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

This is “Fairfield”, residence of the great Joseph Howe from 1863 to 1869. Amid his books and his garden, Howe spent many happy days in this rural retreat away from all sorts of persons who continually besieged his Halifax home. It was at “Fairfield”, during the Confederation wrangles, that he made perhaps the most momentous decision of his whole career, when in 1869, he left the Liberal party.

Many prominent Liberals and Conservatives, like wealthy Enos Collins, bitterly opposed the Confederation scheme. Howe was their spokesman, and the leader of two futile delegations to London seeking repeal of the B.N.A.

Returning home from an election victory in Hants County, he was met at the ferry and escorted in a torchlight procession to “Fairfield”, while bonfires blazed on the hills, and an 18-gun salute was fired.

Realizing that opposition was useless, Howe then headed the agitation against the Dominion for adequate financial relations, popularly known as “Better Terms”. Advised by Sir John A. MacDonald that such proposals would never pass the House of Commons unless he accepted a Cabinet post, Howe eventually sacrificed his life-long political feelings in favor of his native province, and became a member of the Conservative Government. “Anti-Confederates” never forgave him.

It seems safe to assume, therefore, that at “Fairfield”, the future Dominion-Provincial policy of that day was determined. It was also at “Fairfield” that Howe prepared his marvelous oration delivered at Halifax in 1864, on the occasion of Shakespeare’s tercentenary.

Joseph Howe’s commanding figure, clad in gray suit and gray beaver hat, was a familiar sight as he drove or walked along Windmill Road, followed by his little dog, on his way to the ferry.