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

The year 1759 brought more activity to Dartmouth with the arrival of the large fleet bound for Quebec. Drawings such as these, were sketched for the eyes of London officialdom to see just how British Government money was being spent hereabouts. Hence in order to emphasize the Blockhouse, the Sawmill and the military roads of Dartmouth, the artist had to leave out trees and houses, and even move the ships nearer to Halifax.

Both in 1758 and in 1759, sheltered Mill Cove must have been used to moor war transports, and their crews evidently employed the most convenient method of securing firewood.

This is inferred from a complaint of Mrs. Mary Clark whose house and garden appears to have stood at the southeast corner of the present Portland and King Streets. In 1759 she advised Secretary Richard Bulkeley that her “three lots have been improved, cleared and fenced-in twice but all the improvements, fences, etc., have been taken away and burnt by the Army and Navy”.

In that same summer of 1759 a band of Mi’kmaq from Cornwallis’ Island surprised a small outpost stationed in a bay below the Eastern Battery, near the present Seaplane base. Five soldiers were killed. The Mi’kmaq had paddled over in the dead of night, and were thus able to circumvent the defensive cannon pointed towards the Passage. The account of this conflict by W Hewitt says that the bay was long afterwards known by the name of “Scalp Cove”. And it was later in this year that Halley’s Comet re-appeared.

The sketch below shows part of Admiral Saunders’ fleet on which General Wolfe sailed for the siege of Quebec. Many of these warships came here first from England, then sailed in a convoy to the St. Lawrence River via Louisbourg.

Men on fatigue duty are carrying firewood down a slope. At least there are large boulders still on the beach. Tree stumps in the foreground indicate, even in those years, the timberland of that section was a convenient source of supply for vessels anchored along this side of the harbor, where there was an abundance of fuel and fresh water.

No doubt many of Wolfe’s men had been here with Admiral Boscawen’s Louisbourg fleet in the previous year (1758). Private diaries of that time prove that it was the custom to anchor on the Dartmouth side.

See the diary of Nathaniel Knap for May 25, 1758, where he mentions the transports as being “a gunshot from the shore.” This sketch was made by Richard Short of the Royal Navy. Only buildings shown are the blockhouse and saw mill. New Lawrencetown road seen at Old Ferry shore.


NORTH WOODSIDE SHORE IN MAY 1759, This was also sketched by Richard Short of the Royal Navy. The inscription states that it represents “the Town and Harbor of Halifax in 1759, as they appear from the opposite shore called Dartmouth.” on the hill near the foot of the present Stephen St., which is 200 yards south of the Department of Transport (see below)

Department of Tr