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…

“I now come to THE GRAVE SITUATION IN NOVA SCOTIA. It is lamentable to think that in the twentieth year of Confederation there should be an appeal to the people on such a ground and with such a result as has just taken place in Nova Scotia, and I feel bound to point out, in the interest of the Confederation and of our future as a country some of the causes which, as I conceive, have led to that unhappy and humiliating event. To do so satisfactorily would require me to discuss fully the questions of the tariff, the debt, the taxation, the expenditure, the question of reciprocity, the fisheries, and other subjects, which, in view of the historical sketch which I am obliged to give, there is no time to touch. I must turn back to THE EVENTS WHICH PRECEDED CONFEDERATION and recall your attention to this fact, that …

…the Nova Scotia difficulty Read More…

“If the prophet had spent the forenoon in walking the streets of this town counting the liquor shops, and the afternoon in the Town Hall reading the names on the license petitions, he could not have described the traffic, and the part which the better thinking portion of our citizens take in it, in more fitting words than those of the text, “Who justify the wicked for reward.”” “There are eight men in this town selling by license, for which they pay fifty dollars each, this giving to the revenue $400. But now, on the other hand, what does it cost the town of Dartmouth to support the traffic? 1. Pauper’s bill $1,200; 2. To supporting County Prisons, $500; Salary of a second policeman, $500; Low estimate of charity given, $700; total, $2,900; all of which, or nearly all, we pay every year as the result of the rum traffic.” …

The evils of the liquor traffic, and our responsibility in reference thereto, a sermon preached in the Dartmouth Baptist Church on Sabbath evening, Oct. 29th 1882 Read More…

“The autograph and signature of former Confederate Captain John Taylor Wood on a card for the W. Chase Photograph Gallery in Nova Scotia, with a sketch by Wood of the private vessel he later captained, the Tallahasse [sic] and a few facts about the vessel.” James E. Taylor, “James E. Taylor Collection : Scrapbook Three” 1880s. https://hdl.huntington.org/digital/collection/p16003coll6/id/3366

“The compiler of the following work has been more than forty years laboring as a Missionary among the [Mi’kmaq]. He considered it a matter of prime importance to make himself acquainted with their language, and early set himself to the task, with what few helps he could command; and his success has surprized himself as well as many others. As many as forty thousand of their words has been collected and arranged in alphabetical order… The compiler of this volume soon discovered, what many are now willing to admit, that the [Indigenous] are a very remarkable people, with most remarkable languages, traditions, customs, and habits, and that every thing connected with them is calculated to awaken the deepest interest, for the christian, the philologist, the ethnologist, and all others who take an interest in exploring the works of nature and of art, and who are interested in the welfare of …

Dictionary of the language of the [Mi’kmaq] who reside in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and Newfoundland Read More…

“That ample time has now elapsed since the building of the Intercolonial Railway and the clearing away of the difficulties which at first beset the rapid and regular running of the trains and the patience of the people of the Maritime provinces is well nigh exhausted, when they experience the continued delays in the complete carrying out of the agreements and promises in making a national outlet via the port of Halifax, and a feeling of alarm, almost amounting to consternation, has taken hold of our people in witnessing the freight which for two winters had been landed at Halifax for transmission over the Intercontinental Railway, carried to a foreign port, thus losing to the road the temporary ground gained – in fact almost entirely abrogating the whole conditions entered into by the Government of Canada in these particulars and damping the hopes and expectations based upon the engagements of …

The Memorial of the citizens of Halifax and the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Halifax, setting forth the necessity of making Halifax the winter port of Canada Read More…

“Much misrepresentation has been indulged in concerning the increased debt of the Dominion, and comparisons made between it and the federal debt of the United States most unfair to Canada… the different purposes for which the two debts were incurred are also kept out of sight ,- that of Canada having been for valuable public works, from which the country will forever derive increasing advantages, while that of the United States is wholly for an unfortunate war.” “On the question of repeal we dissent entirely from the position taken by our opponents… If elected we shall advocate all measures calculated to make Halifax the winter port of Canada – to hasten the extension of the C.P.R. by means of the short line to Halifax Harbor… to secure the best solution of the Nova Scotia railway problem that can be found in the interest of Halifax and the Province.” Stairs, J. …

To the electors of the county of Halifax Read More…

MAYOR’S REPORT Ladies and Gentlemen,- Having had the honor of your suffrages in filling the office of Mayor for the past year, I have much pleasure in laying before you the following reports of the present condition, the future requirements, the several steps that have been taken by your council for the purpose of improving the well being, and financial position of the Town together with the various services connected therewith, which on the whole I trust will be satisfactory and meet with your approval. For the facility of reference I will treat of the different subjects under their several heads. Legislation On Water and Sewerage Soon after entering on the duties of my office, your Council in compliance with the instructions given them, at a public meeting of Ratepayers held on the 1st day of Feb’y last, to consider the report and estimates of E. H. Keating, C. E., …

Annual Report 1889 Read More…

MAYOR’S ADDRESS Ladies and Gentlemen, At the close of my term of office as Mayor, it gives me pleasure to report the satisfactory condition of the business affairs of the Municipality of Dartmouth. Legislation Since the last animal meeting, two important acts have been passed by the Legislature which affect the Town of Dartmouth in common with every other incorporated town in the province. The first of these, the Towns Incorporation Act, embodies in one general statute all the provisions of the various acts heretofore passed from time to time, incorporating the towns in the different parts of the Province, and making them applicable to all towns without distinction, leaving the towns to regulate matters of minor importance by by-laws. Two provisions of this act are of special importance and introduces changes in the law. The first of these relates to the qualification of electors. Heretofore all rate-payers have been …

Annual Report 1888 Read More…

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…

A mandamus was applied for, at the Instance of the Sessions for the County of Halifax, to compel the Warden and Council of the Town of Dartmouth to assess on the property of the town liable for assessment the sum of $15,076 for its proportion of County School Rates for the years 1873-1878, under section 62 of the Educational Act, Revised Statutes, chapter 32. Held, that the Warden and Town Council ought to have assessed in each year for the proportion of the County school assessment payable by the town, but that in view of the act to amend the act to incorporate the town, (1877, chapter 40,) section 30 of which provided that the sum to be voted at the annual meeting of the town for the estimates, including ordinary and extraordinary expenses, should not exceed in any year the sum of $15,000, there was a difficulty in the …

Queen v. Town Council of Dartmouth Read More…

After piecing together several Crown land grant maps, you can see the path of the Old Annapolis Road much more clearly. Open the image in a new tab, to see it in more detail. Below you’ll find a few representations of the road as a contiguous route, as opposed to what is left recorded on the Crown Land Grant maps. (You can find find the individual Crown Land Grant maps here: https://novascotia.ca/natr/land/grantmap.asp) One of the first representations of the Old Annapolis Road, “Road markt out by Gov. Parr’s orders in 1784” One of the last representations of the Old Annapolis Road: Fifteen years later, by 1927 (perhaps because it wasn’t fit for automobile travel), the Old Annapolis Road disappears.

“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…

“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…

Warden’s Address To the rate payers of the municipality of the Town of Dartmouth Ladies and Gentleman — It is my privilege to report to you the “state and condition of the Town” at the close of this the fourteenth year since civic government, under the Act of Incorporation, began. Before reporting on the different services under the management of the Council, permit me to congratulate you upon the success attained in the long-contested suit of the Queen vs, Dartmouth, a suit that probably has given the members of your Council in the past more care and trouble than all the rest of the civic services together. As you are no doubt aware, this suit was instituted to compel the Council to assess certain school rates for the years – 1874 to ’78 and pay the same into the County funds, and after a number of adverse _judgments in the …

Annual Report 1886 Read More…

Warden’s Address To the rate payers of the municipality of the Town of Dartmouth Ladies and Gentleman,— At the close of this my second term in the office of Warden, it is my duty and pleasure to report to you upon the state and condition of the Municipality of Dartmouth. This municipality has for so long a period been engaged in litigation, that it is with much satisfaction that I am enabled to report for the year 1887 there has been no suits by or against the same, and that the County Council decided not to appeal the “School Case.” and the latter is therefore finally decided in favour of the Town. There was no legislation affecting the Municipality during the year, but the Hon. the Attorney General has intimated that the Government proposes to introduce an Act of Incorporation, applicable to all the incorporated Towns, and your Council has …

Annual Report 1887 Read More…

Did you know that the beginning of the right to vote for women in Nova Scotia started in the Town of Dartmouth in 1886? If you rely on the Province of Nova Scotia to inform you, you won’t find a mention of Dartmouth (https://nslegislature.ca/about/history/women-in-nova-scotia-politics), perhaps because their copy of the Statutes of 1886 omits page 253, which just happens to be the page that details who is eligible to vote in Dartmouth’s elections. http://0-nsleg-edeposit.gov.ns.ca.legcat.gov.ns.ca/deposit/Statutes/1886.pdf Luckily Google has digitized a copy held by Stanford Law Library. “All ratepayers of the town whether male or female” Check it out here, on Page 252 (275)(https://ia902706.us.archive.org/6/items/statutesnovasco01scotgoog/statutesnovasco01scotgoog.pdf) On April 26th 1918 the franchise was further extended to female property owners Province wide via the Nova Scotia Franchise Act (1918, c. 2, p. 2). In 1920 further changes were made with the “Act to Amend Chapter 2, Acts of 1918” (1920, c. 49, p. 65) – …

Universal Sufferage in Canada, and the Dartmouth Connection Read More…

The following excerpts are from “Survival of an African Nova Scotian Community: Up the Avenue, Revisited” by Adrienne Lucas Sehatzadeh, 1998. An incredible resource of the Black history of Dartmouth that is certainly worth your time to read. “The part of Crichton Avenue above Lyngby Avenue is the area where the Black settlement started. Crichton Avenue winds its way north/south from the downtown area, along the western shore of Sullivan’s Pond and Lake Banook.” “Crichton Avenue has been a major roadway in Dartmouth for over 100 years and intersects Ochterloney Street in the downtown area, about one kilometre from Halifax Harbour. The Avenue portion of Crichton Avenue extended across the circumferential highway to The Extension, where the Black community ended.” “Crichton Avenue Extension was expropriated in the late 1960s because of the expansion of the circumferential highway. The circumferential highway (not shown on the sketch) runs east less than one-half …

The Avenue Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On New Year’s Day 1889 the Dartmouth Public Reading Room opened in the long building near the Ferry. This beneficial institution was our first library. The Board of School Commissioners was organized that year, and had for its first members Councillors A. C. Johnston, C. E. Creighton, F. G. Dares, together with Dr. Frank Woodbury and C. H. Harvey. So also was the Dartmouth Park Commission which comprised Mayor Frederick Searfe, Councillors Alexander Lloy, W. H. Sterns, with J. Walter Allison and F. C. Elliot as Government appointees. Towards the end of February the champion Chebucto hockey team went to Montreal where they played two games for what was then the equivalent of the Stanley Cup. They lost both. As the Canadian rules differed from those in our neighborhood, one-half of each game was played under Maritime rules. Preceding the first …

1889 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1888 George E. McDonald came to Dartmouth as lineman and agent of the Bell Telephone Co., and set up the Exchange in his residence at 19 Edward Street. There were then some 30 telephones in use, including one at the Town Hall and another at Chief of Police McKenzie’s house above the lock-up. The latter instrument was mostly to receive fire calls. This innovation marked a great improvement over the established practice of messengers running on foot or galloping on horseback long distances whenever an alarm had to be sounded. Even after the fire-bell rang, disastrous delays often occurred because of the roundabout arrangements employed in moving the fire engine. One night in February, for instance, Williams’ two-storey boat-shop was burnt to the ground. The building stood at the foot of Church Street which location is almost within shouting distance …

1888 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Up to 1886 the Dartmouth civic year closed on April 30th. From 1887 onward it was changed to coincide with the calendar year ending on December 31st, and the Town elections were held on the first Tuesday of February instead of the first Tuesday of May as heretofore. In the February election of 1887 the first woman ever to poll a vote in Nova Scotia, voted at the Ward II polling booth in the Town Hall. Unfortunately the name of the lady is not preserved in local records but the candidates for Councillor that day were A. C. Johnston and H. C. Walker. The usual winter activities of Dartmouth centred around the lakes and the new skating rink. That season the Chebucto Club played a series of hockey matches with the Wanderers A.A.C., whose home rink was the Halifax Exhibition building …

1887 Read More…