Dartmouth Parish (The Harbour of Halifax)

One of the only maps I’ve seen that shows what is a political division, “Dartmouth Parish”, I believe this is a reference to it being a bishopric.

From Coke Upon Littleton: “…the ancient towns called boroughs are the most ancient towns in England; and from these towns come the burgesses of parliament, when the king has summoned his parliament. Every borough incorporate that had a bishop within time of memory, is a city, albeit the bishopric be dissolved…It is not necessary that a city be a county of itself; as Cambridge, Ely, Westminster &c. are cities, but are no counties of themselves, but are part of the counties where they are”

Some interesting features are included, including the Ferryhouse located at the bottom of Old Ferry Road, the flour mill just outside of the town plot, as well as the “three hills above Dartmouth”, (which I believe is in reference to “Mt. Amelia” at the top of Old Ferry Road, “Silver’s Hill” in the Sinclair neighborhood and “Mt. Thom” aka Brightwood).

“The Harbour of Halifax”, Backhouse, Th. 1798. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53090052z, https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=226

Annual Report 1890


Ladies and gentlemen: The second year of my official duties as mayor of this town having closed, it affords me the opportunity to place before you the following report of the several services that have engaged the attention and exertions of your council. The most important of which are the ferry, between the Town and … Read more

“Go to Halifax”


An article of note for the information it provides in regards to the Dartmouth Ferry Commission’s first external ferry purchase, the Annex. It’s full of interesting observations. “In this generation it is safe to give one advice to go to Halifax. Such was not the case in the days of our great grandfathers. To send … Read more

Footprints Around and About Bedford Basin

“East side of Bedford Basin: The winding shore above the narrows has many picturesque points and coves to recommend it to the lover of natural scenery. It has also historical associations, but not, perhaps, of such prominence as that of the western side. High hills, clad with pine and spruce, rise conspicuously above the sparkling … Read more

The Annex

Remember that time Dartmouthians got so fed up with the substandard ferry service, they charted their own course, and organized a committee to start their own ferry service?

A ferry service that became so popular, the previous operators were abandoned in favor of the people’s service? This group even organized a ferry boat buying expedition to New York, in order to purchase a boat “formerly on the Pennsylvania Annex running from Brooklyn to Jersey City”.

“Dartmouth is the Brooklyn of Halifax”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 8, 1894; https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50346344

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

“The struggle between the citizens and the Steamboat Company lasted about three months. In April 1890, legislation was obtained to organize the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. This body took over the liabilities of the Citizens’ Ferry Committee. Delegates were next sent to the United States to negotiate for the purchase of a secondhand ferryboat named the “Annex”. Meantime the small steamer “Arcadia” kept running in opposition to the Company, transporting people for two cents, and later for one cent. Nearly everyone boycotted the regular ferry. By midsummer the Steamboat Company felt obliged to capitulate. Then all the property of the 75-year-old Halifax and Dartmouth Steam Ferry Company was acquired by the new Dartmouth Ferry Commission. The makeshift landing and ticket booth at Campbell’s wharf were abandoned.”

“The Annex”, alongside a friend (possibly The USS New Orleans [?]) https://archives.novascotia.ca/royalnavy/archives/?ID=47


ferry 1906

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the winter of 1906 Ropework employees marched in a body to attend the funeral of Hon. William J. Stairs at Halifax. Mr. Stairs was the founder of their establishment, and the man whose spirit of enterprise and purpose was largely responsible for developing the northend … Read more



From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On May 1st, 1890, our seven-member family moved from “Asylum Road’’ to the roomy Quaker-built house at Sterns’ corner. The front door was on Portland Street. The premises had just been vacated by Frank Mowatt, grocer. Downstairs in the shop my father sold candy, tobacco, hop … Read more


From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On January 29th, the fifth Sunday of the month in 1871, St. James’ Presbyterian Church was opened for the first services, and the new edifice was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. On the next evening, the ladies of the congregation held their annual tea-meeting and salon in … Read more


From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: During the summer of 1816, the construction of the new team-boat, or horse-boat, continued in progress. The machinery necessary to revolve the propeller seems to have been imported from New York firms experienced in rigging similar such boats. The launching took place on Monday, September 30, … Read more