From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1920 we had the coldest winter for years. There were 21 days of good sleighing, and 11 days of sub-zero weather in January with the mercury down to 17 below near the month-end. In February the harbor froze over for the first time since 1898. The ferries kept a lane open, and the tug “Ragus” bucked her way daily from the Sugar Refinery to the Imperial Oil wharf at Halifax. On a Sunday afternoon, a number of us skated from Mill Cove to McNab’s Island, without experiencing any difficulty except in hopping over the ice-pans in the channel of the “Ragus” off Woodside. Robert Lynch, who had been eight years in the Town Council, opposed Dr. Simpson in the Mayoralty election and got 525 votes to the Doctor’s 617. A motor-driven ladder truck was purchased and the first Town Engineer …

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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 …

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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. …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In January 1872 Dartmouth purchased a second-hand Hand Fire Engine in St. John, N. B., which went into service here after considerable repair work was done at Adam McKay’s boiler shop. R. B. Morris of the Virginia Tobacco Company instituted a series of winter lectures at his factory on Church Street for the cultural improvement of employees and their families. Results of trotting races at the Dartmouth Lakes together with names of officials appeared in the “Halifax Citizen” in February. The list includes names of well known horsemen of that time including Thomas Farrell, John R. Glendenning, Garrett Kingston, James Settle, J. E. Leadley, Andrew Corbin, Richard Barry, Thomas Hyde. (These races were not likely the first to be held here, because older residents used to relate tales of trotting contests long before that date.) The weather grew pretty cold that …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the winter of 1867, Halifax newspapers carried unusually long accounts of seasonal activities on our lakes, such as games of curling, hockey and ice-boating. Up to about the mid-century there was only occasional reference to such recreations, perhaps because of the few persons participating. Now with a skate factory located in our midst, hundreds of others must have joined in the fashion. Increasing crowds came over from Halifax especially on holidays and Sundays. The bright uniforms of naval and military officers gliding over the glassy surfaces with their lady partners amid the throngs on our various lakes, created quite a colorful scene. The “Halifax Reporter” of that time observed that it was curious the way that skating enthusiasts of Halifax changed their locations in different seasons. One year Maynard’s Lake in Dartmouth has the best ice; the next year the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Hon. J. W. Johnston, who had been at the head of the Nova Scotia Government in the previous decade, again became Premier of the Province in February 1857 when the Liberals were defeated on a want of confidence vote in the Assembly. (See Calkin’s History.) One of the ablest of the Conservative members was Dr. Charles Tupper of Cumberland, who was residing that winter with Dr. Parker at “Beechwood” not far from Mr. Johnston’s home at “Mount Amelia.” In his reminiscences published long afterwards, Sir Charles Tupper tells us that it was at “Beechwood” where Mr. Johnston and he met to hold discussions on Conservative policy and no doubt to select the new Executive Council of that time. Hon. Dr. Tupper evidently remained in Dartmouth after the close of the Legislative session on May 1st, because the ferry records show that …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by 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 the construction of a telegraph line to the New Brunswick border. One section of the Railway Commissioners’ report dealing with their surveys in and around Halifax, must have made Dartmouthians leap with delight. The report noted: The best site for a railway terminus is on the opposite shore at Dartmouth. The …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by 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 party. Although the night was dark and tempestuous, loyal followers accompanied the Halifax group to the ferry; and as the boat pulled out, gave three rousing cheers which were lustily returned. The poll for the election of candidates was held at the Halifax Court House for five days early in November. …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Among the petitions before the House of Assembly when they met in late January 1836, was a memorial from colored people of Dartmouth asking financial aid to help them establish a school for their children. It was signed by Jeremiah Page, Louis Cassity, Daniel Fendal, George Gibson, Samuel Wood, John Garo, William Andel, Robert Tynes, Nim Carter, Henry Clark, Daniel Gross and John Franklyn. The petition of Jeremiah Page humbly sheweth that there are many colored persons residing in the Town Plot of Dartmouth and in its immediate vicinity. That they have among them as many as 40 children and they are entirely without the means of giving them schooling. That the school which receives the aid of the public allowance in this place, is already so numerously attended that in all probability there would not be room in it for …

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