“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…”
From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:
“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”.”
“Dartmouth, Halifax Co.: French Prison: Near old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, probably built about 1793, afterwards J. P. Mott & Co. soap factory”, 1929. https://archives.novascotia.ca/photocollection/archives/?ID=5307&Page=201742600