From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: SOUTH END LAWN TENNIS CLUB ABOUT 1898. The Old Ferry Road bordered by willow trees was at right. Mott’s “Candle Factory Hill” in the background. The site is about 50 yards west of 71 Newcastle St. Reading from left to right the players are: Miss Fanny Parker; John Menger; Lewis K. Payzant; Prescott Johnston; Miss Annie Strong; Miss Isabel MacGregor (sister of Prof. Gordon MacGregor of Dalhousie); Miss Louise Black; George G. Dustan; Miss Mary Ann Parker (Mrs. Rev. Dr. Keirstead of Acadia University); Miss Jessie Mackenzie; Miss Nora MacKay; Mrs. Walter Creighton; Mrs. M. A. B. Smith: Miss Daisy Dustan (Mrs. C. H. Harvey); Miss Josle Howe (granddaughter Hon. Joseph Howe); Dr. Thomas M. IMiFsom; (colored girl in middle unidentified).

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: This is the lower part of Old Ferry Road, once known as “Green Lane” The curve in the foreground leads to the Old Ferry Wharf. The fence on the left encloses the South End Lawn Tennis Courts, and from there to the shore stood Regal willow trees. Two of them were named for King George III and Queen Charlotte, and two others for Mr. and Mrs. James Creighton of “Brooklands” who had them planted perhaps in the late 1700’s. When this picture was taken about 1900, they were of an enormous size. The whole road was a beautiful shady walk from the wharf all the way up to the present Portland Street. The fence on the right borders Dr. Parker’s fields at “Beechwood”, and ran along near the location of the new house at 71 Newcastle Street. The route of the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: THIS IS JOHN PRESCOTT MOTT, a 19th century industrial king of Eastern Canada., who by his business acumen and shrewd investments, became one of the wealthiest men in the Province. Mr. Mott was a President of the Nova Scotia Building Society, a director of the Steamboat Company and other enterprises. In 1861 he was among the incorporators of a Company intending to supply Dartmouth with a system of water and gaslight. Always prominent at town meetings, he served twice as Councillor for Ward 1. John P. Mott’s tall figure, clad in swallow-tailed coat and beaver hat, used to be a familiar one as he was driven daily to the ferry by sleek horses caparisoned in silver-mounted harness. His benefactions to institutions and to people were made regardless of creed or color. But of his vast fortune, not a penny was provided …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: ST. GEORGE’S TENNIS CLUB in the 1890’s. The clubhouse faced the three courts which extended towards Maitland Street. The railway track is seen just outside the wire-netted fence and the southern gate. Left to right bottom row: Miss Gertrude MacKenzie, A. C. Johnston, John Creighton. Middle row: Miss Josie Ilowe, Miss Hattie James, Mrs. H. D. Creighton, Miss Annie Strong, C. E. Creighton. Upper row:    Walter Creighton, Mrs. Walter Creighton, Miss Saidie James, man bending thought to be A. Stanley MacKenzie, Harry Strong. The last player on the right is unidentified.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Here we see the historic plaque unveiling at Starr Manufacturing Works during Dartmouth’s Bicentennial in 1950. The man in the middle has Just performed the ceremony. He is Leander F. Stevens who has been employed at the Starr plant, almost without interruption, since 1883. At the right is Arthur C. Pettipas, Bicentennial Chairman, who delivered the address. At left is John P. Martin, Chairman of Plaque Committee. Deputy Mayor Carl Merson presided. Guests included. Rev. E. W. Forbes, nephew of John Forbes, and Alexander Patterson, veteran champion skater. Note spring skate on upper left opposite modern model. (Skate designs by H. B. Douglass, Plaque design by Peter Douglass). A new Company re-organized in 1939, today is employing about 35 persons. Their products include bolts, nuts, rivets and all kinds of metal fastenings. They are showing steady progress under the Presidency of Gordon D. Stanfield.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: THIS IS JOHN SKERRY (1764-1838), one of the builders of early Dartmouth. Before steamboats came, he conducted the Dartmouth-Halifax ferry by means of rowboats and scows from the foot of Ochterloney St. Skerry’s Inn nearby, was probably the first hotel in Dartmouth. According as Mr. Skerry prospered, he employed his money in assisting others, lending large and small sums especially to property purchasers. He became sort of “town-banker”. At his death, he possessed (or was encumbered with) considerable real estate, but comparatively little cash. His estate was valued at about £4,000. Of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, Mr. Skerry was long remembered in Dartmouth for his many deeds of charity and humanity. Often he risked his life on the stormy harbor. “Skipper” Skerry is paid a high tribute in Mrs. Lawson’s History of Dartmouth, written in 1893. This photo is from …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: This 1847 bride and groom are Mr. and Mrs. George Connor, who lived on Portland Street a century ago, and where George Connor died in 1868. His widow, who became Mrs. Charles Powell, died as recent as 1910, aged 89. See the gravestone just east of the red granite monument of James Simmonds in Christ Church cemetery. The name is sometimes spelled Connors or Conner. The Connor boat-building shop still stands at the top of McAdam’s lane at 41 Portland Street. It was afterwards used as a barn and since converted to a garage. Patrick Connor owned the houses east and west of the lane. In addition, the family later acquired large areas on both sides of Maynard’s Lake. Connor Street is now in that vicinity. Some of the new Lakefront Apartment houses ailso stand on the former Connor possessions. The …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In April a house was commenced for Arthur W. Godfrey “on the other side of Geyro’s”. George A. S. Crichton, finished enough of “The Brae” at Mount Pleasant, to live there that summer. On part of her late father’s property at the tanyard, Miss Annie Albro had a neat dwelling erected, which she called “Grove Cottage”, and later on, leased it to her brother and his bride. The scene from Mount Pleasant was described as being very beautiful with the cottages on the opposite hills, and the rows of wigwams along the side of Silver’s Hill from the present MicMac Club to Graham’s cross roads. There was another encampment at “Second Red Bridge”. Other records state that there were also camps in the vicinity of Pleasant Street, near Erskine. This may account for the heaps of bones that have been unearthed …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: By 1842, when Dartmouth was nearly 100 years old, there still seemed to be no regular system of mail transportation. About that time, a resident complained to the newspapers that letters from abroad, addressed to Dartmouth, were detained at Halifax until nearly half a bushel had accumulated. Then they were sent over by a carrier who charged one penny on each letter for his trouble. There was no recognized Post Office in Dartmouth until about 1870. Instead there was a “way office”. In small centers, such as ours, letters were left at the village store, commonly known as two-penny offices, because the keepers charged two pence on every letter passing through their hands. A letter from England to Halifax would cost 20 cents, but it might be taxed 16 or 18 cents extra to send it a few miles farther—all depending …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: When the new House met in February 1841, Joseph Howe was chosen as Speaker. That appointment brought a bit of political prestige to our side of the harbor, because Dartmouth was the largest center in Mr. Howe’s constituency. An Act incorporating the City of Halifax was passed by the Legislature that session. Of more local interest, however, was an Act for regulating Dartmouth Common. This was the “new town-plot” … As the trustees of the Common were all dead by 1841, there was no one in authority to prevent the increasing number of squatters from occupying parts of the Common, especially those portions adjacent to the waterfront in the vicinity of Black Rock. (The whole area of the new town-plot must have been so called from earliest times, no doubt from the black color of the slate rock there.) The Act …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The elections were on that autumn. Joseph Howe came quite frequently to campaign in Dartmouth and in its suburbs, because he and William Annand were candidates for the County of Halifax, which was a separate constituency from the City. On Friday evening, October 30th, there was a meeting of about 200 supporters of Howe’s Reformers held in the Dartmouth School House. Henry Y. Mott presided, and Alexander James, then the schoolmaster of the town, was Secretary. Joseph Howe spoke at some length, outlining the legislative reforms recently gained by his party. Although the night was dark and tempestuous, loyal followers accompanied the Halifax group to the ferry; and as the boat pulled out, gave three rousing cheers which were lustily returned. The poll for the election of candidates was held at the Halifax Court House for five days early in November. …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: At this stage of our story, we turn to the columns of the Dartmouth “Atlantic Weekly” to give readers a first-hand account of life in Dartmouth in the 1830s, as written by an old resident in April 1899. He gave credit to three octogenarians of that time for furnishing him with much information. The three were Thomas Gentles, Thomas Synott, and George Shiels. . . . The town naturally centered itself around the ferry. The ferry in those days landed at the foot of Ochterloney Street. The ferry service consisted at first of rowboats simple, later an addition was made in the shape of the “Grinders”, boats resembling whalers, having paddle-like arrangements driven by a hand-crank, which propelled them forward. These again were supplanted by the team-boat which requires no explanation. The horses used on the boat were housed overnight in …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In March of 1837 the harbor was encumbered with ice, and the rural roads were completely blocked with snow. For a time this cut off Halifax and Dartmouth from their source of provisions. The dwindling supplies in the shops were sold at excessively high prices. Allan McDonald was manufacturing flour at Russell’s Lake, and some of it had been sold in New York. Reports from that city stated that the flour had passed inspection and had been graded as “superfine”.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The first Fire Department of Dartmouth was organized on September 21, 1822, and comprised the following citizens: Captain William Allen, Sec’y E. H. Lowe, Lieut. James Coleman, Henry Yetter, James Allen, Andrew Malcom, John Tapper, George Coleman, and Benjamin Elliot. Membership was limited to nine men. Dartmouth, a rising village could now boast a fire-engine, a Board of Firewards and a new engine-house. This building stood on Queen Street near Wentworth, and was about the size of a modern single garage. Meetings were held on the first Monday of the month, at sundown. In winter, one member per month was chosen by lot to keep snow shoveled from the entrance.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The teacher at Dartmouth in 1820-1821 was Daniel Sutherland, who taught at least from November until May. The trustees then were John Skerry, William Allen and Joseph Moreland. Canon Vernon’s History of Christ Church states that the reports of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, contain the name of Mrs. Mary Munn, who was paid £5 per annum as schoolmistress at Dartmouth commencing from 1821. This lady, who was familiarly referred to as “Ma Munn”, is thought to have been the widow of James Munn, builder of the windmill and of Quaker houses. The £5 would be the contribution of the S. P. G. Kxcept for indigent cases, school expenses were collected from Inhabitants, according to their means. In March 1821, Team-Boat directors made another move to vvt John Skerry out of the ferry business by inviting him to …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Among famous men in our neighborhood about this time was James Gordon Bennett, who later founded the New York Herald. Wune biographies state that he emigrated from Scotland in 1819, and first earned a scanty livelihood on Halifax journals. But he assuredly came earlier, for he taught school just outside Dartmouth as early as 1816, and remained at least two years. In January 1819, the first use was made of the snow-covered trail from Cobequid Road to Dartmouth. Newspapers of that date reported that several sleds with produce for Halifax, were coming in by the new road and down over the Dartmouth Lakes. The landing-place is thought to have been at Banook Avenue, because that street was long known as “the winter road”. Letters advocating the commencement of the Canal project appeared frequently that winter. One writer suggested that a large …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On Wednesday, March 11, 1807, Christian Bartlin and Alexander McDonald were drowned by the oversetting of their boat as they were returning home from Halifax. (This man may have been a son of Christian Bartlin who died here in 1792). In that same year 1807, ferryman John Skerry purchased from Dr. Clifford the premises at Ochterloney and Commercial Streets, and also the wharf on the shore below. This was formerly Maroon wharf or King’s wharf, and no doubt used by Skerry when he took over the ferry service in 1797. He may also have leased the corner building from that date. As it was in that same year that construction of no. 7 highway got started, Skerry’s wharf would be the most convenient place to land tools and supplies for the use of the road workers. Skerry’s Inn on the corner …

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