History of the townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown, Halifax county, N.S.

“The annals of Dartmouth and its sister townships contain several tales of a by-gone era, whose recital has often brought tears to humble eyes and which may yet have a charm for a more general and critical audience.”

“Shortly after the settlement of Halifax, Major Gilman erected a saw-mill in Dartmouth Cove. It was doubtless situated on the stream which flows from the Dartmouth Lakes, but the exact site I have been unable to ascertain. The land laid out for the sawmili appears under the name of Ezekiel Gilman, on an old plan in the Department of Crown Lands, Halifax.

The boundary of the plot began on the above stream, at a spot close to the present Presbyterian Church, or about thirty chains from Collin’s Point, near the Chebucto Marine Railway. From thence it ran north 55° east, about sixty chains; thence north 35° west for about forty-two chains; thence south 55° west, for seventy-two and a half chains; thence south 35° east, for about fifty chains, or until it reached the stream before-mentioned. This embraced half of the First Lake, and land to the south eat and south-west of it. A plan of the Harbour of Chebucto and Town of Halifax, which appeared in The Gentleman’s Magazine for July, 1750 (page 295), shows three streams falling into Dartmouth Cove. The middle one of these is called ‘Saw Mill River’.

3streams gilmot

This name was probably intended to have been applied to the most northern of the three, and the transposition may have benn an error of the draughtsman. A building marked “Major Gilmot’s” (Gilman’s?) appears near the point named Warren’s Point on the plan, but since known as Collins’s Point. On Saturday, 30th September, O. S., 1749, six men, without arms, were cutting wood near Gilman’s mill. Theý Indians attacked them, killing four and carrying off one. The sixth man escaped. On 30th April, 1750, Cornwallis writes, that he never had one board from the saw-mill.

“It has been,” he says, “my constant plague from the beginting; thirty men have been constantly kept there ever since the affair of the Indians.” Between April and July, 1750, Gilman gave up the mill, and it was let to Capt. William Clapham. In June, 1752, the government mills at Dartmouth were sold at auction, for £310, to Major Ezekiel Gilman.

During the winter of 1749-50, the storeship Duke of Bedford and an armed sloop, were anchored in Dartmouth Cove, and the ice was broken around them every night in order to prevent the approach of the Indians. They were also within “Gun Shot of the Fort at the Sawmill.” (See MS. Minutes of Council, Sunday, 7th January, 1750).. According to Dr. Akins, the ships were under cover of a gun wbich was iounted on a point near the saw-mill. This, I suppose, was Collins’s Point.”

(Katzmann) Lawson, William Mrs. “History of the townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown, Halifax county, N.S. : (Akins historical prize essay)” Halifax, N.S. : Morton, 1893. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.09015/3?r=0&s=1