1913

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

The exodus of young people and sometimes of whole families, out of Dartmouth which had been going on since the 1890s, seems to have been halted about this time. This is indicated by school statistics. The total registration of pupils at the turn of the century hovered around the 1200 mark. In the year 1905 the figure was 1279, but by 1912 it had dropped to the low mark of 1084. The attendance picked up in 1913 when the annual enrolment stood at 1105. At last the tide had turned. It will be remembered that during these latter years the great development at the Halifax Ocean Terminals was well under way, bringing workmen and their families back to our district. On this side of the harbor, reconstruction of the Sugar Refinery brought increased trade to merchants in Dartmouth.

In 1913 the Ferry Commission erected the present station house at Halifax, replacing the small low building which stood on the southern side of the main gates. A new Post Office for Dartmouth was also on the Federal Government program. The proposal was to rebuild on the old site (present N.S. Light and Power office), but many townsfolk had been long agitating for the demolition of the Colored Barracks, and other old buildings fronting Quarrell Street. This location was decided upon, after President J. Walter Allison of the Board of Trade had interviewed Premier Borden at Ottawa in 1913.

More dwellings were erected in parts of Austenville that year, also on Hawthorne Street, Pleasant Street, and on Prince Albert Road south of F. S. Mitchell’s residence which had been built in 1909. The remainder of Eaton’s field (formerly Stanford’s) was still in its primitive state as far as Robert McElmon’s premises. The new North End Mission (Emmanuel) Church was opened in March.

The shipyard of Mayor E. F. Williams at the foot of Church Street was still flourishing in 1913. That summer he launched some half dozen small patrol boats for the Dominion Government. Dr. A. H. MacKay of the Board of Trade reported that his Bridge Committee had interviewed Federal Government engineers and the latter were then making estimates as to the cost of a bridge at the Narrows. Eugene Nichols succeeded Watson L. Bishop as Superintendent of Streets, after 21 years service. Mr. Bishop’s system of macadamizing had given Dartmouth some of the finest streets in the Province.

Since the turn of the century amateur baseball teams like the Casazos, Centrals, North Stars, St. Peter’s, Red Sox, DBCA, Woodside and Mount Amelias had attracted large crowds to the unfenced Chebucto Grounds for league games on summer evenings. The hat was passed around to defray cost of equipment. In winter the same enthusiasm was exhibited at the old Rink in the senior and junior hockey league games. In autumn there were generally four or five tug of war tournaments and athletic contests. The Boggshire boys, who were now young men, held their 15th annual regatta off the Slip in 1913. It was to be the last. Dartmouth celebrated its Natal Day on Thursday, August 14th. It also was the last for a while.

At this time, war was rumbling in the Balkans and in Mexico. Newspapers in parts of Canada, occasionally editorialized on the “German peril”; in other parts, the idea was ridiculed. All of it seemed very foreign to the carefree youths of Dartmouth who were then far more interested in battles of big-league baseball teams.