1844

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

In April a house was commenced for Arthur W. Godfrey “on the other side of Geyro’s”. George A. S. Crichton, 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 Haliburton, is his account of the visit of the French fleet under the Duc d’Anville to Chebucto in 1746, on which occasion 1130 of his men died of the scurvy, besides great numbers of Mi’kmaq.

Whether these remains were interred then, or at a more ancient period, is a question worthy the attention of those versed in historical reminiscences.

From the Legislature: