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…

“The monopoly of the General Mining Association was a source of great irritation to the people of Nova Scotia, and the events leading to what was then known as “the breaking of the Duke of York’s lease” form one of the most interesting chapters of the development of responsible government in Nova Scotia. After a fight extending over many years, the General Mining Association, in 1857, surrendered its claim to all the mines and minerals of the Province, and was given an exclusive right to all the coal seams in certain specified areas situated in the Sydney, Pictou, and Cumberland fields: coinciding more or less exactly with the areas owned by the Acadia Coal Company at the Albion Mines; the areas operated by the Dominion Coal Company at Springhill Mines; and the areas operated in the Sydney coalfield by the Dominion Coal Company and the Nova Scotia Steel & Coal …

The coal-fields and coal industry of eastern Canada: a general survey and description Read More…

“A change has come over the Imperial aspect of the Province since the Dominion Government took over the naval and military defenses of Halifax from the Mother Country. I found Halifax, with its Citadel crowned slopes, its wooden houses, its tree lined avenues bathed in glowing summer sunshine, but Haligonian society with no sunshine in its heart. “Where are the tars of yester-year?” the belles of Halifax seemed to be saying. “Where are the gallant captains, commanders, lieutenants, sub-lieutenants, and middies whom we waltzed, and flirted, and played tennis, and acted and boated within the Northwest arm?” I was prepared for this, but not for a similar complaint with regard to the British Army. For on parade, at church, at the Halifax Club, were not the regulation uniforms denoting the British officer as much in evidence as ever? “Oh, those!” was the supercilious rejoinder of one fair damsel, lying back …

Nova Scotia: the province that has been passed by Read More…

“Dartmouth -(Halifax Co.), on Halifax Harbor. Ferry, 15 minute service to Halifax (1 mile). 2 hotels, 6 churches, 5 public schools, park, 2 banks. Industries include cordage works, spice, chocolate and soap factory, sugar refinery, lumber mills, foundries, boiler works, rolling mills, cornmeal mills, brewery, marine railway, and skate and bolt factory. Beautiful lake scenery. Fine beach, good boating and bathing. Pop 5,058.” Heaton, E. “Opportunities in Nova Scotia, 1915: containing extracts from Heaton’s Annual.” Toronto : E. Heaton, c1914. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.76296/1?r=0&s=1

“Dartmouth (5000), about a mile from Halifax, across the harbour, has a fine situation, and is a beautiful residential town, especially in the hilly and lake section back a little from the harbour. It has various manufactures, as sugar refining and making of rope and skates. The provincial Lunatic Asylum is in the neighbourhood of the town” Calkin, John B. “A history and geography of Nova Scotia”, A. & W. MacKinlay, 1911. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.78688/1?r=0&s=1

“In November and December of the year 1750 the following officers were appointed to the Dartmouth militia… Robert Campbell, to be Captain Jos. Scott, Thos. Burke, Thos. Leake, Josiah Rogerson, to be Lieutenants” Edwards, Joseph Plimsoll. “The militia of Nova Scotia, 1749-1867”, 1911 https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.78682/1?r=0&s=1

“Between 1890 and 1927 hundreds of Nova Scotian children and adults were identified as either feeble-minded or mentally deficient through investigations conducted by physicians and philanthropists in the province. The earliest of these studies were not commissioned by the provincial government but instead reflected the middle-class internalization of the eugenic discourse. Reformers, drawn often from medical, religious, educational, and philanthropic vocations, sought with ever-increasing alacrity to respond to perceived social problems, such as poverty, prostitution, venereal disease, and alcoholism, with a scientific solution.The scientific solution that they embraced was eugenics. Eugenic ideology and programs rose to popularity in Europe and North America at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Driven by social anxiety and the medicalization of reproduction, eugenic theory expressed the concerns of the middle classes that those they deemed less fit on the basis of socio-economic class, education or heredity, were reproducing at …

Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender And Education In Nova Scotia’s Response To The “Feeble-Minded”, 1890-1931 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.

“It’s always called the Halifax Explosion, but the fiery blast from a collision of the ships Imo and Mont Blanc in Halifax Harbour’s Narrows the morning of Dec. 6, 1917 wreaked destruction on Dartmouth as well. About 40 people on the Dartmouth side of the harbour were killed outright. More died over the next two weeks from injuries or from pneumonia that set in after a massive snowstorm that began the night of the disaster. Former mayor Claude Morris, then a young pharmacy clerk, was lucky that day. Neither he nor his family suffered any serious injury from the blast. “There were two distinct blasts. I had no idea what it was, I was just running for home.” Running beside Morris was a blacksmith with the last name of Llyod, and Morris remembers the two wondered if the harbor had been bombed.” See also:

From: Halifax Habour, Surveyed by Staff Commander W.F. Maxwell, R.N., Assisted by Staff Commanders F.W. Jarrad and P.H. Wright, R.N. 1889. The Narrows from a Canadian Government Survey, 1916. The Topography is taken from the Royal Engineers plans, with corrections and additions from the Hydrographic Department, Ottawa, 1916. Soundings in Feet, Natural Scale 1/10,560. https://memoryns.ca/halifax-harbour-1990

“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 …

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“2000 Killed, Thousands Injured, When French Munitions Vessel Explodes In Harbor of Halifax, Wrecking the City. Buildings Collapse From Shock and Flames Break Out as Mont Blanc, Struck by Belgian Relief Steamer Imo, Blows Up. Two Square Miles of City Territory Devestated; Scores Burn to Death; Fatally Injured Crown Hospitals; Crews of Both Ships Escape: By the Associated Press. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dec. 6 – Probably 2,000 persons were killed, according to careful estimates tonight, when the French munitions ship Mont Blanc blew up in Halifax harbor after a collision with the Norwegian steamship Imo, carrying Belgian relief supplies, at 9 o’clock this morning. Thousands were injured and it is expected many of them will die. The Ioma (sic) was beached. Had Cargo of 5,000 Tons: Virtually all the north end of the city was laid waste and the property damage will run far into the millions. A part of …

The Halifax Explosion as covered by the Washington Post, Friday Dec 7, 1917 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During 1919, shipload after shipload of defence forces were brought back to the port of Halifax to be discharged. The work of repatriation went on for months. In Dartmouth, a local Housing Commission was set up for the purpose of aiding returned men in the financing of new homes. Stocks of building material, hitherto limited in quantity, were now made available for all kinds of construction work. Several new contracting firms established themselves in town, bringing artisans and craftsmen to assist in the rehabilitation of the devastated northend and other sections of Dartmouth. The population was increasing and rents were rising. New houses were started along the Park lots of Windmill Road, and also farther north. The Ropeworks built six dwellings on Jamieson Street. A whole block went up on Park Avenue east of King Street, and on Victoria Road in …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During the winter of 1917-1918 block after block of residential and commercial Dartmouth presented the appearance of a battered war-town, with most windows in nearly every house and shop boarded up and blanketed with tar-paper covering. One dwelling at 50 Pleasant St., near Burton’s Hill, remained that way for years afterward. Heaps of broken glass and debris shoveled and swept into downtown gutters, froze solidly and stayed there until spring. Not until late summer was all the drifted explosion-rubble cleaned out of corner-catchpits. Hundreds of townsfolk and visitors that year hiked cut to Albro’s Lake to take snap-shots of the twisted “Mont Blanc” cannon and the ploughed-up turf on Pine Hill. In mid-January school-children got back to their studies but were again placed on part-time sessions, because Central and Park school buildings were no longer habitable and never used afterwards for …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1917 the United States entered the Great War, and the Dominion Government passed a Conscription Bill. Christ Church celebrated its 100th anniversary and erected a monument to her war dead on the Church grounds. Canon C.W. Vernon published a Centenary Book of Anglican parishes hereabouts. Alexander McKay late Supervisor of Halifax Schools died at Dartmouth in April. In June the Auto Bus Company commenced a service to Woodside, Austenville and the North End. Among the promoters were G.G. Thomson, R.K. Elliott and P.H. Creighton. Hitherto everybody had hiked or pedaled, even to Imperoyal. Gerald Foot opened a small garage on Dundas Street, sold Chevrolet cars and operated taxi-cab. Sarsfield division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians was formed in Dartmouth, and a branch of the Canadian Club was organized. Daylight Time was voted down that year. Owing to lack of funds, …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1916 more local boys enlisted with the 85th Highlanders, the 64th, the 112th and 219th Battalions. One platoon of the last mentioned composed exclusively of Dartmouthians and those of the suburbs, used the old wooden Rink for drill purposes. In February, St. James Church was packed with 85th members at a special Sunday service. Wounded men from the seat of war kept returning home and were accorded a warm welcome by the Returned Soldiers local committee. Many were badly gassed. Farmers from the eastern sections protested to the City Council about the location of the new market building. They stated that it would be a hardship on those who were accustomed to leave their teams in Dartmouth. Now these small traders would be obliged to carry their produce up the steep Halifax hills. The Dartmouth Land Company advertised a 180-lot …

1916 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Throughout the winter of 1914-1915, Dartmouth pupils continued on half-time classes until the new Greenvale and Hawthorne Schools were finally opened towards the end of April. Old Hawthorne School, however, still had to be utilized to take care of the overcrowding. Legislation was obtained in 1915 empowering the Park Commission to sell building lots on the Common from the wooden Exhibition Rink to Lyle Street. The name of Quarrell Street was changed to Queen Street, and the Town tax rate was fixed at $1.67. A Town Planning Board was formed. It comprised Mayor Williams, Councilors Lynch and Russell; R. Leo Graham and Dr. W. H. Hattie. Collections for a machine gun were successful carried out by the Axe and Ladder Company under the leadership Harry Young. Recruiting speeches were made by military and other officials at every opportunity such as theatre …

1915 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1914 the whole world commenced to turn topsy-turvy. Our first upset occurred on January 28th, when wooden Greenvale School with its valuable museum specimens and library books was completely destroyed by fire. We got another shock in May when the “Empress of Ireland” sunk in the St. Lawrence with several prominent personages. The crowded school situation was now greatly aggravated. In this expediency, most pupils were put on part time in Central and Park Schools. Other classes were set up in Christ Church Parish Hall and in the Merson building on Dundas Street. Plans were then made to erect new schools, and contracts were subsequently awarded to Rhodes Curry and Co., for the construction of fireproof structures at Greenvale and at Hawthorne. Meanwhile the work of demolishing and removing buildings on the new Post Office site was rapidly progressing. The track …

1914 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The exodus of young people and sometimes of whole families, out of Dartmouth which had been going on since the 1890s, seems to have been halted about this time. This is indicated by school statistics. The total registration of pupils at the turn of the century hovered around the 1200 mark. In the year 1905 the figure was 1279, but by 1912 it had dropped to the low mark of 1084. The attendance picked up in 1913 when the annual enrolment stood at 1105. At last the tide had turned. It will be remembered that during these latter years the great development at the Halifax Ocean Terminals was well under way, bringing workmen and their families back to our district. On this side of the harbor, reconstruction of the Sugar Refinery brought increased trade to merchants in Dartmouth. In 1913 the …

1913 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The Dartmouth Patriot newspaper removed from 85 Portland Street in 1912, and located at the present 48 Commercial Street in the building then vacated by C. E. Peveril when he closed out his 20-year old butcher business. John E. Walker also abandoned his father’s grocery establishment which had been started many years before by H. C. Walker at the present premises of E. S. Dickie on Portland Street. Construction work in 1912 included rebuilding of the Sugar Refinery where 400 men were employed. Remodeling of the Baptist Church on King Street comprised a new vestry and Sunday School section. Their first parsonage was also built as a dwelling at northwest corner of Tulip and Pine Streets. Another house was erected at the northwest corner of Tulip and Maple; and a few more Ropework cottages were built on Dawson Street. Contractor Charles …

1912 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The Dominion decennial census of 1911 gave Dartmouth’s population at 5,058. In February of that year, two-roomed Victoria School was opened at the southeast corner of Wyse Road and Common Road. The new ferry-steamer “Halifax” was launched in Scotland. Daniel Brennan commenced the first automobile-bus service around Dartmouth and also ran trips to Cow Bay Beach. In a short time, he abandoned the venture. Many Dartmouthians saw their first airship flights at the Provincial Exhibition. Sir Wilfrid Laurier campaigned in Halifax for the Dominion elections. The big issue was reciprocity with the United States, and the result was a victory for the Conservative party, led by Robert L. Borden, the representative for Halifax County in the House of Commons. More permanent sidewalks were laid in Dartmouth that year The dates of construction are still indicated by brass figures embedded at our …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During the first decade of the 1900s and up to the outbreak of World War I, there was a continual exodus of young people, particularly school-teachers, to the Canadian Northwest. Those who did not heed Horace Greeley’s advice, usually found employment locally or in Halifax. By this time there were many more female commuters on the ferry. At every trip, it was the custom of the male passengers to pop into the Reading Room and glimpse the morning papers while waiting for the boat. Then at the sound of the ferry-bell, they made a mad rush out of the door. Some eight or ten hackmen with open carriages, made a small living at the cab-stand nearby. Low-slung ice-carts, returning empty at noon or night, had the rear step loaded with homeward-bound hitch-hikers. The few automobiles that passed through Dartmouth during the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: MOTT’S FACTORIES AND WAREHOUSES about 1913. The manager then was J. Walter Allison, associated with John P. Mott from 1876. Over a long period, this thriving concern had agents in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver where large stocks of goods were kept on hand. Mr. Allison resided at “Hazelhurst” about 30 years. He died in 1927, but shortly before that date the firm had gone out of business. On Nov. 25, 1930, some of the vacant buildings were burnt down, and the others were afterwards demolished.