The City of Dartmouth

The City of Dartmouth

Amicitia Crescium | Friendship Grows

Stolen City

Dartmouth, the City of Lakes. I miss that more than you know, having lived here all my life. Unfortunately, my city was stolen from me and 70,000 others without so much as a non-binding plebiscite. A forced, dictatorial, city-county amalgamation was inflicted on hundreds of thousands of citizens, not in …

Universal Sufferage in Canada, and the Dartmouth Connection

Did you know that the beginning of the right to vote for women in Nova Scotia started in the Town of Dartmouth in 1886? If you rely on the Province of Nova Scotia to inform you, you will find not one mention of Dartmouth’s trailblazing status https://nslegislature.ca/about/history/women-in-nova-scotia-politics, perhaps because their …

Police force or occupying force?

When we had legitimate municipal governance in Dartmouth, when we had our own Police force made up of people from the community, we had the power to set our own priorities. Of course, that is not the case anymore. Now we have Illegitimate HRM and Halifax Regional Police, “Partners in …

Amalgamation: The Road to Serfdom

Andrew Sancton in Merger Mania credits Britain in the late 1950s with the dawn of local government reform among liberal democracies. More than one royal commission (Report of the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London, 1957-60 – also known as the Herbert Report, and Radcliffe-Maud a decade later …

1933

Wentworth Park

Here is Wentworth Park and the children’s playground. The photograph, taken from the foot of Wentworth Street looking east, shows the vacant spaces of the former Glendenning field now occupied by the Curling Rink and the Woodlawn Dairy plant. At the extreme right is the edge of the outdoor rink set up after the Marks-Cross Arena burned down in 1933. The Dartmouth Lumber Company building fronting Canal Street has since been moved farther south to make room for the Dominion Stores building and parking lots. Among the trees on the upper slope Of the background are the towers of Hawthorne School. On the waters of the Canal may be seen a dory-load of youngsters, and a few boys paddling on homemade rafts. The one farthest left, supports Billy Webber and his little white dog seated at the stern. On hot days in summer there were often a hundred children frolicking in the salty water downstream where the older boys would dive from the railway trestle at high tide, or hop along the rows of logs.

During the holidays there was always a regatta with a varied program of rowing, log-rolling, paddling, swimming and diving contests arranged to suit all ages. The boys and girls cheerfully cooperated by soliciting small articles for prizes from merchants, and by selling regatta programs at a small fee. The proceeds went into a fund to build a cribwork across the Canal at South Street. Men and women of the neighborhood lent their efforts and arranged the details.

Later, much of the work was done on a reciprocal basis with the children. Those who worked for a certain length of time were permitted to paddle on the rafts for double that time. Seldom did a youngster work longer than t§n minutes. Labor was never enforced. My usual method with juveniles was to apply the Tom Sawyer psychology. The mere suggestion that the pickaxe, or the shovel, was too heavy for a boy handle, generally resulted in his pleading for the job. By this artifice many of the sturdy trees now flourishing ail the way from Wentworth to Dundas Street, were set out as young saplings.

Another effective practice at Wentworth Park was to bestow every tree, bush, shrub, even a single dahlia plant, upon a particular boy or girl who assumed responsibility for its cares. It was surprising and amusing to hear one youngster reprimand another for meddling with “my flower bed”. Under such constant surveillance, the vegetation thrived.

In winter, the Wentworth Park space is used by children to play with their sleds, or to make snowmen. The area is limited, but larger than most backyards. The grown-ups coast down the steep bank of the Canal, taking a chance on the open water below. Ice in the stream makes a good skating surface if the weather keeps consistently cold. Otherwise, it is ruined by tidal movements. Had funds been available our intention was to erect a four-foot height of concrete wall across the cribwork at South Street, so as to preserve a certain depth of water at all times for boating in summer and for skating in winter.

1919

During 1919, shipload after shipload of defence forces were brought back to the port of Halifax to be discharged. The work of repatriation went on for months. In Dartmouth, a local Housing Commission was set up for the purpose of aiding returned men in the financing of new homes. Stocks …

1918

From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: During the winter of 1917-1918 block after block of residential and commercial Dartmouth presented the appearance of a battered war-town, with most windows in nearly every house and shop boarded up and blanketed with tar-paper covering. One dwelling at 50 …

1917

From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: In 1917 the United States entered the Great War, and the Dominion Government passed a Conscription Bill. Christ Church celebrated its 100th anniversary and erected a monument to her war dead on the Church grounds. Canon C.W. Vernon published a …

1886

The first passenger service from Dartmouth’s new railway station, commenced on January 6th, 1886. E. M. Walker sent the first lot of freight. Connection was made at Halifax with inward and outward trains. The skating rink continued to be the centre of winter activity with hockey games, carnivals and skating …

1873

By 1873 the newly established industries of Dartmouth were commencing to participate in the usual practice of holding annual sleigh-drives hereabouts. These establishments could not be expected to advertise their wares in all of the numerous newspapers then being published in Halifax, and consequently took advantage of other opportunities to …

Old Ferry Road, Green Lane

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 Regal willow trees.
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.

Portland Street Canal Bridge, 1890s

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This photo will convey some idea of the labor involved in blasting 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 travelers, 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.

This stream was a dividing line between the original town plot, and its later extensions. On the downtown side of the river, there are no large estates comparable to those north and east.

The bridge was a dividing line in another manner for the youthful gangs of the last century. Here the “up-alongs” encountered the “down-alongs.” Woe unto a straggler from either side, if he were caught unaccompanied at night in the territory of the enemy.