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.
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 missles 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.
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 of 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 the mill race to turn the water-wheel for the mill power. John Reeves’ 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.