“Old stone house on North Street to rear of Belmont Hotel. Sole remaining house of stone construction for all walls. Exact age unknown – century or more at least built in 1830s. Has been residence of Frank Greene for 40 years. See article by Wetmore in Halifax Mail Star, March 12, 1954, or see “Story of Dartmouth” book. Photo by Wetmore.” https://archives.novascotia.ca/photocollection/archives/?ID=5323&Page=201742643
“Sturdy Old House Takes Town Back 125 Years
A relic of the past, the sole remaining old stone house in Dartmouth, has historical walls which – could they but speak, might have many tales of an early Dartmouth to tell. Solidly rising from the corner of North and Edward Streets in Dartmouth, the landmark is believed to be over 125 years old. For many years now, antique lovers or those who relish the solid, simple lines, characteristic of some 18th century architecture, have been captivated by the impressive edifice at first glance.
Mrs. Frank Greene, owner and resident of the house, reports that many times cars have stopped outside the house while the occupants stared at the weathered stones and firm lines of the building.
Several times strangers have come to her door, and asked Mrs. Greene if it would be possible to see inside the house and every time Mrs. Greene has willingly obliged.
Mrs. Greene – and until last year her husband, the late Frank G. Greene – has lived in the old stone house for over 40 years.
There is no cellar under the house and the walls rise straight up from the rock bottom. Stones that built these walls could have come from the old Shubenacadie canal locks, it is thought.
Inside? … Well, there have been some changes made since a century ago but the principle is the same.
Th rooms for the most part are large, the walls thick, and there are three floors including the ground one. On the first and second floors there are spacious rooms that must have been living rooms or parlous at one time, although both are in use they are not utilized as such today.
Beside a couple of bedrooms on the second floor there are two more large ones up a narrow flight of stairs, and under the eaves. In any case, the total is eight rooms altogether.
There is no basement under the house and consequently no central heating unit. Each room has its own individual coal stove which until recently was the sole means of heating the large building. When the Greene’s moved to the house several fire-places and gates were to be found in the larger rooms. these have since been boarded for, as they were not often used, they proved to be what Mrs. Greene termed as “dirt catchers”.
Other renovations included that of the inside color scheme which has changed often in the course of time. Also the windows were originally composed of many small panes of glass which were replaced with larger sheets of glass after the 1918 (sic) Halifax Explosion.
One of the early owners of the property – at what is now 17 North Street, was John Hawthorne, who died about 1820. The next record of any owner is that of a Thomas Miller, a blacksmith connected with the old Shubenacadie Canal. Local historian J. P. Martin said he thought it possible that Miller might have built the house around 1830 which, he said, would explain the presence of sturdy stones that might have come from the canal.
John Tempest, a leading one time figure in the Halifax business world, was the next known occupant.
Then the stone residence became a private school which was run by Mrs. William Forbes, mother of Rev. E. W. Forbes, Hawthorne Street, Dartmouth. Mrs. Forbes was the former Mrs. Agnes Russell, the late sister of Judge Benjamin Russell. It was after she was a widow that Mrs. Forbes opened school in the house.
A teacher, presumably, stands in the doorway, while another boy is sitting in a pony-cart complete with pony. The road by the house is vague and not yet defined by curb and gutter.
A gifted and talented marine architect and shipbuilder who lived around the latter part of the 19th century, occupied the old stone house until turn of the century when he died. He was Ebenezer Moseley of Halifax, Dartmouth and Le-Have.”
An interesting map for a few reasons, it specifies Pace’s stream, field and hill which is useful to pinpoint the bounds of the Township of Dartmouth, it also denotes what is typically shown as the Town Plot of Dartmouth as “Quakertown“, as distinct from “Dartmouth” at the foot of Old Ferry Road (as with a few other maps that centered Dartmouth around the Old Ferry, here and here).
The legend is as follows: green line being Windsor Road, Orange is the New Track to Dartmouth, pink being the Old path to Dartmouth. Red dots and marks indicating settlements and single houses immediately benefited (presumably from the new road).
Sackville Barracks is noted “a”, Sackville River bridge “b”, M. Sabatier’s is “c”, Quakertown is “d”, Albro’s Tanyard is “e”. Miles, from 1 to 7 are noted with “0”, half-miles with “.”, bridges with “=”.
From Old Ferry Road is noted “Road to Preston, Cole Harbour, Lawrencetown and many other settlements to the eastward of Halifax Harbour.”
The report is transcribed here as accurately as possible.
“Having completed the survey of the new track from Sackville, towards Dartmouth, and cleared the whole course, new and old, of brush, trees and logs, I beg leave agreeably to your Excellency’s direction, to report the particulars.
The old track begins at the Windsor Road at my gate – passes by my house – crosses Pace’s Brook – goes up a very steep and high hill, too steep to be ever rendered convenient or even practical for wheel carriages, – along and again down the same – then ascends another steep hill to f. – all this is through good land, and would make a very good road were it not for the hills are so very steep and high. – from f. to the bridge g. it is a most practicable barren of rocks; in most parts of which a shovel-full of earth can, with difficulty, be got. It is to avoid those hills and this barren the road from h. to g. will require to be turned.
The alteration proposed begins at my gate h. – passes on the eastern side of Pace’s hill, avoids the steeps and is a gentle acclivity to Pace’s field; – and thence either a level or a gentle declivity to f.; the quality of the land is sometimes very good hardwood, and an equal quantity of barren, but with abundance of earth – from f. the new track goes to the westward over Drillio’s tow hills; the land is excellent, with exception of 80 rods of practicable barren, but earth is abundant all the way – from i. to the bridge g. it is, in general, tolerable land, and, with trifling exceptions, level – but it is very stony with a few rocks, plenty of earth.
The remainder is the old track to Dartmouth – from the bridge g. the land is chiefly a barren to Albro’s Tanyard e.; it is, however, generally level with a few short steeps, some of which may be avoided and others rendered easy – from k. ( at 5 ¾ miles) to Dartmouth, it is a narrow but good road, generally, not more than 6 feet wide, and will serve as a sample of what would prove if so made all the way, a great accommodation to the public.
Mr. Samuel Albro, as overseer of highways, has eased my labor very much – he cleared the old path from g. towards Quaker town of brush and logs – the only trouble I had in this place was to chain it and fix up painted boards marked with the miles and half miles – others, also, where the track was doubtful from l to g.
On the whole I beg leave to recommend this road to your excellency’s patronage as a useful accommodation to persons living on both sides of the inner and outer harbours. To show the relative situations of these I have sketched the whole neighbourhood. I conjecture a very good road, as mentioned above, might be made for £350.
Sackville, October 12th 1812. William Sabatier, Commissioner.”
The house is pleasantly situated in a thick grove of native trees. It was retained as a rectory during the incumbency of several clergymen; but being rather far from immediate parish work, it was sold to Col. Sinclair, a retired army officer, who with his family lived there for several years.]
The house was later occupied by L.P. Fairbanks, Esq., according to the editor.
Continue your eye easterly from the gate and you are on the present Hawthorne Street. Now come this way to the cottage and you have Hawthorne Street west. The cottage stood on the west side of Crichton Ave opposite the end of Hawthorne Street and a little to the north. Once occupied by Adam Laidlaw ice merchant (p. 121 Lawson)
In 1843, Adam Laidlaw, the old and well-known driver of the stage-coach between Windsor and Halifax, commenced the cutting and storing of ice on a much larger scale, and from that time made the industry his only business. As the supply increased, the demand grew more and more. His son, Peter Laidlaw, followed in the same line, and continued the trade until 1870.]
Arrow no. 2 fence borders Crichton Ave. Continue with you eye past Laidlaw’s and follow down west side Sullivan’s Pond to meet Ochterloney Street.”
“Arrow no.1 again: Whitish fence a few feet south of gate hides Findlay Cottage. (It still stands at 100 Hawthorne Street). Next house south is old William Walker property once occupied by Misses Herbert; the famous literary family (See the Olive Branch); they taught private school there. Later Capt. Mytius (?), Danish, lived there. Went sealing every winter. He in the 1870s kept a seal in the Findlay’s Pond just south. Col. Montagu died there 1889. (Lawson p. 240)
(Col. George Montagu) had been in Halifax many years before with his regiment, and he was well known and much liked by all who were acquainted with him. He was connected to the aristocracy of England, his grand-uncle being the Duke of Manchester. He lived at Lake Loon with his family for more than thirty years, improving the property and enjoying its quiet retreat after his years of military service. At last his great age induced him to remove to Dartmouth, where he would be nearer medical help. He died in a house adjoining Findlay’s Pond, near the First Lake, on 10th January, 1889, in the ninety-first year of his age. His youngest son, Gore Montagu, is the present owner of the property at Lake Loon.]
Findlay’s Pond one of first to freeze for December skating. Filled in as a dump about 1911. Elliot Street then constructed.
Now imagine Prince Albert Road and the circular dam not yet constructed. Tradition says that Sullivan’s was then a narrow river, part of which flowed westerly in the hollow near Crichton Ave. across Ochterloney and across Portland near Victoria Road base to the sea. The other branch, or division, according to some, swerved to the right at southeast corner Findlay’s Pond crossing Eaton Ave. to the hollow or depression through Pleasant Street forming “Bowes Pond” in rear of no 31 Prince Albert Road, but main stream keeping more to the west crossing Portland Street at the head of Maitland Street as described on reverse side. The other account is that Sullivan’s stream flowed to the left near the present upper Canal bridge. The rafts and scows were hauled up from the harbour over an inclined plane from Lower Canal Bridge (or vice versa on return). Then the paddle steamer towed them through locks. The lock whose gate held back the southern channel, which you see is still there. Logs, lumber, bricks, ice were exported.”
“From left: Nova Scotia hospital, (completed) 1857 or 58. Johnston’s pasture extends to shore. White beach part of Sandy Cove. Railway not constructed until 1885. Evergreen, Judge James residence, 1867. Smokestack, Chebucto Marine Railway (Shipyards).”
Report by John P. Martin, Dartmouth:
“In March 1948 I showed this picture to several old Dartmouth residents and elicited what information is annotated. Note particularly the absence of the Starr Skate Factory. Mrs’ Lawson’s History of Dartmouth says the works were commenced in 1864 by John Starr and John Forbes. William Coates, son of the elder William Coates (grandfather of William Coates Barrett) says that his father came to the Starr factory as a “plater” in the ’60s, and that the first skate factory was a small building near the upper Canal bridge. The small pitch roof structure which you see in this picture may be the one meant. But I think that it is the shed wherein was housed the gear for hauling the scows up over the inclined plane. Note what looks like a large wheel to the right of the building.”
“Note sort of a level ramp leading towards Sullivan’s Pond. If so this picture was taken some time in the 60s. I cannot find as yet, any definite date for the Starr Factory erection. It must have been after 1867.”
“Mrs. H.D. Creighton states definitely that Judge James residence (now 26 Newcastle Street) was built in 1867. She is a near relative and was born in 1859. So the picture is Dartmouth in 1867 or after.
Ochterloney Street then crossed the stream was about 30 yards south of the present bridge. The level ground on the east side of the present stream marks the old highway. Look now at the picture and trace its route to join the present Ochterloney Street, a little to the east of the foot of Crichton Ave where there was another bridge over the gully. Mr. Walter Elliot (born 1850) often crossed it as did many others.”
“There is no sign of St. James Church steeple in this picture. As it was erected in 1870 it proves that this was photographed before 1870 and by the Judge James date it was after 1867.
Ronald Findlay 98 Hawthorne Street has a copy of this (So have I) Joseph Findlay, his father, said that the picture was taken by Mr. Emil Vossnack, father of Mrs. J.W. Viditio.
The high building just south of the pitched roof shed which is silhouetted against the Dartmouth Cove is thought to be the Old Grist Mill first erected in 1792 by Hartshorne and Tremaine… see Mrs. Lawson’s history, page 62 foot note).”
Dr. Akins in an unsigned note…says, that “the village in 1820 contained at least sixty houses, if not more.” Mr. Lawrence Hartshorne and Mr. Johnathon Tremaine were at that time carrying on the manufacture of flour. Their grist-mill – a very large building – was situated in Dartmouth Cove, on the east side of the river flowing from the First Lake. When the canal was being constructed, a long race was built to convenience the mill. About ten or twelve years after this, the mill ceased to be used, and it was subsequently destroyed by fire. The foundation of the building may still be seen, and the old store stands on the shore of the Cove, where the water from the Dartmouth Lakes flows into the sea. At a ball given by the governor and Mrs. Wentworth on December 20th, 1792, the supper was embellished by several ornaments, among which was a representation of Messrs. Hartshorne and Tremaine’s new flour mill.]
“The mill was burned about 18(??). It was to the south or south west of the Woodlawn new dairy, about 20 yards. The smokestack of the Marine Railway (shipyards) is just to the right.”
“Look now at the Judge James house (Evergreen). The high house west of James’ house on your right was then at the corner where Newcastle Street turns at the top. It was occupied then by Mrs. Joplan, a widow. Taught or ran a ladies school in Halifax. Later occupied by William S Stirling, Manager at Union Bank at Halifax. Later the house was moved down the hill where it is now occupied at 7 Newcastle Street by John. L. Harrison.”
“Down the slope to the west side of Maitland Street where you notice the depression was the route of the water from Findlay’s Pond to the Cove. Look again at Sullivan’s Pond and imagine it before the circular dam was erected and before Prince Albert Road was built as a causeway. Old folks say that it was not a pond then but a narrow river. One branch flowed down the present hollow near Crichton Ave across Ochterloney, down behind Greenvale to the sea. The other swerved to the left, then to the right crossing Eaton Avenue hollow down across Pleasant Street through that hollow area near 211 Portland Street, crossing to form quite a stream entering the Cove at the Molasses factory. Hence the pond there where we skated for years. That swampy area, before it was filled in by the Town dump, was called “the Mussquash”. This was to be the route of the Canal. See old newspapers.”
See Also: A photo looking from the other direction from 1890.
A city of many faces, is best known for its lakes – 23 of them.
Dartmouth was incorporated as a town back in 1873 — and until 1961 was the oldest incorporated town in Nova Scotia and, for a time, the largest in Canada.
Today DARTMOUTH is Canada’s newest city – a community which is noted for its vision and aggressiveness – a sparkplug for Nova Scotia’s resurgence in this decade.
Now wearing its newly won city status like a queen – DARTMOUTH reigns over a population of more than 45,000 – a figure which is growing by the minute.
Covering an area of 15,000 acres, the mushrooming DARTMOUTH is the largest city from a physical point of view anywhere in the Maritimes.
Its inland waters, many of which are protected by public ownership for the enjoyment of future generations, are a source of undying pride and have become Dartmouth’s trademark across Canada.
Our local Tourist Bureau is capable of providing you with detailed information on tourist accommodations in the metropolitan Dartmouth area. Facilities to suit all pocketbooks are available, ranging from the two newly opened motels at Graham’s Corner to our mid-city Belmont Hotel. For the homier atmosphere, the facilities of Hawthorne House, near the lakes, is the answer.
Two fine shopping areas, providing an inviting place for Dartmouth visitors to seek out unusual gifts and souvenirs, or another aspect of Canada’s newest city which should not be overlooked. Both the downtown business area and the bustling Dartmouth shopping center have a very fine variety of stores, and between the two can satisfy the most discriminating shoppers.
Fishing and hunting
The Eastern shores of Nova Scotia have long been noted for their excellent fishing and hunting areas. For saltwater fishing in the immediate area of Dartmouth, we find Rich catches of pollock and mackerel, while other varieties quite often hooked include haddock, hake, halibut and cod. Deep sea fishing tours for tuna are also available by appointment in the Dartmouth area. More information may be obtained from the local tourist bureau. As for freshwater fishing, we find that the Atlantic salmon, speckled and Brook trout, particularly in the Musquodobit river, which is only about 25 miles from the city limits. Fishing streams extend along the entire East Coast line. The sporty sebago salmon may be fished out of Shubenacadie, Grand Lake – a few miles north of our city. Principal game hunted in Open season within reasonable driving range of Dartmouth – include whitetail or Virginia deer, hair or snowshoe rabbit, black bear, wild or bobcat, red fox and raccoon.
There are five supervised public beaches within the city – one at Birch Cove on Lake Banook, and another at the foot of Lake Banook between our two canoe clubs, the Banook and Micmac A.A.C. On Lake Micmac, the 2nd of Dartmouth’s famous chain of lakes – there is sunrise Beach at the Port Wallace walks part of the old Shubenacadie canal, referred to in the history of Dartmouth. On Maynard’s lake, at the top of Portland street, we have the Kinsman Playgrounds, and a public supervised swimming area. In addition to the freshwater swimming areas, lovely silver sands on the Atlantic is but a 20 mile drive from downtown Dartmouth.
For aesthetic recreation, visitors will enjoy the flowers and view at the Dartmouth Civic Park, located directly behind City Hall, and the Tourist Bureau, or a visit to Sullivan’s Pond on Ochterloney Street and Prince Albert Road.
Dartmouth Natal Day, each year falling on the first Wednesday in August, marks the traditional climax to regatta competitions. If you are in the Province during this period, be sure to help us celebrate.
Represented among the various denominations in our City are Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterian, Baptist, United, Salvation Army, Mormon, as well as minority groups such as Nazarene, Christian Church, and Jehovah Witness.
Some of our major churches and their pastor or minister include: United (St. James) – Rev. W. Grant MacDonald Anglican (Christ Church) Dr. L.F. Hatfield Baptist (First Dartmouth) Rev. Earl Ward Catholic (St. Peter’s) Msgr. Gerald Murphy
Points of interest – Key to Map
Tourist Bureau unsurpassed harbor view
City hall, Library and Courthouse
[Mi’kmaq] burial ground
Quaker built House – 4 Commercial Street
Marine slip – 18th century Nantucket whale factory
Terminal 19th century Shubenacadie canal
Woodsman massacred by [Mi’kmaq] – 1749
Mount Amelia – 19th century home of Honorable J.W. Johnson, former Premier of Nova Scotia
Babes in the woods burial plot, Woodlawn cemetery
Sullivan’s pond – on route of Shubenacadie canal – follows 55 mile chain of lakes – connected by locks. See at Lake Banook and Port Wallace.
Starr company plant – long building commenced 1864.
Old Town Hall – erected as mechanics institute, 1846 – Joseph Howe lectured here.
Three old cemeteries – all denominations – contains Graves of early builders of Dartmouth
Bicentennial School 1950 – new high School
Nantucket Drive – from Victoria road to bridge – once used as grazing ground
Arrow points to Albro Lake whose waters flow to Halifax harbor at foot of Jameson Street sailors washed bedding here
Dartmouth Rope Works – no longer manufacturing – commenced in 1868 by Stairs family
Bridge plaza, memorial rink and shopping center, open 1956
Brightwood – enjoy the scenic overlook from Brightwood golf Club area
Silver’s Hill – this elevated area off Prince Albert road provides a commanding view of the Dartmouth lakes
Dartmouth Park – this city park is located adjacent to the Tourist Bureau
Angus L McDonald bridge – spend a few hours on a warm, sunny day on the bridges pedestrian walkway
The Dartmouth ferry – view Dartmouth and Halifax from Halifax harbor
In the narrows off here, occurred the disastrous harbor explosion of 1917, when a munition ship blew to pieces. Honorable Joseph Howe residence at nearby armament Depot site (–between Jamieson and Dawson Streets on the harbor side of Windmill Road) 1863 to 1869
Pleasant Street to Eastern Passage and Silver Sands – enjoy a pleasant drive along the eastern shore of Halifax harbor.
The Ocean Highway – enjoy miles of scenic driving along the cool, wide open Waters of the Atlantic Ocean from coal harbor to Chezzetcook, with fishing villages and miles of Sandy saltwater beaches.
Lake-lined Waverly road – in contrast to the saltwater type scenery, this route takes you along the shores of four beautiful, freshwater lakes on a highway lined with trees.
Our Tourist Bureau receptionists will give you additional information.
For Your Guidance
Following is a list of most of our service clubs and community organizations: Junior chamber of commerce, P.O. Box 71, Dartmouth. Ivan Greek, President Chamber of commerce (E.A. House) Lions Club (Elroy Moser) Kinsman Club (Ray Wambolt) Kiwanis Club (Gary Low) Dartmouth Y’s Men (Gerald Eisner) Rotary Club (Donald Robert) Gyro Club (A. McGinnis)
Private Clubs (Membership not restricted) Brightwood Golf and Country Club, Owls Club, Banook Canoe Club, Mic Mac Club.
This guide to places of interest in historic Dartmouth has been prepared for you by the Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
We hope you have enjoyed your visit to Dartmouth. If there are any features you particularly enjoyed, or criticisms you may have to offer us, we would welcome hearing from you. Please write to the Dartmouth Tourist Bureau, Dartmouth.
“Just a few years before its demolition. This historic building was erected in 1793 without additions [addition to the right was made by J.P. Mott & Company]. It was used as a barracks for French prisoners until September 1805. In John P. Mott’s time soap was made there. It was built into a bank of clay on property that originally contained a variety of slopes and hillocks.
The extensive bulldozing at Hazelhurst during 1946, completely obliterated its landmarks. The site of this 18th century prison is thought to be on the spot where stands the new residence at 59 Newcastle Street extension.
The view is looking eastwards towards the heights of Johnstone Avenue. In the skyline, one inch to the right of the roof, the tower of Blink Bonnie House rises out of a forest which until then was almost privative. Mount Amelia is at left. Mr. Harry Piers, late Curator of the Provincial museum, is seated in the middle of the group at left…”
“As enemy ships captured off the coast were usually brought to this port, their crews were quartered at Melville Island, or at [this] old prison …, or they were put on parole in private homes at Preston where they often worked for their keep….
The prison … seems to have had a section for hospital cases, and quite likely a surrounding enclosure where the interns could enjoy recreational activities.
[Prisoners sometimes attempted to escape] as a notice in one of the issues of the Royal Gazette during July 1805 showed …. One result of this getaway was that the next issue of slop-clothing for Dartmouth and Melville Island camps, had the initials “P.O.W.” prominently marked in red print on the back of the jackets, on the thigh of trousers and on the breast of shirts. Inside their shoes was the word “PRISONER”.”
This map encompasses the bottom of Old Ferry Road once known as “Green Lane”, near Newcastle Street and Hazelhurst Street today. The (once massive) willow trees seen here are noted elsewhere. See Also: “Survey of Ferry-House Lot belonging to J.P. Mott Esq.”, 1863 (1849). https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=799
The Bridge at bottom left crosses the Mill Stream to downtown Dartmouth, St. James Church is now found at the corner adjacent at “Lot 5”. On the left, the road “To Preston” is now Prince Albert Road (Skate Factory, being Starr Manufacturing, noted at top left) while the “Road to Cole Harbour”, now Portland Street … Read more
“Halifax, Feb (2?) 1784. This day the proprietors of a tract of land lying on the road to Lawrence Town came to agreement of partition of division according to the adjoining [??], viz. the land colored red was [??] by Nathaniel Russel, the land [??] with water color by Ephraim (Wyman), and the land colored yellow by Richardson.”
“The German Lotts” seen at left, James Creighton’s grant as well as Blagden’s new grant seen at bottom.
No. 2 at top is in reference to the plot granted to Benjamin Bridge as seen here. (No. 5 would be to the right of No. 2, land granted to Benjamin Green, not noted here).
“New Road to Lawrencetown” is now Portland Street, here you can see the approximate location of these tracts today, the 111 highway seen at bottom, Main Street at upper left, Bell Lake at top, Russell Lake at the bottom right.
“Until January, 1757, the Governor and Council ruled alone in Nova Scotia, at that time, after long debate, it was decided that a Representative Assembly should be created, and that there should be elected for the province at large, until counties should be formed, twelve members, besides four for the township of Halifax, two for … Read more
“Dartmouth Shore, N.S., 1786. From Anchorage off Naval Yard, Halifax, Looking Eastward. A general view of the town of Dartmouth as it appeared at this period, is here given. It is impossible, however, to identify most of the buildings, which were merely dwellings. Dartmouth was first settled in 1750. On 2nd March, 1786, the old … Read more