“Nine years later, one finds this institute arranging an excursion to Portland, “under the auspices of the Marine Charitable Mechanics’ Association of Portland”, which brought not only much pleasure, but a £60 profit for the building fund . Dartmouth Mechanics’ Institute, Nova Scotia, arranged a picnic and bazaar, under the patronage of Lieutenant Governor Falkland, on neighbouring McNab’s Island in 1845, and this was recognized as ” the outstanding summer event in the social life of the community.” Four thousand people were conveyed by ferries to a picnic ground, where displays were intermingled with refreshment stands, with music provided by …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: The year 1849 was long remembered by residents hereabouts. For one thing, the winter was very severe, and the summer unusually dry. Halifax celebrated its 100th anniversary in June, and by the end of the year was enjoying its first street lighting and water system, and also the first telegraph connection with the United States, via Amherst and Saint John, N.B. Cold weather seems to have prevailed through most of January and February, without any sign of a thaw. Sub-zero temperatures gradually froze the harbor until the ice extended to …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: In 1848 we note that this year marks an epoch in Nova Scotia history, because it was then that the Province attained complete Responsible Government. (See plaque in the corridor of Province House commemorating this accomplishment of Howe, Uniacke and others of the Reform Party.) Foreign news that year conveyed the intelligence that King Louis Philippe, who was once in Dartmouth (p. 95), had been driven from the throne of France by another Revolution. In our own country, preparations went on for the proposed Halifax to Quebec railroad; and also for …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: Newspapers about this time were filled with accounts of political meetings, for this was the year of the Provincial elections. The Liberal candidates in Halifax County were Henry Y. Mott and Joseph Howe. The Conservatives were James F. Gray and William Lawson. (Four other candidates contested Halifax Township.) Mr. Gray was a Halifax lawyer. As a Coroner, he had presided at the Thompson inquest in Dartmouth the previous autumn. Mr. Lawson was a summer resident of Mount Edward and son of a Bank President. (A son of this Conservative candidate, later married …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: The year 1847 opened with a severe spell of weather. Newspaper items early in January inform us that “there was superior skating on the Dartmouth Lakes”. The thermometer at Citadel Hill registered 15 below on the 20th. The Axe Firemen of Halifax made merry on an exhilarating sleigh drive to Schultz’s Inn at Grand Lake, and returned through Dartmouth in Hiram Hyde’s Mammoth Tea Party Sleigh with six-in-hand and colors flying”. Another newspaper report that month mentions a misfortune of the Mailboat brig Margaret, which had been driven up on …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: The advantages of Dartmouth as a summer resort were extolled by a correspondent in the newspaper Nova Scotian, in the early summer of 1846. Perhaps the writer was Joseph Howe who at that time, was residing at Middle Musquodoboit, and who would observe the changes on his frequent journeys through Dartmouth. This article appeared among the Halifax items: We have observed that many of our citizens in order to enjoy the sunny smiles of summer, have removed their residence to Dartmouth for a few ensuing months, while others literally in droves, are …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: In April a house was commenced for Arthur W. Godfrey “on the other side of Geyro’s”. George A. S. Crichton, finished enough of “The Brae” at Mount Pleasant, to live there that summer. On part of her late father’s property at the tanyard, Miss Annie Albro had a neat dwelling erected, which she called “Grove Cottage”, and later on, leased it to her brother and his bride. The scene from Mount Pleasant was described as being very beautiful with the cottages on the opposite hills, and the rows of wigwams …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: By 1842, when Dartmouth was nearly 100 years old, there still seemed to be no regular system of mail transportation. About that time, a resident complained to the newspapers that letters from abroad, addressed to Dartmouth, were detained at Halifax until nearly half a bushel had accumulated. Then they were sent over by a carrier who charged one penny on each letter for his trouble. There was no recognized Post Office in Dartmouth until about 1870. Instead there was a “way office”. In small centers, such as ours, letters were …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: When the new House met in February 1841, Joseph Howe was chosen as Speaker. That appointment brought a bit of political prestige to our side of the harbor, because Dartmouth was the largest center in Mr. Howe’s constituency. An Act incorporating the City of Halifax was passed by the Legislature that session. Of more local interest, however, was an Act for regulating Dartmouth Common. This was the “new town-plot” … As the trustees of the Common were all dead by 1841, there was no one in authority to prevent the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: The elections were on that autumn. Joseph Howe came quite frequently to campaign in Dartmouth and in its suburbs, because he and William Annand were candidates for the County of Halifax, which was a separate constituency from the City. On Friday evening, October 30th, there was a meeting of about 200 supporters of Howe’s Reformers held in the Dartmouth School House. Henry Y. Mott presided, and Alexander James, then the schoolmaster of the town, was Secretary. Joseph Howe spoke at some length, outlining the legislative reforms recently gained by his …

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