From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:
In January 1872 Dartmouth purchased a second-hand Hand Fire Engine in St. John, N. B., which went into service here after considerable repair work was done at Adam McKay’s boiler shop. R. B. Morris of the Virginia Tobacco Company instituted a series of winter lectures at his factory on Church Street for the cultural improvement of employees and their families. Results of trotting races at the Dartmouth Lakes together with names of officials appeared in the “Halifax Citizen” in February. The list includes names of well known horsemen of that time including Thomas Farrell, John R. Glendenning, Garrett Kingston, James Settle, J. E. Leadley, Andrew Corbin, Richard Barry, Thomas Hyde. (These races were not likely the first to be held here, because older residents used to relate tales of trotting contests long before that date.)
The weather grew pretty cold that winter. In March the harbor was so covered with ice that the ferries smashed their way across with difficulty. Mill Cove and Dartmouth side were frozen solidly. Soldiers from Fort Clarence walked back and forth freely over the surface, and skating parties were out in force.
Hornsby’s Brickyard at Eastern Passage advertised that they were prepared to furnish 2,000,000 bricks that season. At Lawlor’s Island, recently purchased from the Lawlor family, a Government quarantine hospital was being constructed. At Dartmouth Frederick Scarfe, late of the brickyards, set up the Chebucto Planing Mill. The Starr Company sent another large shipment of Acme skates by the English steamer. They now had about 150 employees, and had just declared a dividend of 15%, with a bonus of $1,000 to Manager John Forbes.
That spring over 400 residents crowded the Mechanics’ Institute to consider the question of incorporating Dartmouth Town. James W. Johnston, junior, submitted a charter modelled after the City of Halifax. The matter was deferred until July when a vote of ratepayers was taken, with the result that 141 voted in favor of incorporation, and 98 against. The Committee then prepared a Bill for the next session of the Legislature.
There was a Dominion election in 1872. This time the anti-Confederates offered no opposition to Hon. Joseph Howe in Hants County. There seems to be only one record of a political meeting here, and that one was held at Hoyne’s Hotel. The Conservatives won in Halifax County, but Dartmouth went Liberal; in other words they were still strongly “Anti”.
In August a representative meeting of Dartmouthians was held in the Mechanics’ Institute to present a farewell address to Judge James W. Johnston, ex-Premier of the Province, who was taking final leave of Mount Amelia to dwell in the south of France. The address was moved by Andrew Shiels and seconded by Rev. Dr. James Ross, Principal of Dalhousie College.