From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:
January of 1898 was very cold and snowy, resulting in the worst harbor freeze-up since 1875. Mill Cove and a wide area off the cradles of the Shipyard provided a hockey and skating surface for about ten days. Often boys would venture out to the middle of the harbor where a channel was kept open by running intermittent trips of the ferry throughout the day and night. By the first of February all three boats had their paddle-wheels so badly damaged that they abandoned the ice-battle. For the next three days, a tugboat performed a slow and uncertain pedestrian service, but vehicular traffic was at a complete standstill. Many Halifax families ^ent without milk.
Newspaper comment on the hockey situation that winter was that the Chebucto seniors were not doing so well, while on the other hand the Chebucto juniors were gaining a considerable reputation. Organized some eight years previously, they had by this time won their 110th game without a single defeat. Their line-up consisted of Robert Cameron, goal; Fred Granger, point; Austin Kane, cover-point; Ernest Lahey, left wing; Jack Allen, right wing; George Young, rover; Harry “Nig” Young, centre. (Harry was the Captain.)
Older residents will recall the five verses written in praise of these boys in the “Atlantic Weekly” which commenced:
Oh “Niff” you are a dandy,
And Lahey’s just the same;
Granger, he’s a good one,
And plays a roarin’ game.
Cameron as a goal man,
He simply can’t be beat;
A cyclone couldn’t stop him,
Or knock him off his feet.
At the Arbor Day exercises of May 1898, a tree was planted at Greenvale School to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Town’s incorporation, In that year also, the* Province declared that henceforth Dominion Day was to be a school holiday.
The belated ferry “Chebucto” successfully crossed the Atlantic in June and arrived on the 27th. Ferry officials wanted no repetition of the “Annex” disaster, and moored the boat at Richmond Refinery.
On Natal Day of 1898 was held the first Trades’ Procession, and its success surpassed all expectations. All sorts of decorated floats were in the* long moving lim\ the most antique being the two-wheel-«‘d 18(>4 delivery truck of E. M. Walker, driven by elderly James Pynes. I he bicycle parade, the aquatic sports and the illuminations were carried out under ideal weather conditions. In that year the Town grant was $150, and the Ferry $300.
At least four Dartmouth boys participated in the Spanish-Amer-ican war of 1898. They were George Colter of Tulip Street, Ferdinand Gray whose mother is mentioned on page 330, Harry Tobin and Vincent Tobin, sons of Arthur Tobin owner of “Brookhouse”.
A mystery of the sea, in the shape of a sailing vessel found bottom-up off Liscomb, was towed in to our side of the harbor that summer. The derelict proved to be the “James M. Seaman” laden with deal from Florida for Boston. After the ship was righted, she was housed-over and beached to be used as a granary for Matheson’s gristmill. The ribs of this sturdy three-master may still be seen on the shore at the foot of Canal Street.
The fatal collision between the French liner “La Bourgoyne” and the iron sailing ship “Cromartyshire” off Sable Island in July brought a $30,000 job to Dartmouth. The latter vessel was tied up for some months at Evans’ wharf where about 350 workmen got employment removing and renewing her damaged bow plates.
Construction work in 1898 included the erection of the Handley House which later became the “Thorndyke” and afterwards the “Belmont” Hotel. The contractor was A. G. Gates. The same man built a dwelling for Town Clerk Elliot on land bought from the Mott estate at the northwest corner of Pleasant Street and St. George’s Lane, then described as “Cross Lane”.
F. C. Bauld built the large house at 61 Queen Street for elderly Judge Johnston, and also rebuilt the premises next north of the Royal Bank for C. E. Peveril, the butcher. At 27 Prince Street a two-storey residence was erected for William Patterson, shipwright. At 34 Thistle Street, Lewis Colter built the first house in the Simmonds subdivision, and Lester Corkum built another at 23 Rose Street. D. M. Thompson advertised 37 lots of another subdivision in the vicinity of the street bearing his name.