Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information

Points of Interest:

(1) Tourist Bureau
(2) Dartmouth Heritage Museum
(3) Historical Park: cairn celebrating 353 Alderney Settlers 1753 (sic), granite mill stones retrieved from harbour at entrance, panoramic view of Halifax from Pagoda
(4) Christ Church: oldest in Dartmouth, 1817
(5) Geary Street Cemetery: [–supposedly] Graves of [Mi’kmaq] and their Chief Paul, [–otherwise known as the old Catholic burying ground]
(6) Dartmouth Shipyards: former location of the Whale Oil Plant
(7) Jackson House: Quaker Whaler house, oldest landmark 1785, also in area of 19th century houses
(8) Former location of Sugar Refinery: Built in 1884, moved to St. John W.W.2
(9) Sullivan’s Pond, cairns marking entrance to Shubenacadie Canal, [Indigenous]-carved Totem Pole, gift from B.C. at First Canada Summer Games
(10) Bannook (sic) Canoe Club: Founded 1905
(11) MicMac Aquatic Club: Founded in 1923
(12) Senobe Aquatic Club: Founded 1965

Dartmouth: Dartmouth has been called “The City of Lakes”, but it is a city which looks to the sea as well. Indeed, from nowhere else on the shores of Halifax Harbour can one see the full panorama of landmarks and ocean-borne activity that is visible from the Dartmouth waterfront.

The Landings: Central waterfront Plazas (Chebucto Landing in Halifax and Alderney Landing in Dartmouth) will provide attractive surroundings for ferry passengers and other pedestrians near the new terminals being constructed by the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. As focal points for the major uphill streets (George Street and Portland Street), the Landings will be visual reminders of the presence, importance and new accessibility of the waterfront.

The Tour: The route selected for this tour takes in most of the attractions in the waterfront and neighbouring downtown area. The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is on the tour and well worth a visit, as is the historic Quaker house.

Areas of interest which are somewhat less accessible (due to adjacent construction activity, awkward pavement, or distances beyond the average tolerance) are noted for persons who wish to explore them (——–)

Historic waterfront: Dartmouth waterfront’s earliest recorded use was as an encampment for [Mi’kmaq] arriving each spring from the Bay of Fundy by way of the Shubenacadie River and connecting lakes.

Upon the arrival of English ships in 1749, the Dartmouth shore served as a source of timber for the settlers of Halifax, who built a sawmill above Dartmouth Cove.

When the ship “Alderney” arrived with additional settlers in 1750, Dartmouth became a community in its own right. A tidy little town developed, with waterfront businesses spilling out of the Cove and along the adjacent shore.

As the years went by, however, the waterfront of Dartmouth was rendered increasingly inaccessible to the public by both the rail line and the busy traffic of Alderney Drive. The area badly needed the revitalization effort now being undertaken by the Waterfront Development Corporation. As the first phases of this effort, the new Ferry Terminal Park and Harbour Walk are already turning the area back to the public and visitors to Dartmouth.

The Downtown: The most prominent feature of downtown Dartmouth is its Common, a legacy of the Quaker Whalers who settled here in 1785. Today, a network of footpaths and carefully laid stone walls rises to an expanse of greenery with an encircling view, 140 feet above sea level.

Another feature of downtown Dartmouth which cannot escape notice is the architecture. Wooden houses and churches of simple, graceful styles provide an interesting contrast to the predominantly stone and brick structures on the Halifax tour.

The walker who looks up at formers, eaves and door trim will be rewarded with a variety of interesting “finds”, and will feel the charm of old Dartmouth.

Start here: Historical Text by Elizabeth Pacey.

1: Dartmouth Ferry – oldest salt-water ferry service in North America (licensed in 1752), introduced its newest ferries in 1979.

2: Dartmouth City Hall – built in 1967 as the first step in the direction of focusing attention on the downtown and waterfront

3: Propeller – from the ice breaker “John A. MacDonald”, this propeller was damaged in service in 1969, while escorting the “Manhattan” on its history making voyage through the Arctic Ocean.

4: Ferry Terminal Park – A walk along the water’s edge commands excellent views south towards McNabs Island and the smaller George’s Island, and north towards the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge. Across the harbor, downtown Halifax, Citadel Hill and the grey warships of the Canadian Armed Forces are visible. This popular park has been completed as part of the Waterfront Development Corporation Dartmouth Revitalization project and will have an extension along the curve of Alderney Drive (scheduled for completion Summer, 1980).

5: The Marine Slips – The earliest settlement in Dartmouth grew up around Dartmouth Cove, now the site of these drydocks noted for their outstanding recovery rate in repairing torpedoed ships during World War II.

6: Steps to Alderney Drive – a proposal by the WDCL for this central area will make access to the waterfront easier and more attractive. New steps will be located south of the existing ones, and will connect a waterfront plaza with the foot of Portland Street. Pedestrians on the main street will then enjoy a view of the water and the cluster of boats in a planned boat basin. The area will be called “Alderney Landing” after the ship which brought the first 353 settlers to Dartmouth.

7: Harbour Walk and Ferry Parking area – site planned for future redevelopment with parking included. Harbour Walk will remain.

8: Geary Street Cometary – Site of early [Mi’kmaq] graves, including those of two chieftains, as well as early 19th century headstones. This was the first Roman Catholic cemetery in Dartmouth.

9: Railway marshalling yards – best seen from the cemetery observation area.

10: “Mont Blanc” Gun – The heavily-laden munitions ship “Mont Blanc” was struck by another vessel, the “Imo”, in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917. The result was an explosion which devastated the northern areas of both Dartmouth and Halifax, killing or injuring thousands of persons. This explosion, the largest man-made one before Hiroshima, hurled the ship’s gun to Albro Lake, two miles away. Note also the 1500-pound anchor which was salvaged from an old sailing vessel.

11: Dartmouth Heritage Museum – Fascinating artifacts and models depicting life in Dartmouth are on display upstairs in the museum.

12: Tourist bureau – a source of information on other areas of Dartmouth.

13: Dartmouth Common – provides scenic views of the harbour entrance and the narrow Eastern Passage between McNabs Island and the oil refinery. During the American Civil War, the Confederate raider “Tallahassee”, which had come into port by day, escaped by night through the Eastern Passage, while two Union warships stood guard at the harbour entrance. (Exit the Common at King Street.)

14: Mystery House – in 1846, resident Dr. MacDonald disappeared mysteriously. The only clue in the unsolved case was the remnant of a tunnel leading out from the basement of the house.

15: Grace United Church – rebuilt in 1919 after the Explosion.

16: Nos. 53-55 Ochterloney Street – early New England style architecture (c.1800) with simple dormers, now restored for the Fire Department Offices.

17: Jackson House – best remaining example of a Quaker House. Nantucket Whalers, mainly Quaker by religion, came to Dartmouth in 1785 to avoid the high British tariff on American whale oil imposed after the American War or Independence. Restored by the Museum Society, the house is open to the public in July and August.

18: Christ Church (Anglican) – built in 1817, a fine simple Georgian structure with rounded windows, decorative cornices and plasters.

19: Christ Church Cemetery – First used by the Quakers, this cemetery is tucked in behind the gentle slope of Dartmouth Common.

20: Victoria Road Baptist Church – This ecumenical building, built in 1844, was once the parish hall for the Anglican Christ Church and was moved on rollers in 1906 to this site to serve a Baptist congregation.

21: Sullivan’s Pond – Dredged out in 1833 as part of the old Shubenacadie Canal system, this gracefully landscaped pond is located three blocks off the map. A Kwakiuti totem pole commemorates the 1969 Young Canada Games.

22: Starr Manufacturing Company – Became internationally renowned for its ice skates, selling 11 million pairs in 50 different models.

23: St. James Church – build in 1871 near the site of a 1749 [Mi’kmaq] raid on the sawmill built by the settlers of Halifax.

24: Portland Street – this commercial district is involved in a redevelopment scheme which will include repaving, landscaping and refurbishing of storefronts.

25: Corner of King and Portland Streets – two buildings with five-sided Scottish dormers, a characteristic Halifax/Dartmouth style, introduced by stone-cutters and masons who came in 1826 to build the Shubenacadie Canal. The Canal connected Halifax Harbour with the Bay of Fundy though a system of locks across the province. This engineering feat was 36 years in the planning and construction phase and 10 years in operation, from 1861 to 1871. The canal followed an ancient Micmac canoe route used for annual migration to the shores of Chebucto, the [Mi’kmaq] name for the harbor. The first stage in the canal system was located in the area visible down King Street (an inclined railway from Dartmouth Cove to Sullivan’s Pond).

26: Proposed housing – the waterfront development plan anticipates new housing on these sites, as an adjunct to the effort to revitalize Portland Street.

27: Wentworth Cannon – brought from the estate of Governor John Wentworth, once located just beyond Dartmouth. Wentworth was Surveyor General of his Majesty’s Woods in North America, then Governor of New Hampshire from 1767 to 1775, and later Governor of Nova Scotia from 1792 to 1808.

28: Alderney Landing – from this point Alderney Landing will open up a view of the harbour.

“Dartmouth: #1 with Industry in Atlantic Canada. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia has been the first choice for expansion and development for over 450 local and national firms. Dartmouth’s industrial parks offer a superior location with good connections by land, rail, sea and air. Products are never far away from the U.S., Europe and other Canadian cities. Dartmouth offers the largest pool of skilled manpower available in Atlantic Canada and over 150 site-ready acres in a retail trading zone of a half a million people.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of government incentive programs and call on the Dartmouth Industrial Commission for aid in expansion or relocation. Make Dartmouth your company’s first choice for the future.”

“Dartmouth, City of Lakes. The City of Dartmouth, with a population of over 65,000 is the second largest community in Nova Scotia. Since incorporation as a city in 1961, Dartmouth has enjoyed record growth and prosperity.

Located on the eastern slopes of Halifax Harbour, Dartmouth features a chain of 23 sparkling lakes complemented by public parks and recreation areas. The lakes provide swimming at public beaches and boating areas for the use of all. Canoeing and rowing clubs are situated on Lake Banook.

For the tourist and holiday maker, Dartmouth offers a quiet, peaceful atmosphere with plenty of hotels and motels. For the camper, the City-operated Shubie Park campsite provides electricity and water services for both tents and trailers.

Five shopping malls (MicMac, Woodlawn, Penhorn, K-Mart Shopping Plaza, the Dartmouth Shopping Centre) and the City’s Downtown shopping area offer a wide variety of goods and services to the shopper.

Come to Dartmouth. Stay a day or a week. You will find that we have much to offer and that you will enjoy our City, our scenic lakes and our friendly hospitality!”

“Listening to us can make your life more pleasant, CFDR 680, Nova Scotia’s strongest Radio Voice, 50,000 watts.”

Dartmouth Inn, with a Telex number listed!

Little Nashville, I’m not sure they were known for their lobsters.

“City Boundary”

“Dartmouth, N.S. 1980 City Street & Industrial Park Information”, City of Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce. 1980. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=2008&Page=202013022

“Dartmouth, a forgotten victim of the Halifax Explosion”

“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:

Dartmouth Transit

Picture Taken at Dartmouth Shopping Center, Dartmouth High seen at extreme left, at right is Nantucket Ave. https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/alltime/halifax-ns.html#dartmouth

Picture taken at the Dartmouth Shopping Center (https://goo.gl/maps/e948pzc3X8nGH7ri8)

Dartmouth Transit route map, 1983. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=2022&Page=202013024

Dartmouth Transit route map, 1983. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=2022&Page=202013024

See also:

See also: Gillis, Robert A. “A Study of the Effects of Government Regulation on the Industry” 1992, Saint Mary’s University, MA thesis. https://library2.smu.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/01/22555/gillis_robert_a_masters_1992.PDF

Delegate Support Patterns at Nova Scotian Leadership Conventions

“The final candidate, Roland Thornhill, 38, was something of an outsider and was viewed as a dark horse. Born in Newfoundland, Thornhill’s family had moved to Dartmouth when he was quite young. Thornhill had never sought provincial office, but was the mayor of Dartmouth. He was a businessman and a Protestant.” Stewart, David K. “Delegate … Read more

St. Peter’s Church

“Old St. Peter’s chapel, 1830-1893, cor. of Ochterloney St. & Chapel Lane, Dartmouth, N.S. View looking east, photographed about 1890. It was re-erected in 1830 from the frame, &c., of the original St. Peter’s Chapel, built in 1784 close to present site of St. Mary’s Cathedral, near corner of Barrington St. & Spring Garden Road, Halifax. The steeple was built on the Dartmouth St. Peter’s in 1831 or very soon after. At right, Chapel Lane, gate to church, Quarrel (Queen) Street extreme middle right. Oil street lamp seen front right on Ochterloney Street, at middle left is the Priests’ house.” Source: https://archives.novascotia.ca/photocollection/archives/?ID=5302

“The chapel was demolished (̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶1̶9̶2̶6̶ ?)” …🤔

Then and Now

The original church was located at the corner of Ochterloney and Edward Street, this part of Edward Street between Ochterloney and Queen was once known as “Chapel Lane“. This site in more recent times was home to a Tim Horton’s, which has since been demolished. Today the site is a parking lot.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

This is what the old Church looked like about 1890. Commenced in 1829, the steeple and attached glebe house were not erected until some years later. The vertical dark line in the picket fence at the Chapel Lane entrance is a turnstile. There is another barely discernible at the northwest corner of the Church. From there, a path led to Ochterloney St. Turnstiles were common sights, because gardens had to be protected from marauding cattle.

The trees were planted in Father Geary’s time, and solicitously watched over by Thomas Gentles, senior, whose house was to the left of the picture. Just left of the telephone pole, is seen a diamond-shaped glass case surmounting a shorter post. Inside the case was an ordinary kerosene lamp. That constituted our street lighting system... The original St. Peter’s Church was demolished in 1893.

Location of the original St. Peter’s Church highlighted, at the corner of Ochterloney Street and (Prince) Edward Street (Chapel Lane). Note also the collection of Public docks, Public dock Number 5 at Church Street, Number 4 at North Street, and Number 3 at Boggs Street (look to be in line with the location of the “Peace Pavilion” today). Source: “Map of the Town of Dartmouth”, 1878. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=1000
A view from further up Ochterloney Street, looking south east towards Chapel Lane.

From the Acadian Recorder in 1829:

“On Monday the frame of a new Catholic chapel was raised, in this delightfully situated little village. The caulking of the Steam Boat was nearly completed, and she appears about ready for her machinery; piles are driving, and repairs making at the wharf intended for her use. Considerable animation seemed to pervade every quarter, which made the town appear very attractive. We are glad to witness indications of improvement in Dartmouth; we augur that (before) long it will increase rapidly in size and value. Independent of its being the outlet for the Shubenacadie Canal, it has many attractions which must operate favorably on her circumstances accordingly as Halifax improves. With a south-west aspect; sheltered from keen north and east winds by hills; enjoying a delightful sea scene and breeze, possessing romantic walks along the shores, and through the surrounding very picturesque country; having the retirement of country life, with the convenience of being divided from the metropolis by not more than a ten minute sail; we think that Dartmouth to the invalid and to many other classes holds out particular inducements as a place of residence. We are too apt to overlook the advantages lying close at our hand, searching for those which, not better, are more distant and costly.”

St. Peter’s hall, seen above, was leased to the town for classroom space to supplement new Central School. It was known as “Miss O’Toole’s school.” This building is still standing — though it was moved — it’s now located on Oakdale Crescent, where for a period of time it served as the neighborhood corner store.

The corner stone of the new St. Peter’s Church seen above was laid on July 2, 1891 and dedicated on July 7, 1901.

Source: “St. Peter’s Church,” 1911. https://archives.novascotia.ca/photocollection/archives/?ID=5341

St. Peter’s Church fire, December 28, 1966.

The third St. Peter’s Church under construction, completed in 1969, consecrated on June 29th of that year.

A Short History of St. Peter’s: The parish of St. Peter’s is the second oldest parish in what is known as the metropolitan area of Halifax-Dartmouth. Its origins go back to 1829 for in that year the construction of a new church began in the city of Halifax which was to become St. Mary’s Cathedral in June 1833. The church that had served the Catholics of that city was transported at least in part across the harbour waters. It was located on the corner of Ochterloney and Edward Streets. It was a simple wooden frame construction and a picture of it can be seen in the main foyer of the present church. Two frontal pieces or panels from the altar of the first church have been placed in the Madonna chapel.

A large piece of property was obtained at the corner of Maple and Crichton Avenue and construction began on the second St. Peter’s in 1882. A painting of this house of God by the local artist Don Fraser now hangs in the foyer of the church. It was a large brick structure with two towers of uneven height on approximately the same location as the present church but facing westward. It was a very devotional church, striking in appearance and much loved by generations of Catholics in the city of Dartmouth. It was particularly known for its stained glass windows and its beautiful dark wood. This church was destroyed by fire on December 28, 1966. Churches of similar architectural design are still located in the town of Yarmouth, the cathedral of St. Ambrose and in the town of Amherst, the church of St. Charles.

The third St. Peter’s, the present structure, was consecrated by Archbishop Hayes on June 29, 1969, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. While resembling somewhat the exterior of the previous church, the interior of this edifice is vastly different. Its form is circular with the altar in the center. Is is a very functional building, well designed to accommodate the reformed liturgy of the Church of the second Vatican council. Including the galleries it can accommodate almost a thousand people and yet there are only nine rows of pews.

St. Peter’s is the mother church of Dartmouth, for, from it several parishes have grown. There are now seven Catholic churches in the city. Space does not permit a description of the other buildings that have contributed to the history of St. Peter’s over the years, the rectory, the convent, the parish schools. This brochure is intended to provide a description of significant elements of the present church.

The Tapestry: Probably the most outstanding of these elements is the tapestry which provides a beautiful setting for the sanctuary area of the church. When Mr. Andre Robitaille, of the firm of Desmarius and Robitaille, and Mr. Frederick Back, Montreal designer, we’re invited to Dartmouth to consider the furniture for the church, they were first brought to the fishing village of Dover and placed on a large rock well out in the water. They were instructed to bring the atmosphere of Nova Scotia into the new church of St. Peter’s. The mission of St. Peter the apostle a fisherman was discussed, and also his love of ships and the sea. The solid granite altar is part of the result of this coastal adventure. The baptismal font, which continually spouts fourth flowing water, is another.

The main decoration, however, is the colorful tapestry. Mr. Back, a Canadian artist who works with the Canadian broadcasting company in Montreal, was chosen by Mr. Robitaille to undertake this work. He has had an outstanding career in the artistic fields. When only 19 he won the Grand Prix of the beaux arts of Renees, France. he was professor of decoration, documentation and drawing at the school of applied arts in Montreal and at the same time professor of decoration and illustration at the Beaux Arts of Montreal. He has been commissioned as illustrator for many television programs, in particular, he has done considerable stained glass window design in the cities of Montreal and Quebec. He is the creator of the mural decoration on the history of the cinema of place Victoria. The center of the tapestry shows the bark of St. Peter. It rides on stormy seas, but all the hazards are pointed down, because nothing can ever sink Peter’s ship. On the deck of the ship are the people of God with their hands raised in prayer. The ship moves towards the heavenly port, which is represented by perpendicular lines of brightly colored cloth. the main mast of the ship is the cost of Christ under which the ship sails. It is slightly canted to again Express the difficulties encountered in stormy weather. Above the waters and the ship is the holy spirit spirit, represented by the sun. The uneven race depict the times when the movement of the holy spirit in the church is more obvious than others. The goals flying about are part of the Nova Scotia scene. They are always on our water and we’re fittingly brought into the tapestry. The coloration is taken partly from the Nova Scotia tartan, but the peculiar yellowish Brown comes from the lichen that grows on the rocks around Dover.

Mr. Back took several samples home with him to Montreal and numerous photographs in order to obtain the correct shade. The weaving of the cloth was done by a Mrs. Thomas of Montreal and the stitching was done by several hands, but to a large extent, it is the work of Mrs. Back, wife of the designer.

The stained glass windows: The Resurrection

The three sets of large windows, a kind of triptych, make up a unified hole, representing, on the east side of the church the creation of life, over the front entrance the new, resurrected life, and on the West side the life of the body of Christ infused by the holy spirit. We just have the actions of the three persons of the trinity. The middle Windows depict the resurrection, the rising of Christ, the son of god, from the tomb to the new and eternal life. The artist gives us the early morning scene of the Easter event. To the left, near the bottom, there are the darker brown colors representing the tomb. Rising out of the tomb, there is the glorified figure of Jesus, in the bright gold and yellow colors, with the red indicating the scars of the crucifixion. Just as in the East windows, we have the creation of the human, so this Christ embodies us all in the recreation of humanity, the restoration of Divine Life. The sweep of this movement is reflected in the tapestry behind the presidential chair by the bark of Peter. Also, similar colors are used in the skillful work of art.

The Creation

The creation depicted in the windows on the east side has, as it’s dominant feature, the figure of mankind before the rejection of God’s will. It stands out and surmounts the rest of creation which has been designed, showing one layer or stratum of life superimposed on the other, suggesting The evolutionary aspect of God’s action. The six days of creation, as described in the first chapter of genesis, are well brought out. A great variety of colors is used to remind the viewer of the innumerable species of life. At the bottom of the windows, we have fossils and the remnants of prehistoric animals. Vegetable matter is suggested by the use of wheat and other plants. Various forms of animal life can also be seen, snakes, mollusks, snails, fish, etc. In the sky, as well, birds fly about, and knowingly expressing the beauty of God’s work. In the upper section, we may note other references to the story of creation, the separation of night from day, the dividing of the water from the land. A kind of spiritual dome, the heavens, surmounts this, giving us the strong feeling that this dynamic life force emanates from the Creator who said that “it was good”.

The Life of the Church

The windows on the west side, the creation of the church, while slightly resembling that of the creation of the world, are quite different. Here, there is more of a sense of movement, expressed by the sharpness of the lines, the shapes and vivid colors. The holy spirit, symbolized by the dove, tower is above all and envelops the whole with a protective aura, where the reds represent the fire, the zeal of love. Under the action of the spirit of god, the apostles respond with enthusiasm as they become the temples of God’s indwelling. They reach upwards to receive the Divine Life of grace, represented by the vertical and oblique lines which descend from above. The small dark pieces of glass, closely formed together suggest the multiplex technology of the modern world and indeed the great variety of people as well. the blue trapezium shapes can be visualized in two ways, they are openings in the heavens which they resemble by virtue of their blue color and these windows remind us that the church should not look inward but rather reach out and project toward the whole of humanity, responding to the words of Christ “go and teach All Nations”. Stained glass has been placed in two other areas of the church. In the Madonna chapel two events in the life of the blessed Virgin Mary have been depicted. In both cases the design is in keeping with the modern designs of the larger windows. On the right side is the immaculate conception with the suggestion of a lily while on the left of the chapel the quote assumption quote is portrayed describing a passage to eternal life near the Tabernacle and to the right are three small Windows which portray symbols of the Eucharistic Christ. Stocks of wheat and grapes from the vine are easily recognized in this unified scene. Mr. Beck has provided his recommendations and artistic knowledge for our stained glass windows but they’re design has been accompanied accomplished by Sylvie Bouchard.

The Altar of the Blessed Sacrament

The Tabernacle was preserved from the previous church and was a gift of the people of St. Peter’s in memory of Reverend George Courtney. It was carried out of the burning church by one who risked his life in order to save the blessed sacrament. it becomes a connection with the former church just as the panels in the Madonna chapel maintain a relationship with the first St. Peter’s. The drapes behind the Tabernacle and the veil that covers it are intended to represent the net that Peter cast into the sea to catch the large drought of fishes. Behind this netting is a greenish colored cloth that speaks of the ocean and white playing on the water. The design of the Tabernacle lamp is in keeping with the rest of this area.

The Black Statue of the Blessed Virgin

The second Church of St. Peter was destroyed by a fire that began about 2:00 in the afternoon of December 28th 1966. The so-called black Madonna stood in a special altar on the right side of the old church. After the fire had been extinguished it was noted that the wooden statue is almost intact while on the opposite side of the church the statue of Saint Joseph was very badly burned. The hands of the Virgin are slightly charred. The blackish effect is the result of the fire. unfortunately the darkening was not even so a light spray has been used to make it more uniform. The present chapel was built specifically for this purpose, to house this statue, for it was felt that our lady guarded the parish from any loss of life.

The Frontal Pieces from the First Altar

The two panels, one on each side of the Madonna, or part of the original altar in the first St. Peter’s. They were brought over from Halifax along with other parts of the church which was located on the corner of Ochterloney and Edward streets. When father Underwood began the building of the second St. Peter’s in 1892, this same altar was used in the lower part of the church. In 1896 the church was officially opened and the old altar was preserved downstairs and what later became Saint Anne’s chapel. The destructive fire of 1966 did not get into the lower chapel but in the salvage operations all that could be saved were the two panels of this altar. Dozens of coats of white paint were removed and the two wood panels were clearly outlined. They are believed to be a Flemish origin, probably of the 17th century. One depicts the Salvatore mundi savior of the world, the other is an image of St. Peter. The wood in the carved sections of these frontal pieces is teak. The surrounding boards are a very ancient white pine. They constitute a very important link with the early history of the church in Dartmouth and also of Halifax. They symbolize and recall the great faith that must have been required to build a church in Dartmouth in the early part of the 19th century. A description of the church should not overlook the statute of St. Peter which has been placed in the niche constructed for this purpose near the base of the tower. It was donated by a kind parishioner and is fashioned from linden wood. The word of God and the quote keys of the Kingdom quote our traditional in any depiction of the apostle Peter.

Pastors of St. Peter’s parish:

Rev. James Dunphy 1830 – 1832
Rev. Dennis Geary 1832 – 1845
Rev. James Kennedy 1845 – 1847
Rev. William MacLeod 1847 – 1848
Rev. Patrick Phelan, 1848 – 1851
Rev. James Dunphy 1851 – 1857
Rev. Denis Geary 1857 – 1862
Rev. Alexander MacIsaac 1862 – 1864
Rev. John Woods 1864 – 1885
Rev. Charles Underwood 1885 – 1923
Rev. George Courtney 1923 – 1939
Rev. John Burns 1939 – 1945
Rev. William Smith 1946 – 1954
Rev. Gerald Murphy 1954 – 1972
Rev. John R. Campbell 1972 – 1982
Rev. Louis Cassie 1982 –


[–“They symbolize and recall the great faith that must have been required to build a church in Dartmouth in the early part of the 19th century” from above, after referring to the fire that burned down the church on December 28th 1966, certainly made an impact.]