French Prison: Near old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, probably built about 1793, afterwards J. P. Mott & Co. soap factory

“Old French Prison, probably built about 1793, afterwards J.P. Mott & Co’s Soap Factory near Old Ferry Road, Dartmouth Cove, Dartmouth, N.S. View looking eastward. Photographed on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. Modern low addition (to the building) at east end. Addition by Mott, to original building at right.”

“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…”

“Blink Bonnie House”

“Large room for prisoners with parlor beyond of stairs to bedroom above. View looking west south west (back towards photo above) on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. From left to right: Modern addition on south side, Door to parlour, Stairs to bedroom, Door to parlour, Door to old stairs, main entrance (northern side).”

“Parlour and dining room, with large room beyond for prisoners (seen directly above), view looking eastward (in the same direction as the photo seen at top), photographed on the afternoon of June 13, 1929. From left to right: Door to old stairs to kitchen, opening boarded over, at this side of door, Door with glass in upper part, Large room beyond door, Fire place, Door to old chamber.”

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.

Dartmouth, Aerial View

Dartmouth, 1950s

St. Peter’s Church seen at upper middle, First Baptist at Victoria at middle right. Christ Church at middle, Victoria Road Baptist church is seen a block behind between it and its hall, Grace United Church is seen at middle bottom, (what I believe was) another Baptist church a block closer on Ochterloney near where the original St. Peter’s stood, Post Office at middle right.

St. James Church at five corners seen here with Dartmouth Medical Center across the street. Starr Manufacturing is the long dark colored building along Prince Albert Road to its left, the old Hawthorne School at the upper right, Silver’s Road directly ahead at top middle.

Bus depot at far left, Dartmouth Ferry Terminal at bottom left, the ferry is docked. Nova Scotia Power Dartmouth Division at middle left, Stern’s corner at middle right, Jacobson’s at far right.

This whole neighborhood was essentially disappeared through “urban renewal”, Boggs Street is now the extent of Alderney Drive and parking lots, Green Street has all but disappeared since, too. So many Quaker homes and other historical relics lost to the wrecking ball. Much of the land has sat vacant for many decades since, as with the land along the waterfront to the north of Downtown, up through the Church Street, Park Avenue and Edward Street lands that lay next to the Common.

“Dartmouth, Halifax Co.: Aerial View”, 1930 (certainly not 1930, perhaps some time in the late 1950s?).

Dartmouth Bridge Plaza and Shopping Center, (Dartmouth Common), 1958

“Dartmouth Bridge Plaza and Shopping Center”, 1958.

Dartmouth Ball field is seen front and center on Wyse Road at the Bridge Plaza, a close up below shows the area surrounding City hall previous to its construction on what is now Alderney Dr.

“American history: comprising historical sketches of the [Indigenous] tribes”

“The [Mi’kmaq], first called by the French Souriqu’ois, held possession of Nova Scotia and the adjacent isles, and were early known as the active allies of the French. Marquis de la RocheIn 1598, the Marquis de la Roche, a French nobleman, received from the King of France a commission for founding a French colony in … Read more

Part of “Five Corners”, 1866

The Bridge at bottom left crosses the Mill Stream to downtown Dartmouth, St. James Church is now found at the corner adjacent at “Lot 5”. On the left, the road “To Preston” is now Prince Albert Road (Skate Factory, being Starr Manufacturing, noted at top left) while the “Road to Cole Harbour”, now Portland Street … Read more

Woodlawn, 1784

“Halifax, Feb (2?) 1784. This day the proprietors of a tract of land lying on the road to Lawrence Town came to agreement of partition of division according to the adjoining [??], viz. the land colored red was [??] by Nathaniel Russel, the land [??] with water color by Ephraim (Wyman), and the land colored yellow by Richardson.”

“The German Lotts” seen at left, James Creighton’s grant as well as Blagden’s new grant seen at bottom.

No. 2 at top is in reference to the plot granted to Benjamin Bridge as seen here. (No. 5 would be to the right of No. 2, land granted to Benjamin Greene, not noted here).


“New Road to Lawrencetown” is now Portland Street, here you can see the approximate location of these tracts today, the 111 highway seen at bottom, Main Street at upper left, Bell Lake at top, Russell Lake at the bottom right.

“Halifax County Road leading to Lawrence Town”, 1784.

“New Scot Lande”

Argals Bay, now the Bay of Fundy, perhaps a reference to Samuel Argall. See also: “The province of Alexandria” as well as “The Province of Caledonia” that seem to reference the general jurisdictions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia today. Other features include “Cape Brittan” as well as Canso (Campseau), “Blacke” at Nova Scotia’s southern … Read more

“Expansion has been from the earliest day the policy of our country…evidence from fathers of the republic”

“WASHINGTON PROGRESSIVE. HE HOPED THAT CANADA WOULD BECOME A PART OF THE UNION—HIS VALLEY FORGE LETTER. “And lastly, another Province (Nova Scotia), which some time ago was very desirous of it, would be added to the Federal Union. It may not be amiss to give Bermuda some consideration, as circumstances in the course of the … Read more

“The Dominion of Canada; a study of annexation”

“The Canadian colonies have always been deprived of representation in the Imperial government, and, until the recent Dominion Constitution, prescribed by act of the British Parliament in 1867, they had few privileges of self-government. The colonial government given to Canada after the fall of the French power was not even as liberal as that under … Read more

“Charles D’Wolf Of Guadaloupe, his Ancestors and Descendents…the Rhode Island D’Wolfs…the Nova Scotian D’Wolfes and other allied families”

“…however obscure to recent generations had these facts become, it will be seen from the intercourse and correspondence of the Hon. Benjamin De Wolf of Windsor, Nova Scotia, with the Hon. James De Wolf of Bristol, R. I., from relations of Simon’s grandsons and their Rhode Island cousins, and other facts related in these pages, … Read more

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