Plan of the new track from Dartmouth to Sackville cleared during the summer of 1812

An interesting map for a few reasons, it specifies Pace’s stream, field and hill which is useful to pinpoint the bounds of the Township of Dartmouth, it also denotes what is typically shown as the Town Plot of Dartmouth as “Quakertown“, as distinct from “Dartmouth” at the foot of Old Ferry Road (as with a few other maps that centered Dartmouth around the Old Ferry, here and here).


The legend is as follows: green line being Windsor Road, Orange is the New Track to Dartmouth, pink being the Old path to Dartmouth. Red dots and marks indicating settlements and single houses immediately benefited (presumably from the new road).

Sackville Barracks is noted “a”, Sackville River bridge “b”, M. Sabatier’s is “c”, Quakertown is “d”, Albro’s Tanyard is “e”. Miles, from 1 to 7 are noted with “0”, half-miles with “.”, bridges with “=”.

From Old Ferry Road is noted “Road to Preston, Cole Harbour, Lawrencetown and many other settlements to the eastward of Halifax Harbour.”

The report is transcribed here as accurately as possible.


“Having completed the survey of the new track from Sackville, towards Dartmouth, and cleared the whole course, new and old, of brush, trees and logs, I beg leave agreeably to your Excellency’s direction, to report the particulars.

The old track begins at the Windsor Road at my gate – passes by my house – crosses Pace’s Brook – goes up a very steep and high hill, too steep to be ever rendered convenient or even practical for wheel carriages, – along and again down the same – then ascends another steep hill to f. – all this is through good land, and would make a very good road were it not for the hills are so very steep and high. – from f. to the bridge g. it is a most practicable barren of rocks; in most parts of which a shovel-full of earth can, with difficulty, be got. It is to avoid those hills and this barren the road from h. to g. will require to be turned.

The alteration proposed begins at my gate h. – passes on the eastern side of Pace’s hill, avoids the steeps and is a gentle acclivity to Pace’s field; – and thence either a level or a gentle declivity to f.; the quality of the land is sometimes very good hardwood, and an equal quantity of barren, but with abundance of earth – from f. the new track goes to the westward over Drillio’s tow hills; the land is excellent, with exception of 80 rods of practicable barren, but earth is abundant all the way – from i. to the bridge g. it is, in general, tolerable land, and, with trifling exceptions, level – but it is very stony with a few rocks, plenty of earth.

The remainder is the old track to Dartmouth – from the bridge g. the land is chiefly a barren to Albro’s Tanyard e.; it is, however, generally level with a few short steeps, some of which may be avoided and others rendered easy – from k. ( at 5 ¾ miles) to Dartmouth, it is a narrow but good road, generally, not more than 6 feet wide, and will serve as a sample of what would prove if so made all the way, a great accommodation to the public.

Mr. Samuel Albro, as overseer of highways, has eased my labor very much – he cleared the old path from g. towards Quaker town of brush and logs – the only trouble I had in this place was to chain it and fix up painted boards marked with the miles and half miles – others, also, where the track was doubtful from l to g.

On the whole I beg leave to recommend this road to your excellency’s patronage as a useful accommodation to persons living on both sides of the inner and outer harbours. To show the relative situations of these I have sketched the whole neighbourhood. I conjecture a very good road, as mentioned above, might be made for £350.

Sackville, October 12th 1812. William Sabatier, Commissioner.”

“Plan of the new track from Dartmouth to Sackville cleared during the summer of 1812” Sabatier, William. 1812. https://recherche-collection-search.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/home/record?app=FonAndCol&IdNumber=4514427

“The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land”

“Until January, 1757, the Governor and Council ruled alone in Nova Scotia, at that time, after long debate, it was decided that a Representative Assembly should be created, and that there should be elected for the province at large, until counties should be formed, twelve members, besides four for the township of Halifax, two for … Read more

Local Government in Nova Scotia

Background:Although there were no parliamentary institutions of any kind in the area during the French regime, local government of one sort or another has existed in Nova Scotia from the founding of Port Royal in 1605. It began not with elected municipal councils, nor with incorporated towns and cities, not even with the Court of … Read more

History of Halifax City

“The [Indigenous people] had appeared in the neighborhood of the town for several weeks, but intelligence had been received that they had commenced hostilities, by the capture of twenty persons at Canso… On the last day of September they made an attack on the sawmill at Dartmouth, then under the charge of Major Gilman. Six … Read more

The draft of a charter, for the incorporation of the town of Halifax in the province of Nova-Scotia

“The following plan for regulating the municipal affairs of this Town, has been drawn up in the form of a Charter, as the clearest and best method to express the extent of the proposed improvements. The objects have been pointed out by a thorough investigation into the various modes of conducting the public business; which … Read more

A map of Cabotia: comprehending the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, New-Brunswick and Nova-Scotia with Breton Island, Newfoundland & c. and including also the adjacent parts of the United States

maritimes map

Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. “A map of Cabotia” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1814. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/a9d6bc40-2357-0133-af56-58d385a7b928

Rules and regulations for the establishment and government of a watch and patrol in the town of Halifax

“The said committees shall be appointed by the Magistrates, who shall likewise fill up all vacancies, and the said Committees shall within three days after due notice to them given, make an Alphabetical list of such persons resident within their respective Wards from eighteen years of age and upwards (not being House Servants, Daily Laborers, … Read more

On the Deplorable State of the [Indigenous People]

“A human being as he comes originally from the hand of nature, is everywhere the same.” “…The Planter was now struck with shame, and confusion, when he recognized, in his kind protector the [Indigenous person] whom he so harshly treated. He confessed that he knew him, and was full of excuses for his brutal behavior; … Read more

Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Dartmouth Point

dartmouth cove

Parkyns, George Isham. “Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Dartmouth Point” 1817. Aquatint and etching, inked in greyish green and dark greyish yellowish brown, coloured with water colour, on wove paper. Laid down on cardboard. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-JRR2203&R=DC-JRR2203

Fortifications (in Dartmouth)

Fort Duncan: Shown “dismantled” in Collyers military map of 1808. Commissioner Henry Duncan was at H.M Naval Yard in 1790 and 1793.

Blockhouse: 1750. Dartmouth picketed in, July 1751.

Gun: 1749.

Eastern Battery, Fort Clarence: 1754. Freestone tower there in Jan 1810 & in 1834. Tower removed about 1865, when new works were begun. Fort Clarence reconstructed 1865 to 1868 (Mil. recds). Site sold to Imperial Oil Co, 1927. Known as Eastern Battery in 1786.

“Halifax Fortifications”, 1928. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=1443

A brief description of Nova Scotia with plates of the principal harbors

“Since 1749 Nova Scotia has been governed by: General Hopson in 1752 Governor Lawrence in 1756 Rd. Monckson, Esq. Aug 17, 1757 Justice A. Belcher Oct. 1761 Gov. Wilmot, 1763, died 1766 Hon. Michael Franklin, Lieut.-Gov. 1766, continued two months Gov. Francis Legge 1773 Lieut-Gov. Arbuthnot 1776 Lieut.-Gov Richard Huhges 1778 Lieut.-Gov Sir And. Hammond … Read more

Law reports : containing decisions of the Bench of the Supreme Court in Nova Scotia between the years 1834 and 1841

“Esson v. Mayberry. Trinity Term, 1841. The grantee of a water lot, bounded on the shore, is entitled to take up to high-water mark; and that line of his grant changes with the gradual encroachment or retirement of the sea. …The plantiff derived his title to the land in question through several mesne conveyances, from … Read more

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