DARTMOUTH, Halifax County: This city is located on the east side of Halifax Harbour. A [Mi’kmaq] name was Boonamoogwaddy, “Tomcod ground.” The English name may have been given in honor of William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, Colonial Secretary 1772-75, but it was probably named for the Devonshire port of Dartmouth. In August, 1750, the Alderney arrived in Halifax (Chebucto) Harbour with 353 settlers on board. On August 23 the Council resolved to settle them across the Harbour from Halifax. Before the end of 1750, a blockhouse and small military post had been built. In 1751 the settlers suffered from an [Indigenous] attack. After the American Revolution an oil factory was set up and operated by a Nantucket Whaling Company about 1785 to 1792. They built a meeting-house about 1787, and their little village near the factory became known as Quaker Town because most of the people were Quakers. Later most …

Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia (in Dartmouth Township) Read More…

“This letter will give you some gleanings from Halifax — the most English of the provincial cities. It was founded in 1749, by the Lords of the Board of Trade, and named after the President, Gen. Montague, Earl of Halifax. It has ever since been the capital of Nova Scotia, — robbing that honor from Annapolis. Thirteen transports brought from England 2576 emigrants, the nucleus of the present population, which counts about 40,000 souls. The sloop of war Sphinx led the way, bearing Colonel the Honorable Edward Cornwallis as Captain General and Governor of Nova Scotia. He afterwards presented a sword to Gen. Washington at Yorktown, a circumstance which will never be forgotten. His name is more pleasantly linked with Cornwallis County, the garden of the province. Immediately upon landing, the town was laid out in squares, with streets sixty feet wide. A fence of upright pickets or palisades enclosed …

Coit correspondence of 1871 Read More…

“To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” Falconer, Alexander, 1837?-1911. Universalism Antiscriptural: a Sermon, Preached In St. James Church, Dartmouth, On Sabbath, March 14, 1875. [Halifax, N.S.?: s.n.], 1875. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t6tx3pj37

“Any lunatic being at large may be apprehended under warrant from two Justices of the Peace and if his legal settlement shall be in any place within the County or District, he shall be secured within the same; and if such settlement shall not be within the County or District, he shall be sent by the Justices by order under their hands, to the place of his last legal settlement, and shall be there secured under a warrant from two Justices of the Peace for the County or District to which lie shall be so removed, and the charges of removing, maintaining and curing such person during his restraint, having been first proved on oath before two Justices, shall be paid out of the proceeds of the personal property, or the rents of the real estate of such person, if am’ he have over and above what will maintain his …

An act relating to lunatics and to the custody and estates of lunatics Read More…

“This great statesman, had he been born in the United States would have been at least Vice President; had he lived in England, he would have occupied a place beside John Bright in the affections of the British people. But he was born and lived in Nova Scotia; he ruled in the councils of his Province; he became a minister of the Dominion; and he came home to die the Governor of his native land.” Griffin, Martin J. (Martin Joseph), 1847-1921. Hon. Joseph Howe, Lieut.-governor of Nova Scotia: In Memoriam. [S.l.: s.n.], 1873. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t41r7565m

“Dartmouth – A flourishing and beautiful village, opposite Halifax, at the head of the harbor, township of Dartmouth, county of Halifax. A steam ferry plies between here and the city. Dartmouth boasts of many fine buildings, contains several large foundries, three steam tanneries, employing a large number of men, and the residences of a number of merchants and others doing business in the city. The Provincial Lunatic asylum is half a mile from the village. Dartmouth is the proposed terminus of the Intercolonial railway. Montague Gold mines about 4 miles in the interior are being worked with great activity; according to the Gold Commissioners report for 1869, the total yield for that year was 805 ozs, valued at $16,100, average yield per ton 1 oz. 9 dwts., maximum yield per ton 3 oz. 9 dwts., average covering per man $430. Distant from Halifax, the terminus of the Nova Scotia railway, …

Lovell’s Province of Nova Scotia directory for 1871 Read More…

“Obligations: To be signed in the presence of the Superintendent by each attendant and servant , before appointment. I hereby promise to obey the bye-laws and rules of the Hospital, to be careful of its property, and to avoid gossiping about its inmates or affairs. I consider myself bound to perform any duties assigned to me by the Superintendent, or assistant physician. I understand my engagement to be monthly, and I agree to give a months notice in writing, should I wish to leave my situation. If anything contrary to the rules of the Hospital, be done in my presence, or come within my knowledge, I pledge myself to report it to the Medical Superintendent or Assistant Physician and to the Commissioner for the Hospital. I acknowledge the right of the Commissioner of Public Works and Mines to discharge me without warning, for acts of harshness or violence to the …

By-laws of the Nova Scotia Hospital for the Insane, Mount Hope, Dartmouth Read More…

I, James S. Wilson, of the City of Halifax, make oath and say as follows : — I was engaged as an assistant, and afterwards as an attendant at the Provincial Hospital for the Insane. I was employed there about fifteen months, and left there the 9th December last. I was employed in all the Male Wards, except M 7. The food was frequently very inferior, the butter rancid, and at times more like lard than butter. In some of the Wards, there was none given to the patients, the attendants had only enough for themselves. The bread was occasionally sour. There were four or five barrels flour which I saw in the bakery, which was sour, about the months of July and August. The baker called my attention to it, and said, ”that he could make bread almost out of saw-dust, but that he could not make good bread …

Supplementary evidence as to the management of the Nova Scotia Hospital for the Insane, Mount Hope, Dartmouth Read More…

“Dartmouth, which was settled in the year after the founding of Halifax, suffered most from the [Indigenous people]. Six men belonging to this place were attacked whilst cutting wood in the forest; four of them were killed and scalped, and one was taken prisoner. A few months afterwards, the [Indigenous people], having crept upon the settlement during the night, killed and scalped several of the panic stricken inhabitants. The screams of the terrified women and children were heard across the harbour in Halifax. The governor and council, unwisely adopting the barbarous custom of the [Indigenous people], offered large rewards for [Indigenous] prisoners and [Indigenous] scalps.” “Dartmouth (4300) is about a mile from Halifax, on the opposite side of the harbour. It has various manufactures, among them are hempen rope and skates of superior quality. Near the town is the Provincial Lunatic Asylum.” Calkin, John B. “A history and geography of …

A history and geography of Nova Scotia Read More…

“Opposite the city stands the pretty little town of Dartmouth, containing a population of about three thousand. A couple of miles south of Dartmouth, opposite the centre of the city of Halifax, on a commanding site, is the Provincial Asylum for the Insane, a very large, handsome stone building capable of accommodating 300 patients. The scenery around Halifax and Dartmouth, is charming… The Dartmouth lakes.. also present some beautiful landscapes.” Crosskill, Herbert. “Nova Scotia, its climate, resources and advantages : being a general description of the province for the information of intending emigrants” Halifax [N.S.] : Province of Nova Scotia, 1872 (Halifax [N.S.]; C. Annuad) https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.03628/65?r=0&s=1

Dear Sir, -Relative to the water supply of the town of Dartmouth I have the honour to report:- After exploring all the Lakes in the vicinity I decide in favour of your obtaining your supply from Lamont and Topsail Lake. This Lake, having an area of 700 acres, would be capable of supplying the present population of Dartmouth at the rate of 30 gallons a day to each individual for the next 60 years, without counting on any accession from springs or rain during that period. It would, therefore, be sufficient for a population of 60 times the present number.” Gray, Henry A. “Report on proposed water supply for Dartmouth, N.S.” 1875 https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.01468/1?r=0&s=1

1746-1799 Duc d’Anville arrived at Chebucto, 10 Sept 1746 Halifax founded, 21 June 1749 [Indigenous people] attacked 6 men at Maj. Gilman’s saw-mill, Dartmouth Cove, killing 4, 30 Sept 1749 Saw-mill let to Capt. Wm. Clapham, 1750 Alderney arrived from Europe with 353 settlers, Aug. 1750 Town of Dartmouth laid out for the Alderney emigrants, Autumn 1750 Order issued relative to guard at Dartmouth, 31 Dec. 1750 Sergeant and 10 or 12 men ordered to mount guard during the nights at the Blockhouse, Dartmouth, 23 Feb. 1751 [Indigenous people] attacked Dartmouth, killing a number of the inhabitants, 13 May, 1751 German emigrants arrived at Halifax and were employed in picketing the back of Dartmouth, July 1751 Ferry established between Dartmouth and Halifax, John Connor, ferryman, 3 Feb. 1752 Mill at Dartmouth sold to Maj. Ezekiel Gilman, June 1752 Population of Dartmouth 193, or 53 families, July 1752 Advertisement ordered for …

Chronological Table of Dartmouth, Preston, and Lawrencetown Read More…

From the Morning Herald THE CROWN LANDS The Local Government of Nova Scotia, through its present nominal leader, Hon. P.C. Hill, has dared once more to solicit the confidence of the people of this Province. We say “dared” because we can hardly conceive of a more impudent and unreasonable request. For the thief who has stolen nearly all your property to ask still to retain your confidence; for the servant who has embezzled all your fortune to ask to retain his place; or for the scoundrel who has brought indelible shame upon your family to still expect your esteem; might each be regarded as somewhat presumptuous; but we undertake to show that the claim put forth by the present Local government of Nova Scotia surpasses all combined in effrontery and brazen mendacity. The men who now form that Government, and those who were the predecessors, and whose policy and since …

Eleven years of robbery and ruin Read More…

“Disaster is frequently the parent of legislation. In surveying the long history of Nova Scotia, we find this saying particularly true.” “The first recorded instance of illness in Nova Scotia is the account of Champlain of an outbreak of scurvy at Port Royal in 1606. His group of settlers had spent the winter of 1605 at St. Croix Island, where, of a group of seventy-nine, forty-four died of scurvy. In Port Royal in the following year twelve of forty-five died.” “Of all the epidemics, that of smallpox carried with it the greatest destruction and terror. In 1694 an epidemic was present among the [Indigenous people] of Acadia, but we have no knowledge of the number dying as a result. We may be sure it was large, however…” “There was again an outbreak in Acadia in 1709 where there is evidence to suggest that the disease was of the haemorrhagic type. …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia Read More…

“As a man, as well as a map-maker, Ambrose F. Church was an interesting figure. He retained his United States citizenship even though he resided in Nova Scotia for many years. It is alleged that he was a deserter from the United States army and that that was one reason why he came to Nova Scotia and never returned to the United States to live. He was not only a respected resident of Nova Scotia but a great family man…” “When Ambrose Finson Church moved from Maine to Nova Scotia in 1865, he had a wife and one daughter, Alice Isabel. Probably after living in Halifax for a time, they took up residence at Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth by 1868. There they lived until they moved to Bedford, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. The family was still living in Dartmouth at the time of the census of 1871. Ambrose Church was …

Ambrose F. Church, Map-Maker Read More…

“The Telephone Utility is one of the oldest and largest public utilities, and perhaps the one which comes into direct contact with the most people in their workaday lives. The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, a man well and favourably known in Nova Scotia, as during the last years of his life he made his home in Cape Breton, just outside of Baddeck. The first telephone in Halifax was installed in 1877, and the first actual commercial use of the service was at the Caledonia Mine, Cape Breton, also in the same year. At this time the receiver and transmitter were not separate, but the same instrument was used for both, being changed back and forth from ear to mouth. In 1878 the first long distance call in Nova Scotia was placed from Halifax to Truro. In 1879 the first switchboard to connect the different lines …

Public Utility Regulation in Nova Scotia Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Although the exodus of young people seeking work in the United States continued, and there were several houses for sale or let in 1879, yet the industrial situation seemed to be improving. The annual output of the Starr Factory was about 40,000 pairs of skates and many of these were shipped to the United States and to Europe. Of late years German competition was beginning to threaten their sales. About this time they commenced the manufacture of shovels, and the firm continually submitted tenders on government bridge-building projects. Among local jobs completed by the Starr Factory in 1879 was the making and setting-up of iron vaults and doors for the new Merchants Bank at Halifax. (Now Royal Bank.) Aggressive Dartmouthians kept up their agitation for a railway that spring. There was talk in the air that the Allan line might build …

1879 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The first public demonstration of a telephone in Dartmouth, and also the first local broadcast over wires took place on March 21st, 1878, when a vocal and instrumental concert at the Town Hall was heard and acknowledged through telephone apparatus set up in the Dominion Telegraph Company’s office at 187 Hollis Street in Halifax. The Dartmouth hookup was made by connecting a telephone instrument to the local telegraph wire, an extension of which had been run in to the auditorium of the Town Hall. This Dartmouth exhibition of the newly-invented telephone, previously advertised as a feature of the concert, was highly successful. Communication was held with the City, and the notes of musical instruments were clearly heard by a group assembled in the Halifax office. They in turn rendered a short program which was listened to by the Town Hall audience. …

1878 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In June of 1877 when a disastrous fire destroyed a great part of St. John, N. B., the Dartmouth Town Council in special session appointed a citizens’ committee to collect food, clothing and funds for the relief of sufferers. Those selected were Peter McNab, J. E. Leadley, W. S. Symonds, George Shiels, Dr. Cogswell, James Reeves, John Forbes, Paul Farrell, J. D. VanBuskirk, T. A. Hyde, G. A. S. Crichton and Frederick Scarfe. The Treasurer was G. A. MacKenzie. They collected nearly $2,600. At the July examinations of the Dartmouth High School, the following were the prize winners in order of merit:    Henry Creighton, Maggie Christie, Emma Hume, Alma Pheener, George Sterns, Bessie Hume, James Bowers, Clara Levy, Annie Webber, Alice Downey, Sarah Walker, Henry McCulloch. In Mr. Metzler’s department the leaders were Annie Hume, Albert Keeler, Hattie Ross, Annie Daly, …

1877 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the leap year of 1876 the Cabbage Club paraded through town on their annual sleigh drive to Griffin’s Inn at Preston. This time they were accompanied by lady friends. The recently organized Red Caps Snowshoe Club of Halifax held a snowshoe race from First Lake to Porto Bello. Eli Veniot, carpenter at the ferry, was fatally injured while cutting ice out of the paddle box of one of the boats. Bowes’ icehouse at the foot of Nowlan Street was badly gutted by fire. The horse races drew a crowd to Second Lake in mid-February. A lengthy Act for supplying Dartmouth with water passed the Legislature that winter. The Act noted that the ratepayers had previously ratified the borrowing of $33,000 for such purpose. By this legislation the Town was now authorized to construct a water system, provided it received the …

1876 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The winter of 1875 was the coldest in half a century. The season was vividly remembered by old residents of the present century as the year that the harbor was frozen for the longest period within memory. According to their oral accounts, nearly everybody in Dartmouth and multitudes in Halifax took advantage of the solid surface to cross and re-cross the ice-bridge, either on foot or on runners. Even children in arms were transported, perhaps for the sake of saying in after years that they had gone through the experience. The sub-zero weather came early in February. On Monday the 8th when the ferry was forced to stop after making only one trip, the tugboat “A.C. Whitney” plowed a channel to Commercial wharf, and carried passengers back and forth at 50 cents a head. By Wednesday the entire harbor was sealed …

1875 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In response to a memorial from the clergy early in 1874, a Committee of the Town Council recommended that liquor licenses be restricted to 10, and that the annual fee be raised from $25 to $100. Robert Murphy, formerly of the 60th Rifles, was appointed Superintendent of Streets at $500 a year, and he was also to hold the office of Chief of Police for an additional $100. Twelve lamp posts for oil lamps were ordered erected in different parts of town. By a vote of ratepayers at a public meeting in April the Council was authorized to issue debentures for a sum not exceeding $8,000 to purchase Lamont Lake or any other lake. Work was commenced that year to extend Maple Street through to meet Ochterloney by acquiring and cutting down the sloping bank on the western side of the residence …

1874 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: By 1873 the newly established industries of Dartmouth were commencing to participate in the usual practice of holding annual sleigh-drives hereabouts. These establishments could not be expected to advertise their wares in all of the numerous newspapers then being published in Halifax, and consequently took advantage of other opportunities to make their products known to the public. In February 1873 the employees of Starr Manufacturing Company boosted their Acme skates and new electro-plating department by parading in a long line of decorated sleighs through the business streets of Halifax, before proceeding to some popular hostel “out the road”. On the very next day, the employees of Symonds’ Foundry then numbering about 60 men, went through the same performance. Their destination was Bedford. With a Band discoursing music in the leading sleigh the horses jingled up George Street off the ferry followed …

1873 Read More…