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 of Dartmouth. Prior to the coming of Ropework families after 1868, there were vast areas of woods and pasture in that section of town paying only a few dollars taxes. Mr. Stairs also lived on our side of the harbor for several summers. At a cost of £600 in 1854 he bought “Fernwood Cottage” at South Woodside from John P. Mott who had been his schoolmate at Horton Academy. It is said that H. Y. Mott had Henry Watt build “Fernwood” for his son before the latter’s wedding in 1848. Besides his Ropeworks investments, Mr. …

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