“Disaster is frequently the parent of legislation. In surveying the long history of Nova Scotia, we find this saying particularly true.” “The first recorded instance of illness in Nova Scotia is the account of Champlain of an outbreak of scurvy at Port Royal in 1606. His group of settlers had spent the winter of 1605 at St. Croix Island, where, of a group of seventy-nine, forty-four died of scurvy. In Port Royal in the following year twelve of forty-five died.” “Of all the epidemics, that of smallpox carried with it the greatest destruction and terror. In 1694 an epidemic was …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia More…

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“Nine years later, one finds this institute arranging an excursion to Portland, “under the auspices of the Marine Charitable Mechanics’ Association of Portland”, which brought not only much pleasure, but a £60 profit for the building fund . Dartmouth Mechanics’ Institute, Nova Scotia, arranged a picnic and bazaar, under the patronage of Lieutenant Governor Falkland, on neighbouring McNab’s Island in 1845, and this was recognized as ” the outstanding summer event in the social life of the community.” Four thousand people were conveyed by ferries to a picnic ground, where displays were intermingled with refreshment stands, with music provided by …

The Work/Leisure Ethic in Adult Education More…

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“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 …

Public Utility Regulation in Nova Scotia More…

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“Isaac Deschamps and James Brenton, puisne judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court [NSSC], had, charged the colonial Assembly in April 1790, committed “divers illegal, partial, and corrupt acts” such as to justify “Impeachment” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanours.”‘ These words come from the preamble to a list of seven “articles of impeachment” passed by the Nova Scotia Assembly on 5-7 April 1790. The seven articles, distilled from thirteen draft articles which had been introduced on 10 March, listed ten cases in which the judges were alleged to have acted incompetently or partially, or both, and also included accusations that …

The Impeachment of the Judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, 1787-1793: Colonial Judges, Loyalist Lawyers, and the Colonial Assembly More…

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“Because post-Revolutionary American government resembled the practices of the corporation colonies, proprietary governments often have been neglected. Yet, the proprietary form represented an equally plausible approach to delegating governance authority. Englishmen interested in the settlements viewed the invention of the proprietary form as an improvement over the corporation colony; proprietaries achieved real settlement success. Nova Scotia (1621), Avalon (1623), Maryland (1632), and Maine (1639), as well as Carolina (1663), New York and New Jersey (1664), Pennsylvania (1681), and East Jersey (1682), all followed the proprietary form. The coexistence of settlements with authority delegated through corporate governance practices and those with …

English Settlement and Local Governance More…

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Dartmouth, the birthplace of the franchise for women in municipal politics in Nova Scotia, in 1886…as long as you were a ratepayer… “The first move towards procuring women’s suffrage in Nova Scotia was taken by the Town of Dartmouth in 1886 when they got an Act through the Provincial Legislature extending to female ratepayers the right to vote at municipal elections. It was effective the following year. Our 1873 Act of Incorporation stated that the privilege of voting was granted to “every male ratepayer.” In other words, widows, and spinsters owning property within the Town had no voice in the …

Franchise granted for (landowning) women More…

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Sinclair Williams … A Local Hero from empowerfulproject on Vimeo. “Youth and seniors from the East Preston community have been working with a Halifax based video company, Pink Dog Productions to produce a video honoring one of East Preston’s local cultural heroes Mr. Sinclair Williams who was the first African Nova Scotian police officer for the Dartmouth Area.”

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. 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. …

1915 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: In January 1897 George Foston’s house near Maynard’s Lake was burned to the ground early on a below-zero morning. Later that year a dreadful holocaust took the lives of two people at the former; Lennox homestead on Chestnut Lane, Cole Harbor Road. Youthful James Harrison, clad only in night-clothes, heroically rescued injured George Tulloch from the flaming building. Mr. Tulloch later succumbed to burns received. The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated in June. Over 1,000 flag-waving school children were marched by their teachers to the Common Field where …

1897 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: On January 3rd, 1895, Mayor Sterns and the Councilors attended the state funeral at Halifax of Sir John Thompson, Prime Minister of Canada, who had died at Windsor Castle in December. In the spring, the “Atlantic Weekly” moved to the southern half of McDonald’s “skyscraper”. The man-power press was usually operated by Tommy Hyles. If he failed to appear for the Saturday morning run, we newsboys used to take turns at the big wheel until enough papers were rolled off to supply our needs. (I walked to South Woodside and …

1895 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: From this point onward in our story, some word pictures of life in Dartmouth can be given from personal recollection. 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 beer and table beer on draught. We served oysters on the half-shell which cost about a dollar a barrel and yielded a handsome profit. …

1890 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: On New Year’s Day 1889 the Dartmouth Public Reading Room opened in the long building near the Ferry. This beneficial institution was our first library. The Board of School Commissioners was organized that year, and had for its first members Councillors A. C. Johnston, C. E. Creighton, F. G. Dares, together with Dr. Frank Woodbury and C. H. Harvey. So also was the Dartmouth Park Commission which comprised Mayor Frederick Searfe, Councillors Alexander Lloy, W. H. Sterns, with J. Walter Allison and F. C. Elliot as Government appointees. Towards the …

1889 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. 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 …

1888 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. 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 …

1887 More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: In 1884, Dartmouth along with other centres adopted Standard Time of the 60th meridian. Timepieces were advanced 14 minutes before noon on March 1st. Louis D. Robinson resigned as Principal of Schools, and was succeeded by H. S. Congdon. William Mac-Kenzie became Chief of the two-man police force, in place of Robert Lehan. Construction of the railway bridge at the Narrows began that spring. M. J. Hogan of Quebec was the contractor for the timber and trestle work shown on page 74. The Starr Manufacturing Company under the supervision of …

1884 More…

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