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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Dartmouth, long before the European explorers and colonizing forces, had a 7,000 year history of occupation by the Mi’kmaq people. The Mi’kmaq annual cycle of seasonal movement; living in dispersed interior camps during the winter, and larger coastal communities during the summer; meant there were no permanent communities in the Euro-centric sense, but Dartmouth was clearly a place frequented by Mi’kmaq people for a very long time. Whether it was the Springtime smelt spawning in March; the harvesting of spawning herring, gathering eggs and hunting geese in April; the Summer months when the sea provided cod and shellfish, and coastal breezes that provided relief from irritants like blackflies and mosquitos, or during the autumn and its eel season; Dartmouth …

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