Acadia Sugar Refinery

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery under construction, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 1883.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, after the fire. February 1912.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, after the fire. February 1912.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Acadia Sugar Refinery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. (?) 1912-1927.

Acadia Sugar Refinery. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. After 1912 fire, before 1927.

Acadia Sugar Refinery Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

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

THIS IS THE FIRST WOODSIDE REFINERY. It was projected by an English Company under the Presidency of George G. Dustin, who came from Scotland to live in the Fairbanks house about 1863. Completion of the Refinery came in 1881. All this time Mr. Dustin kept appealing for adequate sugar tariff protection.


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 of the Eastern railroad was well beyond Musquodoboit Harbor. Halifax and Dartmouth Boards of Trade now collaborated to urge upon the Federal Government the necessity of a harbor bridge so that freight from Dartmouth and the eastern sections of the County could go by rail directly across to Halifax. A bridge would also be the means of extending the Halifax tram lines to Dartmouth and to Cow Bay beach for summer tourist trade.

All these projects made life in Dartmouth look pretty rosy in the early summer of 1914. Boating, swimming, bathing, baseball, tennis and other outdoor activities were expanding, as more and more growing girls and boys emulated their oldsters. The lakes were alive with all sorts of craft. Shirt-waisted ladies and straw-hatted men of all ages reappeared in the usual summer garb. Seldom did we see a military or a naval uniform in Dartmouth, except when some local boy like George Myers came into port on HMCS ‘‘Canada” or the ‘Niobe” which then comprised the whole Canadian Navy on the Atlantic coast. Over the years, most of us had received training in cadet corps. Some afterwards joined various Halifax volunteer regiments for summer drill and encampment. Others attended Naval College, but probably very few contemplated a military career.

The Brightwood Golf Club under President I. W. Vidito opened a 9-hole golf course with a grand celebration in July. Unaware of any impending peril, the Banook Club Committee went ahead with plans for a Natal Day celebration (which was never held), and already had ordered the regular supply of fireworks.

Then the deluge of blood commenced in Europe.

The heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated. Germany flew to arms to assist her ally; declared war on Russia and France, and invaded Belgium. On August 4th, Britain declared war against Germany. Everybody was aroused to action.

At Dartmouth, sailors from a French trawler on the Marine slip paraded the streets with the Union Jack and Tricolor, alternately singing “God Save the King” and the “Marsellaise”. Troops from the volunteer regiments of Halifax manned the various port outposts and vulnerable points east of Dartmouth. Eastern Passage was closed to shipping. All the sources of our water supply system were heavily guarded. Scores of local boys were either already in the ranks, or on their way to Valcartier to join the First Canadian Contingent. Rumors were rife of enemy submarines.

Big transatlantic liners including the “Mauretania” and the “Cedric” raced for refuge into Halifax harbor, and anchored within shouting distance of the ferry route. Meat, flour and other produce took a sharp rise. The local Red Cross Society commenced to collect money and clothing for war purposes. The Canadian Patriotic Fund, to assist the families of men in the services, was organized. The Committee who canvassed in Dartmouth comprised Mayor Williams, Town Clerk Elliot, J. W. Allison, James Burchell, E. M. Walker, A. C. Pyke, James Tobin, Dr. F. W. Stevens, Leo Graham. The Acadia Sugar Refinery subscribed $10,000, and the Town Council voted $2,500. In Europe the German army was sweeping onward.

In the autumn Dartmouth joined with other centres in an extensive campaign for funds, food and clothing for the relief of sufferers in devastated Belgium. The local chairman was ex-Mayor A. C. Johnston, grandson of a former Premier. About 150 crates and barrels of food, clothing, boots, groceries and the like, were packed and added to the tons of similar material at Halifax where it was loaded aboard ships chartered by the Nova Scotia Government, and sent forward as a contribution of the people of this Province.

Meantime Dartmouth boys were continuing to rally to the colors, many of them enlisting with the well-known 25th Battalion then recruiting at Halifax. In Dartmouth the Home Defence Guards were organized and commenced drilling in the Dartmouth Rink under Captains H. D. Creighton, Dr. F. W. Stevens and J. Lorn Allan.

The Eastern Railway to Dean Settlement was completed that year, and on December 21st brought in its first load of passengers. They were disembarked at Woodside because the Government had not yet taken over the new road from the contractors.



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 of the Engine House, and within pumping distance of the salt water. But the firemen were helpless because the engine was late. Investigation later revealed that the driver who raced to Greene’s stables near the foot of Quarrell Street, could not find the key to the harness room. Then the harness got tangled. Icy street conditions caused more delay. As a consequence, citizens began to murmur and to agitate that the Town should maintain its own horses near the Engine House.

The Council made a slight move in this respect by purchasing George Turnbull’s watering-cart for $35, but they still hired a horse and driver from Greene’s. The rate was $3 per day. The cart was filled with salt water from a tank on Moseley’s wharf, and also with fresh water supplied by the Starr Company from their stream.

The new Halifax and Dartmouth Steam Ferry Company seemed to be prospering. In 1888 they declared a dividend of 8%, and shortened the hours of their employees by engaging a third crew In that year also they acquired the first two-laned ferry. This was the paddle-wheeler “Dartmouth” built by the Burrell Johnson Company in Yarmouth at a cost of $30,000. Alongside the small one-laned ferries, this boat was a floating palace with her steam-heated electric-lighted cabins, commodious lanes for vehicles and a spacious upper deck. She became the popular steamer for picnics.

The first industrial establishment in Halifax or Dartmouth to be equipped with a private telegraph line was the Dartmouth Rope-works. In 1888 they had their office connected with wire by running a spur line from the vicinity of the foot of Jamieson street. One of the lady clerks did the telegraphing. Telephones were sometimes noisy and hence the telegraph was considered safer, especially in transmitting code words.

That summer the Ropeworks laid out George Street, and erected thereon nine identical houses known as the “Nine Sisters”. (The front design of some of these has since been altered.) John T. Walker was the Contractor, and George Mosher his foreman. The Company also laid out John Street, and Pelzant Street was to follow. They were taken over by the Town within the next few years.

Later in 1888 John T. Walker built “Glenwood” on the former Bell property (now 22 Main Street), for Warden James Simmonds. In the same neighborhood John R. Graham, the Dartmouth butcher, built the house on what was once part of Christian Bartlin’s grant, and is now the Creelman property at No. 5 Braemar Drive. A Halifax newspaper’s comment in describing the location of these new dwellings said that “they are on sites which some 25 years ago were occupied by the wigwams of [the Mi’kmaq].”

Also in 1888 Contractor A. G. Gates erected for Charles A. Robson the large dwelling at the southwest corner of Queen and Dundas Streets. Miss Ross had “Morven” cottage built at 46 Dahlia Street. Mrs. Thomas Creighton purchased the house previously built and occupied by Andrew Shiels at 114 Ochterloney Street. H. C. Walker, junior, put in Dartmouth’s first plate-glass window at his haberdashery store on the location of the Harbor Cafe. W. H. Greene leased from the Ferry the dwelling and stables vacated by W. H. Isnor who was moving his livery business to Halifax.

Mott’s Factories and Warehouses

storyofdartmouth-8 dartmouth cove

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.