From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During the summer of 1816, the construction of the new team-boat, or horse-boat, continued in progress. The machinery necessary to revolve the propeller seems to have been imported from New York firms experienced in rigging similar such boats. The launching took place on Monday, September 30, and the place was somewhere in Dartmouth Cove. The only previous record of a ship being built in Dartmouth was that of the “Maid of the Mill”, launched in August 1801. Among the gay crowd at high-tide that September day, there were evidently many brightly dressed ladies mingled with their companions along the shore, and others who came over from Halifax in small boating-parties. Perhaps a military band also enlivened the air. One enthusiastic spectator has left us his impression of the scene in a letter to the “Acadian Recorder” the following week: Sir,—I have …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The spring of 1815 was very backward. As late as the month of June, slob-ice kept coming down from the Basin. In addition to that, frequent southerly winds blew much drift ice back into the harbor which often impeded £he progress of the ferry-boats. Towards the end of July, a hail-storm, attended by rain and thunder, showered down lumps of ice over two inches long, near Burnside. In this year, much of James Creighton’s Dartmouth property was put up for sale at auction by the executors of the estate. The whole of what is now the Austenville section, comprising some 67 acres, was bought by Thomas Boggs for £348 6/3. A larger block of 77 acres commenced near the foot of Sullivan’s Pond and included land on both sides of Prince Albert Road over Sinclair Street hills to Christian Bartlin’s line …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: A packet-boat from England which arrived on Saturday, May 21, 1814, brought the most welcome news in 20 years to Governor Nicholas D’Anseville still in exile at Woodlawn. Napoleon had abdicated; and the Bourbon King Louis XVIII was being restored! Mrs. Lawson, in her History of Dartmouth, says that the enthusiasm and excitement of the old Governor knew no bounds. Dressing himself in the old royalist uniform with the white hat of the Bourbons, he abandoned his customary dignity, and marched up and down the road during one whole afternoon, shouting “Vive La France”. In the autumn of 1814, smallpox broke out in an alarming manner n i the village of Dartmouth. Dr. Samuel Head, prominent Halifax auctioneer, recommended Seth Coleman as a man competent to render the inhabitants medical aid, because “He has long been in the habit of assisting …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Word came to Halifax that England and the United States had declared war. This aroused great activity around the Dockyard and Halifax wharves where privateers were continually being fitted out for expeditions that were sometimes disastrous, but often very profitable. As owners shared prize money with crew members, no doubt many Dartmouth young men often ventured on these voyages. Preston and Woodlawn sections then began to add American officers to the number of prisoners already quartered there. Most of them were friendly and spent money freely, and thus became quite popular with the villagers. In 1812, there died William Birch Brinley, the man who built Mount Edward. He was a nephew of Sir John Wentworth, and named the estate in honor of the Duke of Kent. His wife was Joanna, daughter of John Allen whose nearby tanyard spread over the location …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1811 John Prescott, probably a brother of Samuel at the Woodside brickyard, purchased Maroon Hall. He called the place Mount Cleverley” after the maiden name of his wife. For the year 1811, Lawrence Hartshorne was Surveyor of Highways for Dartmouth town-plot; and Robert Day was Constable. Marriages that year at St. Paul’s included that of John D. Iliiwthorne to Miss Mary Story daughter of Marshal Story. And at Preston in July, Miss Elizabeth Chamberlain, daughter I Theophilus, to William N. Silver of Halifax. In October occurred the deaths at Dartmouth of Mrs. Miriam Mratfher in her 60th year, relict of the late Captain Meagher; and f William Mills aged 32.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Friday, February 23, 1810, was appointed by the Lieut-Governor as a day of public fasting and humiliation in the Province. In the following October, Samuel Hart died at Maroon Hall. Most of his local and Halifax property was then sold for debt. A son born in 1810 in James Creighton’s home at former Fort Grenadier, Jacob St., Halifax, to James Crichton, R.N. and Mary Creighton, must have so pleased the latter’s father that he deeded 200 acres of Dartmouth land, in trust for this grandchild. Hence Crichton Avenue. Old Mr. Creighton died in 1813 in his 81st year. He had been associated with Dartmouth over 40 years. Edward Foster and Sons were still doing business in 1810 as “millsmiths, housesmiths, anchorsmiths, axe, tool and screw makers ;it their extensive Dartmouth works at the Narrows and at their newly erected shop on …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the Royal Gazette for July 1809, the livestock of Maroon lull was advertised to be sold at Mr. Bell’s Ferry House Old Ferry Inn, at one o’clock on Saturday the 29th. The lot included one pair of beef oxen, one pair small oxen, seven milk cows, one calf, six handsome horses and one bay stallion. Theophilus Chamberlain advertised the loss on the Preston Road between Crane’s and Ross’ of a linen girdle two feet long and three inches wide, containing 50 guineas and two Joes. The owner was Monsieur Chaunion, a prisoner of war at Mr. Crane’s, who offered half the money as a reward to the finder. Through the summer of 1809, newspapers continued to advertise runaway prisoners from Preston. In June, Joseph Bissett of “Coal” Harbor received £5 reward for apprehending a deserter from a ship in the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: At Silver’s Hill, the slope no doubt originally extended down to the lake shore. Pioneer trails generally avoided lowlands. Hence this “new” road to Preston followed the broad path still seen on the hillside below Sinclair Street, until it emerged around the bend at that bay of the lake called by the Mi’kmaq “Hooganinny Cove”. The causeway-bridge over Carter’s Pond at the town limits, was very likely built during the time of the Maroons, for the road is shown on military maps as early as 1808, indicating that this section of highway had been constructed some years previously. In the year 1808 Mrs. Jonathan (Almy) Elliot, widow, was married to Nathaniel Russell, widower, of Russell’s Lake, who had been long bereft of all his family. Of the Russell union, one son Nathaniel was thus a half-brother to the Elliot children.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On Wednesday, March 11, 1807, Christian Bartlin and Alexander McDonald were drowned by the oversetting of their boat as they were returning home from Halifax. (This man may have been a son of Christian Bartlin who died here in 1792). In that same year 1807, ferryman John Skerry purchased from Dr. Clifford the premises at Ochterloney and Commercial Streets, and also the wharf on the shore below. This was formerly Maroon wharf or King’s wharf, and no doubt used by Skerry when he took over the ferry service in 1797. He may also have leased the corner building from that date. As it was in that same year that construction of no. 7 highway got started, Skerry’s wharf would be the most convenient place to land tools and supplies for the use of the road workers. Skerry’s Inn on the corner …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The spring of the year 1806 was one of exceptional drought. Pumps and wells were bailed to the dregs. The woods were like tinder. To aggravate the situation, destructive forest fires raged in the rural areas of Dartmouth. On Thursday evening, May 29th, the cottage on Old Preston Road belonging to Margaret Floyer and occupied by Governor D’Anseville, together with all the elegant furniture and decorations, and the surrounding outbuildings were entirely consumed. A house out there owned by Hon. Michael Wallace, and another belonging to Mrs. Phoebe Moody had the same fate. Henry Wisdom’s mill also fell a prey to the flames. At Halifax, a request was issued by the Firewards asking inhabitants “to remove all combustible material from their homes while the drought prevails. They think it would be prudent for persons who are in the habit of smoking …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The names of Ochterloney and Quarrell were commemorated by streets in downtown Dartmouth. The extension of the first named thoroughfare marked the beginnings of the present no. 7 highway. From the old town-plot boundary, it veered to the north beyond Pine Street. Opposite the Greenvale Apartments, the antique stone-house demolished only recently, and apparently built “on the bias”, probably fronted the original line of Ochterloney Street as it continued through the property, now occupied by the Nova Scotia Light and Power plant, and headed for the millstream flowing from the lakes. This road then bridged the stream near the western end of the circular-dam (which then did not exist) and ran diagonally to the rise of Prince Albert Road, just below Hawthorne St. Mounded evidence of this route used to be exposed whenever Sullivan’s Pond was drained. At Silver’s Hill, the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Most of the material In the Halifax weekly newspaper comprises advertisements and clippings from Old Country journals. Local items are largely limited to movements of ships. Incidents hereabouts had to be very exceptional to be published. A death or a marriage notice would often appear, but never a birth. Even to report that a person was ill, or had broken a leg, was regarded as a trespass on privacy. As a consequence, news from Dartmouth is very scant. In winter of 1780, however, there was printed an unusually long account of a misfortune to William Cooper whose location would be near the lower end of the present Queen Street. The following is a transcript from the Nova Scotia Gazette: “On Monday the 17th January, a direful fire broke out at the house of Mr. Wm. Cowper at Dartmouth, owing to the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During the 1770s, the weekly newspaper of Halifax kept Dartmouthians informed of the growing discontent in the American colonies leading up to the Revolution. Captain Preston, involved in the so-called Boston massacre of 1770, was soon to have his name applied to a new township here. Another connection is, that one of the East Indian Company ships, raided by the “Boston Tea-Party” of 1773, was called the “Dartmouth”. When the British army under Lord Howe abandoned Boston, and sailed to Halifax with hundreds of refugees in 1776, there were more troopships on our side of the harbor. Records of the 65th Regiment in April of that year contain orders that, “Soldiers are not to go on shore on the Dartmouth side with their arms, unless under the command of a Captain. Whenever weather permits, officers will air their men on the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: By 1761, the Mi’kmaq raids were at an end. After peace was made with the French in 1763, no more casualties seem to have occurred. The year 1765 must have brought considerable excitement to Dartmouth, for it was in the month of May that hangings occurred. A search through the Supreme Court files, however, shows that six men were sent to the gallows that spring. Mr. Mullane omitted the name of John Evans. All six gave their occupation as sailors, perhaps merchant seamen. Driscoll and Lawlor, convicted of murdering a man and a woman at Halifax on April 25, were sentenced to hang on May 20. The charge against Donnelly, Taylor, Smith and Evans was, “that on April 26, 1765, between 11 and 12 in the night, they did by force of arms feloniously break and enter the dwelling-house of Adam …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1759 brought more activity to Dartmouth with the arrival of the large fleet bound for Quebec. Drawings such as these, were sketched for the eyes of London officialdom to see just how British Government money was being spent hereabouts. Hence in order to emphasize the Blockhouse, the Sawmill and the military roads of Dartmouth, the artist had to leave out trees and houses, and even move the ships nearer to Halifax. Both in 1758 and in 1759, sheltered Mill Cove must have been used to moor war transports, and their crews evidently employed the most convenient method of securing firewood. This is inferred from a complaint of Mrs. Mary Clark whose house and garden appears to have stood at the southeast corner of the present Portland and King Streets. In 1759 she advised Secretary Richard Bulkeley that her “three …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The first Nova Scotia election was held in 1758*. In that year, inhabitants of the various settlements went to the polls and named representatives to the first House of Assembly at Halifax. It has met regularly ever since. Previously, the laws had been made by a Governor and his chosen Councils Most of those early Councillors obtained extensive grants of land in Dartmouth township. This partiality seems to have aroused criticism, especially among Halifax settlers who had come up from New England. One of the latter, writing to a Boston merchant in 1757, made the caustic comment that Cornwallis’ Council had been “composed of military officers and a few dependent on him for the advantageous places he gave them”. Governor Cornwallis, however, did not appropriate any lands for himself; but before his departure from Halifax in 1752, he granted a large …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: From Volume I of Knox History Journal we learned by a perusal of the diary of Major Robert Rogers that his famous Rogers’ Rangers were quartered at Dartmouth for a time during the 7-Years’ War. According to the record they had been stationed at Fort William Henry, and proceeded from there to the port of New York: June 1757—. . . sailed with 100 vessels bound to Halifax, where we soon arrived and according to orders, I encamped on the Dartmouth side of the harbour. . . . The Rangers were here employed in various services. . .

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Initially there were about 30 men at the Eastern Battery at Imperoyal, but in the autumn of 1755, military records tell us that a considerable number of soldiers spent the winter on this side of the water. These were none other than the troops of Colonel John Winslow, who had just returned from their job of expelling the Acadians. Winslow’s diary of November 1755 says that “My 54 non-commissioned officers and privates are at Dartmouth”. In the same records is a memo signed by Henry Dobson stating that Lieut. Billings and Ensign Barrel, one Sergeant, one Corporal and all the [Indigenous people] and [Black people] that belong to Colonel Shirley’s regiment are also here at Dartmouth. Dr. John Thomas, a surgeon in Winslow’s expedition, has a very complete account of life in Dartmouth that winter. Even the weather is noted. On December 12 …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During 1754, gangs of soldiers are busily engaged cutting a road from Dartmouth to the new settlement at Lawrencetown. (This is probably the beginnings of Old Ferry Road from Parker’s wharf over the Cameron Street hill to Cole Harbor, by a route which no doubt avoided the outlet at Maynard’s Lake.) Of all the fortifications built to protect the harbor of Halifax in early times, one of the first was constructed as the Eastern Battery. Engineer John Brewse was in charge, and he had seven heavy cannon mounted there by October of 1754. Military plans of this period show a road which seems to extend from Black Point to the Battery at Imperoyal.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: More local activity is inferred from a Halifax newspaper of January 1753 which informs us that Mr. G. Gerrish, blacksmith, has finished a crank for a new sawmill erecting at Dartmouth, which weighs nearly 17 cwt. The mill to go by wind and to carry 18 saws.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Furnished in the minutes of Cornwallis’ Council for February 3, 1752, is when John Connor was given exclusive rights to operate a ferry service. The preamble points out that great inconvenience attends the inhabitants of Halifax and Dartmouth for want of a constant ferryboat. Henry Wynne of Halifax, and William Manthorne of Block “B”, lot no. 4, took over the service the following December. There were 53 families with a total population of 193 within the town of Dartmouth, according to statistics of 1752. (This might possibly include the township). In the same year Captain William Clapham requests the usual bounty for clearing land and erecting stonewalls on his farm, shown on Crown Land plans as being along Saw Mill river near the lower part of Crichton Avenue and Maple Street areas.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: According to Harry Piers’ pamphlet on early blockhouses, the timber for the one at Dartmouth was prepared in Halifax. Governor Cornwallis employed French inhabitants squaring logs for that purpose during the winter of 1749-1750. The first mention of ours, is on February 23, 1751, when the Governor orders a “Sergeant and ten or twelve men of the military of Dartmouth, should mount guard at night in the blockhouse, and that they should be visited from time to time by the lieutenant”. But the blockhouse evidently did not afford much protection when the testing time came. The Alderney settlers had been here about eight months when they suffered a terrifying catastrophe. One night in May of 1751, a ferocious band of [Indigenous people] swooped down on the village, and brutally butchered the helpless inhabitants. The frantic screams of the victims could be …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: After the Treaty of Utrecht, the first recorded proposal for a settlement on the Dartmouth side from British officials originated with Captain Thomas Coram of London in 1718. One of the districts selected for establishing colonists was “northeast of the harbor of Chebucto”. Massachusetts influence opposed this plan as being detrimental to their fisheries. As an aside, Martin’s account of Captain Thomas Coram in 1718 and his attempt to establish settlements “northeast of the harbor of Chebucto” isn’t supported by “An historical and statistical account of Nova Scotia” by Thomas Chandler Halliburton, where it is stated that the settlement was instead planned for a location “upon the sea coast, five leagues S.W. and five leagues N.W. of Chebucto”, not on the Dartmouth side. (Five leagues is appropriately 28 km). When Hon. Edward Cornwallis set out to settle Halifax in 1749, he …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Even before Dartmouth was settled, the authorities at Halifax planned for a sawmill and a guardhouse to be constructed on the eastern side of the harbor. It was Major Gilman who erected the sawmill at Dartmouth Cove. It was likely situated on the stream which flowed from the Dartmouth Lakes (later, the Shubenacadie Canal), but the exact site is difficult to ascertain. The land laid out for the sawmill appears under the name of Ezekiel Gilman in records of the time. The boundary of the plot began on the stream, at a spot about thirty chains (605 Meters, 0.38 miles) from Collins’s Point (King’s Wharf), near the Railway. From there it ran north 65° east, about sixty chains (1210 Meters, 0.75 miles); then north 35° west for about forty-two chains (845 meters, 0.52 Miles); then south 55° west, for seventy-two and a half chains (1460 …

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