Dartmouth’s Town Plot

The 1750 Town plot of Dartmouth in reference to its immediate surroundings on Dartmouth Cove, the Shubenacadie River and other streams.

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

The town plot as laid out in 1750 comprised of 11 oblong-shaped blocks, mostly 400 feet long by 200 feet wide. Each building lot was 50 feet by 100 feet. Reference to the cut shows that all the streets running north and south, lead to the point, which is the front part of the settlement. The northern boundary at the left side seems to be the present line of North Street. The southern boundary is the present Green Street, if it were produced through to Commercial Street (Alderney Drive). All the area from that line to the point would be the 10 acre grant of Benjamin Green.

The eastern boundary is at Dundas Street, and from there the present Queen Street extends through the middle of the plot to Commercial St. (Alderney Drive). But Portland and Ochterloney Streets come to a dead end at King Street. (No street names appear on the first plan).

1750 Town plot of Dartmouth. Reference to the tables below will locate the settlers.
Block Letter “A”Block Letter “B”Block Letter “C”Block Letter “D”
1—1—Matthew Staple1—William Howard1—Dr. John Baxter
2—Josiah Rogerson2—James McKensey2—Abraham Mozar2—Dr. John Baxter
3—James Lawrence3—Ralph Nesham3—Joseph Marken3—
4—Joseph White4—Wm. Manthorne4—Albert Suremon4—Robert Vowles
5—Daniel Breast5—Thomas Hardin5—Henry Claaser5—John Hall
6—Joseph Scoffield6—6—Abraham Walker6—Cheyne Brownjohn
7—Thomas Wiseman7—Edward Potter7—Joseph Gosterel7—John Hill
8—Samuel Jones8—Andrew Downing8—8—Mary Clark
9—9—William Moore9—Thomas Stephens9—Mary Clark
10—William Cooper10—Bruin Rankin10—William Stephens10—Mary Clark
11—11—Adolph Witherall11—William Ross11—Walter Clark
12—John Dunnevan12—Joseph Scott12—Robert Brooks12—Edward Stevens
13—William Steward13—13—Reuben Hemsley13—Thomas Bourn
14—Daniel Budgate14—14—14—Thomas Bourn
15—15—15—Dennis Doran15—
16—Josiah Rogerson16—16—16—George Chreighton
18—John Dubois18—
Block Letter “E”Block Letter “F”Block Letter “G”Block Letter “H”
1—John Crooks1—John MacDonald1—1—
2—2—Charles Germain (fenced)2—William Carter2—
3—David McKey3—Henry Sweetland3—3—
4—William Scraggs4—Nathaniel Follet4—4—William Nixon
5—Samuel Blagdon5—5—Eleazer Robinson5—
6—James Owen6—John Orr6—6—
7—7—James Wright7—7—
8—Robert Sparks8—8—8—
11—John Hoopy11—11—11—
12—Robert Young12—12—12—
13—William Hall13—13—13—
16—Thomas Leuke16—16—16—
18—Joseph Cole18—
Block Letter “I”Block Letter “K”Block Letter “L”
4—4—4—Christian Bartlin by purchase
5—5—Edward Barton5—
6—6—Parkinson6—John Williams
9—Thomas Gunnel9—
10—Thomas Ruddles10—
11—John Orr11—

Memo— A fish lot to Ever Davison beginning at a stake on Mill River north 46° east 330 feet thence south 44° east to the beach 264 feet, thence on the Beach to above stake.

East and north in the vast township of Dartmouth, more large grants included those to Captain Clapham, William Magee, John Colebanks, James Quinn, Benjamin Bridges, Richard Prowse and others.

You will notice that in the lists of the 1750 grantees that most of them chose lots near the waterfront. Blocks like “G”, “H”, “I” and “K” were perhaps too close to the source of [Indigenous] attacks. Or else, the Alderney group being fisherman, they naturally sought locations as near as possible to the beach. Ever Davison’s fish lot seems to have been in the vicinity of Weagle’s boat-building shop near Canal Street.

See more about Old Ferry Road and land grants along what is now Portland Street here

From that point all the way to Eastern Passage, larger areas ranging from 60 to over 200 acres, and fronting on the shore, were granted to people prominent among Cornwallis’ settlers. Adjoining Davison’s was that of Samuel Blackden (or Blagdon); next was John Salisbury at Hazelhurst Shore, then Charles Lawrence in the Department of Transport vicinity; William Steele, Richard Burkeley, Byron Finucane, Joseph Gerrish, Jacob Hurd, Charles Morris, Leonard Lockman, Rev. Aarson Cleveland, Rev. Mr. Tutty and others.

When the town was re-plotted for Nantucket whaling families in 1783, Portland and Ochterloney were extended through to Commercial St. (Alderney Drive), and the blocks were squared to have 240 feet on each side, as at present. The three oblong shaped blocks still standing in downtown Dartmouth have a driveway at the ends of Prince Street and Green Street, which suggests that all blocks of the new town were to be square shaped.

All the new lots measured 60 feet by 120 feet. Most of the streets were widened from 55 feet to 60. That part of Edward Street known as Chapel Lane seems to be the only relic of original street widths.

“Chapel Lane”, Edward Street from Queen to Ochterloney, relic of Dartmouth’s original street widths