operation.

Fragments of information gleaned from records in the Probate Court show that Mr. McDonald acted rather oddly at certain periods. He once ordered the shop shut up on a business day. On another occasion he made a journey to Truro for no reason whatsoever, making it necessary for someone to travel thither on horseback in order to return him safely home.

In the dwelling house above his new store, on the evening of Tuesday, November 3rd, 1840, Allan McDonald died, after only a few days illness. The funeral was not held until Saturday, delayed perhaps to allow time for his mother to reach here from her home in Antigonish. Interment was in Geary Street Cemetery.28

The elections were on that autumn. Joseph Howe came quite frequently to campaign in Dartmouth and in its suburbs, because he and William Annand were candidates for the County of Halifax, which was a separate constituency    from the    City.

On Friday evening, October 30th, there was a meeting of about 200 supporters of Howe’s Reformers held in the Dartmouth School House. Henry Y. Mott presided, and Alexander James, then the schoolmaster of the town, was Secretary. (See page 24.)

Joseph Howe spoke at some length, outlining the legislative reforms recently gained by his party. Although the night was dark and tempestuous, loyal followers accompanied the Halifax group to the ferry; and as the boat pulled out, gave three rousing cheers which were lustily returned.

The poll for the election of candidates was held at the Halifax Court House for five days early in November. There was no privacy whatever in the manner of voting. The rabble, jostling one another in the Court House passageway and in the gallery, showed no mercy in voicing their feelings as freeholders announced the candidate of their choice.

(Once upon a time, even the old ferryman John Skerry, always the essence of honesty, was heckled by political foes in the gallery, with cries of : “Who stole the oars ! ”)

Dartmouth people voted at Halifax. Evidently campaign

funds to provide transportation were also necessary in those days, as is gathered from the following account published in the “Morning Post” of November 4th, 1840 :

Yesterday the Court House was crowded long before the hour appointed for commencing the register of votes. A rich display was formed by the colored folks from Preston who came over in a steamer gaily decorated with flags, and chartered for the day by the Reform Party.

The African gentry formed themselves into a procession on landing, and marched with flying colours through part of Water and Hollis Streets, and then went to the Court House and took complete possession of the passage for the entry and exit of voters. The area in front of the Exchange was a dense mass of persons from the commencement of the poll until 4 o'clock* when the poll closed for the day

We conclude this account of the year 1840 by copying a few excerpts from a description of Dartmouth and its suburbs written that year for the “Nova Scotian” by Joseph Howe. Since 1836, when he was first elected for this constituency, Mr. Howe often toured the district to familiarize himself with its people, its problems and its romantic scenery.

Panoramic views in particular must have appealed to Joseph Howe. Note the number of well-known hills in our vicinity which he must have climbed, because he so definitely describes the surrounding streams and forests.

... In looking East, the growth and improvement of Dartmouth itself is a pleasing feature in the prospect. But a few .years ago, it seemed to have been smitten with desolation -—

many of the houses were tenantless or unsaleable — business was at a stand — its population dispersing, while those who still clung to it were haunted with visions of the past, and reflections on the fortunes which they had not made by the Shubenacadie Canal.

“A change has come over the spirit of the dreams” of the good people of Dartmouth — they are no longer relying upon adventitious and extraordinary sources of wealth — but, with cheerfulness and activity, are making the most of the natural advantages of the place, and, aided by the example of a few enterprising individuals, who have settled among them, are raising the little town in industry, population and public spirit.

. . . Nearly all the roads branching off from Dartmouth have their peculiar charm. If one strolls to Sackville (Bedford) over the hilly, indifferent and unfrequented track, which skirts the eastern side of the Basin, the view from several points upon it is very fine. With that noble sheet of water spread out upon the right, white cottages, with a green background, circling its western margin, you look down upon the Narrows, the Harbour, the Eastern Passage, Dartmouth, Halifax, the Islands, with the men-of-war and merchant-ships riding tranquilly at their moorings, beating up, or gliding down, a numerous flight cf coasters and sailboats glancing around them, and the scene, though there is nothing very striking or sublime about it, is yet full of beauty, variety and interest.

The ride down the Eastern Passage is also very pleasant .... On a summer evening when the setting sun throws his latest and mellowest beams upon Harbour and Town, giving a glow to all the life they have, whether still or animated, the look-out from the Battery, and from several points above and below, is very delightful.

. . . The only drawback to a ramble down the Passage in summer, is the powerful effluvium from the split dog fish, with which the fences are lined.

. . . The ride along the Cow Bay road has not many attractions. On crossing the River, one is struck with the regular natural steps by which the waters, drained from the chain of lakes stretching up to the celebrated Grog Brook, descend to the level of the ocean.

. . . These are but two of the pastern roads. That (one) leading past Creighton’s and Shieis’ to Cole Harbor also has its attractions. The views from Breakheart Hill, Mount Edward, and several other points, are pleasing and extensive—one is seldom out of sight of lakes or of the salt water, and there are several cross roads branching off in which the student may while away an hour with his book.

The peculiar charm of the Main Eastern Road (18 highway), is the fine chain of lakes, past which it runs for 18 miles.

The old Preston Road is not without its beauties—a sweet sylvan scene rewards us for climbing the hills beyond the Parsonage, near the first and second lake. Another, of a somewhat similar character, is presented in the neighborhood of Lake Loon—while from Katzman’s and the Church Hill *

seaward scene of great extent and beauty delights the eye. Where the Rivers cross the road there is a valley, fringed with green meadows, or overhung with maples and birches, and the bright waters sparkling between.

Among the marriages listed in 1840 were Matthew Bainbridge to Ann Staling; William Gorham to Mrs. N. Carr; John Graham of Economy to Sophia Elliot; John Gammon to Lucy Graham, daughter of Asa Graham. At Preston, William Kain to Louise Boyd. At South East Passage, Peter McNab to Margaret Brown.

Baptised at Christ Church in 1840 was John, child of Margaret and John Wolfe, farmer.

St. Peter’s Church records of baptisms give Charlotte, child of Honora Shortell and William Lawlor; Anastatia, child of Elizabeth Kingston and Michael Wall (or Watt); James, child of Mary Smith and William Behan; Mary Ann, child of Charlotte Mungavan (Monovan?) and James McKenna of Lawrencetown; Henry, child of Mary Crook and Frederick Mungavan, Lawrencetown; David, child of Elizabeth and tylalachi Cleary, Eastern Passage; James, child of Desia Blachard and John Hawes; Elizabeth, child of Hannah and Hugh O’Neil; John, child of Mary Hardiman and Robert Fitzgerald; James, child of Anne Lowrey and John Sheridan; John, child of Mary Smith and Peter Kelly; John, child of Catherine Smyth and Martin Jordon (or Gordon); Ellen, child of Ellen Sullivan and Joseph O’Brien; George, child of Eliza Fitzjew and Perry Brown (coloured people of Dartmouth); William, child of Mary King and Lawrence Meagher; Bridget, child of Catherine Skerry and Patrick Meagher; Ella, child of Catherine McDeul and Timothy Sullivan; Mary Ann, child of Ellen Sullivan and Wm. Walsh.

Deaths in 1840 included Allan McDonald aged 46, Mrs. Mary Hatfield 80, Michael Murphy 40, “an industrious and worthy man”, Mrs. Elizabeth Woods 44, native of England, Ann Mcllreith 15 months; Thomas Lynch 45, native of Thurles, Ireland, and husband of Bridget Lowrey; Catherine Meagher 73, for some years a resident of this place.

Off Devil’s Island, Andrew Hennebury, his wife and son, were drowned in a rowboat. At Cole Harbor in December, Mr. McKenna and his two sons were drowned while shooting on the ice. At Halifax, died Amelia Phoebe Beamish, aged 22. (This is the daughter of Louisa Collins, page 124.)

The results of the elections of December 1840, showed that the majority of Nova Scotians were in accord with the efforts of Howe, Huntingdon, Forrester, Doyle, Annand, the Youngs and others who had agitated for complete Responsible Government in the last House of Assembly.

The triumph of the Reformers was celebrated by a banquet

at Mason’s Hall in Halifax, where no doubt many attended from Dartmouth. In this respect, the village of Preston was not to be outdone, as is indicated by the following account in the Nova Scotian for January 1841:

The coloured people at Preston who took the side of Reform during the late election, held a political dinner on Tuesday week. About 200 sat down and partook of a bountiful repast. Mirth and eloquence, we understand, abounded, and “tripping on the light fantastic toe” brought in Wednesday morning. Mr. Samson Carter, in splendid attire, filled the chair, supported by Mr. Septimus D. Clarke as vice-chairman. The various toasts were rapturously received and elicited appropriate remarks.

When the new House met in February, Joseph Howe was chosen as Speaker. That appointment brought a bit of political prestige to our side of the harbor, because Dartmouth was the largest centre in Mr. Howe’s constituency.

An Act incorporating the City of Halifax was passed by the Legislature that session. Of more local interest, however, was an Act for regulating Dartmouth Common.

This was the “new town-plot” mentioned on page 62 of this book. As the trustees of the Common were all dead by 1841, there was no one in authority to prevent the increasing number of squatters from occupying parts of the Common, especially those portions adjacent to the waterfront in the vicinity of Black Rock. (Black Rock shore is, located on page 65, but the whole area of the new town-plot must have been so called from earliest times, no doubt from the black color of the slate rock there.)

The Act of 1841 appointed new trustees in the persons of John E. Fairbanks, Henry Y. Mott and William Foster. They were empowered to subdivide the large area of Common land on the western side of Windmill Road, extending from about the present line of the new bridge on the north, to Geary Street on the south.

William MacKay, a well-known surveyor of that time, subsequently laid off the section into 41 building lots which were advertised at auction and conveyed to the highest bidder for 999 years, subject to an annual ground-rent of £1. Thirty-one of the lots were sold that summer. Some were bought outright by the holders, but others continued paying ground-rent for many years afterwards. (The MacKay map of the section, is still preserved at the Town Engineer’s office.)

According to the Act, revenue from the sale of these lands had to be applied to improve the remaining portion of the Common, and provide for the laying out of a street along the waterfront. (This is the present Shore Road.)

Names of other streets in that vicinity like Fairbanks, Hare,

Mott, Best and Lyle, commemorate trustees and original property owners. (Geary Street was named after the Priest who had charge of the Catholic cemetery. Turner Street, directly opposite, runs through the old Turner tanyard. The name of Foster certainly should be applied somewhere to honor a forgotten family who were long included among our early industrialists.)

From the Dartmouth “Atlantic Weekly” of April 29, 1899, readers may obtain the number of each lot of Common land, and the price paid for same at time of sale. The following names were among the first purchasers:

George Turner*, James Synott, William Stairs, C. A. Mott, James Whiteley, John Fenton, David Hare, Gilbert Elliott, James Keating, William Walker, Richard Best, Michael McKenna, John Thornham, John B. Woodworth, John Kennedy, Alexander Lyle, John E. Fairbanks, Richard McLearn and John Tapper.

For the first time since 1821, there was no petition to the Legislature that year from the Steam Boat Company soliciting the usual subsidy. Evidently their financial position was gradually improving, because the records of the Ferry show that in 1841, they were able to pay off an outstanding loan of £500.

Then again the Steam Boat Company no longer had any claim on the public revenue for transporting Her Majesty’s mails, for that contract had been given to Samuel Cunard, whose vehicles paid their own turnpike tolls and ferriages. They travelled to Pictou during the shipping season, and transferred mails and passengers to the steamer for Quebec. In winter months, the stagecoach journeyed overland via Amherst.

One of the most colorful of Cunard’s sub-contractors was the well-known Hiram Hyde. For the next 17 years, or until the railway was completed to Truro, Hyde’s handsome stagecoach drawn by a gaily caparisoned team of six horses, was a familiar sight either rumbling or miring along the streets of Dartmouth.

American-born Hiram Hyde was a master showman, and took good care that his equipment appeared at its best when entering or leaving Halifax. On reaching Porto Bello Inn, Hyde’s drivers used to stable the spirited horses and the blue or chocolate-brown coaches with their lemon chrome wheels striped with black; then continue the journey with an outfit of the ordinary variety. On the return trip a day or two later, the procedure was the reverse.

The late J. D. Bayer of Meagher’s Grant, writing in the Atlantic Weekly in August, 1897, described the various inns along the road about the mid-1800’s when as a boy of ten years, he made

‘George Turner’s name is on the 1838 Coronation Committee. He then. Jived In the house only recently demolished at the • northwest corner of Portland and Wentworth Streets. He was the father of James W. Turner.

his first trip to Dartmouth. We copy a portion:

. . . We reached the Lake Thomas house in the evening, and put up for the night. Early next morning we started again. The Waverley house was kept by a man named Scott, and Marshall kept the Porto Bello house.29 This was the largest house I had ever seen, and I remember counting the windows in the end of the house, and wondering how such an immense building could be put up.

Hyde’s Coach drawn by six horses just drove up from Halifax as we got there, and that was a great sight for me. When we got to the old Red Bridge (at Lake Micmac), Mr. Dickie pointed to Dartmouth, and I was so excited that I nearly leaped out of the wagon. We drove down Ochterloney Street to wfiere a man named Williams kept a country house, put away our team and had dinner. After dinner we went to Mr. Dominick Farrell’s store on what was called Woodaman’s corner, near the Ferry.

. . . After we got through with business in Dartmouth, we went over to Halifax. The principal thing I wanted to see was the Province Building, so father took me there first. How I admired the lion and unicorn, and the whole building seemed so grand.

After leaving that we went to Walsh’s hardware store (southwest corner Bedford Row and Cheapside), where my father bought some iron. Father took me through the green market after that, but I didn’t see a thing, I was looking straight up to the top of the buildings, and came near stepping into some baskets of berries.

When we returned to Dartmouth, it had lost some 6f its charm, and didn’t appear such a magnificent city as at first sight. We loaded up our cart with flour, meal, groceries, etc., and started for home as happy as we would be today in the most stylish buggy.

We arrived home on the fourth day after leaving, and for a whole month I entertained my brothers and sisters with the thrilling adventures of that most wonderful cruise.

William Foster advertised in May that he would send a horse around Halifax with ICE each day during the summer.

William Wilson invited lodgers to stay at his Mill Bank Hotel in Dartmouth, which place was described as being “in a very quiet retreat and pleasant situation.”

John Gammon, a Dartmouth Constable, advertised a heavy topcoat in his possession which he thought had been stolen. Owner might have same by proving property.

John E. Fairbanks of Woodside Cottage, made a charitable appeal for aid in behalf of James Bennett, 79 years of age, then living alone on the property of Mr. McNab near Fort Clarence. This honest and pious old man had come with the Loyalists from

Savannah, Georgia, many years previously.

The well-known Charles R. Fairbanks, brother of the above mentioned, died at his Halifax residence, northeast corner of Hollis and Salter Streets, in April 1841. Judge Fairbanks was

(Courtesy Dr. Reginald V. Harris    Cut    by    Eastern    Photo    Engravers Ltd.)

This is Judge C. R. Fairbanks, long prominent in Dartmouth undertakings. Besides receiving no remuneration for his 21 years as Ferry Secretary, he lost all his investments therein. He sacrificed an even greater amount of money and energy in the Canal venture and shortened his life thereby. He knew every foot of the 55-mile Canal route from Dartmouth Mill Cove to Maitland. (Had he lived 20 years longer, he would have seen the Canal in partial operation as a result of the engineering skill of his son.) Mr. Fairbanks publicized Dartmouth in 1829, when he floated a British Government loan and sold many shares of the Shuben-acadie Canal Company in London. At that time he also arranged for the purchase and shipment to Dartmouth of the steam-engine for the new ferry-boat “Sir C. Ogle”, then being built.

Secretary of the Canal Company, and had long held the same office in the Steam Boat Company. His early death at the age of 51 was largely due to his incessant mental labors for the welfare of this country. Lake Charles commemorates his name.

On June 8th, the Nova Scotia Philanthropic Society celebrated the Natal Day of Halifax by holding a picnic and athletic games at Turtle Grove “near the Windmill in Dartmouth”, whither they were transported on the “Sir C. Ogle”.

Another large group enjoyed an outing at Dartmouth on the afternoon of St. John’s Day, June 24th, when the members of St. Mary’s Total Abstinence Society of Halifax crossed the harbor. A brass band on the deck of the “Sir C. Ogle” kept playing lively airs during two or three trips, until the full crowd of people had been transported.

These then “marched to a beautifully situated field, half a mile from the ferry, and kindly loaned for the occasion by Mr. Boggs.* The progress through the pretty village of Dartmouth, and through the rural ways and woodpaths, was delightful”, says the account in the Nova Scotian.

Between 700 and 800 met on the appointed ground where they indulged in games of ball and bat, and other sports. Quadrille and Contra dances were also got up on the green.

Both St. James’ Church and Christ Church held bazaars that summer. In June, St. James’ Committee secured the large room in the Halifax Hotel on Hollis Street, where they had a splendid display of articles and fancy work. The refreshment table was laden with the first strawberries of the season, and the miniature Post Office was just bulging with letters for everyone present. This novel affair was such a surprising success that it enriched St. James’ Church funds to the extent of £80. The Halifax Hotel had been opened only a few weeks previously, and so far as known, Dartmouth thus had the honor of holding the first public function within its walls.

The bazaar of Christ Church was held on the rustic grounds of the Anglican Parsonage near the present Sinclair Street. The newspaper account of the dancing on the green, the swings in the woods, the lively music of the military band, the perambulating

* About this time, the temperance cause was being preached in Europe by Father Theobold Mathew, and his influence was felt in North America. St. Mary’s Society had about 3,000 members. The Halifax Temperance Society had almost as many. In Dartmouth, St. Peter’s Total Abstinence Society had over 1,000, among whom were many Indians. Most of Austinville district was then owned by Thomas Bcggs. Roughly, the area from Christ Church cemetery to St. Peter’s School grounds was known as “Boggswood”. Not likely Pine Street was as yet constructed. Definitely lower Maple Street was not. The field referred to, must have been somewhere in “Boggswood”, other than the swampy section. The “ball and bat” contest mentioned, is the earliest written record of a baseball game being played in Dartmouth.

presence of Mr. Freeman “the giant”, thqn exhibiting in Halifax; of Lady Falkland, of Lord Fitzclarence, of high ranking officers of the Army and Navy, together with the description of the bountifully laden dining table, were all so vividly portrayed as to suggest that we were born 100 years too late.

Here is part of the report as it appeared in the ’’Nova Scotian” in mid-July 1841:

The refreshment table was under a large marquee. Pyramids of our natural fruit, the strawberry, appeared on the table at regular intervals, and threw around their delicious aroma. Nearby were capacious jugs of cream. Custards were arrayed in tempting order, with frosted and ornamented loaves of Pound Cake in the background; while the intermediate space on the tables was covered with enough confectionery to make a school full of boys think they were in a second heaven.

Such was the bright aspect when a sudden shower put to flight the pleasing anticipation of the day, and it was decided to close the Bazaar. Rev. Mr. Parker threw open the Parsonage for the reception of visitors, and all retired with only a fresh desire to join in the animated scene on Tuesday next.

When the affair was resumed on the Tuesday in question, more crowds came from Halifax to patronize the tented booths, to haunt the shady walks and roam the rural retreats of the Grove. The receipts for the two days totalled £180—which amount was earmarked to be expended on the project of “inclosing the Church grounds”.

(This probably meant the levelling and filling-in of the original sloping grounds, and the construction of the present retaining wall fronting Ochterloney Street.)

The first parish hall of St. Peter’s Church was erected about 1841, largely through the exertions of Rev. Dennis Geary, then parish priest of Dartmouth. This building, which stood on the present location of St. Peter’s Hall at 40 Ochterloney Street, was probably used for a parochial school during the week, and for catechism classes on Sundays.

After the Free School Act of 1864, it was under lease as a public school where primary classes were taught for many years by a Miss O’Toole. There are now only a few elderly residents left in Dartmouth who attended “Miss O’Toole’s School” in childhood, and who played among the grassy mounds of the abandoned cemetery shown in the picture of the wooden St. Peter’s Church in Chapel Lane.

There is also a picture of this little one-roomed school on display among the group of photographs in the corridor at Green-vale High School. The building itself, now converted into a two-storey dwelling, is at present the home of Mrs. Eldon Naugle at

50 Victoria Road, whither it was moved, via Pine Street, by Contractor John McElmon in 1894.

More real estate was acquired in 1841 by Jonathan Elliot, who by this time was attaining prominence as an architect and builder. At a Chancery Court sale of Joseph Findlay’s dwellings and adjacent lands in Chapel Lane, Mr. Elliot secured the property with the highest bid of £150.

In that year William Hague and John O’Connor30 erected a sawmill at Lake Loon Run, and obtained a lease of water rights for a term of eight years at the rate of £4 annually. The contract was arranged with Thomas Boggs and Martin G. Black, Directors of the Shubenacadie Canal Company.

(This mill stood on the eastern side of Barry’s Run Bridge just below the still-waters of Lake Loon. The Canal Company had erected a dam there in 1826.)

At Lyle’s shipyard that summer, there were two vessels finished for Halifax firms, and launched in August. These were the “Nereid”, a barque of 700 tons, built for the Cunard firm; and a 200-ton brig christened the “Hector”, built for John Strachan, Esq. Both of them slid down the skids in fine style and attracted the usual crowds from Halifax and our own side of the harbor.

The Dartmouth Ferry Company continued to prosper during

1841. At the annual regatta that summer, one of the boats carried sight-seers up and down the course, to the tunes of a military Band stationed on deck. The Halifax “Morning Herald” reporting the events of the day, noted that the “Steam Boat was filled as full as it could hold”.

The Company’s revenue was further increased in November when three square-rigged sailing ships from Bermuda, anchored in the harbor with some 800 officers and men of the 76th Regiment. On this occasion, the two ferries were commissioned to transport these troops to the Halifax landing wharf.

Nothing is said in the newspapers about the interruption of their advertised schedule, but ojae can imagine the annoyance of commuters, to say nothing of the dismay of country-folk arriving at Dartmouth with waggon-loads of perishable produce, and gazing wistfully from “isolated” Steam Boat Hill at what must have seemed to them the endless trips from ship to shore of both the “Boxer” and the “Sir Charles Ogle”.

They had the same experience a month later when the Cunard liner “Caledonia”, groping her way up the harbor in a Friday morning fog, suddenly crunched her nose on the shelving beach of George’s Island. She stayed there until the next tide, despite the tugging efforts of the two Dartmouth steamers which had paddled hastily to the “Caledonia’s” asistance.

Incidents such as the above, which was probably a regular practice of the Steam Boat Company, might have constituted the real reason for the suspension of Government subsidies.

Newspaper advertisements of 1841 informed the public that the firm of Allan McDonald and Company was still being carried on by John M’E McDonald who sold low for cash “at their new store in Dartmouth”. (On present Royal Bank location. See photo.)

The large dwelling house, store and premises at the southeast corner of Portland and Water Streets, occupied by William Hague, grocer, were advertised to be let for a term of five years from October 1841.

Evidently Mr. Hague refused to vacate, for he was still in possession in November. This is gathered from the Supreme Court cases of that autumn, recording an action of ejectment brought against the said William Hague by the heirs of John Skerry, owners of the property The former must have submitted a reasonably sound case for the defence, because the Jury were not able to agree on a verdict.

George Mayberry, the boat builder, offered for sale his dwelling house, land and water lot on the west side of Water Street, just south of the present lane of the Dartmouth Coal Company. The house contained a well with a leaden pump. In the rear was a large store 50 feet in length, and a small house, then occupied as a Barracks.

James Wilson, late of the iirm of James and Henry Wilson, Distillers, in Halifax, announced that he had commenced business in the above line in Dartmouth.

(The Distillery ruins at the western end of Oathill Lake were well known to old residents. Wilson lived at “Esperanto Farm.” Later owners were Anderson, Evans, Owens and H. R. Silver who tore down the old farmhouse some 40 years ago and rebuilt on the site. It is now Wyndholm Apartments.)

The Dartmouth Agricultural Society was organized at a meeting in the School House on Saturday, October 10, 1841. There were 66 subscribers to the original roll.

Towards the close of 1841, great rejoicing was felt hereabouts on receipt of the intelligence that a son and heir to the British Throne had been born to Queen Victoria. (Sixty years later, this Prince became King Edward VII.)

The event was celebrated most fittingly in Halifax. Among the poetic effusions that burst forth from the press at the time, was a song of triumph in five stanzas, entitled THE PRINCE, written by our local poet, Andrew Shiels.

School returns for 1841 show that Isabelle Tulloch, 16 year-old daughter of George Tulloch (spelled Tully on the 1832 Canal petition), was the teacher at Preston school district 32. She also taught a Sunday school class. This may have been the old school of Theo-philus Chamberlain where Prince Louis Phillippe visited in 1797. This young lady was obliged to discontinue teaching the following year owing to the death of her mother. The Tulloch home then was on the original Preston Road opposite Robert McPhee’s present house, mentioned on page 95. Mrs. Tulloch was the former Mary Elliot, brother of Hector Elliot, who occupied the farm now used by the Nova Scotia Colored Home.

Alexander James taught in the Dartmouth School until the end of the calendar year 1841, when he left. The teacher who began at the first of January 1842, was James W. Munro, a native of Pictou. Mr. James took up the study of law.

Baptismal records of 1841 give John, child of Sarah and John Prescott, laborer; Elizabeth, child of Elizabeth and Wellington Connors, boatbuilder; Stephen, child of Elizabeth and Alexander Drake; Robert, child of Elizabeth and Simeon Whidden; Hanna, child of Jane and Robert Gibson, currier. (All of Christ Church.)

St. Peter’s baptismal records have John, child of Honora Leonard and Alex. Fraser; Almy, child of Margaret Donohoe and Wm. Murphy; Ellen, child of Margaret Reyley and Lawrence Ring; James, child of Catherine Cattesson and Philip McCormack; Edward, child of Mary Murray and John Bowes; George, child of Margaret Mason and Robert McNally; Daniel, child of Catherine and Jeremiah Donovan; Oswald 1 year, Mary 3 years, Margaret 5 years, children of Bridget Murphy and Wm. Hornsby; Alexander, child of Catherine White and James Prentice; Martha, child of Mary Murphy and David Vaughan; Matthew, child of Jane Kennedy and Patrick Corbett; Thomas, child of Mary Heffernan and Gabriel Edgecombe; Margaret, child of Margaret Elyen and John Fenton; John, child of Allie Green and Michael Hynes; David, child of Catherine Conway and Walter Murphy; Anne, child of Mary Quilty and James Murphy.

Marriages in 1841 included Thomas Ritchie, of the Royal Artillery, to Martha Gaston; John W. Archibald of Sherbrooke, to Ann Hughes of Dartmouth; George Shiels (name on 1828 school register), to Charlotte Turnbull; John Elliot to Sarah Coleman; John Otto to Elizabeth Broom; George Thompson of Weston, Scotland, to Catherine Malcom, (on same school register).

St. Peter’s marriage register has Peter Seymour to Amelia Williams, (coloured people); Roderick Buirk to Mary Ann Clarke af 'Halifax; William Davis of County Tyrone, private 64th Regiment to Ellen Sullivan, daughter Cornelius; William Carroll to Anne McCann, County Wexford; Cornelius Leonard to Honora Tobin, daughter of Edward.

Deaths recorded that year were Robert Jackson, 68 years, former inn-keeper at the location described on page 54; John Messer, 74; John Wolfe, aged 81; Mrs. Mary Munn, 68; John Chappell, junior, 22; Henry Allen 40; Mrs. Charles Allan 32; William Mott 17, (name on 1839 school register); Catherine McDougall; Mary Malcom, infant daughter of Andrew Malcom.

St. Peter’s burial records have Michael Shortilk 35, shoemaker; Marie Murray 15 months, child of Thomas Murray and Caroline Tapper; John Chappel 33, son of John Chappel; William Behan, 4 years; Mary Behan, 15 years; Martin Behan, 13 years, children of Wm. Behan. (John Chappel was baptised by Bishop Burke in 1807.)

Thomas Kennedy of Dartmouth, son of Thomas, was drowned from the barque “Wanderer” on a voyage to Mauritius.. At Lawrencetown died Susannah Green, aged 87, widow of the second Benjamin Green, former Treasurer of Nova Scotia. At Eastern Passage, John Cogill, aged 64. At Halifax, James Tilton Moseley, infant son of Ebenezer Moseley.


By 1842, when Dartmouth was nearly 100 years old, there still seemed to be no regular system of mail transportation. About that time, a resident complained to the newspapers that letters from abroad, addressed to Dartmouth, were detained at Halifax until nearly half a bushel had accumulated. Then they were sent over by a carrier who charged one penny on each letter for his trouble.

There was no recognized Post Office in Dartmouth until about 1870. Instead there was a “way office”. In small centres, such as ours, letters were left at the village store, commonly known as two -penny offices, because the keepers charged two pence on every letter passing through their hands. A letter from England to Halifax would cost 20 cents, but it might be taxed 16 or 18 cents extra to send it a few miles farther—all depending on the number of waj -offices through which the letter would pass. As a consequence, there were more letters in the pockets of passengers on tage-coaches, than there were in the mail bags.

The Dartmouth way-office about this time, is thought to have been at McDonald’s general store. Dr. John McDonald, who w:is now managing the business since the death of his half-brother Allan, must have been a man of some ability, as he was appointed one of the Governors of Dalhousie College in 1842, and

also made a Justice of the Peace for Dartmouth.

Other Magistrates in the town included George Brinley Creighton, Samuel Albro, Henry Y. Mott and John Tempest. E. H. Lowe who had been a Magistrate for some years, was elevated to the office of Custos Rotulorum for Halifax County, in place of William Quincy Sawyers who had resigned.

The Commissioners of Streets were Samuel Albro, E. H. Lowe and George Turner. The last named replaced John Skerry. Their jurisdiction extended over roads running one mile south, east and north of the Steam Boat Hill.

The Commissioners of Dartmouth Common threatened prosecution against persons removing soil, trees or building material from the Common. Permission would be given to quarry building-stone on the road northward of Geary Street cemetery.

In 1842 an Act of the Legislature empowered the Commissioners to allot about two acres of land for cemetery purposes at the northwest corner of the present Victoria Road and Park Avenue. (This is known as the Public Cemetery.)

The Court of Quarter Sessions recommended there should be assessed £10 for a Pound at Dartmouth; and £5 each for a Pound at Preston and at Eastern Passage.

George Bell and others of Preston, petitioned the Legislature in 1842 praying that cattle be not impounded. Patrick Brennan and others, asked that Broom Road be repaired.

Lovers of the works of Charles Dickens (page 10), will be interested to learn that the great novelist visited Halifax in 1842 on the Cunarder “Britannia”. The steamer lost her bearings in a January fog, and came to anchor somewhere off the present Im-peroyal, so that the Dartmouth side of the harbor was probably the first glimpse of land hereabouts that Dickens saw.

The affairs of the Steam Boat were in a much better condition by 1842. Reference to the minute books reveals that there was then a credit balance of over £1,100 in favor of the Company. The Directors reported that they had purchased at auction, four shares of stock recently held by John L. Starr, who had previously made an assignment. The price paid was £105 per share—a remarkable rise from the lean days when they brought only a few shillings. A dividend of £9 a share payable on February 1st, was declared. (This was the first time that shareholders received any return.)

In mid-April 1842, the greatest excitement was aroused in Dartmouth and Halifax by the loss of two little girls, who were the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. John Meagher, occupants of a farm

at Lake Loon at the northern extremity of Barker Road on no.

7 highway.31

These children were Jane Elizabeth and Margaret Meagher, aged 6 years and 4 years, respectively. They wandered into the woods near their home on a beautifully warm Monday morning, the 11th day of April. The eldest sister of the family was busy with household duties, while the mother with a new-born babe was still confined to her room. Unfortunately also, the father was laid up at the time with an attack of measles.

When the little ones did not return by late afternoon, the hired man searched far into the woods at the rear of the field, but returned unsuccessful. Then the father rose from his sick bed, and with the help of neighbors carrying lighted brands, tramped deeper and deeper into the pathless forest loudly calling the names of Jane and Margaret, but all they got for their efforts was a rebound of the eerie echoes of their voices from the distant tree-tops.

When news reached town on Tuesday, hundreds of volunteers hastened from Halifax and Dartmouth to assist in the hunt. Hope was aroused when the searchers saw footprints in the snow, and also learned from a young colored man named Brown, who lived about two miles from Meagher’s on the opposite side of Lake Loon, that he had heard voices as of children crying on the previous evening.

During the whole of that week, an ever-increasing crowd of volunteers comprising neighbors, farmers, Frenchmen, Indians, sailors, soldiers, merchants and professional men, threaded nearly every foot of that vast forest until it seemed as if the whole countryside had been combed. Meantime, the weather had grown so cold that it was the general conviction the children must have perished.

Halifax newspapers, nevertheless, issued an appeal for every available man to assemble at Dartmouth on Sunday, April 17, for a combined and organized effort. Nearly three thousand responded. They were determined that the forest should reveal its secret. And it did.

About noon that day the bodies were found on a hill at the head of Lake Major, almost two miles east of the village of Montague. The hero of the hunt was a shepherd dog named “Rover”, scouting in the company of Peter Currie, a neighbor of John Meagher. “Rover” had suddenly sniffed the trail of the babes, and with his nose in the scraggy turf, scurried up a hill to the sheltered side of a high boulder. There he stopped and barked excitedly.

The children were found locked in each other’s arms. The younger one had her cheek tightly pressed against the face of her sister. Young Margaret’s features were calm and peaceful as if she had met death in sleep. Elizabeth’s face, however, plainly showed traces of fear and anxiety, and spoke of days of cold, of hunger and terror. Their tender arms and legs were covered with scratches, and their flimsy dresses in tatters. They had travelled about six miles.

The bodies were left undisturbed until the father was escorted to the spot. Many in that motley throng, now gathering around reverentially amid the awful presence of death, could not restrain a tear as the stricken parent knelt and lovingly embraced each lifeless form. Willing hands, working in relays, then carefully carried the precious burdens back to the Meagher home.

The remains were placed into one coffin, and two days later were interred in the historic cemetery at Woodlawn. A reward of £5 offered for their discovery, was turned over by Mr. Currie to head a fund for the erection of a headstone.

For months afterwards, newspapers throughout the continent of North America reprinted the accounts of this tragedy as narrated in their Halifax contemporaries. Pamphlets recounting the sad story in verse, were peddled all over the Maritimes. Most people hereabouts are familiar with the one composed and sung for years afterwards by Daniel G. Blois, of the Gore, Hants County. It was republished in the Truro News in April 1942, and is also found in “Nova Scotia Ballads” by Miss Helen Creighton of Dartmouth. Older readers will recall a few of the lines:

Good people read these verses That I have written here,

And when you have perused them You can’t but shed a tear.

In eighteen hundred forty-two April the eleventh day,

Two little girls from Preston Road Into the woods did stray.

Their father and their mother,

Both sick in bed did lay;

While those two little children About the door did play.

Hand in hand together

They saw them leave the door,

The eldest was but six years old,

And the youngest only four.

You cruel Browns who heard them cry And would not let them in,

May God forgive or punish you According to ybur sin.

On the nineteenth day of April They in one coffin lay,

Between Allen’s dale and Allen’s farm Their little graves were made,

Where thousands did assemble Their last farewell to take;

Both rich and poor lamented sore For those poor children’s sake.

Five pounds reward was offered

To the man that did them find,

But Currie, he refused it,

Like a Christian just and kind,

May God forever bless him,

And grant him length of days,

Your humble poet D. G. B.

Will ever sing his praise.32

The first law office appeared in Dartmouth in 1842 when Charles DesBrisay, Attorney of the Court of Queen’s Bench, announced that he had opened an office where he would prepare conveyances, leases, mortgages, wills, etc.

The Dartmouth Agricultural Society, had for its officers John E. Fairbanks, President; William Foster and John Tempest, Secretaries. In the Spring they published a list of money prizes to be awarded for the best livestock and vegetables raised during 1842. In October, a ploughing match was held at John Farquharson’s farm; and in November, a Fair and Cattle Show was held in Foster’s field at the southeast corner of the present Portland and Canal Streets. Subscriptions were paid by the members, and a sum of £25 was added from the Provincial Government.

In a London (England) magazine that summer, Lieutenant J. B. Clarke, R.N., issued a challenge that he would sail the “Mary Ann,” a yacht of 17 tons, built by George Mayberry in 1838, against any other craft of the same tonnage. The prize was 1,000 sovereigns. The race to be held in Halifax or Boston.

John Tapper evidently had moved his blacksmith shop from Dartmouth to Lake Charles, for in 1842 he advertised his 170 acre farm containing an orchard, hay fields and a new house. There was also a smaller house and barn on another part of the farm. (This is known to us as Fisher’s, adjoining Fred Hoskin’s farm. It is now occupied by Patrick Lahey.)

Andrew McMinn’s lands were advertised for sale in Chancery Court that year. They included the property at southeast corner of Wentworth and Quarrell Street, and also the extensive farm and brickyard, formerly in the ownership of Chief Justice Bryan

Finucane. (Present Nova Scotia Hospital location.)

Mrs. Jane McGregor offered a house on Quarrel Street, and another on Ochterloney Street, opposite William Walker’s, suitable for an extensive grocery business.

W. H. Wisdom advertised all the property of the late John Wisdom. This included a 62-acre farm with a dwelling and barn 21/2 miles from the Steam Boat wharf. On the property was a two-storey building which had been used as a nail factory (Moran’s), but was originally designed for a Grist Mill. Wisdom also offered 500 acres of woodland near Lake William. (This is the Lake William north of Preston, the waters from which flow five miles into Lake Echo. Trout fishermen say that ruins of a sawmill and much cleared land are still evident on the deserted Wisdom farm there.)

Land transfers in 1842 included Hugh Hartshorne to John Kennedy, property northwest corner Princess Charlotte Street and King Street. (Kennedy’s Hotel was on the northeast corner of the same streets, at Owl Drugstore.)

Lawrence Hartshorne to Gilbert Elliott, Halifax grocer, property at or near the present 37 King Street.

George Mayberry, shipwright, described in 1841 list. Property purchased by John Robertson, sailmaker, for £625.

John Farquharson to the widow of Dr. Johnson, property on Wentworth Street, “north of George Turner’s stonewall”.

Mrs. Michael Wallace to Thomas Thorpe, property southeast corner Ochterloney and Wentworth Streets.

Mrs. Michael Wallace to Rev. A. D. Parker, property southwest corner Ochterloney and Sherbrooke (Dundas) Streets.

Trustees Samuel Cunard to Richard McLearn, property at or near the present 113 Ochterloney Street. (This may have been the former house of Timothy Murphy, previously referred to as “The Sign of the Golden Boot”.)

James Scallion to Nicholas Murphy, brushmaker, land on Canal Road. (About opposite, and southeast of the MicMac Club.)

School returns for 1842 showed that Mr. Munro had 64 pupils. Of these, 61 paid, and 3 were free pupils. The amount collected from the people was £71. Government allowance £70. The total cost of the school for the year was about £150.

Hon. Joseph Howe, who was Commissioner for Indian Affairs in Nova Scotia, filed this report on the Indian School at Dartmouth for the year 1842:

With the aid of Father Geary for whose kind cooperation I am much indebted, a Sunday School was opened for the in-.

struction of Indians in the Chapel at Dartmouth, and for several weeks the attendance was very good, with pupils of both sexes and all ages making fair progress. But as Mr. Geary was from necessity absent, visiting different portions of a widely extended mission, it was found impossible to ensure that certainty and regularity which were essential to the successful design, and the Sunday School was subsequently abandoned. In the autumn, a day school was opened at Dartmouth, but as most of the Indians had either moved to the interior, or retired to the woods to prepare for winter, the attendance was very slight, and the room closed at the end of the first quarter.

By having a schoolroom distinct from the Chapel, and open every Sunday when the Indians have leisure to attend, and usually resort to Dartmouth, I trust more progress will be made . . .

The expenses of the school at Dartmouth for the year 1842 amounted to £12 10s.

A branch of the Mechanics’ Institute was organized at Dartmouth in the autumn of 1842. The introductory lecture was delivered by Mr. Munro (probably the teacher). The second lecture was on “Heat”, and given by Mr. McKinlay, President of the Halifax Institute. At another meeting Hon. Joseph Howe spoke on “History”. As the last ferry from Dartmouth left about 9 o’clock a special boat used to be provided to convey the Halifax guests to their homes. (There is no mention as to where the meetings were held, but the most likely place would be the schoolhouse.)

Marriages in 1842 were James W. Munro to Mary Fuller, daughter of Patrick Fuller. Richard Room to Maria Tapper, daughter of John. Thomas A. Hyde of C. B., to Mary Elliot, daughter of John. Joshua James to Mary Bell. Thomas A. Allen to Margaret Smith, daughter of Captain Smith. Peter McNab, junior to Anna Elizabeth Wade of Kentville. At Halifax, Thomas Gentles to Barbara Reid. At Sackville, Gerisham Tufts to Harriet Ellis. (These are from Christ Church and newspaper records.)

St. Peter’s Register gives the marriage of John Treacy, son of Richard Treacy and Catherine Spruhan of Thomastown, County Kilkenny to Mary Jane Jackson, daughter of Robert Jackson and Jane Simpson. Witnesses John Dooley, Margaret Jackson and George Jackson. Also Thomas Corbit, son of James Corbit and Elizabeth Curry, to Maria Pease (or Pearce), daughter of Thomas Pease and Margaret Lyons of County Galway. Also Jeremiah Dempsey, son of James Dempsey and Mary Collins of County Cork, to Mary Ann Sullivan, daughter of Michael Sullivan and Margaret Donovan of the same place.

Deaths recorded were Mrs. Anna Ott 42 years, wife of John Ott. Mrs. Sarah Cook 76, relict of John Cook, funeral from John Jamison’s. Mrs. James Garrett 22, (nee Mary Vaughan, name on 1828 school register). Richard McCabe 52, native County Wexford. John Kennedy 76, native of Carrick, Ireland. Magistrate Samuel Albro 63, tanyard proprietor. Ellen, infant daughter George Shiels. Infant daughter Michael Murray. Mrs. Mary King 82, relict Samuel King. (Lamont’s Lake used to be King’s Lake.)

Harriet Parker, aged 7, eldest child Rev. A. D. Parker. John Farquharson 78, an old inhabitant. Edward, infant son of John Tempest. At Salmon River, (on Old Preston Road), Mrs. George Tulloch33 46, buried at Dartmouth. Joanna Allen, daughter John Allen, junior. William Allan, third son Richard Allan. Lucy Brown 21, funeral from James McNab’s, Eastern Passage Road. At Middle Musquodoboit, James McDonald a veteran Highlander who had served in many campaigns, and was near General Sir John Moore when he fell at Corunna in 1809.

In St. Peter’s burial register, Richard McCabe’s age is 54, and he is listed as the husband of Alice Lonergan; John Kennedy is recorded as the husband of Elizabeth Munovan. The funeral service for Mrs. Garrett in April was performed by Rev. John Loughnan of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Halifax.

Birth records of 1842 give Emma, child of Ann and W. H. Rudolph, shopkeeper; Edmund Maurice, child of Rose Mcllreith and William Walker, grocer and former schoolmaster. The latter birth is in a scrapbook of the Walker family. (See p. 208.)

St. Peter’s baptismal register gives William Henry, child of Margaret Meagher and Hugh Greene; John, child of Frances Humphries and Stephen York; William, child of Margaret Flemming and James Whiteley; Catherine, child of Ann Murphy and Michael McGrath; Mary, child of Catherine McDeal and Timothy Sullivan; Michael, child of Sarah Green and Michael Hynes; John Leonard, child of Maria Smyth and John Fay; Ann, child of Bridget Murphy and William Hornsby; James, child of Mary Keys and James Hard-grieves, 8th Battalion Royal Artillery; Joanna, child of Mary Smith and Peter Kelly; Mary, child of Catherine Calalen and Philip McCormack; Margaret, child of Ann Walsh and Neal McCormick; Joseph, child of Mary Hardyman and Robert Fitzgerald; Catherine, child of Elizabeth Kingston and-Michael Watt; Edward, child of Mary Ann Gorman and Dominick Farrell; Mary, child of Ellen Sullivan and William Davis, 64th Regiment; Mary, child of Ellen Hanafin and John Kennedy; William, child of Honora Leonard and Alex. Fraser; Johanna, child of Susan Quinn and Robert O’Brien; Catherine, child of Mary Jane Jackson and John Treacy.

A correspondent, thought to be the famous Titus Smith, reminiscing in the newspaper, about this time, recalled some interesting history of an old building which stood in Halifax at the northeast corner of George and Water Streets, passed every day by hundreds of ferry patrons.

The building had been the residence of Governor Lawrence, and once stood on the location of present Province House until it was moved to the ferry corner by Thomas Beamish. After many years, it was demolished. The correspondent of 1842 was of the opinion that this first Government House never should have been pulled down, but that a larger structure should have been erected over the old building to preserve it for posterity.

The writer also recalled that within a few feet of the old corner there stood in the year 1783, the decayed stump of a white maple tree, nearly a foot in diameter and about three feet high. Tradition said that to this tree, the boats that landed at Halifax, were fastened in the early days. (There used to be a crescentshaped Cove extending in to Water Street. The part of George Street leading to the ferry gates, and the structures on each side are built on “made” land.)

But more gloomy associations were connected with this fatal tree. For some considerable time, it was the regular place of executions. Almost weekly some unfortunate wretch might be seen dangling from a branch of the old maple, to which he had often been strung up, on very doubtful evidence. (In those days the death penalty was imposed for stealing.)


At the beginning of the year 1843, Henry Y. Mott, whose industry is located on page 13, announced in the newspapers that he was taking his son John P. Mott into partnership. The latter “had just spent eight years abroad acquiring a thorough knowledge of the cocoa business”. The advertisement explained that the manufactory was located at Dartmouth, but “the products would be stamped as though they were made at Halifax—that place being more generally known”.

(John P. Mott was then 23, having been born at Preston in 1820. Most likely he had spent the eight years learning the business at Dorchester, Mass., where his aunt was married to William Baker, well-known manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate.)

During the first months of 1843, there was a long spell of mild and foggy weather. A Halifax newspaper contrasted this with the •'verity of the weather 56 years previously, i.e., January 1787, when the harbor was frozen solidly down as far as York Redoubt. The Ice continued hard and fast for 40 days, allowing heavily-laden sleds to cross from either side at all points.

A pamphlet, entitled “The Lost Children” was published in the winter of 1843, by James Bowes, a Halifax printer. It contained extracts in prose and in verse from the newspaper accounts of the little Meagher children. The book also contained a short tale based on the main facts of the tragedy, written by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney34, well-known Connecticut authoress of stories for children.

On Sunday, January 15th, 1843, Tom Creighton, 17-year-old son of George B. Creighton of Brooklands, sailed from Halifax on the barque “Rose” for a three-year whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Tom’s lady friend was Miss Annie Albro, daughter of Samuel Albro. Tom’s youthful chum was Dick Hartshorne, one of the family of Lawrence Hartshorne.

In order to keep Tom posted on happenings during his long absence, a 53-year old Aunt Eliza Creighton kept a diary which ran for over two years. This has been mentioned on page 21. Entries for the Spring of 1843 include:

“The Johnston family have come over to Mount Amelia for the summer. Andrew Richardson’s family have also moved to Dartmouth, and are occupying a new house near the Edsall’s. Daniel Bremner has bought a piece of our land between here and Geyro’s Hill (probably Burton’s), and is erecting a cottage. I have been spending the day at Woodside where they have a Bee-Hive—a sight of industry and ingenuity. Mr. Fairbanks explained the whole process to me, of the queen bee, the drones, their winter stock of honey, etc. It was quite interesting. Grandma Fairbanks was there, hers is a beautiful old age. John Mott has got his manufactory under way, and tells me he has more demand for his chocolate and cocoa than he can readily meet. The Jamisons have been here from Ship Harbor, and stayed a week at Kennedy’s Hotel”.

On February 28th, inhabitants hereabouts became alarmed and excited by the appearance of a celestial phenomenon. The planet Venus was beautifully distinct at noon in a clear sky, although the sun shone brightly. Crowds of people in Halifax and Dartmouth gathered on hills and rooftops to view the spectacle.

Mrs. James Stanford, aged ^37, wife of the tannery proprietor, died in childbirth in February. This was particularly sad. The Stanfords had just got comfortably settled in their newly-built house in a vacant field on Canal Road 35

William Hague, well-known grocer near the Ferry, died in April, aged 69. He was an Englishman, and during the 1837 Rebellion, proved his patriotism by lending horses and sleighs to help transport troops from Halifax to Windsor. (See his flat gravestone near the southwest section of Christ Church cemetery.)

Chief Paul of the Micmac Indians, died at the Dartmouth encampment in the same month, and was buried in Geary Street cemetery. A meeting of the tribe was to be held shortly for the purpose of choosing a successor.

The month of April was cold and backward with a continual precipitation of rain and hail. There is a record of snow falling as late as May 9, that year.

Near the end of May, a terrific forest fire broke out on the Eastern Coach road, and raged along a 15-mile front towards Dartmouth. A new house and barn on the farm of Wentworth and Benjamin Green, about three miles from Marshall’s Tavern at Porto Bello, were totally destroyed. Dartmouth was clouded with smoke, and redolent with the smell of smoldering tree-trunks.

That stretch of the present no. 2 highway between Waverley and Bedford was begun in 1843. The project had been urged ior several years, and finally got started under the supervision of George Wightman. His appointment was criticised by a newspaper correspondent, who observed that Wightiflan was the contractor who had built the Red Bridge across an arm of Dartmouth Lake, and his work on that structure proved to be faulty. However, the work went forward.

Another writer asserted that the long delay in constructing the new piece of road was encouraged by Steamboat directors who had exerted an influence on the Government, in the fear that the Ferry would lose much of the eastern road traffic. Had they not maintained such a high rate of ferriage, said this correspondent, perhaps the building of the road would never have been urged.

The Baptist Church at Dartmouth had its beginnings in 1843. Previously the members of that faith worshipped at the First Baptist Church in Halifax (Paramount Theatre location).

Records of the congregation, preserved by the family of Mr. and Mrs. Artemus Eisener and published in the Centennial Book of the Baptist Church in 1943, reveal that the Dartmouth members “revolted at the idea of breaking the spirit of the Sabbath” by travelling on the ferry. In addition, there was a long delay getting home after the service because the boat then used to cease running for nearly two hours on Sundays, while the crew partook of their midday meal.

The organization meeting was held at the home of W. L. Evans in a cottage on the present Whiteley property at 169 Prince Albert Road. The first members included John Huxtable, Ann Huxtable, Ann Wilson, W. L. Evans, Henry Kaler, Edward Marr and Susan

Marr. Mr. Huxtable was elected Deacon.

Services for the first eight months were held in the school building. Simultaneously a Baptist Sabbath School under Mr. McLearn was conducted in his home, still standing at 113 Ochterloney Street. One of the most devoted teachers was Miss Moreland, who “would go out into the streets among the poor people of Dartmouth, and bring in little children”.

According to Baptist records, the population of the town then totalled 972. The number of homes was 197.

Thomas Medley, who owed £500 on his hotel at Quarrell Street, lost the property in 1843 when the mortgage was foreclosed by the heirs of the Wallace estate. At a Chancery Court sale that summer, the land and buildings were purchased by Edward Hoyne, a Halifax grocer, for £700.

About this time, W. H. Rudolf erected a compact row of six dwelling-houses, fronting a 14-foot alleyway extending westerly from Wentworth Street on the location of the present Police Station. The alley was called Rudolf’s Terrace. The land south of the alley, fronting on Quarrell Street, was evidently intended to be used for gardens or stables by the various tenants or owners. 36

Nathaniel Russell purchased the northwest corner of Portland and Dundas Street for £50, being part of the Tremain grant of block “E”. Mr. Russell had just erected a small house fronting on Dundas (then Tremain Street) where now is located the shop of the Independent Print at 21 Dundas Street.

Mrs. Allan McDonald devised to her daughters Mary and Margaret, for two shillings, the large wooden house and lot, northeast corner of Princess Charlotte Street and Water Street.

Arthur W. Godfrey, a Halifax stationer, purchased a lot 120 feet by 120 from the Creightons for £50. The property was on “the upper side of the road from Dartmouth leading to the Lower Ferry”. It is described as being near Geyro’s.

Adam Esson conveyed to John Robertson, a sailmaker of Halifax, for £215, the land and buildings extending to the shore on Water Street near George Mayberry’s boat shop.

Henry W. Glendenning and John Rottenbury purchased a large block of land fronting on Water Street and extending back to Prince Street on the northern side of Donaldson’s Lane.

George Shiels bought the property at the southwest corner of Princess Charlotte and King Streets for £150.

The Dartmouth-built barque “Alert”, which had been afloat exactly a month, set sail for England in mid-July, and 24 hours later ran ashore, where she became a total wreck. (See page 51.)

The Creighton diary records that “the Alert, so lately launched from Lyle’s shipyard, and had sailed from here with 300 officers and men of the 64th Regiment, was lost somewhere by Ship Harbour, crew and all saved. Dick Hartshorne was despatched in a vessel with provisions, etc., to look after them. He never took time to put up a bundle of clothing, but stepped on board the ship at Halifax just as he stood”.

(Courtesy Miss fethel Stevens;    (Cut    by    Eastern    Photo    Engravers)

This is what Rudolf’s Terrace looked like about 1900. The tenants then were Edward “Cut” Brown in no. 1, Charles Diggs, Mrs. Rachael Taylor, Mrs. William Brown, widow of “Cruel”37 Brown, Mrs. Charlotte Franklyn and Peter Fairfax in no. 6 at the end. Central School is the high building at far left. By that time the 20-foot frontage of each property on Quarrell St., was lined with more dwellings. A plan of this Rudolph housing-project, drawn by Engineer Charles W. Fairbanks, is preserved at the Registry of Deeds. Among early purchasers of these properties were Dominick Farrell and John Bell. White families occupied all of these houses in the last century.

The Halifax “Guardian” for September 1843, reported that St. James’ Sabbath School on King Street was in a very promising condition. There were then upwards of 40 pupils in attendance— all respectful and well-behaved. The children were divided into five classes. Some of them came a distance of two or three miles.

The annual regatta was held in September. Reports state that the harbor presented a gay and pleasing appearance, with hundreds of boats on the water. The four-oared gig race was won by the “Victoria”, a boat built by Findlay at Dartmouth.

That same month, there died at Halifax, the Rev. Dr. Thomas MacCulloch, President of Dalhousie College. The funeral cortege crossed over in the ferry on its way to Pictou.

The Dartmouth Agricultural Society held its annual ploughing match at Hood Clifford’s farm on Breakheart Hill in October. The winners of money prizes were Hood Clifford, John Meagher, Peter Currie. Alex. Farquharson and James Cook. Amid the cheers and hearty laughter of the ladies and gentlemen present, the successful competitors were afterwards carried around the field upon the shoulders of the unsuccessful plowmen.

The annual Fair and cattle show of the Society was held later in the same month at Foster’s field in Dartmouth. Prizes for the best breed of animals exhibited were won by Andrew Shiels, George Tulloch, John E. Fairbanks, Lawrence Hartshorne, Peter Currie, Philip Brown, William York and Alex. Farquharson. Prizes for the best cloth, wool and butter were awarded to Miss Bissett and Mrs. Alexander Farquharson.

The drygoods firm of D. Murray and Company at Cheapside in Halifax, opened a branch at the former store of Joseph Findlay in Dartmouth in November of 1843.

School returns for the year 1843 show that J. W. Munro was the teacher for the first half-year, and H. W. Brown for the remainder. There were 53 pupils enroled. The total cost of the school for the term was £125, of which £34 was collected from parents.

At Upper Cole Harbor school district no. 57, the teacher was James Ephriam Lawlor, 23-year-old native of that section. This school may be the same one where James Gordon Bennett taught in 1816. (See page 126.)

Marriages in 1843 included Thomas Allan to Margaret Smith; James W. Turner to Eliza Foster, daughter of William; Edward Coleman to Elizabeth Ann Walker; John R. Stewart to Mary Jane Howe, daughter of David; George Otto to Mary Brome of Preston; Captain John A. Newman of Halifax to Helen Kennedy, daughter John Kennedy of Ballinclaire, Ireland; Flemming Smith of Windsor

Road to Margaret Bell of Preston; Samuel Gaston to Elizabeth

Johnston. (Gathered from newspapers and Christ Church records.)

In addition to the Newman-Kennedy wedding, St. Peter’s marriage register gives Peter Knocton, son of William Knocton and Elizabeth Murray of County Roscommon, to Rose McMahon, daughter of John McMahon and Mary Woods of County Monaghan, Ireland. Also James Hargreaves, son of Henry Hargreaves of Lancashire, Eng., private in the Royal Artillery, to Mary Keefe, daughter of Martin Keefe and Mary Fillmore of County Wexford. Also Patrick McCarty, son of Maurice McCarty and Mary McKenna of Dingle, County Kerry, to Ann Donovan, daughter of Timothy Donovan and Honor a Fancey of County Cork. Also Richard Smyth to Joanna Hearn. Also Daniel Hintion to Elizabeth Mizangeau.

Deaths recorded were Conrad Katzman, 63 years of age, at Maroon Hall (father of Mrs. William Lawson, the authoress and historian)38; Joseph Moore 54, (Synott and Moore); Mrs. Mary Bowes 38; John Graham, ship-carpenter, (see marriages of 1840); Typheanan Woodman 59; Mrs. Blake; a child of Robert Gay, whose clothing caught on fire.

St. Peter’s burial register notes that Joseph Moore was a native of County Wexford, and “for 25 vears a resident of this parish, and the husband of Catherine McDonald”. Mrs. Mary Bowes was the wife of John Bowes, and the daugnter of John Murray and Rebecca Hatfield.

Baptisms of 1843 were Margaret, child of Margaret and Thomas Tidmarsh, auctioneer; Sarah Jane child of Amelia and John Donig (or Douig), farmer. (Christ Church records.)

St. Peter’s baptismal register gives John, child of Mary Murray and John Bowes; Mary Maria, diild of Mary Murphy and David Vaughan; George, child of Mary Cotter and Paul Kingston, (sponsors Rose Farrell and Garrett Cotter); Thomas, child of Mary Smith and William Behan; James, child of Catherine Skerry and Patrick Meagher; Sarah, child of Mary Ann Riney and James Keating; Catherine, child of Catherine Kingston and Jeremiah Donovan; Catherine, child of Hanna and Hugh O’Neill; Mary Ann, child of Mary King and Lawrence Meagher; Margaret, child of Maria Pierce and Thomas Corbit; Margaret, child of Ellen Sullivan and William Walsh; Sarah Rebecca, child of Mary Kennedy and Michael Murray; Mary, child of Mary Jane Jackson and John Treacy; Daniel, child of Mary Sullivan arid Jeremiah Driscoll; Ellen, child of Elizabeth Thomas and Patrick Boland, Preston; Catherine, child of Frances Humphries and Stephen York, Preston Road; David Conerxery, child of Margaret Thomson and James Lester Griffin of Lake Porter; William, child of

Johanna Murray and John Skerry; Edward, child of Elizabeth James and Dennis Leary; Michael, child of Margaret Sullivan and Jeremiah Dempsey; Catherine, child of Bridget Conerty and Patrick Donohoe; Lawrence, child of Margaret Reyly and Lawrence Ring.


We turn next to documents and papers of 1844, and note that this was a leap year and that the first issue of the “Morning Chronicle” appeared in January. In that month, the Dartmouth Mechanics’ Institute commenced the second season of its existence with a lecture delivered by Hon. Joseph Howe.

The Rev. George Morris was now Rector of Christ Church, and occupying the “Grove”, having succeeded Rev. A. D. Parker. The latter had gone to Philadelphia. Rev. Mr. Morris was a son of the third Hon. Charles Morris, whose country estate was at Lake Loon. (This is the Montagu house, mentioned on page 61.)

The Creighton diary of January 5th, recorded that Mrs. Parker’s furniture was being sold in Halifax, and that she and the children were staying with the Hartshornes at Poplar Hill, while awaiting the steamer for Boston. “She has had trouble enough to break the stoutest heart”, concluded the entry.

About this time, considerable dissatisfaction prevailed among the inhabitants, concerning the administration of land on the new town-plot of the Dartmouth Common. It seems that no account of the sale of lands or the expenditure of money, had as yet been rendered at town-meetings, although nearly three years had elapsed since the plot was laid out. There was open criticism that the Commissioners were lavishing funds on surveys and on crossroads, for the benefit of certain landowners; whereas the Act provided for only one road, and intended that all surplus revenue be applied to improve the remainder of the Common.

For instance, trees, stumps and bushes could be uprooted, and rough ground converted into pasture for the benefit of animals of town-plot inhabitants. The latter must also have been galled by the fact that the Government-appointed Commissioners all had their homes outside the town-plot. Mott and Fairbanks were two miles down the Passage Road. Foster lived just across the Canal; and being nearest to town, did most of the detail work of alloting Common lands 39.

The meeting of townfolk regarding this matter, held on January 17th, was thus reported in the Morning Chronicle:

A public meeting was held at Dartmouth recently to consider the adoption of measures to advance the interests of that thriving village. The inhabitants complained that the public property of the Common was not being satisfactorily managed, and requested the Commissioners to resign; and that three persons in the townplot be nominated in their stead.

The meeting also agreed upon the repair and purchase of the Hay Scales, and have them erected on town property—to petition the Legislature for a representative in the House of Assembly—and to endeavor to reduce the fares on the Steam Boat.

Mr. Lowe, who is Manager of the Company, stated that when the new ferryboat, now in course of construction, should commence plying, some reduction would be made.

In that January also was written the last chapter in the long and colorful career of Othello Pollard, with the announcement of his death “at a very advanced age—for many years known as a worthy resident”. (Othello’s name is listed in the burial book of Christ Church, and he was probably interred in that cemetery. His widow, who was much older, still survived.)

In February, the newspapers reported that the coldest weather since 1836 was being experienced, and the Steam Boat had difficulty paddling through the ice. News came from Boston that the Cunarder Britannia was frozen solidly in that harbor.

The Creighton diary said: “-.. . we have had the coldest winter in many years . . . poor old Pollard is gone, and the scarlet fever has been prevalent and fatal in many families. Mr. Tempest lost a young daughter, and little Kate Richardson also died”.

At the regular town-meeting in March, the Common was probably again the chief topic of discussion. A long protest to Lieutenant-Governor Falkland was drawn up, and subsequently signed by 124 residents. A Committee consisting of Alexander Lyle, Patrick Fuller, Jonathan Elliot, John Kennedy, James Roue, Michael Murray and W. H. Rudolf, was appointed to confer with the Provincial Secretary; and submit the names of Michael Murray, James Roue and Jonathan Elliot as being suitable men for Commissioners.

Months later, a Committee ot the Executive ^Council, who had been named by Lord Falkland to investigate the affair of the Dartmouth Common, made a report which somewhat criticised the Commissioners for not using economy in surveying and subdividing. Part of it follows:

These affairs appear to have been almost wholly attended to by Mr. Foster, in whose hands, papers and accounts have been kept . . . that the Commissioners did not evince sufficient readiness to afford information to the auditors or to the inhabitants . . . although there was nothing morally wrong in the proceedings . . . and as to the alleged misapplication of money, the Committee refrain from expressing any opinion especially in view of the fact that the matter is to be brought up in the Courts.

. . . The inhabitants of the town-plot have been denuded of their rights in the sold portions of the Common, without having received aitiy equivalent whatever.

... As to the question of residence, it all depends whether the Common belongs to those who reside within the town-plot, or the township in general. The Attorney-GeneraFs opinion should be obtained before any Commissioner is removed.

The wrath of John Fairbanks and Henry Mott was evidently aroused as a result of the town meeting referred to above, for both wrote indignant letters to the Chronicle, refusing to resign their offices as Commissioners of the Common.

Trouble was also brewing among members of the McDonald family, whose affairs were not progressing very favorably. Mrs. Allan McDonald complained that Dr. John McDonald was incompetent and the business was in a muddle. The latter, as one of the administrators of the estate, would not render her any financial statements of transactions. All the while, stocks of goods in the Dartmouth store and equipment on the farm at McDonald’s Lake, were gradually disappearing. Action was commenced in the Courts.

In March of 1844, an auction sale was advertised of a portion of McDonald property. It included the new 4-storey building, with a large store suitable for a counting-house, well finished with a yard and garden (on Royal Bank location); a new store and wharf on land bought from W. H. Worthy, foot of Church Street; and the dwelling-house, barns, outhouses, farming utensils on the 70-acre farm at McDonald’s Lake, also the snuff and gristmill thereon. The farm was in a high state of cultivation.

There was another building boom in Dartmouth during 1844. In April a house was commenced for Arthur W. Godfrey “on the other side of Geyro’s”. George A. S. Crichton (page 94), finished enough of “The Brae” at Mount Pleasant, to live there that summer. On part of her late father’s property at the tanyard, Miss Annie Albro had a neat dwelling erected, which she called “Grove Cottage”, and later on, leased it to her brother and his bride.

The scene from Mount Pleasant was described as being very beautiful with the cottages on the opposite hills, and the rows of wigwams along the side of Silver’s Hill from the present MicMac Club to Graham’s cross roads. There was another encampment at “Second Red Bridge”. Other records state that there were also camps in the vicinity of Pleasant Street, near Erskine.

This may account for the heaps of bones that have been unearthed for over a century on the rising ground where stand the Church and Manse of St. James’ United Church. Or the knoll may have been the burial place of the first settlers of Dartmouth, because that locality in the 1700’s was just outside the boundary of the original townplot.

The first known account of these findings is contained in the

Chronicle of July 1844. At that time Foster’s “MicMac Tobacco Manufactory” was in full operation on the lot now occupied by the Dartmouth Medical Centre. The newspaper said:

A quantity of human bones comprising the remains of seven or eight persons were discovered last week buried in a hill in Dartmouth near the residence of William Foster, Esq. Considerable quantities of bones have been dug up on the same spot on several previous occasions. They are in an advanced state of decay, and must have been buried one or two centuries ago.

The only clue to their probable history to be found in Hali-burton, is his account of the visit of the French fleet under the Due d’Anville to Chebucto in 1746, on which occasion 1130 of his men died of the scurvy, besides great numbers of Indians.

Whether these remains were interred then, or at a more ancient period, is a question worthy the attention of those versed in historical reminiscences.

The most exciting news of 1844, that far overshadowed every other happening, was the affair of the barque “Saladin” and her crew of pirates and murderers. Readers who are unacquainted with the thrilling story of the mutiny on this famous treasure ship, the trial of the prisoners and their subsequent hanging at Halifax, may get a complete summary in the volume entitled “Down East”, one of the “Town Clock” series by William Borrett.

In these pages, we shall recount the part played in the capture of the sailors by a prominent Dartmouthian. In the month of May, news reached Halifax that a vessel, whose name had been ('ffaced, and whose cargo consisted of guano, copper, bars of silver :md about $9,000 in specie and bullion, was ashore at Country Harbor, in the County of Guysboro.

Such suspicious tales of the ship reached the authorities at Halifax, that they immediately readied HMS “Fair Rosamond” to convey officers to the scene with warrants for the arrest of the uilors. But the Fair Rosamond was delayed by head winds.

Thereupon Alexander Lyle of Dartmouth who had a thorough knowledge of the Country Harbor district, tendered his services, and was despatched by an express “through the wpods”, armed with copies of writs from the Marshall at Halifax.

Mr. Lyle arrived in time to give information to the Magistrate at Country Harbor, whereby the escape of the crew was prevented and the sale of part of the materials, then offering at auction, was postponed. Next day, the Fair Rosamond arrived.

In order to make the journey, Mr. Lyle interrupted an important Job which he had on his hands at Dartmouth. Another ferryboat was on the stocks at his yard, and almost finished. On the evening tide of June 17th, amid the prolonged cheers of people afloat and ashore, this new 40-horsepower paddle-wheeler glided gracefully into the harbor. Handsome Mary Hartshorne, whose father was Steam Boat Secretary, christened her the “MicMac”. (See photo at N. S. Archives.)

Evidently the ferry officials and their guests, along with Mr. Lyle and Samuel Hunston, the Engineer, at once repaired to Medley’s to celebrate with a banquet. This information was gleaned from the ferry accounts of that time, wherein is debited the sum of £8, paid to Mrs. Medley “for a supper at the MicMac launching”.

Note that the supper was supervised by Mrs. Medley. The explanation is that her husband, Thomas Medley, had died only a month previously. Although Edward Hoyne now owned the hotel, he had probably retained the Medleys as proprietors.

A young Halifax lawyer, commenting on the name of the new Steam Boat, observed at the time, that it stood for three races of people. “Mic” for the Irish; “Mac” for the Scots; and “MicMac” for our native Indians.

In old record books, still preserved at the Dartmouth Ferry Commission, the names of employees in 1844 were Samuel Hunston, Chief Engineer; Mr. W. Edmonds, Captain William Hunter, Captain Corbett, Tim Sullivan, Edward Coleman, carpenter; Simon Malaga, fireman and John Morton. The Manager was E. H. Lowe.

An entry of July 30th, noted that “Steamer MicMac took her station on the Ferry this day”. There follows a complete log of wind and weather for the month of August. On the 28th, fog and rain caused a postponement of the annual regatta on the harbor, until the following day. (The weather-log referred to, was republished a century later by the Halifax Mail, in the Dartmouth Natal Day edition of 1944.)

On the last Sunday of July, James Stanford suffered another misfortune, when his tannery at the foot of the present Maple Street, was destroyed in a noonday fire. A ferryboat was requisitioned to bring aid from Halifax. The following report later appeared in the newspapers:

Last Sunday the tannery of James Stanford at Dartmouth was discovered to be on fire at quarter past twelve. Every exertion was made on the part of the inhabitants to stop the progress of the flames, but without success. The buildings with a greater portion of their contents, including hides, valuable machinery, &c., were completely destroyed. A small house and barn in the neighborhood were pulled down. The loss is estimated at between two and three thousand dollars, and the insurance covers only half of that amount.

An Engine from the Halifax Company, and another ably conducted by a party from the Rifle Brigade, promptly went to Dartmouth to render assistance, and proved highly useful.

Another disastrous forest fire broke out near Dartmouth in

August. Along the road for a mile or two beyond Red Bridge, the flames raged with undiminished fury for nearly two days. Near O’Connor’s sawmill, it was at its worst. Everything was as dry as tinder, and burst out as the live sparks landed. Swamps were parched, so that wherever an ember fell, up started a sudden blaze. On the second night, the wind went down and a timely shower effectively extinguished the flames.

A cattle show and sale took place at Foster’s field in September, when “a considerable number of various breeds were exhibited, highly creditable to the inhabitants of that thriving village”, said the Halifax Morning Post.

The same paper carried a lengthy report of the third annual ploughing match, held in October at Hood Clifford’s farm, Colin Grove, where “a large number attended, including many ladies and gentlemen from Halifax and Dartmouth”. Prizes for ploughing were awarded in the following order: Mr. Meagher, Mr. Clifford, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Bell, Mr. Currie.

“A delightful and beautiful walk to the ferry, after a visit to Brook House, at one time the residence of the old French Governor, to meditate upon its strange and eventful history, to ramble over the grounds, or to reflect on some reminiscences connected with this former cheerful, but now deserted mansion, seemed to be a proper termination to the pleasures of the day”, concluded the Morning Post.

The following newspaper advertisement in October seemed to indicate that someone held a grudge against George Shiels, the son of Andrew, who had been married only a few years, and was then erecting a house in Dartmouth:

Whereas the house building by the subscriber, was last night much defaced and injured by some malicious villians, a reward of £5 will be given to persons furnishing information to convict the offenders. (Sgd. George Shiels.)

At this time, the gristmill pictured on page 36, was being operated by W. A. Black. Evidently game birds, such as wild duck, were still haunting the swampy area of the Maitland Street “Mus-squash”, (page 27). This is inferred from another Dartnjouth item dated October 18th:

A man named Martin Phinney of Dartmouth left his home in quest of game at an early hour on Tuesday morning, and had barely crossed the Canal a short distance above Black’s Mill near the road, when his gun burst, and dreadfully shattered one of his hands. Mr. Foster, who happened to be astir, and near the spot, immediately conveyed him home, and hastened to Dartmouth for surgical aid, and summoned Dr. Jennings, (Dr. DesBrisay being unwell, could not attend). Dr. Jennings procured the assistance of Dr. Almon, and amputated the thumb. Phinney has since been recovering.

The newly organized Baptist congregation of Dartmouth, lost no time in making preparations for a place of worship. In June of 1844, they purchased for £100, the land on King Street where now stands the Somme Hall. The lot was sold by Captain William Hunter to William L. Evans, Henry Kaler, John Whitman, John W. Barss and John Burton. The money was evidently borrowed, for there is also a record of the property being mortaged in the same year to Sarah and Elizabeth Albro for £100.

By the autumn, the members had erected a one-room Meeting House, one and one-half storeys high. (A neat drawing of this little church is shown in the Baptist Centennial Booklet.)

Within this modest structure on Sunday, November 10th, Rev. Abraham S. Hunt, A.B., late of Acadia College, was ordained Pastor, in the presence of “an exceedingly crowded audience which would have been much larger but for the size of the chaper,) said the Christian Messenger in its report of that event.

Rev. Mr. Hunt remained in Dartmouth for nearly two years, and then returned to Wolfville.

From the next newspaper item, we gather that there was a sunset gun fired from George’s Island; and that the ten-year feud still existed between the Shiels and McDonald families.

Andrew Shiels wrote to the editor in November, complaining about the delay in getting his mail from the Dartmouth Post Office which was “under the vigilant care of somebody by the name of McDonald, is regularly shut down at sunset, and not opened until 10 o’clock in the morning”. (Note the irony.)

On his way home from town one evening, Mr. Shiels learned from a neighbor that a letter from Scotland awaited him in the Dartmouth office. He then lived at Manor Hill.

“I sent off one of my sons to ferret out the Postmaster, and demand the letter, provided the gun had not fired for 8 o’clock before he found out. The young man was in time, but received an absolute refusal”, wrote the irate Andrew.

Henry Hesslein, well known caterer, who came from New York when the Halifax Hotel first opened, evidently had set up in Dartmouth after the costly Hotel failed financially. In a card issued that autumn, he thanked the public “for the liberal patronage he had met while doing business in Dartmouth”. He was then leaving here to re-open a restaurant at Mason’s Hall, Halifax.

Another advertisement announced that there would be an auction sale at the Steam Boat wharf on Saturday, October 12th at noon, of the late George Simpson’s lands near Maroon Hall.

Auctioneer George Paw of Halifax, had for sale a neat copper-fastened keel boat built at Dartmouth by Mr. Coleman.

Mr. McGregor offered for sale an excellent business stand of two shops, and dwelling house on “Aucherloney” Street.

E. H. Lowe, Ferry Manager, purchased from the Jackson estate, (p. 136), all that section of land next north of the present Sim-monds building, and extending to the shore.

The Creighton family sold an acre of land “on the south side of the road leading to Cole Harbor, and adjoining Bremner’s lot” to John Burton, carpenter, for £95. (Burton’s Hill.)

Henry Findlay, son of Joseph, bought for £50, about five acres of the Rectory land on Canal Road. (This comprised the area between the present Hawthorne and Elliot Streets. Near the latter, “Findlay’s Pond” flooded the original swampy hollow. Generations of Dartmouthians learned to skate on its large icy surface.)

Captain William Hunter bought for £60, the Dr. MacLeod house 53 King Street, once the property of David Greaves of Nantucket.

The property at 33 King Street, was sold by John Ross, for £260 in 1844, to the widow of Hon. Charles R. Fairbanks. (See p. 122.)

Dominick Farrell bought the dwellings in Rudolf’s Terrace with the land in front, marked no’s 1 and 2, on the location of the present Post Office. John Bell bought no. 3, on the west.

James Moore sold for £100 to John Dooley, miller, about five acres of land formerly Foster’s (page 93), adjoining the property of Martin G. Black (Fairfield); bounded northerly by the Brook and John Jamison’s millpond.

John Jamison purchased for £300 from the Samuel Albro estate, the house, barns, &c., long occupied by the Jamisons, together with the large field bounded by Jamison Street and Windmill Road.

On the cultural side of life in Dartmouth that autumn, Rev. A. S. Hunt lectured before the Mechanics’ Institute members, and Dr. Teulon of Halifax was scheduled to speak on the Monday following. The Dartmouth Literary and Debating Society held its first meeting in November; and a Mr. Owen commenced the training of a singing class on Wednesday afternoons.

Rev. Dennis Geary, President of St. Peter’s Total 'Abstinence Society, sent a Bill of Exchange for £12 to Rev. Theobold Mathew, “as a mark of the high estimation in which this Society holds your exertions in the sacred cause of Teetotalism”.

On the transportation side, the new road from Scott’s was ‘becoming quite a thoroughfare”. The Stage Coach evidently continued to travel through Dartmouth, for an advertisement in the Halifax Morning Post of December 17th, advised that “the lady who lost her Bustle on the Eastern Road one day last week, may

obtain the same at this Office”.

The lady’s loss may have befallen her at Porto Bello Inn, as a result of being startled by the growl of a ferocious animal, thus reported in the Morning Chronicle about that time:

About 10 days ago a wolf, attracted by the smell of barrels of salt herring, broke into the small enclosure on which stands the dwelling house of Mr. Reeves on the Canal Road, about seven miles from Dartmouth. A number of sheep have recently been killed in the vicinity of Eastern Passage, and there is reason to fear that wolves have been the perpetrators of the bloody deed.

A loss of materials, much more tangible than the above-men-tioned was suffered by Dominick Farrell on Christmas Day 1844, when fire destroyed a considerable portion of the stock in his store near the Ferry.

School returns for 1844 show that Henry Brown is still the teacher. There were 48 boys and 8 girls enrolled40.

Among marriages at Dartmouth that year were Charles P. Story to Mary Elizabeth Blacklock. John Cameron to Catherine Burns. David Fisher of Shubenacadie to Elizabeth Fisher of Dartmouth. Robert Upham of Stewiacke to Sarah Davis of Dartmouth.

R. B. O’Flaherty of Croom, County Limerick, to Mary McDonald, daughter of Mrs. Allan McDonald. George Fisher to Mary Ann Jenkins. Captain James Mackay of the mail-packet “Velocity” to Deborah Lyle, daughter of the shipbuilder41. Peter Kennedy, son of John (p. 124), to Margaret O’Connor, daughter of John O’Connor and Ann Lynch42.

Besides O’Flaherty and Kennedy, other weddings on St. Peter’s register include John Kennedy, son of Daniel Kennedy and Johanna Moriarty of County Kerry, to Bridget Courney, daughter of Daniel Courney and Ellen Casey of the same County. Also William Smyth, son of Francis Smyth and Mary Ann Hatfield, to Ellen Kennedy, daughter of John Kennedy and Elizabeth Mungavan.

Also Dennis Donovan, son of Daniel Donovan and Catherine Hailey of County Cork, to Mary Ellen Brennan, daughter of Patrick Brennan and Ellen Patton, Preston, in the presece of John Brennan and Elizabeth Brennan. Also James Morrissey, son of John Morrissey and Mary Jordon to Mary Fenton, daughter of John Fenton and Sarah Eagan.

Also Cornelius Buttomer, son of Maurice Buttomer and Ann Murray of County Cork, to Elizabeth Anne Dowling, daughter of Margaret and Patrick Dowling. Also Maurice Keating, son of James Keating and Winifred Scanlan, daughter of Michael Scanlan. Also John Lowrey to Mary Ann Graham, widow of Captain George Clark.

Dartmouth deaths in -1844 included Thomas Webb, Othello Pollard, Thomas Medley 56, Patrick Connor 70, Mrs. Charlotte Morris 73, of Lake Loon, widow Hon. Charles Morris, (headstone near Christ Church cemetery entrance).

Mrs. Mary Early 69, Mrs. Susan Weeks, relict Rev. C. W. Weeks; John Gammon 38, Deborah Baker Mott, (“Debby”), youngest daughter H. Y. Mott; Edward Murray 5, son of Michael Murray; Mary Ann, infant daughter Dominick Farrell; Mrs. Barbara Bass, widow Christian Bass; an infant son of Charles Brodior; Hannah Kennedy 50, wife of John Kennedy. (There are four John Ken-nedys in the Dartmouth Statute-Labor book of 1844, but this is probably Honorah, wife of the Hotel proprietor.)

(The only burial listed in St. Peter’s register that year is that of John Edward Brennan 35, native of County Kilkenny and husband of Catherine Brown. Neither the death of Mrs. Kennedy nor of Patrick Connor is listed, although the latter’s name appears among the early pew-holders. There was probably no burial service on occasions when the priest was out of town. His duties took him on visits as far east as Sheet Harbor, and northeasterly into Hants County.)

Baptized in 1844 were John, child of Elizabeth and Simeon Whidden, carpenter; Frederick, child of Mary and Jarvis McKay, laborer; Sarah, child of Jane and John Publicover, farmer; William, child of Amelia and Francis Young, shipwright; Henry, child of Elizabeth and Charles Brodie, shipcarpenter; Thomas, child of Jane and James Roue, hairdresser; Sophia, child of Elizabeth and John Hunt, shipwright. (From Christ Church records.)

St. Peter’s baptismal register has Margaret, child of Ann Henderson and Joseph Bennett; James, son of Mary Buckley and William McIntosh; Sophia, child of Ann Walsh and Nicholas McCormack, sponsors, Mary and Thomas Thorpe; Ann, child of Marth^i Murphy and John Keys; Matthew, child of Joanna Hearne and Eugene McCarthy; Margaret, child of Ellen Deasy and Jeremiah McCarthy; Mary, child of Mary McCarthy and Martin Donovan; Ellen, child of Ellen and Dennis Donovan; Mary Ann, child of Ann Byrne and Charles Keane; John, child of Bridget Mansfield and John Gaffeney; James, child of Catherine Conway and Walter Murphy; Albert, child >f Mary Kennedy and Michael Murray; Harriet, child of Mary Medley and Samuel Mansfield; Mary, child of Ann Donovan and Patrick

McCarthy, Preston Road; Michael, child of Mary Murphy and Dennis Mahoney; John Garrett, child of Mary Murphy and David Vaughan; Theobold Mathew, child of Margaret Carroll and John English; Michael, child of Jane Kennedy and Patrick Corbett; Mary, child of Bridget Courney and John Kennedy; Jane, child of Jane Kettle and Dennis Ring; John, 4-year-old son of Sarah and John McDonald, Royal Artillery; Edward, child of Margaret Flemming and James Whiteley; Jeremiah, child of Catherine McDewit and Timothy Sullivan; Mary, child of Ellen Malcom and Mark Grace; Peter, child of Ellen Hanafen and John Kennedy; Grace, child of Margaret Jackson and John Martin; Jane, child of Margaret Meagher and Hugh Greene.

In the dying days of December 1844, a cold wave set in, so that on New Year’s Day of 1845 the skating on the lakes was enjoyed by a large crowd, many crossing from Halifax.

The weather must have continued steady, because in February the newspapers reported that “the harbor presents the strange appearance of being frozen over—an occurrence which does not happen, on an average, more than once in seven years”. (Nothing is said about traffic on the ice.)

In January, the body of a colored man, known as “Old Cozey” was found in the Steam Boat dock at Dartmouth. The unfortunate “Cozey” had been missing for several days.

In the same month, there died at Halifax a man with a marvelous memory. He was 75-year old George Charker, who used to go round ringing a hand-bell, and making public announcements. As this colorful character was very well known in Dartmouth, his description is given here in detail. The following obituary appeared in the Morning Post at the time:

. . . He was a native of Winchester, and was educated with the Ogle family, from whom, particularly Admiral Sir Charles Ogle, during his command on this station, Mr. Charker received much attention. He had been a resident of Halifax 40 years, and held the office of City Crier for 15 or 16 years.

. . . But what recommended him more particularly to notice, was his incredible memory, by which he retained in his mind, the dates of a vast number of our citizens. He could enumerate the birthday of above 2,000 individuals in this City, besides not a few wedding days.

Evidently George Charker’s name got corrupted to “Chalker”. Historian George Mullane of Halifax, and a Mrs. Gould of Spring-hill, who contributed a series of articles on early Dartmouth in the “Atlantic Weekly”, both refer to the Crier as “Chalker”. This is the account of Mr. Mullane, written about 1917:

The Town Crier was a well known personage up to the forties of the last century. The best known of these functionaries was Dad Chalker, who was possessed of a marvelous memory. Dad knew the birthday of every one of consequence in town, and he never failed to visit these people to congratulate them on the return of the day.

He was a large man, over 6 feet 2 inches in height, and stout in proportion. His hair was flaxen and his face was fair with a high color. Dad was accompanied by the rag-tag of the inhabitants who followed him about to hear him announce the WANTS and WANTED, and to shout lustily when he rang the bell. He died in the late 1840’s and his tombstone is to be seen in Holy Cross cemetery.

His visits to Dartmouth were probably timed to coincide with the birthdays of those of our townsfolk, who would be most likely to reward the old Crier with refreshment. Mrs. Gould, in her interesting reminiscences, referred to him as “Duddy Chalker”, and 50 years afterwards, vividly recalled with what exultant glee children in Dartmouth used to greet the arrival of “Duddy Chalker, the Town Crier from Halifax” :

The sound of his bell and his voice brought all the children out like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling. “O yes, O yes. Lost, a long ring purse, containing seven shillings and seven pence half-penny, &c., &c., God Save the Queen”, invariably followed by the boys, with some one or other taking up the cry.

In the Legislature that winter, the Cole Harbor Dike Company was incorporated. The plan was to build an aboiteau 100 yards long, and thus reclaim 1,500 acres of marshland, worth £15,000. Shares were offered at £10 each.

The first attempt to provide Dartmouth with a water system from lakes was made in 1845, when an Act was passed incorporating the Dartmouth Water Company, composed of E. H. Lowe, Lawrence Hartshorne, John Tempest, John E. Fairbanks, Alexander Lyle and Charles Allen. They obtained authority to lay pipes, tanks, tubes, reservoirs, fountains, &c. Capital £8,000. Shares were offered at £5 each.

This is also the year that Arthur W. Godfrey, then living in Dartmouth; and John E. Starr of Richmond, got a Bill through the Legislature, incorporating The Richmond Bridge Company, (page 66). They were to charge tolls and have a 30-year monopoly. The estimated cost of the structure was £6,000.

The plan was to build a number of strong boats, ai^d have them firmly anchored at intervals across the Narrows. String pieces were to be fastened to the boats by means of iron bolts. Then a plank platform was to be laid on the string pieces, after which it was to be sheathed and a substantial rail run along the top of the bridge so as to afford protection to travelers.

The projectors of the plan pointed out that such bridges were common in Europe, particularly across the Rhine River. Shares were subsequently offered for sale through the newspapers.

Messrs. Godfrey and Starr also petitioned the House for authority to establish turnpikes and toll houses on the road from their landing place near the Windmill in Dartmouth, to the head of the Basin. They estimated the distance at six miles, which could be shortened to five.

The petition stated that the road was hilly and bad, but with a 40-year monopoly on tolls, the incorporators hoped to furnish a much shorter route between Halifax and Truro, now that the new section of road was in use, (Bedford to Waverley). The Legislature did not pass the Bill. Perhaps the members had in mind the toll-gate destruction at Bedford years before.

Another piece of legislation which became law in 1845, was an Act defining the boundaries of the Township of Dartmouth. (Not the Town.)

For the first time in many sessions, a largely signed petition to operate a competitive ferry was presented by John Ross of Dartmouth. He was told, in as many words, that the 50-year Steam Boat monopoly had not yet expired. The petitioners also complained about the rates of fares, and were instructed to bring that matter before the Quarterly Sessions of the Magistrates.

Evidently they did, because the announcement was made in March that “ferriage for foot-passengers was now reduced from 4d to 3d, and that the second horse in a carriage or a team, was reduced from 6d to 3d”.