1889

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

On New Year’s Day 1889 the Dartmouth Public Reading Room opened in the long building near the Ferry. This beneficial institution was our first library.

The Board of School Commissioners was organized that year, and had for its first members Councillors A. C. Johnston, C. E. Creighton, F. G. Dares, together with Dr. Frank Woodbury and C. H. Harvey.

So also was the Dartmouth Park Commission which comprised Mayor Frederick Searfe, Councillors Alexander Lloy, W. H. Sterns, with J. Walter Allison and F. C. Elliot as Government appointees.

Towards the end of February the champion Chebucto hockey team went to Montreal where they played two games for what was then the equivalent of the Stanley Cup. They lost both. As the Canadian rules differed from those in our neighborhood, one-half of each game was played under Maritime rules.

Preceding the first game Charles Patterson of Dartmouth was defeated by Charles Gordon of Montreal in a 3-mile race which was the fastest ever witnessed in that City. Patterson led until the 10th lap of the last mile. Then Gordon spurted past him.

After the return of the Chebuctos, hockey playing hereabouts was changed to conform to the Canadian style. Goal-stones were now placed at right angles to the length of the rink, and the rubber puck was introduced. From samples of Montreal hockey sticks brought to Dartmouth, the Mi’kmaq at the lakes commenced making the square-edged type instead of the rounded handle.

In the Dartmouth Rink that winter Robert Laidlaw, one of our fast professionals, defeated Joseph Terry of Boston in a 5-mile skating contest. In the following week Laidlaw also defeated Frank Dowd of Montreal, one of the speediest in Canada.

The Chebucto Club took a prominent part in the week-long Summer Carnival held at Halifax in August. G. J. Troop of Dartmouth, was Chairman of the Committee, and W. C. Bishop, the Dartmouth accountant, was Secretary.

This is the famous Chebucto Amateur Athletic Club hockey team taken during the winter of 1887-1888. Seven men played continuously for two 30-minute periods, unless injured. The hockey sticks had broad blades with handles rounded like a broom. The puck was an oblong-shaped block of ligna vitae wood. The goals were similar to curling stones placed parallel with the length of the rink to prevent goals being scored by lifting. The Chebucto team went to Montreal and played l^vo games for what was equivalent to the Stanley Cup, on Feb. 25 and 27, 1889. One half-period was played under Canadian Hockey Association rules and the other half under Halifax rules. The Chebuctos lost both games. They also lost at Quebec on the following evening. In the front row, left to right, are George Pyke and Frank Young. Middle row, John Brown, Judson Hyde and John A. Young. Back row, H. D. Creighton (executive), Walter Faulkner, Charles Patterson, Charles Robson (executive). (On the Montreal trip in 1889 George Swaf-fer took the place of Judson Hyde, and John L. Wilson played as spare man. Otherwise the composition of the team was as above. All were Dartmouth men.)

Among the athletes who represented the Chebuctors in the field sports were H. D. Creighton, Arthur Pyke and John E. Brown. At the regatta on the harbor Colin McNab and W. H. Walker won the double wherry race, and finished second in the Slip-Flat race. In the professional single scull race, John McKay of Dartmouth was second to George Hosmer, the crack American oarsman.

In the torch-light procession at Halifax, Dartmouth Axe and Ladder Company had a float containing a MicMac encampment with real Indians making baskets. Dartmouth Engine Company’s float was a Roman chariot with a charioteer in full armor.

The illuminated boat parade on the harbor was a wonderful sight. Steamers, tugs and rocket-shooting craft of all sizes moved slowly up and down the harbor in a line nearly two miles long. Bonfires of tar-barrels blazed on the hills of Dartmouth.

The new Dartmouth School Board opened a Kindergarten class in Central School in May of 1889. It was under the direction of Miss Mary Hamilton of Pictou, and was the second Kindergarten in Canada, and the third in America.

The new Dartmouth Park Commission laid out a circular track around the Common Field, and prepared to set out some 500 trees.

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