John Skerry

storyofdartmouth-34

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

THIS IS JOHN SKERRY (1764-1838), one of the builders of early Dartmouth. Before steamboats came, he conducted the Dartmouth-Halifax ferry by means of rowboats and scows from the foot of Ochterloney St. Skerry’s Inn nearby, was probably the first hotel in Dartmouth. According as Mr. Skerry prospered, he employed his money in assisting others, lending large and small sums especially to property purchasers. He became sort of “town-banker”. At his death, he possessed (or was encumbered with) considerable real estate, but comparatively little cash. His estate was valued at about £4,000.

Of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, Mr. Skerry was long remembered in Dartmouth for his many deeds of charity and humanity. Often he risked his life on the stormy harbor. “Skipper” Skerry is paid a high tribute in Mrs. Lawson’s History of Dartmouth, written in 1893.

This photo is from a large painting owned by Mrs. J. M. Vaughan. See the family tombstones in the plot north of main path near entrance of St. Peter’s cemetery: